Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas in New York

This past month has been a very busy one.  Since I spent two months in New York with my daughter who broke her leg, I didn't expect to come for Christmas. This trip was unexpected and unplanned, but very enjoyable.  When I looked for a return flight to San Diego, American Airlines was offering the least expensive ticket on a Tuesday, Dec. 29 from JFK Airport in New York City.  When that day came, we were experiencing inclement weather with light snow and ice in Dutchess County, while it was just raining in New York City.  So, instead of my daughter driving me the approximately 86 miles, with 60 of them on icy roads, I decided to take the MetroNorth train into Manhattan.  Then, I planned to ride the Air Link shuttle for the rest of the trip to the airport.  The train ride was fine....not new to me.  When I arrived at the pickup spot for the shuttle, sheltered from the rain by only my umbrella, I saw that Park Avenue going north between 41st and 42nd Sts  was closed.  It was now a parking spot for rental bikes.  After phoning Air Link, I was assured that the driver would pick me up on that corner.  He arrived a little early and politely helped me climb into the front seat of the van.  He drove safely and maneuvered adroitly through the growing traffic.  As the traffic grew and the rain lessened, I suspected the tourists were coming out of their hotel rooms to roam the City, or possibly, New Yorkers might be leaving work early.  I really wouldn't know, but these thoughts kept me busy as the driver wended his way through the streets. The drive was uneventful except for a massive tie-up on the Grand Central Parkway, which the driver deftly circumvented on the city streets.  I arrived at JFK, calm, cool, and collected .  I'd certainly recommend this shuttle.

During my visit, I had the opportunity to eat at two restaurants that were very enjoyable.  The first was "The Tomato Cafe" in Fishkill, NY.  While the food is excellent, I especially appreciated their practice of providing half meals.  I am a small eater and usually have to take a box home to one of my grandsons who graciously eats the leftovers.  I especially enjoyed the Steak Frites and always finished my meal with a cookie chosen from the display case.  The employees are very courteous and friendly.  The restaurant seems to very busy at lunch time.  However, we didn't wait long for a table.  One Sunday after church, we called to see if they could accommodate 11 people, which they did.  The family enjoyed their meal as well as the easy going atmosphere.  I really recommend "The Tomato Cafe."

On the Saturday after Christmas, I took the MetroNorth train to Tarrytown.  My friend, Katie, met me and drove to a restaurant she likes in Irvington.  We were having Brunch at The Red Hat on the River.  The restaurant is located in a renovated Lord and Burnham factory building situated on the edge of the Hudson River.  I checked the history of Lord and Burnham and found it very interesting.

The Red Hat on the River has a loft area over the main floor.  Since we arrived early, we were seated on the main floor by the large windows, which provided a great view of the river.  Again, since I prefer a small meal,  I enjoyed a delicious crab cake.  As best as I can recall, Katie had the Eggs .Benedict.  The service was great and we had an enjoyable repast.  The atmosphere was very warm and a great place for a special meal.  As we were preparing to leave, we saw a framed letter from the author, James Patterson, to the restaurant owner who happens to be his cousin.  Outside the restaurant, Katie pointed out the views of the Tappan Zee Bridge and New York City in the distance to the south.  A great photo op despite the haze.

View of New York City in the distance looking South
Looking North, the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson

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Perhaps by Catherine Hall (on Kindle and the Nook) 

The Book of Micah by Catherine Hall (on Kindle and the Nook) 

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