NeoPatrick's month in New York 2008

Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:08 AM
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NeoPatrick's month in New York 2008

This first post is just some general background:

We've been spending at least a month in New York most of the year's since 2001. With my partner's Alzheimer's we weren't planning on doing it this summer, until I received an email from a man whom I had tried to rent an apartment several times from in the past, but it was always booked. He only books by the full month. He emailed me saying that I had checked in the past for May or June and he wanted to let me know that he just had a cancellation from the people who normally stay both those months, but were going to have to return to England for June this year. So YES, I grabbed it.

The apartment: A large studio with terrace facing the huge landscaped interior courtyard at The Residences at World Wide Plaza -- the full block between 8th and 9th, 49th and 50th. We've stayed before in Big Apple Getaway in the high rise part of the same complex. This is a 4 to 7 story complex of apartments surrounding the high rise. There is a small but efficient separate kitchen (including ice maker refrigerator and a dishwasher), an average sort of bathroom, and one room maybe 14 by 20 or so with a queen bed, a sofa- sleeper, table and two chairs, console, flat screen TV, high speed internet, and lots of extras. The terrace has a locked gate to the courtyard, and has its own garden bench and table and 2 chairs. The cost is $2990 by the month -- less than $100 a day, all inclusive. We are happy.

We flew from Ft. Lauderdale to LGA on Delta, and for the first time I learned what people mean about waiting for a taxi. We've always flown AA before, and the taxi line right outside their luggage pickup is always non-existent. But even arriving at mid afternoon on a Sunday, the taxi line outside Delta was huge -- took at least 20 minutes. Then we hit traffic. The driver has said there was a lot of traffic and he wanted to take the tri-borough rather than the mid town. Fine. But then there was an accident on the bridge and traffic was stopped. There was a car on fire along FDR and traffic was stopped again. Once we got off at 49th Street it was bumper to bumper all the way across town. Nearly an hour total! Cost with tip $45, the most we've ever paid due to the traffic.

We were settling into the apartment, Lee was outside on the terrace, and I was unpacking and hanging things in the closet and putting in drawers. Lee came in and I said, "Do you have to go to the bathroom?" He said he did, and I heard him go into the bathroom and close the door. I finished unpacking and went to check on him, but he wasn't in the bathroom. Then I realized it wasn't the bathroom door I heard close, it was the front door! In panic, I ran downstairs. The doorman happily told me my "buddy" had headed off up 49th Street. I told him about the Alzheimer's and he was SO upset that the didn't stop him -- but of course he had no way of knowing (I had planned to alert the concierge and doorman about it later -- as well as put out NYC address and phone in Lee's wallet and inside his medical alert bracelet). Anyway, Lee was now headed into the chaos of post matinee crowds of Broadway! I ran up one block and down another, circling and looking for anywhere I thought he might have gone. No luck. I returned to the apartment and there was no sign of him. I spotted two policemen sitting in their cruiser in front of the building and told them my story. They had be get in the cruiser and we circled for nearly an hour looking for him. No luck. They meanwhile had put out a bulletin and description to all the police in the precinct. When we had no luck, they called 12 more police to meet at the apartment and we were going to do a full organized search. Meanwhile one of the policemen and I went to check the big plaza again, and walked up to the corner. There was Lee, standing across the street calmly reading a magazine. When we got back to the building, search called off, one of the other policemen said, "Oh, we saw him up at the corner of Broadway and the description matched, but he didn't look lost and we both decided he couldn't be 77" (no, he sure doesn't look it). Any way, all's well that ends well. And how many people can say they were given a personal tour of midtown by New York's finest?

I'll post separately with the first week report.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:16 AM
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Oh thank goodness you found him! I'm glad you got the opportunity to go this year. Would he wear some sort of pin saying he has Alzheimer's and with your cell phone number on it or would that upset him? I can't imagine losing someone in NYC. That must have been a nightmare for you. I'm glad the police were so helpful.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:45 AM
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Now that your blood pressure has subsided, you can enjoy the city!
How frightening that must have been. I'm heading in this November, with a daughter and her two children, and can just imagine the panic if one wandered away. I'm very relieved there was a happy ending to the tale, and look forward to hearing all about this trip in later installments.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:45 AM
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I warn you this is mainly a theatre and eating itinerary. That seems to be all we do! Oh, and I should point out that Lee is a VERY slow eater these days. Lunches and dinners usually take well over 2 hours -- not because of service, but because Lee really is eating all that time!


Sunday, June 1:
We had reservations to eat at Etcetera, Etcetera, but with the chaos of Lee being lost and then found, I cancelled them. Instead we walked down to Pietresanto on 9th and had a nice relaxing dinner of delicious pastas.

Monday, June 2:
We hadn't had a chance to do the supermarket yet, so walked across the street to my old favorite haunt, The Coffee Pot and had omelettes, pastries, and great espresso.
Then we went up to the corner to Emporium for food and supply shopping, planning to eat breakfast in most of the time -- but no other cooking. We also stopped and got our month long unlimited transit passes (Lee has a senior ID card from them so his is half price -- $40.50 for him, $81 for me)

We had lunch at Saigon48 (on 48th, Duh!), a nice but very busy Vietnamese place with lunch specials at $7.45 --great choices of dishes with a spring roll and brown or fried rice. Delicious.

I guess because we were inspired by the Asian cooking (actually because I had already planned this) we walked up to the Paris Theatre, which is the oldest continually operating art film theatre in the US. We saw the Australian movie called Children of Huang Shi -- very moving and well done. Walked back to the apartment.

That evening dinner at Nero in the Meatpacking District -- excellent as always.

Tuesday, June 3:
For lunch today I had a carpaccio of beef as a starter -- huge and wonderful, a large white plate covered with the thinly sliced beef, a huge mound of fresh baby arugula which had been tossed with lemon emulsion, and then the whole thing drizzled with truffle oil then topped with 6 or 8 playing card slices of pecorino. Spectacular -- and it should have been my total lunch! But the second course was a nice piece of salmon, oven roasted and topped with a carmelized onion compote, served over a bed of freshly sauteed spinach, and a side of huge tomato chunks which had been ever so lightly sauteed with golden brown slices of fresh garlic. For dessert I had a panna cotto with slices of mango and strawberry and drizzled with a mango sauce. What a meal! How much? Would you believe all three courses for a total of $13? Lee had the salmon also, but with a Caesar salad and saffron creme brulee with a dish of chocolate grenache. This was Roberto Passon, our old favorite, but we had never done this fixed price lunch before -- it has to be one of the great bargains of NYC. If I had paid $15 for the carpaccio alone most restaurants I would have been just as pleased!

Anyway -- we aren't eating lunch like that every day!

That night we saw The Importance of Being Earnest at the Pearl Theatre in the East Village -- a very good production and fun as always.

Dinner afterwards at The Telephone Bar and Grill (2nd Ave. and 9th St). This was mediocre at best. Maybe we ordered wrong. I had a flank steak salad which was OK, but really needed some chunks of blue cheese or a better dressing. Lee had a "specialty" of shepherds pie, which was hamburger not lamb, and seemed to have instant mashed potatoes on it.

Wednesday, June 4:
Lunch at Menhanko-Tei, a fun Japanese noodle house on 55th between 6th and 7th -- very good.
Then Up from Here at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Loved this play about a very dysfunctional family, starring Tony Award winner Julie White.

Dinner tonight at Bisteca Fiorentina on 46th -- huge traditional Florentine porterhouse for two with a side of cannelini beans baked with garlic and sage. Excellent meal.

Thursday, June 5:
Lunch at a place I had read about in New York magazine, called Saucy, Saucy. You choose a pasta, or chicken paillard, or filet mignon and then choose one of dozens of their special sauces to top it. We both had chicken -- mine with wild mushrooms, pancetta, and cream -- Lee's with Spanish sauce with olives.

Had pre-theatre cocktails tonight at the upstairs bar at Sardi's, greeted by the long time bartender who said, "how have you been?" although it's been a year since we were there.

Gypsy with Patti Lupone. I can only say -- WOW!

Dinner after the show at Joe Allen's, the old theatre haunt on 46th -- packed of course. Reservations must be made a week ahead.

Friday, June 6:
Lunch at Chipotle today, the "fast food chain" that I really love. Both did fresh salad greens topped with pork carnitas, tomato and corn salsas, shredded cheese, and a delicious citrus flavor salad dressing.

Went to the movies this afternoon -- Ironman -- nothing like a little action movie on a hot afternoon!

Dinner tonight at Dopo Teatro (we weren't seeing a play tonight). Hated this place, and I think it's the sort of place that gives Times Square or theatre district restaurants a bad name. I can't remember ever before salting a pasta dish, as my so-called seafood pasta had NO flavor without the salt.

Headed over the West Bank Cafe for the After Party -- a sort of open mike cabaret that starts on Fridays at 11 (seating at 10:30). No cover and no minimum, with reasonably priced drinks and snacks -- Lee had a spectacular apple dessert! The usual host is away doing summer stock somewhere, so this month the guest host is the Marty Thomas, the featured "skater" in Xanadu. We had a ball, but with drooping eyelids we left early at about 2 AM. It goes until 4 I think.

Saturday, June 7:
Slept in very late. Headed up to PJClarkes across from Lincoln Center for lunch.

The New Century at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre in LC, stars Linda Lavin. It is an insanely funny play (we saw it the day before it closed on its limited run). It is four one act plays that all get related in the final one. Act I is a monolog by Linda Lavin, speaking to an organization about her three children -- all gay, and more. Her son is a transgendered male who bacame a woman then became a lesbian. I laughed till I hurt. Totally politically incorrect!

Great dinner tonight (no show) at Kellari Taverna, super Greek fish dishes.

On the way back we turned a corner and ran into our friend from home, Michael Nichols who is in the cast of November. It was amazingly ironic, as I had realized just today that I don't have his email or NYC phone number with me to call him. So we exchanged that and invited him to dinner with us at Joe Allen's after we see the show on a Tuesday night.

The end of Week 1.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:48 AM
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kelliebellie, he does wear a medical alert ID bracelet. It is engraved with name and home address and phone, and it opens up so I can put a temporary one inside. But I hadn't had a chance to do that. I set our home phone to call forward to the New York one, but I wasn't sure if that was working or not (I found out since it is).

Lee also has a note in his wallet that says he has Alzheimer's and gives his local phone and address (but again, he didn't have that yet). He carries no money at all. I told one of the policeman, that Lee might go into a store and pick up a candy bar and start eating it, and of course, couldn't pay for it. We were hoping the police would get a call about that and we'd find him that way -- but it didn't happen.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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'just some general background' doesn't prepare one for this posting - OH MY GOD!!!!! You both are so lucky that this 'episode' had a good outcome. And I must say that I'm surprised you got the police response that you did. It restores my faith. There are stories where people have been told to come back after 24 hours!

See you Friday - I'll be wearing a red carnation - how about you?
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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Oh Patrick....what a nightmare that must have been. I''m glad the police came to your aid like and that Lee was OK. It's wonderful that you two still get to travel despite the Alzheimer's.
I hope the rest of your trip went well.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:03 AM
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I so look forward to another adventure of yours in the city - and a list of new restaurants and plays for my fall visit !!

Ok, if there is EVER another Lee missing story, you must promise to say at the beginning that we can all take a deep breath, it is a perfect ending , etc , so our blood pressure won't start spiking ! ....sort of like those "spoiler alerts" they put before giving away the plot of a movie.....from all your wonderful reports I feel like I know the two of you and my heart started racing and I swear I never read so fast !!

Memories of when we lost our 5 yr old once when she got caught up in a moving crowd and her hand slipped from her Dads ! eeeeeew, I could feel your anxiety reading the story -

Keep the updates on food and theater coming - I love checking in on it, like a mini series when you are in the city !!


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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:07 AM
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Centralparkgirl, yes, the police were VERY impressive. Alzheimer's is a magic word with a missing person.
You should have seen the look on Lee's face when we walked him back to the building and there stood 14 policeman, mostly addressing him by name! He knew that he was lost -- and he thought he was in DEEP trouble. I was embarrassed about this assemblage of police, since it was now unnecessary, but they couldn't have been nicer -- all saying they were just happy we found him.

But when they first called in to say they were taking me on a search, they were told they HAD to search our building first -- it's a rule as most missing Alzheimer's patients are found within their own building. This delayed us and seemed unnecessary since the doorman had clearly seen Lee leave the building, but rules are rules. Fortunately we only had 7 floors to search -- and did it quickly. Glad we weren't staying in the adjacent 48 (?) story building!

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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:07 AM
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Isn't "Up From Here" the dyslexic version of "From Up Here?" LOL

I enjoyed it too. I love Julie White.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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Ooops. Yes. From Up Here.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Entertaining, scary, exciting and a happy ending... I love your Trip Reports !!
With the Food and Theatre thrown in ... just poifect !

The Losing of Lee in NYC is some way to start, I'll tell you... Let's try for a different scenario next time, ok?
You know I am old and my heart doesn't like stress like it used to .. Thank you sweetie.
Scarlett
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:35 AM
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Hi Patrick - Always enjoy your report.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:41 AM
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Geez, Patrick, I was so happy to start reading your post and then I literally groaned out loud when I got to the 5th graph. That anxious hour must have been awful for you- I'm so glad there was a good outcome. NYers have their issues with the police, but in my experience, more often than not, they are really supportive and do their best.

Your friend Michael Nichols is SO great in November - the whole cast is terrific and he's a real standout!

Hope the rest of your stay is everything you want!
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 06:48 AM
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Neo - What a testament to your common sense and level headedness.

If you get a hankering form some good Thai food, try Real Thai on 49th just west of 9th. They don't accept credit cards but food is good.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Nothing like some DRAMA at the start of a trip. NOT! Glad things worked out.

I noticed there's a production of Hot 'n Cole at the Westport Playhouse this month and thought you might be interested.
http://www.westportplayhouse.org/shows/spotlight/4
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 09:57 AM
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Patrick -- I'm so glad Lee was fine. I think (just from reading your posts) that you must be a lovely couple.

Please tell your friend how much we enjoyed seeing him in November.

As you know, we took your suggestion of the BigAppleGetaway and liked it very much. I wish, wish, wish we had a month in NY so I could rent the studio!
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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Oh Patrick, how terribly scary! It is amazing that you found him within an hour but that hour must have felt like a lifetime so to speak. Awesome service and care by the NYPD.

I am so loving your restaurant food descriptions, sigh. And about your attendance at the theaters.

And how do you always manage to find such wonderful apartments at such good prices? You are amazing.

You two have sure been in my thoughts. Thank you for your thread, I was hoping you would start one. And enjoy your GTG tomorrow it sounds like you will have fun. Please tell starrs I said "hello" I have been thinking of her also.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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Funny, a few days ago I was thinking that you must be in NYC by now and hoped that all was well. WOW - what a start you 2 had! SO, SO relieved that your ordeal had a happy ending. I too feel as though I know you after reading all your wonderful trip/restaurant/theater reports. I just love NYC and your recommendations have always served us well.

There is a new(ish) Ankasa store up on 135 East 65th @ Lex. You might have already checked it out, but if not it might be worth a look.
http://www.ankasa.com/flagship.html

Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your visit. May it be enjoyable and safe without any more "issues". Have fun!
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 11:41 AM
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LoveItaly, I didn't find him in less than an hour. The first hour was me running wildly over midtown in dress shoes on the hard pavement(with legs so sore the next day I could hardly walk). The next hour was with the policemen. About 2 and a half hours all together. But that's still better than the 13 hours overnight in Las Vegas. Lee sure knows where to wonder off -- never at simple little hometown, but Las Vegas or mid town Manhattan!

Margo, is that the place that you mentioned last year we checked out? I don't think so -- it was in a multi leveled townhouse, not just two floors?
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