The next day, on Saturday, we checked out at 8am, and headed right into the city. The weather was unseasonably warm for NJ/NY in January, with the temps hitting the high 60s, which followed the prior days being in the 30s and 40s. It was a perfect day to show NYC to Sveta, as there was no traffic going into the city and very little tourist traffic in the city. We parked at 53rd & 6th, then walked up 6th to look for a breakfast place. Walked by Rue 57 and had to laugh as we were there around 8:45am and the hostess inside just glared at us while we futilely tried to open the door, realizing it wasn’t open till 9am. We strolled up another block to see that Jam’s Restaurant was open, so screw you Rue 57. It was a delightful breakfast and had mostly nice ambience to give Sveta a taste of fun NYC restaurants, although the shrieking toddlers in attendance made us want to do horrible things. Ah well, you can’t have it all it seems.
After a nice, leisurely breakfast, we continued walking up 6th and into Central Park, meandering around the lower section of the park, with me pointing out the area landmarks that I knew, and reminiscing about Larry’s love for running there. Seeing all the runners around made me miss him more. He loved his weekend runs there. Made it to Bethesda Fountain, then headed west to 72nd St, where we were able to see the Strawberry Fields area, the Dakota, my old apartment, and then turned south on Broadway to walk back to Midtown.
At 50th, we headed to Rockefeller Center to visit the Top of the Rock observation deck. I think it’s the most spectacular view of NYC over all the others. Got some great photos in. Saw the Rink, we went to Magnolia Bakery so Nicki could get some banana pudding, and by then our feet were exhausted. It was time for lunch by this point, and while sitting by a fountain out front of Rock Center, I realized Ippudo Westside was nearby, so we continued over there, enjoying the sights. Happily, no wait to get seated there for lunch, and dammmmn it was good. Didn’t have time for more activities as they were flying out that afternoon at 5, and we managed to get back to the car right at 2, with them dropping me off back at Fran and Joel’s around 2:30pm, and they headed off to Newark.
At Fran and Joel’s I was pretty fucking exhausted, and I ended up taking a short nap while Fran and a bunch of her girlfriends were talking. Joel’s brother Herbie and his wife Aileen were also there, and I got to chat with them. Pretty much there was gabbing going on until about 10:30pm, and by that point I was done, D-U-N. Managed to sleep pretty great on the couch this time.
Today, Sunday, I was flying back home, but not until 4pm. Joel, Fran and I had a nice talk over breakfast about the future and what it holds – I do feel that I was wrong about my initial assessment and I feel terrible that I ever said it to Larry. This family is my family, and they’re not casting me out. I am relieved, as my own families (by blood) are just really not a big aspect of my life anymore, regrettably. Stacie called and during the call, got a chance to talk to Fran. I guess Larry’s watch is going to Trent. That’s good with me. A second shiva was being hosted today at Fran’s, starting at 2. But people came over earlier of course, with Herbie and Aileen coming over late in the morning, David & Donna stopping by briefly and then heading out as they were flying home to Florida today. Jon & Alyssa, Brad & Tina were over earlier too, and I was glad to get to say goodbye to them again. I headed out at 1:45pm and now I’m on a flight headed home. Some part of me is relieved for this weekend to be done, but I also can’t help but brace for what is to come in the months (and years)to come.
Pics from the flight home to LA: