Walking in New York City
I was away on a walking weekend in Keswick, up in the Lake District, where I met an Australian woman, who inspired me, with tales of her recent visits to New York. She told me how the Hudson River, area had been redeveloped. and recommended the Jane Hotel. It sounded good, I can’t recall seeing much of the river on my first and only visit back in 86. I decided to revisit.
The Jane Hotel has quite a history.
In 1912, the survivors of the Titanic stayed at the hotel until the end of the American Inquiry into the ship’s sinking. I tend to write about the here & now, but if you like history click on the link below to read more about the history of The Jane.
THE JANE HOTEL is situated on the embankment of the Hudson River.
It is near where the old meatpacking district used to be and borders on the Chelsea area. If I had to compare it with an area in London, it would be Belgravia around the back of Victoria. The area hosts neat ‘little’ town houses (at a Grand Price). As well as very good restaurants & cafe’s. The Mole restaurant was my favorite, a Mexican place with fantastic food & drinks.
We ordered a ridiculous amount of food, not knowing what things were. Drowned down with non alcoholic cocktails, it was fantastic. Probably about 5000 calories just in that sitting.
BACK in 1986, I travelled alone to NYC on a budget. I was aged 25 with 700 dollars in my pocket.
Back in those days it was $3 a night for a room in a hostel in Harlem. I was young free and single with 4 weeks to explore. I really got to know the whole of the city & beyond from The Bronx to New Jersey, and Long Island. I wanted to extend my visit, but as I was running out of money. I enquired at ‘The Whitehouse'( what the locals named the hostel in Harlem) . I got a chance to work as a volunteer at a children’s camp in New Jersey. I felt out of my depth. After one night there, I jumped back on a coach to the city.
I had after all travelled to the city, with a vague aim of meeting musicians. Although I did meet a few musicians, and saw a lot of live music. The extended visit had to end. I tried to sell my ticket to go on a road trip to L.A but it wasn’t to be. End of trip.
This trip to New York, felt very different to the my visit in 1986.
The room in the Jane, was tight. You could not move, for the two bunk beds, that took up most of the limited space. It was stuffy and humid. We kept the air conditioning on all night. With only a tiny window with black meshing covering the window, it made no odds . You could not open it and the view was a brick wall. If you woke up it was difficult to tell if it was morning or night!
We walked 70 miles over 7 days
We walked about 10 miles every day. One of the walks was from Harlem to 5th Avenue Central park. I attempted to revisit the hostel in St Nicholas Avenue 345th street. On this visit, I couldn’t quite place it. Still it was interesting to revisit the area.
Like re- visiting your home town, nothing looks quite the same. Nothing is the same, nor ever will be!
I really enjoyed seeing it all again, but I did find it hard at times. It’s a fierce city and was extremely hot every day and this was September. The subway stations were unbearably hot.
We got to know the area of Williamsburg where we found a great little venue called the Union Pool.
They had a great DJ, with a good sized dance hall. A music venue tucked inside, with a different entrance and a large artificial garden outside, with more bars. The bar sold a beer with a shot of tequila for a few dollars. I can’ t remember how many of those I had or how we got back to the hotel.! We wondered off with a couple of guys we had made friends with. Sad to say I don’t recall much of our late night adventure, out on the town!
Coney Island, The Freak Show is no longer there.
Generally the food was abundant and good everywhere we went.
We visited the Russian Brighton Beach area twice as it was hot enough to swim and sunbathe. In fact it was baking.
We enjoyed a fantastic meal at Tatiana a Russian Restaurant, situated along the seafront. We were treated to a blast of Russian singing; The service was fantastic and the food was great.
I felt the beach had lost some of it’s edginess. Well in fact, all of it’s edge. It had been cleaned up a lot. No ladies with snakes, or the tattooed man eating fire and that sort of thing
Cats for Sale in Union Square
The cats looked so well looked after and all the cages had little notes attached with stories written of where the cats were found; mainly in places like The Bronx; some with missing feet, or legs. So sad, but very encouraging to see The New Yorker’s volunteering to help home abandoned cats.
A mask from American Indian Art taken at The Met
I revisited the Met in search of a lost item.
Every now and again, I see a design that inspires me and I think about putting it on a teeshirt. It’s one of those ambitions that pops up every now and again
I was hoping on this visit I might be able to purchase the same book. I had lost with a perfect image. the mask above had ben in the book, I was on the right tracks, it has to be out there somewhere.
Until Next time, Keep on Keeping on. It’s all you can do.