Up early and wrapped up well to go out into the piercing cold, walking up Riverside Drive at 9:30 AM. Temperature was lower today, in the teens, and Riverside Drive is probably the coldest place in the city, I remember from childhood, and the sharp wind off the river hasn't changed. But I only had eight blocks to walk to my cousin Judy's apartment. Another cousin, Alice, came down from her home in Syracuse for this occasion, and the three of us planned to go up to Riverdale to visit my mother. Alice and Judy are both daughters of sisters of my grandmother, and we don't see each other very often, so this was an event. Judy made us a delicious New York breakfast of sausages and challah French toast, and we embarked on the long trip up to Riverdale together. It was made short and delightful by our family chat, in which we compared our childhood memories of beloved people, some matching up, some new revelations. Deeply fascinating for those involved! Alice is close to my age but we have lived our lives far apart, and it is actually Facebook that has made our friendship blossom in our sixties. We all enjoyed our nice visit and lunch with my mother, and it was certainly a big day for her. Then the trip back to Manhattan, and after parting from Judy and Alice on the Upper West Side, there was just time for me to get downtown to my next event.
My plane home was at 6:30 PM, and the car was to pick me up at Ezra's at 3:30, so I had to cram a lot into the morning. To my joy, my High School of Music and Art friend Denise and her partner Serge were able to meet me for breakfast at our favorite Veselka's, the Ukrainian restaurant (open 24 hours) in the East Village. Denise, daughter of a famous sculptor, was the most free-spirited girl at M & A, which is saying something! She's had a fascinating life, moved to Alaska and worked on the pipeline in the 1960s, married a Tibetan Buddhist monk (who sadly died). Denise spends part of the year in Alaska, and part in East Hampton, and I've visited her in both places - as well as at Veselka's. Bottom line is that one thing I would never pass up is any opportunity to see Denise. We had a delicious breakfast of fried egg sandwiches and happy talk, and then I walked back with them to see the friend they were staying with in a lovely apartment in St Marks Place, an 1870 townhouse building with original moldings - wider than a brownstone, with a very "Washington Square" feeling. Here is Denise with one of her friend's cats.
Veselka's, Second Avenue and Ninth Street
Shelley's Skull Shard