Dietrich in New York


Raw Oysters at Grand Central Station's Oyster Bar

The Lights over the Hershey's Store were Dietrich's Favorite in Times Square

Rowing on The Lake in Central Park


June 2003

Kris, the world's greatest grandmother, promised both of our grandkids that they would go to New York when they were 10 years old.  That was a pretty easy promise to fulfill for Freya - and her trip in March of 2001 was a treat indeed - one befitting the pricipessa that we believe her to be. (Check it out here).  For her brother Dietrich, however, things became a bit more complicated.  In December of last year their family moved to Costa Rica.  When their 1st summer vacation came along, GrandMa couldn't wait to get them on an airplane for a month-long visit.   Lucky for all, it was George - better know as TOGB - the old gray bear - and his wife Danielle's 20th Anniversary.  TOGB is Kris' dad and at 84 is sharper and more vibrant than most 30-year olds. It was great having his great-grandkids for the celebration.  It also brought Kris's sister Victoria out from Gloucester - so Victoria and Freya got to keep each other company while we sped off to New York with Dietrich.

While Freya's and Dietrich's trips both included the New York "A" list, they couldn't have been more different in character - just like the natural boy and girl that they are.  She had tea at the Plaza, he had ribs at Virgil's and cheese cake at the Stage Deli.  She skated at Rockefeller Center (it was March) and he rowed a boat in Central Park, had hotdogs at Nathan's Coney Island, and swam at Jones Beach.  She saw the Twin Towers, he visited Ground Zero.

While the stated goal of these trips is to expose our grandkids to the sophisticated environment that only New York can provide, it was the adults that were enriched by sharing New York through first-time eyes of an engaging, intelligent, and inquisitive kid.

Click on each picture album to enjoy the photo essay.

  Times Square & Fulton Fish Market

We arrived on a steamy Saturday evening and headed to Times Square. At first we thought Dietrich was intimidated by the throngs and every imaginable happening.  Heck, we have adult friends that hate New York for these very reasons!  He had turned uncharacteristically quite.  But no. He said: "I just want to watch everything."  We ended up at Virgil's Bar-B-Q (wonderful), as packed as the streets outside.  New York was amazingly clean and seemingly free from crud.  As a San Franciscan it made me very jealous. Dietrich's trip was coincidentally combined with a business trip for me to the Fancy Food Show.  He came along to a business dinner with two Italian couples at a restaurant in the South Street Pier with a smashing view of the Brooklyn Bridge from our table on the terrace. After dinner the Fulton Fish market was coming alive, and we all enjoyed the whirl of forklifts making ready the fresh fish for tomorrow's tables.

  Central Park, Oyster Bar & Lower Manhattan

Day two we headed out for Central Park. Wow! It was a shock to see it in such great shape. No graffiti. Every bridge & monument was perfectly restored. The public bathrooms were clean, safe & even had toilet paper. We walked and talked and rented a row boat on The Lake.  Then we took the subway to Grand Central and had a great lunch at the Oyster Bar. Then we grabbed the shuttle over to Times Square to catch the 7th Ave. line to South Ferry - Dietrich loved walking between the cars on the subway! The Statue of Liberty is closed - terrorists fears - so we round-tripped on the Staten Island Ferry. It goes right by Lady Liberty & it is free! And its cooling breeze on the harbor waters was very welcome. Then we walked to Ground Zero and paid our respects.  The image of the cross made from Twin Tower I-beams with a twisted piece of the buildings' skin over one arm is very moving.  We ended the evening at the Stage Deli for amazing sandwiches and cheese cake.


Jones Beach and Coney Island

Since it was dead of summer & Dietrich is the ultimate water boy, we planned our trip to include a day at Jones Beach - site of many a fond childhood memory.  I just love the architecture from the 1930s with the extravagant expanse of boardwalk, two giant swimming pools, game areas, bayside amphitheater and on-and-on.  Here again, things were beautifully maintained and in pristine condition.  Of course, there is the beautiful wide white sand beach with great breakers for body surfing.  It was a perfect day and Dietrich was in heaven!  My brother Ed and his wife Sue joined us late in the day, and we all enjoyed a nice dinner at the beach restaurant with expansive views.  Our flight the next day was not until evening so we headed to Coney Island for lunch on the world's most famous hot dogs at Nathan's. What a great crop of pictures!   Another surprise. Coney Island was clean and looking great.  They even have rebuilt the Parachute Jump  - but I understand they can't open it because no one will insure it. Our litigious society has deteriorated our quality of life. I was amazed to see the Cyclone rollercoaster still running. After lunch at Ed's suggestion we spent the afternoon at the New York Aquarium - a lovely way to be entertained and learn about animal and environmental conservation.

Mission accomplished. Dietrich loved New York!