As fun and as exciting as it is…New York City is absolutely exhausting!
I think we have walked the equivalent of the width of Manhattan at least four times today. We have navigated tourist attractions (loved The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum), insane traffic, honking vehicles, Times Square, bicycles, and so many people on the sidewalk it seems almost impossible that we can all actually get where we are going.
By about 5:30 this afternoon the five of us hit the wall. We were cranky, tired and sniping at each other as only families on family holidays can do. All we wanted was a quiet Starbucks with wifi, a bathroom and somewhere for the five of us to sit down and regroup for a little while away from the fray.
Well…that was not to be.
What we did find was a Starbucks attached to the Bank of America building at 6th and 42nd. It had a beautiful atrium with plants and tables for the five of us to sit down quietly and watch the after-work-rush, but…no bathroom.
And so, feeling more than slightly desperate, I left my family sitting quietly and went in search of a bathroom. Apparently, there is a serious dearth of public washrooms at 6th and 42nd and I was out if luck. Unfortunately, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go, so I returned to the Bank of America building and threw myself on the mercy of the security guards at the desk.
Fortunately they were incredibly friendly and forthcoming and directed me to the public washroom in Bryant Park a block away. They happily told me that it is the cleanest bathroom in New York City because it is maintained scrupulously and is cleaned every fifteen minutes.
My experience with park bathrooms is that they are a step up from a hole-in-the-ground and rarely come equipped with both toilet appear and hand soap. At this point, I was far to desperate to care so I headed over to brave the elements.
All I can say is that the Bryant Park washroom sure lived up to its reputation!
It is located in a beautiful old building with a huge floral arrangement in the vestibule, flowers between the sinks, absolutely no garbage on the floors, plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, and even a little green button you wave your hand in front of to get a clean plastic wrap on your toilet seat.
When I came out of the bathroom I felt a rush of love for this amazing city and all was right with the world again. And that is when I took a look around me.
Bryant Park is an absolutely beautiful and charming park that takes up a city block (along with the New York Public Library). Huge trees, a ping pong table, a cafe, a putting green, a games area with tables set up for every board game imaginable, a child’s carousel, jugglers and people of all descriptions sitting, walking, meeting friends, and enjoying the feeling of getting away from it all right in the city.
Bryant Park Games (with The Bryant Park Hotel in the background)
The boys have headed off to the NHL store before our evening foray into Times Square at night so here I sit enjoying the people watching, the trees, and yet another New York City surprise!
I have decided that when 365 Radical Acts is published and I am in New York City meeting with my publisher, my agent and my editor, I will be staying at The Bryant Park Hotel, which faces the park and, I’m sure, feeds off the fabulous energy of this New York City gem!
Okay, maybe I’m more than just a little in love…until next time then my beloved Bryant Park! :)