After having a relatively relaxing time on Saturday, we again overdid it Sunday by doing multiple trips going back and forth and round and round. But luckily, most of it didn’t involve walking.
We started off with about the simplest excursion possible: just a few blocks to Northern Boulevard to see the Old Quaker Meeting House. Quakers (now mostly called The Religious Society of Friends) are an interesting and widespread lot, if quite low in numbers. Their Meeting House is not only a landmark building and the oldest religious building in NYC, but also played an important part in the history of religious freedom in the U.S.
After the Meeting House, we walked back along Main Street and took a few more pictures. Then it was time to meet my high school friend Sarah for lunch (at Nan Xiang again!) and more memory-swapping.
Steven and I then hopped on the bus up Main Street to the Queens Botanical Garden. I spent quite a lot of time here too back in the day, and the biggest change is that it went from a nice place where you could just walk in any time to a paid attraction (although it’s free in the winter and a few times each week). There’s a big new building and probably plenty of management to eat up that money; the actual flowers and stuff are not much different. The only comfort was that we both got in at a discount; Steven as a student and I as a senior citizen (scary thought!). We went there to take pictures for Susan, and also to meet with her friend Barbara, who didn’t want her pictures on the blog even though she looked great.
After taking the bus back to the hotel, we did some serious napping. But soon it was once again time to jump up and hit the buses, this time up Main Street again to fabled Jewel Avenue, where we caught the equally fabled Jewel Avenue bus to Forest Hills to visit Henry and his wife Barbara and son Jacob.
Henry is almost like family at this point, so it was really great that we could see him again. Besides, I didn’t get to talk with him very much on Thursday night. But we made up for it, first checking out the amazing view from his terrace of pretty much everything eat and north of Forest Hills, and then watching the antics of their dog Ziggy, spinning like the proverbial dervish all over the place. What a happy little pooch!
We headed to dinner on (yes, fabled) Austin Street, and reminisced on the way about Woodstock and other wild stuff. Then we arrived at this amazing restaurant called Bareburger that has all kinds of wild stuff. And when I say “wild”, I mean like bison, elk, and wild boar! I had a Fire Quacker, which was duck with some serious spices. What with the side orders and some Bronx beer and the excellent company, we had a great time.
But wait! There’s more! Henry said he would drive Jacob into the city and drive us back to Flushing, so we did it in that order and Henry took us on an amazing nighttime tour of NYC, across the 59th Street bridge and 57th street, up to Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center, and then (just because he knew we were going there the following day) across to Central Park West so we could see the new planetarium lit up at night, which is pretty effing cool.
Going up CPW, we noticed a guy on skates, and we went all the way up to 125th street and he stayed ahead of us all the way! As we drove east on 125th past the fabled Apollo Theater, we started noticing an awful lot of white people for the middle of the night in Harlem. It turned out to be people walking back from the Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island, starring dozens of bands, most of which I had never heard of. But hey, I’m old.
It was truly quite a day. But we had one more full day in NYC, and we were determined to overdo it!