Today we got up early with the intention of taking a helicopter trip over New York in the afternoon. Our morning plan was to go cruising the rivers and bridges of the city. The Hudson River is four blocks walk down 42nd Street from 8th Avenue so of course we had to stop on the way to eat! When we enquired about the helicopter trip it was another twelve blocks walk so we ditched that idea as our legs were developing muscles that even Superman would be proud of.
Actually we were absolutely knackered and falling into our bunks each evening but it was totally worth it. Sleep is quite sporadic in the hostel on account of (mostly) pissed young girls coming in at four or five o`clock in the morning and falling about, putting the light on and off, banging the door, screaming, laughing, crying, talking loudly, rambling mindlessly, we have been most patient and reasonable. This morning we lost our cool though. Since they have completely ignored the fact that we are sharing a room, Patti and I got up at 6.30am and made a lot of noise, rustling, sorting, coughing, laughing, singing, tripping over their bags and yelling, “Oops!” and telling one another jokes until we had woken all of them up.
Yes I know, It`s childish.
We took a cruiser down the Hudson River past all of the Manhatten skyline which is a treat in itself. We sailed on into the East River past a tumble down beautiful brick building that was once a hospital where people with leprosy were looked after. It`s going to be demolished which I think is a terrible shame. Eventually we reached the Harlem River and sailed on past Spanish Harlem where there is a rose….. alongside Harlem itself, back around the Jersey Pallisades and Inman Park (my married name was Inman so that was rather nice). Both these last two places I mention are quite staggeringly beautiful and I wasn`t expecting so much wild countryside in New York. It was a fascinating trip under some magnificent bridge architecture and we both really, really enjoyed the day. It was sunny to boot!
Tomorrow is our last proper day before catching our flight home. my own bed! My own bath……..
My brother Martin and I were extremely close as children in fact you could say we were joined at the hip as we went everywhere together. We loved to play super hero games and tying a bath towel around our necks which magically transformed into a cape, we would zoom around the large flat we lived in, he as Superman and me of course as Supergirl. Martin was a terrible tease and couldn`t let me walk past him without doing something to me. He would trip me or pinch my arm or anything annoying so that I would retaliate. Then we`d have a full blown wrestling match on the hall floor which generally ended up with me shouting “Submit! Submit!”, when my bro` got me into a figure four.
Martin took me roof hopping as a child which involved us climbing up fire escapes and drainpipes to breathtaking heights on top of Woolworth`s roof. From there we would jump across a humungous gap to land on the roof of the bingo hall next door and so on until we couldn`t get any further and then we`d have to go all the way back. I can only imagine my parents were busy in their greengrocer shop, their hearts would have stopped if they`d had any idea what we were up to! We loved to hang around the back of the bingo hall on a hot summers day because they would leave the doors open to let in some air and Martin and I would shout out random numbers as loudly as we could up to the hall to try and confuse the players.
When Martin was quite small, about 5 or 6, he loved to dress up as a cowboy, he would play cowboys and Indians for hours with me in the fields at the back of the shop. Dressed in pretend leather chaps, his silver plastic gun slung around his hips in a black plastic holster, a red `kerchief tied around his neck, his cowboy hat upon his head he would become the Lone Ranger and I was his Tonto.
One afternoon a very angry man entered mum and dad`s shop, in fact angry would be an understatement he was apoplectic. The stranger`s beautiful and very expensive open top sports car, which had been parked at the top of the shop drive was now buckled and bent having rolled down the slope of the drive and into the Warwick Road . It had come to a stop leaning against a lamp post. My father was confused, why did it have anything to do with him he wondered? The angry man was shaking something in his hand which upon closer examination proved to be Martin`s toy gun which he had obligingly left on the passenger seat of the car when he climbed out, after taking the handbrake off……….
Whoops! The angry man said that Martin had legged it when he had spotted him. Alarmed, my parents rushed to see where Martin was. He was strolling nonchalantly down the garden path at the back of the flat, his empty holster still buckled around his hips just as though he hadn`t got a care in the world.