Jim and Diana and Mom and Dad's Most Excellent New York Adventure

The tale of our trip to New York as told by Jim, using Dreamweaver and a Canon Powershot camera

This story would've taken some strange turns if it weren't for a wonderful customer service rep at United Airlines. The story of that, in brief is that my dad ordered the tickets with his Mileage Plus account, forgetting that Diana was still using her maiden name not the Stinnett family name. If you fly in the US, you know that if your ticket and identification do not match, perfectly, you will not board any domestic flight, period, end of story. So.....

...seven long phone calls and about 14 hours after realizing this problem even existed, it was resolved. But not after the aforementioned phone calls and some ferocious nail biting. The morning of our departure an email confirmation arrived , confirming the necessary name change on our tickets ,about 20 minutes before we left for the airport.
Let's just say this, "jeeeeeeeeeeeee zus" that was close to making the whole trip really difficult, to say the least.

Airport 2005

Our cab arrived at 5:30 AM as promised, forty five dollars and 20 minutes later we were getting our boarding passes and doing the Richard Reid shuffle at SFO. We boarded flight 18 bound for JFK and were soon traveling at an average of 527 miles per hour on a Boing ( boeing, boeng?) 757-200.

My GPS indicated we were flying at about 38,100 feet above seal level. So if you look out the window, the clouds are below you, instead of "up in the sky" where they usually are. Weird.

We had a great pilot who got us there 20 minutes early. She also was able to keep us from crashing during the 30 minute descent, through the most dense cloud cover, ever, or so it seemed. It was zero visibility for the entire landing. Yikes.

The cab ride into Manhattan was pure entertainment. Our Jamaican cab driver had the reggae blasting away as he gave a perfect impression of a New York cab driver at rush hour, which was actually worse than SF's rush hour, if you can believe it.

Our Hotel is the Michelangelo on West 51 Street at 7th Avenue. Nice.

We got interior rooms because the exterior rooms rent for twice as much, which is a lot. They are quiet though and have a classy but conservative decor. The hotel has bellboys, and all the usual hotel stuff, a lobby, an awning out front etc.

Notice the American and Italian Flags are flying out front. Michelangleo was Italian so that must be why. We all slept like a pile of rusty jackhammers, in our interior rooms.

New York New York May 21, 2005

Mom and Dad ran off to the Plaza Hotel Auction. It is closing it's doors for good and they are selling everything, including the bathroom fixtures, towels, but not the bellboys or concierge. Dad said later that it was like attending a Cecil B. De Mille cattle call, and that they would only allow people to enter when other people left. So they did something else, but I can't remember what it was.

Diana and I slept in.

We did finally get up, early, in terms of Pacific Daylight Time, but we got up late as far as local time is conncerned. I think it was about 10:00 A.M.. But we knew it was still only 7:00 A.M. in San Francisco.

We missed the complimentary breakfast stuff ( dry croissants and leftover Denny's coffee?) so we walked up 7th Avenue and found a little coffee place where we read the complimentary New York Times and drank down a few cups of Joe. We paid the outrageously high tab, and headed off to Central Park.

Lest I forget to mention it, we were both astonished at how clean and beautiful this city is kept. The few small articles of trash we saw were a HUGE surprise as the City of New York has made a point of keeping this place clean and free of the type of trash we are so accustomed to seeing in the City if San Francisco. I mean it really is remarkable. It is a shame that SF has allowed itself to become a virtual trash heap in comparison. I was surprised to say the least, but we both agreed that it was a pleasure to walk down the street without having to navigate over a lot of junk. Even the bums here seem nicer and cleaner, too. Though it appears that they are not yet in the habit of working for a living, or wearing ties.

Central Park South

Here again we were struck by the contrast with Golden Gate Park. They have restored this park back to being a beautiful and respectable urban retreat. The paths and various places were all neatly kept, and the foliage is lush, healthy and home much to urban wildlife. We came across a group of amateur ornithologists with high powered telescopes focused on a pair of red tailed hawks that have taken up residence high on a 5th Avenue apartment. ( sorry no pics, yet). The nest is about 6-8 feet across and right in the middle of the top floor decorative balcony thing. Amazing. Diana said that since everyone in New York has some sort of "schtick", these guys must have this hawk watching club as their "schtick" Cool.

We walked and walked, all the way to 80 something street and then back to the hotel to meet Mom and Dad for the afternoon trip to the Museum of Modern Art.


MOMA has been recently rebuilt. The structure itself is very stark but very attractive in an urban-industrial kind of way. We toured only a couple of the galleries as there is SO much to see. The highlights of what we saw today were the Architecture and Design gallery as well as the Sculpture, Large Canvas and Mural galleries. Can you say " Monet at the MOMA" ? We saw the beautiful "Reflections on a lily pond" which is painted on three large panels that stretches for about 50 feet. Amazing. We could walk right up to the canvas and see each brushstroke.

There were pieces by many well known modern artists, Ray Johnson , Andy Warhol and so on.

Can you explain this one to me though? I know it has something to do
with uh, umm, well , like I said. I think the title was something like
"Got a light?"

We had dinner at The Modern, a fancy schmancy restaurant on the main floor of the museum. The meal was absolutely amazing. The service was great, too. The silverware, and service items were all quite unique and schwanky in a modernistic way.
My dad insisted on paying the tab, and I am very grateful for that.
The Internet is also available in New York, and at the Michelangelo Hotel for 9.95 per day. As you can see, we coughed up the necessary funds to have access.

I put up a quick picture gallery here if you want to just look at some pictures.

Well that was day one. Time for bed.


Chapter Two is here