What treasures we have in our country! Why do we say, “I’ve been away”? Why not, “I have been there“? There are so many places to see while we have the chance, health and time, and of course, the funds. Although travel never has to be as expensive as some make it. Of course one can stay at the St. Regis in New York for several thousand dollars, but with some online browsing, one can find reasonable, clean, safe places to nest in Manhattan for much less. And, there is always my favorite airline, Virgin America for bargains cross-country. For example, I spent a week there this month on a budget and did so many wonderful things! My roundtrip fare including all fees was $313. My stay at Radio City Apartments cost very little when considering I was in the center of everything wonderful: Radio City, Rockefeller Center, NBC (Jimmy Fallon!), and of course two blocks from Times Square, all theaters on Broadway and some of the best restaurants in the city: Playwrights, Bella Napoli, Athens Brasserie, and so many little hideaways with excellent kitchens. In four days I enjoyed: Jonas Kaufmann in Werther at the Met, Sir Ian McKellan and Sir Patrick Stewart, Billy Crudup back to back in two days: Beckett and Pinter, and even squeezed in a performance of Tony award winner Kinky Boots. (Every ticket from an online discount site) One day I spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (again online discounted) followed by a stroll through Central Park, the only place with snow on the ground, picture perfect with readers on benches and dog walkers. And one night, for a little over $40 I went on a two hour nighttime bus tour of the city, viewing the famous skyline up close from almost every angle. Of course midweek was Ash Wednesday and an easy walk to St. Patrick’s Cathedral all trussed up with reparative pipes and ladders. New York, being a small amount of real estate is too expensive for the average person to inhabit for any length of time. The average small apartment is around $4000 a month, they tell me, but it is a fairly inexpensive place to visit for a week. I highly recommend it. During one intermission, a nice gentleman beside me said he takes the train up from Philadelphia for about $25 to enjoy Broadway. Nice. Of course we were watching the greatest performance ever of Pinter’s No Man’s Land at the Cort theatre, just behind my hotel. Yes, it was cold. 3 degrees the first morning when I went out. After that I realized New Yorkers don’t go out until around noon when the temperature rises to the 20s. For someone who has lived in California for a long time now, I admit it was strange, but tolerable since I was geared up for it before leaving home. I met some nice new friends for the “next time” and I hope there will be one.
Like most people I love New York.