Bridge Walk and the Ride Home

We woke up about an hour later than we wanted to, but we didn’t have anything scheduled so we weren’t missing anything. But it did get us going a little later than we wanted to, which would cause issues later.

It was mostly cloudy with a promise of rain. Of course, promises kept.

This was the first time I’ve ever driven in New York City traffic. I still think Boston and maybe DC are worse, and maybe LA, but New York has people that just don’t care if they live or die. As we walked the streets the previous four days, we saw so many close calls of pedestrians not caring that cross traffic had the green light. How does somebody not die every 10 seconds in these intersections? Sorry to those who live in New York City, but the drivers and pedestrians there are extremely inconsiderate and selfish.

Since we had left well after the morning rush, traffic wasn’t nearly as bad as when we had come through a few days earlier in a Lyft. It was a relatively easy jaunt into Dumbo where we wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. But first, we had to find a place to park.

Since we were having issues with Google Maps, we decided to use Waze for our directions. It told us 20 feet after we passed the entrance to the parking garage we had found that we were at our destination. So I started to drive around the block…kind of. So many one-way and narrow roads and we found ourselves on the street everyone walks out into the middle of to get a good selfie with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. But that still didn’t get us back around the block thanks to more construction. So we asked Waze again to get us to the parking garage. We asked it about 50 feet too late. We should have taken a quick left, but because we didn’t, we had to go back out on the freeway, circling around somewhere and it took about another 10 minutes to get back to the parking garage. And as I’m turning into what we think is the entrance, a car is coming out blocking both the entrance and the exit. So it was go around the block again but this time we consulted Waze sooner.

Once parked, we too headed down to the street where everyone was taking selfies and took our own.

One of our main goals of the trip was to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. We had it originally scheduled for Wednesday, but rain and an altered itinerary moved it to Friday. But first, we had to find where to get to the walkway. Follow the crowd backwards we did. Until we had to make a decision to go right or straight. Of course we made the wrong decision and just about a block later we ran into a bloke from Britain who was also looking for the stairs. He had a good idea where they were located and he was right.

Up a couple of flights of stairs and we were on the famous Brooklyn Bridge where we took selfies and other pictures of the bridge and Manhattan behind it. We walked not quite half way across because we still had a couple of stops to make before we started on the road home.

The first stop was at Flushing Cemetery. We wanted to visit Louis Armstrong’s grave. He was my dad’s favorite trumpet player. We also wanted to visit the grave of another great trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in the same cemetery, but the rain started to get too hard, so we had to abort that mission.

We had one more cemetery to visit in the Bronx, but we needed lunch first. Why was it so hard to find ANY kind of restaurant that had ANY kind of parking at almost 2:00 in the afternoon? We settled on McDonald’s as the rain started to come down harder.

We had one more stop. Woodlawn cemetery is where several famous jazz musicians are buried, and will be a subject of a future Spinning My Dad’s Vinyl episode. We found Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. I had a list of seven that I wanted to get to but the rain cut that visit short too. Plus it was starting to get late and we wouldn’t get home at any kind of decent hour if we kept looking around that cemetery for long.

On the way out of town we really were treated to rush hour traffic in New York City. Guess we timed our exit badly. It took us forever to get out of town. Especially since not once, but twice we took wrong exits and had to go well out of our way to get back. Next thing you know, we were out of city traffic and on our way home.

We decided on finding something for dinner about 8:00 and we were still deep within Pennsylvania somewhere on I-80. Sofia used Google to find any restaurant within range, and after we narrowed it down to an Italian place, we exited the Turnpike. This little restaurant was 13 miles off the freeway and on some pretty back-country roads to get there. Sofia would tell us the directions and we soon came across this small town. Wouldn’t you know it? We had found a restaurant in Jersey Shore…Pennsylvania. With it being so far out of the way it better be worth it.

It was…and far beyond. Our waitress who made sure we had extra bread, extra salad dressing and great conversation and not only earned a great tip, but earned the tip that the waiter the night before thought belonged to him. It was a great dinner and we all had another meal for another time. If you ever find yourself in Jersey Shore PA, do yourself a favor and have a meal at Santino’s Italian Cuisine.

The only problem now was trying to stay awake for four more hours after a plateful of lasagna. It wasn’t too bad thanks to the playlist Karen and I had prepared on Spotify.

We pulled into home precisely at 1 AM. It was a great trip!

We only walked about 3 miles on Friday. For a grand total of 50 miles walked and around 1000 driven!

You can read the experiences of the rest of our trip below.

February to June 12

Planning and the road out We started planning our New York City trip for June in early February. Maybe the cold still had our brains half frozen, because the first mistake was our choice of motels. Not sure how it happened, but when we checked the address, we realized...


Just how far did we walk? It was a beautiful day for a walk. With lots of walking before lunch. And more walking after. My teenage daughter didn’t like it. Oh well. She was warned…in February. One of the few things we bought timed tickets for was to get into the...


Lady Liberty and Family History In my previous trips to NYC, I had never gone out to Liberty and Ellis Islands. This time we did. We had pre-purchased tickets a couple of months before to take the first ferry out from the New Jersey side. But not before we experienced...


From a river view to 850 feet To make sure we got to the dock in time, we took a Lyft from the motel to the Circle Line Tours. This was something I had done with the band on that 1979 trip and was really looking forward to sharing it with Karen and Sofia. We thought...