Our Trip to Jersey

Mary (my sister) and I just back from the ‘burbs of New Jersey west of Manhattan where we staged a four-day multimedia event alternating living-room talks about family history/geneology, jokes about Italians (Jennifer’s husband Robert Romano plays a rather easy-going fellow with a sense of humor)… eating plenty (Italian or not)… I only tried one joke about lawyers (two in the family) but got no laughs…one big scene was the 90th Bday Bash for Marie who plays a somewhat addled but still-charming Matriarch. Mary and I, naturally, found a nearby footpath along the Passaic river to relieve the well-kept tedium of the ‘burbs, and to brace us for an all-day foray into Manhattan where we were able to purchase the entire Island for–get this….

No wait, wrong scene. We found no cheap deals in Manhattan (except a free, and wonderful, dance performance in Bryant park), but we could not complain. Both of us had spent time in “the City” before (visiting Deirdre’s family in Brooklyn during her growing-up years) and we were no strangers to the ways of the subs (subways? get it?) which have changed not at all, except the stations are more uncomfortable than I remembered and the train annoucements inscrutable. Which matters not, they take you there. Or somewhere. And then you walk.

Anywhere else in these once-United States, people give you directions by saying, ‘ but it’s too far to walk, of course.’ But in New York City, if they say “walk west till you reach Battery Park” then you had better be prepared for a hike…And we were, and I gloried in the city and picking our way thru the people, hanging out in Central Park, catching the last of the Sunday-morning service at the famous (?) Episcopal cathedral near MOMA, squeezing thru the packed sidewalks of Chinatown, buying (expensive!) street food at the Festival of San Gennaro in Little Italy…  We had talked of searching out plays or performances, but seemed to find plenty to do for free… even missing the Opera in the park… so I am ready to go back now…

Thomas, Alex, David, Robert, Marie, and Jennifer
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