In mid-April of this year, my parents and I spent a weekend in New York City. It was my sixth trip to the city nicknamed the Big Apple, and it’s one of my favourite cities in the world (second only to Toronto, of course).
The trip was a birthday gift my dad gave to himself, and to us. We left Toronto on Thursday, April 16, and arrived in New York the following day, which was my dad’s birthday. We kicked off the festivities by having dinner at P.J. Clarke’s bar and grill on Lincoln Square. Once called “The Vatican of Saloons” by The New York Times, P.J. Clarke’s has remained intact through its nearly 150-year history. It has been frequented by celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, who once claimed Table #20 as his own.
After dinner we went to catch a jazz concert at Lincoln Center that evening. Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis lead the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in a concert honouring one of its bandmates, Joe Temperley. The Scottish-born saxophonist is one of the founding members of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Temperley played memorable solos, and he appears to be going strong at 85.
The next day, we went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The museum honours and remembers the nearly 3,000 people who were killed on September 11, 2001. It also recognizes the six people killed in an unrelated attack on February 26, 1993. Remnants of the World Trade Center destroyed in 2001 are on display, including the satellite that was on top of the north tower.
This quote from the Roman philosopher Virgil sums this experience up best: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”
A night at the opera followed the trip to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The Metropolitan Opera Company, nicknamed The Met, has hosted many famous opera. It also has a classy-looking restaurant near the theatre stage. We dined at the Met, and we enjoyed our meals. Then we saw two short Italian operas, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (The Clowns).
In regards to accessibility, I like how you can access English subtitles at the back of every seat. It was helpful to us since they were all sung in Italian.
Sunday was our last full day in New York. We kicked it off with an excellent brunch at the Tavern on the Green, a family restaurant in Central Park. We ate there once before, and it was exactly as I had remembered it.
Our trip concluded with catching a Broadway musical, a biographical look at the life and music of Carole King (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical). The story focuses on her early years as a successful writer of pop hits, and her eventual transition to having her own singing career. We all loved it.
I love New York, and am always reluctant to leave. The one thing I won’t miss about New York is the cabs. They drive too fast on those bumpy roads, especially around Broadway and Times Square. Other than that, New York is accessible for travellers with disabilities, and I hope you get to visit it before you die.