Our Ride To The Upper West Side

Thursday was a big travel day for us.  After loading up the Old Home in Philadelphia, we drove to a Newark Airport remote parking garage, parked the car, grabbed our 2 over-stuffed suitcases, hopped into a shuttle to the airport, boarded the AirTrain to Newark Liberty Transit Station, transferred to the NJ Transit train for our ride to New York Penn Station where we caught a subway to West 86th street.  From there it was a short walk and a long climb up to Courtney’s 5th floor walk-up.  Exhausted, we unpacked a few things, walked down to Columbus Ave for lunch, walked to and around Central Park, then back to Amsterdam Avenue where we had dinner with friend Pam (from DC) at Piccolo Cafe. Dropped Pam off at the subway, walked to Yogurtland for desert then back to Courtney’s for a much needed good night’s sleep.

Courtney's Stairs

Courtney’s Stairs

Thanks Courtney for letting us stay in your wonderful NYC UWS apartment. What a great location for you (and now for us)!  We really appreciate your hospitality (and all the helpful sticky notes).  We had no idea that our hikes and climbs this journey were all in preparation for navigating the ascent to your apartment.  BTW, the fact that each floor has it’s own unique ambiance (mothballs, ethnic cooking, crying babies, etc.) brings back very vivid and fond memories of visiting my grandparent’s apartment in Chicago.  Very cool.

Friday was spent clearing up a small matter at the AT&T Store, lunch in Battery Park, and a trip to Liberty and Ellis Islands.  We have been to NYC a couple times but have never made the trip to either venue.  It was a perfect day and the tours were great.  Admission includes the ferry rides and self guided audio tours.  Some of what we learned:

– The Statue’s pedestal  sits on top of Fort Wood.  Built in 1808, the fort was one link in a chain of defenses around the city.

– Over 300 thin sheets of copper fit together to form the outer skin.  Up close you can see the seams.

– Auguste Bartholdi designed the statue, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel designed the iron framework that supports the shaped copper sheets.  Eiffel designed his famous Paris tower a few years later.

The Ellis Island audio tour guides you through the facility’s halls just as the 12 million new immigrants did between 1892 and 1924.  The audio includes many stories, happy and sad, from actual people who came to American through Ellis Island.  The museum also has a great exhibit called Peopling of America, which explores immigration to America from the 17th century to 1892, when Ellis Island opened.

Sadly, we don’t know which of our ancestors (if any) came through Ellis Island.  We’ll have to do some research.  Hey cousins and siblings, any thoughts?

Entrance to Ellis Island

Entrance to Ellis Island


Registry Room


Returning to the UWS from the South Ferry subway at rush hour on a Friday night was interesting.  Talk about sardines in a can.  We fought our way off the train a stop or two early and enjoyed a nice walk up Broadway.  Found a nice Sushi restaurant, then back to Yogurtland, and finally the climb home.

Today we had the pleasure of meeting up with Hal and Barbara LeVay.  Hal and Barbara are Debbie’s (Robin’s sister) in-laws.  They live in New Jersey but were both born and raised on the Upper West Side (to think they could have bought their 3 bedroom apartment for $12K!!).  Hal gave us a great drive tour through the city (the cabbies have nothing on Hal…he is fearless) and we had lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen.  Katz’s has been on location since 1882 but is probably now best know for being the deli where Meg Ryan demonstrated a fake orgasm for Billy Crystal in When Harry met Sally.  Honestly, I had the best corn beef and pastrami sandwich ever.  Add in a side of half sour pickles and chopped liver, wow.  We will be visiting another NY deli or two before we leave.  Hal and Barbara took us through The Upper East Side, Midtown, and Upper West Side to Columbia University (could have gone to PT school there……..trying to imagine Robin and I as East-coasters…).

At The Katz Counter

At The Katz Order Counter



The Harry Met Sally Table

The Harry Met Sally Table

Robin & Hal outside the Deli

Robin & Hal outside the Deli

Having leftover deli for dinner!  Excited to see the Gamorans tomorrow.


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