Our bellman checked out the reason for the slowing of traffic. There was a Polish parade down 5th Avenue, so we trooped a half block, past the fabulous bargain eaterie, Café Charlie, with its lox sandwiches, Greek omelets and knishes, to Madison Avenue, and a yellow taxi, with a meter. Off we went past Central Park and a Chinese wedding,
horse drawn carriages, and plusher hotels, through Columbus Circle to Pier 94 and the Norwegian Spirit.
A smooth entry with a Filipino waiter, Efram, who works in the Trattoria, pushing Lin along at a good clip in a wheel chair, avoiding the longest lines, and up to the 12th deck and a restaurant called, Raffles Court, where a buffet awaited us.
This is Lin, and Manhattan out the window. Talapia was the high point and a mysterious dessert that tasted like a coffee mocha pie. We tried not to overdo it, of course, and attacked the pie from two directions, saved from gluttony only by the disappearance of all traces of this delight when I returned to the line to search for more.
At 4 PM, in delightful weather, we backed out into the Hudson, and I took some photos of the New York Skyline from our balcony on the port side of the ship. In this first picture, the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building are visible.
This was our last view of New York as we headed south and out into the Atlantic.
There was the lifeboat drill and then came dinner. We went to the Shogun Restaurant and the Sushi Bar where the food exceeded expectations, and I tried a sake called, Hatsumago (Yamagata). This was particularly good. The green tea lacked the brown rice that we like. Fried bananas in a crepe for dessert. We met a couple from New Jersey and learned that she had nearly required dialysis for a creatinine as high as 5.9 from NSAID’s. She had had pain in her hip and an orthopedist put her on Naproxen. A second orthopedist wasn’t happy with the diagnosis and an MRI showed a large ovarian tumor, which she said was Stage I. Following chemo and $5,000 shots for erythropoiesis, nine months later, she was cruising and very thankful to be alive. Her husband enjoys the ship’s casino and apparently gets comp’d with a cabin. They have a son who is completing an MBA at the University of Chicago and has been interviewed for a job in casino management by MGM Las Vegas. Interesting.
Our ship left the dock at 4 PM and slipped down the Hudson toward the Atlantic. We were on the port side, aft in 9676, with a tiny balcony, and we had a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline slipping by, including the two buildings I could recognize, the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. The sky was blue and the day was unseasonably warm for October, with a high of 78 degrees.
It remained clear and sunny until we caught a view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River, and then the haze began and the skies were grayer. As we headed toward the open ocean, I looked for the Statue of Liberty, not knowing that we would pass it on the starboard and not glimpse it until we had swung to port, and from several miles away, barely identifiable through the growing haze. We did see the Queen Mary 2, seemingly in Brooklyn? Could that be Brooklyn? The Staten Island Ferry passed us closely, and then it was gray ocean.
We fell asleep to the terror of the DaVinci Code.