The only way to fly

flyingSo here is one of those instances where you sort of will something because you think about it and talk about it often.

I was coming home to Miami from New York and I got to the airport very early, one reason was that all over the news they were talking about hold ups at LaGuardia Airport due to the renovations going on, so I left for the airport five hours before my flight! And then when I got to the airport, the flight was bumped back an hour, so my 11:30 flight was bumped to 12:30 pm. This would not due, that would make my whole day a wasted day of flying.

I got to the gates about 7:30 am and I asked an attendant if I could get onto an earlier flight, he said there was an 8 am flight to Miami and he got me on. It was two gates over, so I walked over and they were already boarding. So get this – I got my ticket at 7:30 and was literally sitting on the plane at 7:45 am – 15 minutes later! And we were taking off at 8 am. I got home sooner than my original flight was to take off. But the amazing part was getting the ticket and getting on board in 15 minutes.

This is where the willing comes in – I am always saying, “In this day and age, why can’t we just go to the airport and hop on a plane, why is there such a project involved?” Well, it happened. No fuss, no muss. On the plane and off!

It may never happen again, but at least it did this once. And the funny part was that for a day or two before I sort of lost sleep thinking of the traffic to the airport (there was none) and getting home late because I had so much work to do (I got home hours early). As they say, 90% of what we worry about never comes to pass.

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A delightful train ride

On Thanksgiving week, I took a four hour train trip from Boston to New York. Sitting behind me were two older ladies. They didn’t know each other and they just ended up sitting together and they talked and talked for that four hours. I know their whole stories, I know their names, I know about their kids and I loved every minute of it. I almost wish I had taped it.

One lady is 82 and one is 83. One is from Manchester, England one is from Rhode Island, they both had lived in New Jersey at one time and both were on their way back to New Jersey to be with family for Thanksgiving.

The lady from Rhode Island talked like Cyndi Lauper. Exactly. The lady from Manchester had that refined English accent and you can imagine these two accents going back and forth sharing their lives with each other. Cyndi Lauper was nosy and nervy, she asked a lot of personal questions, and Manchester calmly answered them.

Manchester has two children, one in Washington DC and one in New Jersey, I think she said she lives in Boston now. Cyndi Lauper has five children and nine grandchildren, they live all over and I don’t remember where she lives now.

They spoke about their husbands who have both passed, Manchester’s husband passed 10 years ago, Cyndi Lauper’s husband passed nine years ago to the exact day we were on the train. Cyndi Lauper was very into her husband’s life, it was more about him than her, and it seemed to be a man’s world according to her questions. She asked Manchester what her husband did for a living, rather than asking Manchester what she did. Manchester’s husband did many things, including real estate, to which Cyndi Lauper said, “Oh you must have made a lot of money!” to which Manchester calmly said, “No, just enough to live on.”

Cyndi Lauper’s husband was a highly regarded college professor. It was a hectic life being a professor’s wife, according to Cyndi Lauper.

They spoke of World War II and of all of the places they have been and lived. They spoke of the Royal Family. Neither of them like Camila, Cyndi Lauper doesn’t like Charles, but Manchester says he is not a bad sort.

Manchester came to the US in the 1960s. She said that period of time was a “brain drain” where all the good minds from England moved to the states. She eventually became a citizen with her husband in Elizabeth, New Jersey, they lived in that county at the time and that was the county seat and the location for the citizenship ceremony

The conversation was fascinating. And the thought of these two older grandmas traveling alone together was nice. When they first met, Cyndi Lauper told Manchester that she was nervous about traveling alone, getting on the wrong train and all but Manchester said, “We’ll you’re on the train now and the only thing to do is get off when it’s time. That’s it.”

Cyndi Lauper had her son picking her up at the train station and Manchester had her daughter-in-law picking her up at the train station. Manchester said the first thing she wanted to do once she was settled at her son’s and daughter-in-law’s house was to have a hot cup of tea. She said, “When she asks if I want anything [meaning her daughter-in-law], I will say ‘yes,’ a hot cup of tea!”

I did not look back at them the whole time, I didn’t want to spoil the image I had in my head of them. But when my stop came, NYC, I had to get up and leave, so I looked back and there they were, sitting and staring at me. I just stared back, I didn’t want to be rude but I wanted to take them in. Neither was what I had pictured in my head and I almost wish I had not looked.

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Museum of Fine Arts Boston

museum6

The museum is in the Northeastern University area in Boston.

I visited The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last week and it is now on my list of favorite museums, up there with MOMA in New York and the New Orleans Museum of Art, you know, museums that I will always visit when I am in those cities.

The Boston museum is huge, I got lost and it took me a half hour to find my way out! It’s the fourth largest museum in the US with over 450,000 works of art.

There is so much there that it gets overwhelming. You go from huge ancient Egyptian artifacts to French impressionists to Chinese paintings. From King Menkaura and his queen from 2472 BC to Paul Gauguin in 1897 and Renoir in 1883.

Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving

I will be at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade today, but this photo is from a few years ago. I love the composition. It was at 72nd Street, right from outside Central Park. That is the famous Dakota building behind Snoopy.

What is so cool about this photo is that the next day, I was at the holiday bazaar in Union Square and this guy was selling a drawing of this exact image. I was floored.

I showed him my photo and he asked me to send it to him, he was freaking out like I was. I wish I had purchased the drawing. It was a black and white line drawing and there was the big Snoopy balloon with the Dakota behind it! Spooky Snoopy.

Getting lost in Boston

boston-newspapers

The Sunday papers. $7.50 for both! I love the feel and smell of the local papers, so I guess it’s worth the $7.50.

I didn’t think you could get lost in Boston, I always thought it was quite small. I usually stay in Cambridge a the Marriott near MIT. To me it is perfect because I love Cambridge and it’s convenient, right outside the door, under the hotel is the subway (the T) and the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge is not far, which takes you from Cambridge across the Charles River to Boston, right to Boylston Street, to the noodle shop that I love. This was the first place I ever had Tom Yum Kai soup many years ago.

And I take the T back and forth to Harvard Square and beyond. All very convenient.

From your hotel window, high atop the Marriott you can see Boston across the river from one end to the other, you see the Citgo sign at Fenway Park, all across Boston to the North End. So Boston seemed small to me.

But I didn’t realize the downtown area in Boston is all small winding streets. I’m staying in a hotel there. Usually I would stay in a hotel near the park, Boston Common, but this time, I’m not sure why, I am in the downtown area.

I went out early Sunday morning for breakfast and to my surprise, there was nothing open. I had hoped to go to Pret A Manger, my go-to place in NYC every morning, they have the oatmeal that I like and I like their coffee, but they were closed and so was everything else; the blue law? Or is that just liquor?

oldsouth2Anyway, for an hour I got lost in the downtown area winding my way around the old streets, enjoying all the old buildings that they so revere in Boston (get it, revere? Paul Revere?). Near my hotel, on the corner is the Old South Meeting House, there since 1729, as I walked by, the worn front doors had me picturing the likes of Benjamin Franklin, et al, hanging out in front before and after meetings. This is the place with the red doors. It was the gathering place for the Boston Tea Party!

In the past I would know how to easily find my way back to the Marriott in Cambridge or the hotels along the Boston Common. So I can find my way back to my hotel here in the winding downtown area, I wrote it down. Should I pin it to my shirt now?

boston-list

I’m in Boston this weekend

I’m in Boston for the next few days and then I’ll take the train down to New York for Thanksgiving week. Nothing better than a long train ride through New England in the fall, only there aren’t many leaves that turned yet, in this area anyway.

The weather was perfect today, 45 degrees and not windy, just right.

I love the history. I found myself on the Freedom Trail. That basically is red bricks on the sidewalks that leads you through the old parts of Boston to historic sites like the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s house among so many other places.

I always find myself in the cemetery up the hill from the church. It’s amazing to think some of those headstones (and bodies) are there untouched from the 1600s.

Tomorrow I will take the subway (they call it the T here) to Cambridge and check out Harvard Square. That always looks like the set of an old Jimmy Stewart to me. Perfect New England setting.

My nightmare plane trip

NY Comic Con week was great. My favorite week of the year, but coming up was not fun. I got back to Miami on Monday, but the trip was not as easy as it usually is.

For one thing, I got to the airport very early because they have been working on the bridge and tunnel in and out of the city, when I arrived last Saturday, there was a half hour delay at the Midtown tunnel, traffic was at a standstill. And with all the major construction at La Guardia, I didn’t want to miss my flight, so I added extra time, but too much extra time, as I left the hotel at 6 am for a 9:30 flight, which ended up leaving at about 11 am because of planes backed up on the tarmac.

But the worst part was this little kid, maybe 2 years old, who cried and screamed from inside the terminal, through the whole tarmac wait and for the three hour trip to Miami.

He was a spiteful little creep because he knew what he was doing – screeching, at high decibles. He would cry and then SCREECH, where it went right through you. He knew what he was doing. I don’t know what he wanted or why he was crying non-stop, but his parents ignored it.

Everyone on the plane was going nuts and saying things under their breath, but no one said anything to the parents or the airline crew. We were all afraid to say anything for fear of being thrown off the plane. You know how that goes. Say something and they turn the plane around.

So it was basically six hours of non stop, screaming, crying and throwing a tantrum, he stopped for a bit, maybe to eat, but 99% of the trip was him carrying on.

I took a video, but it does not do the six hour tantrum justice so I won’t post it here, as you may think I am exaggerating.