New York - New Jersey

Monday 21 February through Friday 25 February 2005

Launched: 27 February 2005

Trip Highlights (Click on the photos to enlarge, except for Lucy)

Mary and I started off from Jaffrey in a snow storm, slow driving to at least Massachusetts. Better as we passed through Connecticut, across the Tappan Zee to the Garden State, south to the Turnpike all the way to the end. Through the outskirts of Wilmington to Rockland Mills where we enjoyed an evening with John and Carlie Levinson, having a fine dinner at Krazy Kats in Montchanin Village. After breakfast on Tuesday, we went down the road to New Castle, the oldest part of Wilmington, and drove and walked around. Visited Oak Knoll Books to pick up a copy of Tony Rota's reminiscences of the book trade. Across the bridge to New Jersey and on mostly backroads across to Margate, where we paid respects to "Lucy" the Elephant (see

  Lucy The Margate Elephant, a National Historic Landmark.

Leaving Lucy behind, we headed north a few miles to a true Jersey beauty spot: Atlantic City. Found a parking spot and ran into Caesers, made a circuit around the main floor, used the loo and risked 50 cents each on the quarter slots. No jackpot. Continued on our way. Had soup for lunch. Eventually found ourselves in Sea Bright, nearly as high as you can go on the Jersey coast. Found Conrad's house, the last one on the street and overlooking the Shrewsbury River. That night--Tuesday--we had drinks and dinner at Conrad's, along with her friend Bill Roach.

Next morning after breakfast, Conrad, Mary and I headed for Manhattan, through Red Bank, up the Garden State, onto the Turnpike, through the Lincoln Tunnel and across Manhattan to Conrad's apartment on 78th Street. Dropped off stuff, then a few blocks away to pick up a chair. Found a parking spot, then off to the Metropolitan Museum to meet others for lunch at 12:30. Up to the Trustees' Dining Room with a nice view of the Park and Christo's Gates.

  At the Met for lunch. L to R: Myrna Fawcett, Alice Spencer, Christine Rumely, Fern Letnes, Conrad Paulus and Mary Payson.

  Here we are on the roof of the Met overlooking the Park.

  Some views of The Gates.

After lunch we looked around the Museum until 3 pm when we met up again with Christine who took us "backstage" to her textile conservation studio. Then had a tour of her display area. Then we headed outside and wandered through the Park and checked out the Gates. Time was fleeting by, so back to 78th Street while Conrad looked for a parking spot. Mary, Myrna and I stopped off at Eli Zabar's and picked up some munchies. $20 for nuts! We all re-convened at Conrad's. Soon after Margot Morrell showed up and we all enjoyed drinks. A little later a short walk to Hunter's on Third Avenue where we met David and Suzanne Oliver and had a nice dinner.

The next morning (Thursday), I met up with John and Christine for breakfast at Nectar on the corner of Madison and 82nd and caught up on things. The pancakes and sausage were great. Back to Conrad's and soon we were headed off to the West Side to see the Alexander Hamilton show at the New-York Historical Society. On the way, a perfect parking space beside the Frick caused us to jettison that plan and to decide on the Frick instead. An hour or so later, with lunchtime approaching, we headed south to Hudson Street and had beer and sandwiches at the White Horse Tavern, famous for being where Dylan Thomas drank himself to death. We escaped that fate and set off further south to find 'Antarctica,' a pub with absolutely no connection to the Antarctic, save the name, but one I wanted to take a photo of in any event. Close by was the Holland Tunnel which we sped through on the way to our next stop, the IKEA store in Elizabeth. By the time we exited from there, the snow had begun falling. We forged ahead and were back in Sea Bright in time for drinks and a light supper.

  In and outside of the White Horse Tavern.

Friday dawned bright and blue. After breakfast and before Mary and I headed back home, we and Conrad drove north from Sea Bright up to Sandy Hook. There's a lighthouse there--it's the oldest operating one in the US, in service since 1764--on the grounds of Fort Hancock (1899-1974), a large collection of sadly disintegrating--mostly yellow brick--buildings.

  Conrad's house in Sea Bright.

We then retraced our route and next stopped at the Navesink Light Station, or the Twin Lights, perched atop the Highlands below Sandy Hook. These are really impressive: "The first twin towers were built in 1828, separated by a service structure of some 300 feet. In 1841 it became the first American lighthouse to use fresnel lenses, which increased brightness many times over. Though the lights were in fine order, the structure eventually fell into disrepair. A new one was completed in 1862. In 1883 the Twin Lights became the first to burn kerosene, replacing whale oil. Later it became the first electrically powered light, its nine-foot diameter lens producing 25 million candlepower. The reflection in the night sky could be seen from seventy miles at sea. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1949. In 1960 it became a State Historic Site."
Exactly why two were built at the same site rather than just one is a mystery to me.

  At the Twin Lights at Highlands.

Soon after we left Conrad and headed home, up the Garden State, across Staten Island, over the Verrazano Bridge, onto the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, across the Throgs Neck and up to New Haven via I-95. Here we exited and found a parking place. First stop, lunch. Had a hamburg at Louis' Lunch, where hamburgs were invented (not the only claimant). It's actually on the National Register. "The tiny eatery that made such a big impact on the eating habits of an entire nation was, of course, Louis' Lunch. Today, Louis' grandson, Ken, carries on the family tradition: hamburgers that have changed little from their historic prototype are still the specialty of the house. Each one is made from beef ground fresh each day, broiled vertically in the original cast iron grill and served between two slices of toast. Cheese, tomato and onion are the only acceptable garnish -- no true connoisseur would consider corrupting the classic taste with mustard or ketchup."

  Louis' Lunch in New Haven.

Well fed, we walked around the corner to the Yale Center for British Art to see the William Hodges show. He was the artist on Captain Cook's second voyage. Unfortunately, no Antarctic images in the show. We did use the loos, however.

On our way again, we sped up I-91, through Hartford, Springfield and off at Northfield. Through Winchester, then Keene to Marlborough where we picked up Corky, then back to Jaffrey Center. 870 miles on the clock.