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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

New York City Trip - Part 1

Saturday, December 16, 2009: Winging it cross-country on a Jet Blue bird is a nice way to travel from Austin to New York City. I can appreciate the TV screen right there in front of me on the seat back of the passenger seated just ahead. It has been cloudy most of the trip so far without much of interest to see outside the window to my left. With my February's book club selection unopened on my lap, I click onto the Food Network and sit back to be lulled into the happy land of meal prep. The food on the screen does look delicious as I nibble on my animal crackers and hot tea - gratis of the airline. I do get some good ideas for dishes to cook for Steven and Sara at their apartment - like the fried rice. Hmmmm. I can almost smell the onion mixture sautéing with the ham and soy sauce mixed in. Yep, that's what I'll fix.

After watching several food shows, I change channels to check out our flight route plotted right on the map of the US showing on the screen. I notice we are presently flying over Kentucky, having left Austin at 7 AM (CT), skirting up the Texas Gulf Coast, then flying diagonally across Louisiana and then across a corner of Mississippi, and straight across western Tennessee into the Bluegrass State. I leave the TV on this channel and settle down to enjoy my Olive Kitteridge book.

Arriving at J.F. Kennedy International Airport on time at 11:30 AM (ET), I encounter no problems finding the baggage carousel area. In fact, I make several celebrity sightings in that immediate vicinity. Of course, you might not be familiar with these "so-called" celebrities unless you are a University of Texas football fan. I had noticed the dad of the Longhorn's popular quarterback, Colt McCoy, get on the plane just after I had taken my seat aboard. He sat several seats in front of me across the aisle. I was sure that was who he was, even though I had only seen him on TV. I marveled at how tall he was and how his short, neatly-trimmed brown hair didn't appear to have any gray hairs. I think even I had acquired a few new gray hairs after the exciting, nerve-wracking UT - Nebraska game in which the Longhorns squeaked by with a win on a lucky kick in the final second of the game! Of course, Mr. McCoy is a high school football coach, so I guess he is use to the pressure.

So, while waiting for my checked bag to come down the carousel chute, I call Raleigh on my cell phone to let him know of my arrival, only to interrupt the conversation with my outburst of - "Oh my goodness! Guess who just walked by! Shipley!" To those with an untrained eye who might miss scouting out potential NFL greats, Jordan Shipley is another talented, sensational UT football player as well as Colt McCoy's good friend and college roommate. I figure - where there's one, couldn't there be the other close by? My eyes are peeled for more sightings.

Not long after stowing my cell phone away in my purse, I notice Colt's dad arriving at the baggage claim area and heading my way. As he is about to pass me, I introduce myself as a UT football fan after first verifying that he is indeed Colt's dad. I express how much our family will miss seeing Colt play for UT (he's a senior), but that hopefully we will be watching him play pro football in the near future. He is very nice and thanks me, and says that he is meeting up with Colt in NY. Being the helpful type, I add, "Well, there's Shipley just over there on the other side of the carousel." He walks away and I quickly get on the phone to call Steven. Before that conversation is over, I see Mr. McCoy, Shipley and another young guy depart - but no Colt.

I have no trouble getting a taxi after my bag pick-up. The driver is quite friendly and also quite skillful and speedy at his job. We drive near the site in Queens of the 1964 New York World's Fair. I crane my neck to see the large metal sphere of the Earth and the tall towers with the spaceship-like disks on their tops. The route near the Queensboro Bridge is congested, so the taxi driver goes southward to take the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan. The view from the bridge of all but the southernmost part of Manhattan is outstanding. I look to the south as we are crossing the East River to catch a peek of the Manhattan Bridge and especially the Brooklyn Bridge, but my view is blocked by the many structural beams on the bridge we are on. My excitement builds.

I have been fascinated by New York City ever since my family first visited NY during the 1964 World's Fair. Then, my admiration for the city increased many-fold following the event of 9-11 and the loss of lives of hundreds of firemen who entered the burning inferno that day to save the lives of others, as well as the other brave folks who sacrificed lives and limbs that day. Now that my son's sweet young family lives here, it has to be one of my favorite cities. I am looking forward to a memorable visit!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:51 PM

    I love NYC also and will be flying up past NY to Hartford CT in a couple of days to see our new grandson. Alas, American Express has no tv.
    Anne Coleman Vaughan


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