31 October 2009

More Treats than Tricks

My feet are now starting to seriously hurt. I went running again this morning, this time in Central Park, which was full of runners getting in some last-minute practice before tomorrow's marathon. Unlike yesterday which was bright and brisk, today was very warm (22 degrees!), cloudy and muggy and by the time I'd done a loop at the bottom of the park with Papa before bolting up to 85th Street and back, I was feeling uncomfortably warm. There was just time for a quick shower before heading over to Grand Central to meet my party. This was easier said than done as the "friendship marathon" (a 5k race designed for the friends and family of those running in the real marathon) was proceeding up Sixth Avenue. In the end, I had to barge my way through or I could have been there all day.

We got the subway down to Brooklyn and after a brief walk around Brooklyn Heights, where there were plenty of good Halloween house decorations and costumes, before returning to the bridge. It was a bit busier than early on Friday morning (and on that freezing January day last time I was there), which led to problems when we tried to commandeer a section of the bridge for multiple photographs of leaps. It didn't help that some sort of amateur film crew were there, apparently filming or photographing two people holding an NYC subway map up, fully spread out and upside down. Still, they were equally amused by us and started taking photos of the crazy jumping Brits. After about 20 minutes, everyone had been captured airbourne at least once and we could finish walking off the bridge into Manhattan.

Papa and I decided to escape the slow pace of Maman and her friends at that point and headed in a taxi uptown in search of burgers. I took Papa to the Corner Bistro, purveyor of the best burgers in Manhattan (top three, at least). It isn't a fancy joint and the five-line menu (bacon-cheese burger, cheese burger, burger, chicken burger, grilled cheese) appears on an old fashioned diner sign on the wall, in the dark, cosy West Village establishment but the burgers sure are delicious.

Energised by my lunch, I headed over to the Meatpacking district for some browsing in the edgy, cool shops there, as well as taking a wander along the High Line, an elevated walkway over old subway tracks, which goes from the Meatpacking to Chelsea and which has benches, lawns, trees and other foliage to make the walk more pleasant. When I had returned to ground level, I walked onto Bleecker Street and crossed through the West Village, NoHo and the Bowery to the East Village. The Halloween displays in the posh shops were very impressive--Marc Jacobs had filled a whole window with small model skulls and Ralph Lauren had gone pumpkin mad.

I carried on uptown to Union Square and then the J. Crew on Fifth Avenue before getting the subway back to midtown for a little more shopping before I finally made it back to the hotel, threw off my boots and rested my aching tootsies. For once I really fancy a bath but my hotel only has a shower so that will have to do. Luckily I only have to go six blocks (plus two east-west blocks) to Shelly's, where we are going for dinner. I may still have to go barefoot or with trainers on beneath my glad rags; however, given the costumes most of the city has been wearing all day, I will likely still be the most normally dressed person in the restaurant.

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