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
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
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
Mission accomplished. Dietrich loved New York!