New York: The Ephemeral City

New York: The Ephemeral City

Windsor Letterhead

New York is one of the few cities in the world that’s rich enough and diverse enough to be anything it wants to be, The Dutch first settled along the Hudson in 1624 and two years later they established the colony of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island. In 1664, the English took control of the area and renamed it New York.

This same New York is my hometown, a place for immigrants, barons, and in short, middle America. I’ve combed the city as a kid, as a student, and as a designer.

Automat at 818-820 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1904 postcard, Wikipedia

Long ago, I loved the Automat (Horn and Hardart). A whole lunch for a nickel. Nickel in, lunch out, on a vertical turnstile, Hot soup and apple pie, yum. Whatever happened to those days? Naturally any place in New York is home to me, even the Catskills, where I spent many a summer and where my first historic romance couple, Rork and Leila, met in Indigo Sky.

My new and latest story The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, (Book 1, The Baldwin Family Series) takes place in none other than my hometown, In fact, the Baldwins’ live across the street from Central Park. What was it like to take a walk in the park in 1886? You’ll find out in my book.

An early stereoscope view of the Main Dining Room shows the frescoed ceiling and sumptuous chandelier.

Baggage entered the 46th Street side (right) and guests entered on Fifth Avenue. The arrangement avoided “cluttering.” — photo Library of Congress

Sadly, New York has been an ephemeral city. Many buildings were demolished or burned, one of which was the Windsor Hotel on 46th Street and 5th Avenue, conveniently located close to the Grand Central Depot, a short walk to the Windsor for those who traveled by train. The Hotel welcomed the wealthy, from Barons to Dukes, and according to the New York Times, the Windsor was “most luxurious and aristocratic hostelry in New York.”

Inside the hotel were the barber’s shop, grocery and general storerooms, vegetable kitchen, dining rooms, a separate one for children, and more. The hotel was considered a marvel in modern convenience. Every suite had a private bath and every room had a fireplace, according to The Times.

You’ll get an exclusive invitation to visit the Windsor Hotel in my book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, out on Valentine’s Day 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Love Boat meets Disney Magic

The Love Boat meets Disney Magic

Pluto greeting on Disney Magic

Minnie and the Chipmunks

Remember The Love Boat – the popular TV show from the 1980s? Well, I fell in love with cruising from watching that show. Several years back, I took a weekend  cruise to nowhere from a local marina in New Jersey. it was a great way to get my feet wet, pardon the pun. And did I have fun! Since then, Tom and I were on one other cruise to New Brunswick, Canada, until recently. A few weeks ago we took a cruise on the Disney Magic (with the official Disney cruise line) from Spain to New York. Yup, we crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a dream boat! Taking a cruise is like being in a mobile country whose economy is dedicated to enjoyment. With a wide range of entertainment, kids’ clubs, spacious staterooms and more, the Disney Cruise Line is a wonderful way for families to spend time together . . . and a little time apart. There are plenty of adults-only spaces as well. Broadway style shows, dancing, the latest movies, fitness center, personal trainer, spa and lots and lots and lots of food.

First sunrise on Disney Magic, what a greeting!

Me in the porthole

Ya gotta love Disney with all the fun characters wandering around. You never know when Pluto or Mickey will show up! A big bonus for us is that the entire ship was SMOKE FREE, except for one small deck that’s hidden away. And if you think it’s boring being “cooped up” on a boat for two weeks – think again. We were busy all the time. We actually had to MAKE time to swim and relax. I even managed to carve out some time to work on my next book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin. Disney is now our fav. Cruising is a great way to spend your vacation.

Nightly monkey made from towels

Between the rock, almost blown away, son Paul Ingis!

Holding on for dear life, me and Tom. It was a mite windy

Sailing into the sunset-through the Straits of Gibraltar

This ship did make some stops. One in Cadiz, another in Lisbon where we took a side trip to beautiful Sintra and charming Cascais, then a stop in the Azores, where my son  Paul and our daughter-in-law Joanne hailed a taxi and took a side adventure. Our final stop was supposed to be St. John’s in Newfoundland, but the Captain decided to head home early to New York, because of concerns about the Hurricane Maria at the time. We hope to visit Newfoundland in the future, since we’ve heard and read such beautiful things about Canada’s east coast.

One of my favorite and most exhilarating moments on board Disney Magic was having my Tom’s arms around me, and my arms wrapped around him, holding tight, up on the top deck, in a fifty-mile-an-hour wind, going through the Straits of Gibraltar at sunset. Behold nature’s beauty.

The fitness center and especially the personal trainers (we got to know a wonderful trainer named Olivia), were tops, as were the people in the spa. Laurabeth Fitzpatrick, an esthetician, was fun to talk with. I didn’t get a facial, but enjoyed discussing skin care and explained BeautyCounter‘s philosophy. (That’s the product line I use and it’s clean and free from more than 1,400 horrible chemicals.) Lots of people took advantage of the convenience of the spa, they offered a full range of face and body care, including a sauna and a beauty salon. I didn’t do any of that, but I did take advantage of the fitness center. Imagine exercising in an all glass facility overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Gorgeous! Talk about a view!

NY Sunset

Our dining room hosts and servers rotated with us for a different dining room experience each night. Animation Palette, Luminaries, and Carioca’s dining rooms and the buffet dining room, Cabana’s. The last night we dined in their famous upscale Palo dining room on the 10th deck, while we were docked in NY. So we got to see the gorgeous New York sunset and we can say we had a great Italian meal in an excellent restaurant on the Hudson River.

That’s us in Luminaires DR

 

 

 

 

 

Most important crew members. Lucio & Carolina, our excellent servers.

Cascais, Portugal

Sintra, Portugal

Paul&Joanne in Animation Palette

 

Mickey pop, our fav dessert

Time to go home, on our way to debark

 

 

 

Indigo Sky for the reader who enjoys historical romance! @AmazonKindle http://amzn.to/2nWqbcq Indigo Sky available on Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE
Author page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

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