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Saturday, August 12, 2006

THE SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK

"East Side, West Side, all around the town,
The tots sang "Ring-a-rosie", "London Bridge is falling down,";
Boys and girls together, me and Mamie O'Rorke,
Tripped the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York."
James W. Blake 1862-1935 The sidewalks of New York" 1894

In the midst of unexpected eviction notices, finding a new place to live, and packing/moving
I've been doing some research for the up-and-coming week in New York City -- that trip I won at the Travel Writer's gala last May.

All the arrangements are made: air tickets provided by Harmony, City tour tickets provided by NYC tourism and the hotel is booked from Sept 5 - Sept 9. It's just a matter of getting there but in this unexpected turmoil I've been stressed out trying to figure out if I'll have enough to spend, and all the other details that go along with cramming a trip in between moving.

To distract myself from these hassles and worries, I started to read some NYC books and make notes for the trip. I like to figure out in advance what are the best things to focus on in regards to a possible travel article about the trip. So I decided to focus on anything to do with writers in NYC and of course there were (and are) lots of writers in that old town. I've listed residences, pubs, dineries and other places of interest. Actually there were far too many to make note of and I doubt we'll have time in five days to see them all, but just in case...

An interesting detail about our hotel, the Park Central (near Central Park of course). It was the scene of two mob shoot-outs 30 years apart, never solved. Arnold Rothstein was shot in Room 349 on Nov 4/28. He was apparantly a gambler involved with the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. Albert Anastasia, a hit man for the mob, was murdered in the hotel barbershop on Oct 24, 1957.

I'd like to visit some spots in Greenwich Village. I was there in '68 visiting a girlfriend for a month but I don't really remember too many details of places I saw or went to with her. Chumley's Bar sounds interseting. It was a writer's hangout frequented by John Steinbeck, Allen Ginsberg and Scott Fitzerald.

I've made notes about other historical or famous landmarks around town too, including various houses where famous people lived and dramatic events occured. Whether or not we'll get to pass by, take photos, or visit them all remains to be seen. We have a lot of tour tickets to use up (media passes so no waiting in line-ups). No matter what it'll be quite an adventure.


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