It took me a while, and some help from New Yorkers who are frequent visitors to Central Park, but eventually I find The Ramble. This is where I will meet up with Marcia Stone, who I know from Suite 101 where we both write articles from time to time. My temporary companions have a dog, and the dog has a disgusting habit. He eats grass and then vomits all over the sidewalk and himself. The mess he makes turns my stomach, but I don't let it show.
The couple that accompany me have a smart phone with a map. I will buy, out of necessity, a smart phone when I'm in Lucca ~ more about that another day ~ but for now I depend on this couple whose phone isn't as smart as they seem to think it is.
We wander around. Eventually, I believe, we are back where we met, and where I indicated a direction while making an enquiry. Now, we are heading in the direction I thought I should have been going.
This is all perfectly fine, they are pleasant companions and we discuss rent. How much rent people pay for the space they have is my favorite New York topic.
In front of a washroom in The Ramble there is the bench Marcia described. I say goodbye to my companions. I take my Kindle out of my handbag. I begin reading and waiting for Marcia. I'm a little early. She will be a little late and apologetic for her negligible lateness.
Marcia, a microbiologist and medical researcher, has a passion for life. Today she has forgotten her peanut butter sandwich. Generally, she feeds the squirrels, pigeons and any other creatures in the woods that happen to come along.
We sit in a well-wooded area of Central Park. She is preoccupied with prions, which are small particles responsible for various diseases. I nod my head, momentarily understanding what she is saying, but know I won't remember a darn thing in a minute or two.
We wander to the lake where people can rent boats. She takes a photograph of me on the bridge. We visit Whole Foods where we have lunch.
Whole Foods is a food chain that has apparently taken New York by storm and is threatening the little neighborhood grocers who have so long held a monopoly. I marvel at the freshness of the fruits and vegetables, and the cleanliness and brightness of the store. I long for such a place in Mexico.
After lunch we hop a bus. My next stop will be 230 5th Avenue, which supposedly, offers one of the best views in the world. Obviously this is not a place Marcia would frequent. She tries to talk me out of going. A young woman on the bus gives us a description of the bar. The more the young woman talks the more distasteful the bar becomes to Marcia.
I do not plan to pay for a trip up the Empire State Building or visit Top of the Rocks at Rockefeller Center. A bar offering a great view may work. Besides, this is one of the places that was recommended by my friend Margi.
I ride the elevator to the top of the building, look at the view, order a glass of wine, quickly drink it, and leave. Everyone is in groups, and there is no place for a single person to sit and I'm out of place.
The view was nice.