For those of you who don't know the New York City area, I live along the Hudson River, about 35 miles North of Manhattan island. It is relatively easy for me to get into the city's core, but a pain for me to cross into New Jersey (to left, not shown on map), or to Central or Eastern Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties). Today, I had to deal with reaching both areas - a pain in the ass most days, but even worse when the weather is over 90 degrees.
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The first thing on my docket for the day was meeting Mandy (a fellow TG blogger) at New York's Pennsylvania Station for lunch. Although the above portal is being touted as "Penn Station", right now, the portal is only an entrance across the street from the real "Penn Station". It has a lot of promise if the folks from Amtrak, the MTA, and NJT don't screw things up. But I don't think we'll be that lucky.
Mandy was traveling up from Maryland to make a train connection to Chicago, and had about 3 hours to spend in NYC. Because of the heat and tonight's later activities, I had to meet Mandy in Mario Mode. And when I finally connected with Mandy today, I could easily understand why she gets people addressing her as female even with a masculine sounding voice - something about her height, the pitch of her voice, and her face seem to neutralize certain masculine attributes that she has.
We talked over lunch, and then went across the street for a shot of the future Moynihan Station. It will be a beautiful reuse of the old Post Office building, and one that makes a lot of sense. It's a shame that the Post Office was built to compliment the old Penn Station, then having lost Penn Station to the wrecking ball. We could have used two beautiful structures across the street from each other. But I digress.
Before I left for my next set of appointments, I took the above picture of Mandy. She's in front of a plaque which honors some of the Pennsylvania Railroad's workers during World War 2. Too bad that this plaque could not be in its original location. We parted, and then I took the subway back to my car.
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When I don't want to take the commuter railroad into NYC, I will often drive to Ex-GF-M's street, and pick up the subway from there. On my way in this morning, I saw her pulling out of her driveway, but figured that I was lucky to have missed her, as I was running a few minutes late in meeting Mandy. The way back was more relaxing, and when I changed for the train that would take me to her street, I saw the fellow below with his wares.
He was burning incense, and his cart was highly aromatic. I've no clue about what this fellow was selling, but he had an awkward time putting his cart inside the subway car before it closed the doors for a trip to the end of the line.
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By the time I got to my car, there was no way I could avoid Friday evening traffic jams. So I took them as a way to help me kill time before my final appointment for the day - showing the family homestead to a prospective renter. But this did not delay my arrival time at my dad's nursing home that much - I was still there before 4:30, and ended up staying until 6:00 before leaving for dinner.
On my way out, I called my brother to tell him what's up. And I said that I was going over to the family homestead to check things out. Since my niece and her boyfriend were staying there, he said to knock real loud and give them a couple of minutes to get to the door. Well, I knocked real loud, opened up the door a little, then announced myself loudly before entering. And I was glad they both were fully clothed.
Walking into the house, I saw backpacks and other stuff all over the place. They weren't prepared to have the house presented to a prospective renter. My niece got the hint quickly. While I went out to Home Depot to pick up a throwaway doorbell (the old chimes no longer work, nor do we know where they are), both my niece and her boyfriend did a great job of making the place presentable.
Coming back from Home Depot, I stopped at a local diner. Although the service was pleasant and the food was of good value, I made a big mistake. I ordered a seafood dish which came with fake crab legs. AARGH! What a terrible way to ruin a good dish. Yet, I was very glad I went to the diner. RO was eating dinner there with a girlfriend, and she noticed me. It was nice to see a friendly face, and it was another chance to say hello and make someone smile.
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My niece was leaving for a night out with her boyfriend when I returned to the house. I told her that I bought the door bell, and asked her to get batteries for it before she was gone. (I'd like for her to install it soon, as I don't want the realtor to enter and show the place without having to ring a bell. Who needs potentially embarrassing situations?)
I ended up waiting for 45 minutes before the prospective renter would arrive. He had a finicky 2 year old daughter who had to be placated before coming to the house, and a wife who was 9 months pregnant and was eagerly waiting for next week's C-Section. We walked through the house, and he presented me with his situation. They were previously in contract to buy a home, and then things fell through (on the seller's side) after 2 or 3 months. This family desperately needed a house to live in, and ideally wanted a Rent-to-Own situation or a Month-to-Month rental. I listened to them, and said I'd talk things over with my brother - who would make the final decision.
When they left, I got on the road and called my brother. I told him about this couple and their needs, and we agreed to talk over the weekend. Then I called Lili, and she gave me good reasons NOT to rent to this couple. I'll give my brother this info over the weekend.
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On the way back, I chatted with GFJ, and we agreed to go see Dunkirk tomorrow at the local movie house and then have dinner. The more I think about what we're doing, we're easing the pains of each other's loneliness, but not doing that much for each other. If I had to schedule this weekend all over again, I'm not sure of what I'd do. Would I have put the Cat Lady first, schedule something for Saturday and then blown off GFJ? Who knows? But if I want a girlfriend, I should make some phone calls to a couple of women who have contacted me via Plenty of Fish.