Thursday, January 31, 2008

New York City - Central Park

After lunch, we stopped and bought Darren a hat from a street vendor so he wouldn't suffer brain freeze again. The week before we left, Dani and I went shopping with the $80 she'd given me for Christmas. (She wanted me to spend it on a new outfit for our anniversary.) I tried on several things that I didn't like enough to buy, and then we saw this coat. I've never owned a nice winter coat (living in Texas, it's not something I've ever thought I needed to spend a lot of money on, ya know?). The coat was black leather (I've always loved black leather coats), and was on sale for 50% off. What a bargain! THEN, at the register, the clerk talked me into applying for the store credit card and receiving an extra 30% off. I ended up walking out of there with a $250 coat, having only spent $75. Woo Hoo!!!

That coat kept me warm all weekend. Even when Darren could feel the wind cutting through HIS coat, I didn't feel a thing through mine. :) I love that this is something I'll keep and wear for years. When Dani has kids of her own someday, who knows.... she may say, "Hey, look. That's the coat I bought Mom when I was 16 and she went to NYC with Dad!"

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Central Park. Ahhhhhhh. It was so incredible in the dead of winter that I can't WAIT to experience it someday when everything's in bloom.

Our hotel was on 7th Street, across from Carnegie Hall and only 2 blocks from the south end of the park. We made friends with a European couple (from Spain, maybe?) and took each others' photos at the ice rink in the park. All of the ponds were frozen over. It was about 34 degrees that day, but with all the walking we did, and all bundled up like we were, it actually was quite comfortable.




See the gold oval shape near the center of the map? That's about as far as we walked before we turned around and headed back towards the hotel. (To Belvedere Castle and the theater just beyond it.) Even so, with all the trails up and down and in and out of the woods and around the ponds, we walked about 4 miles that afternoon. It was so incredibly amazing to me that in the center of one of the world's most bustling cities is a place that takes you away. In the middle of those trees, at the top of the hill, we couldn't hear traffic, or horns, or anything. We sat and listened to the birds and squirrels, and marveled at the peacefulness of it all - right in the middle of Manhattan. Simply amazing. And more amazing still is that we only saw roughly half of the park!!

I love sculpture, and was thrilled to be able to see so many wonderful pieces on our walk - from the literary figures along the mall to Romeo and Juliet to Hans Christian Anderson to Christopher Columbus to the Falconer - all equally wonderful. And even in the dead of winter, the park was beautiful. Our favorites were the bridges. This is the Bow Bridge:

This is beneath the Bethesda Terrace, which overlooks the Angel fountain (which was turned off for the season). I love the way the three arches were framed in this shot.

Beneath the Terrace, directly behind Darren, is the most beautiful artwork. The ceiling is tiled, and the walls are covered with trompe l'oeil paintings. Our destination was the Belvedere Castle, in the middle of the park. The Castle sits at the highest point of the park, just beyond "the bramble", which is thick, forested, rugged terrain. From its balconies, you can see over the trees and remember that, "Oh yah, we're in the middle of New York City."

Darren and I always take a cheesy kissing photo on our anniversary trip. I thought the Castle would make a good backdrop. This time, instead of asking strangers to take the embarrassing photo, we set up the tripod and did it ourselves. lol


As we strolled along, making our way back toward the hotel, I was watching all the joggers passing by (looking for Ben Affleck, to tell you the truth, cause word has it that he and Jennifer live near the south end of the park)... and I was gazing up at the buildings (this one, to be exact)...


...and I was thinking to myself how "Heck, yah, I could live in this city. I mean, look at me. All fat and out of shape, and I'M DOING IT, Y'ALL. I'M WALKING MY HOOVES OFF AND I'M NOT EVEN FEELING TIRED!!!! And I look good doin' it, too, with my new snazzy coat."
And then, splat. Face plant. Right smack in the middle of the sidewalk. I stepped on a sewer grate that wasn't flush with the ground, and my ankle rolled, sending me flying. My knees hit the ground, then my hands. My butt was up in the air for all to see. Some joggers stopped and asked in horror, "Are you okay??" I waved them off, and said, "I tripped over that stupid thang sticking up in the road." And yes, I'm quite sure I pronounced THANG with every shred of Texas Hick I have in me. Ugh. I was so incredibly mad at myself. I hobbled the rest of the way home, but I determined that a sprained ankle was NOT gonna stop me! Dang it all.

1 comment:

Jason & Summer said...

actually, being a jennifer garner nut...they were just living there temporarily while she was on broadway. they have been back in LA for a little while now. BUT if you had seen her, i would have been SO JEALOUS! :-)