Monday, April 20, 2015

New York, New York (and some people and places on Long Island, too)

I got to New York on Wednesday April 8th.  Visited and had lunch with some old friends at the Massapequa (Michele Weeks and Linda Wiedemuth) and Bethpage (Shirley Goudikian and Rose Maltese) DMV offices while there, hiked the Massapequa Preserve on Saturday and had dinner on Friday the 10th with Shirley Goudikian - one of my closest of those old friends.  I drove over to New Jersey twice to see sis-in-law Liz and her family (including, of course, her granddaughter Charleigh Elle), went out to Hauppauge a couple of times and met sis-in-law Ruthann at church there, and had Sunday morning breakfast with Mary and Don Friedman after church at the good old Paradise Diner on Vets' Highway in Hauppauge.  It was a very full week and I didn't take nearly enough photos.

One of the best parts of my trip was going to Cathy Bush's birthday party on Saturday night. Eleanor's cousin John threw a bash for his Cathy at the Swan Club in Roslyn.  Cathy seemed truly staggered. . . .

It was good to see El's cousin Bill and his Sandy there, too (I didn't get a pic of Sandy, but did of Bill):

John took this one of me, Ruthie and Bill. . . .

Here's John, Cathy, and family; Connor, Jameson, Jason, Charlotte and Cathy's mom. . . .  I hope they pardon my feeble photography skills (couldn't figure how to get rid of the "red eye.")

 Another shot, of Cath's 'extended family'. . . .  a really nice bunch!

Cathy cutting the cake, still awed by all the attention!

At my table, there was this little cutie and her mom. . . .

Liz and Rick and - of course - Bear were there, too, but somehow I missed getting pix of them. Everyone had a great time.

In some of my "spare time" over the days I was on Long Island I drove around and took some shots of some familiar places. . . .

Our home in Commack hasn't changed at all since I left it in August 2013:

The McDonald homestead is up for sale again!

A certain house, two blocks over, is being re-done.  Note the new bay windows for the kitchen & living room and the new window and air-conditioner on the side of the house, thru the living room wall where neither once were.  The fancy-schmancy entrance got to me. . . .  As well as the fact that the magnolia tree is bigger than ever!

The residents could have put the pails on the side of the house, like we used to do, but noooooo. . . .

  Then there was this old home-sweet-home, at 100 Westwood Road North, in Matzo-Pizza Park. One of very, very few in that area that still has the original metal-casement windows in the living room!  Also, it was interesting to see that the old oak tree in the backyard there is obviously still standing. . .

And finally, here's a condo in New Jersey that has been on the market recently, but which has an eager buyer lined-up to take it from Aimee and Bear since only a couple of weeks ago:

Ruthie and I went there on Thursday the 9th, and I went back on Monday the 13th.  A little lady there keeps her mom and dad, not to mention her Grammy, quite occupied lately:

GETTING there - of course - was just as much fun as it has ever been. . . .

On the afternoon of Sunday the 12th I went to Bob and Mary Egglinger's.  I had lunch there with them and we chewed the fat for about six hours!  Catching up on the latest goings-on with them and relating to them all that I've done since moving to California took some time, it turned out.  All is well with them. . . .  Mary and I took a long time figuring out how to re-establish contact on Facebook; I had apparently "unfriended" her on Facebook - unintentionally - a long time ago, when I was only trying to not get so many "game feeds" from her. After a lot of research we were finally able to make it work again.  Why don't they make these things easier to do?

And when I was in NY, I made a belated "Easter trip" to Pinelawn in Farmingdale (my Nana and Grandfather's gravesites) and to Queen of All Saints in Central Islip.  

I've got a "subscription" for Queen of All Saints to change the little artificial flowers at Eleanor's columbarium every so often, so I was just checking up to see what the latest arrangement looks like.  She never liked artificial flowers, and I've never bought them for her, but I guess she can't object now.
And if Joe DiMaggio sent flowers to his Marlilyn once a year, I figured I'd outdo him and "send" them to my Eleanor once every three months. . . .

Finally, on Wednesday the 15th I turned in my rental car for this "leg of my trip" - a little Hyundai "Accent" that was just a tad too small for me anyway - back at JFK. . . .

and hopped onto the JFK AirTrain to Jamaica LIRR station (a place where I'd changed trains many times from 1976 till 1983, which in some ways hasn't changed but in others - with the addition of the AirTrain station - has)

so that I could get to Penn Station/Madison Square Garden and walk the three and a half blocks from there to the MegaBus bus stop on 34th Street between the Javits Convention Center and the Hudson Railyards:

Nice scenery there, up above the bus stop, on the newest part of the High-Line Park which I strolled on awhile while waiting for the bus.

Took the bus to Hartford that day. . . .  comfortable ride, but delayed 45 minutes because of all the ongoing construction on Interstate 95 in Connecticut; a not-unusual problem for that stretch of road.  The bus let me off in downtown Hartford, from where I got an "Uber" "taxi" to take me to my car rental on the other side of town.  I got a Nissan Versa; small but much more easy for me to get in and out of (better head-room) than the Accent was.

Drove from the car-rental office in Hartford over to Beth's office in Wethersfield where I picked up the keys to her place and then headed off to Colchester!

(To Be Continued. . . .)

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