Back in Florida, some RV neighbors recommended the Liberty Harbor Marina and RV Campground for our future visit to New York. This park is located in Jersey City, just across from New York, and close to the train, ferry and the Holland Tunnel.
Hector predicted that it would be a parking lot type of campground. Also that the location would be hard to beat, especially since he didn’t want to have to drive the RV through any portion of New York City to get to a campground.
And all of his predictions were accurate. The place was ugly, basically a gravel parking lot. When I took Angel out for her first walk here, I found only tiny patches of grass by the fence, and they were full of construction debris. Ugh! I was tempted to leave.
But we stayed put and that evening we heard what sounded like fireworks. Hector and I ran out to check it out. And there in front of us was an elaborate fireworks show illuminating the Statue of Liberty. It was, after all, the week before Memorial Day. A bit of redemption for the campground.
And the next day, Hector found a path outside of the park by the marina that had nice grassy patches on each side, which was great for walking Angel. Much better.
New York was the city I first came to from Puerto Rico, and I have many childhood memories of my four years here. I love the City, and was very excited to be back.
But the weather on our first days here was not cooperating. Friday and Saturday were both very rainy and cool. Not really fun to walk around the city in a hard rain. So, on Friday, we took a quick driving tour of the city. And, on Saturday, we stayed in our warm RV in the morning and then went out for a matinee movie.
On Sunday (happily a sunny, though still cool day), we drove out to my nephew’s house in Long Island for a barbecue. It was a great family reunion including my nephew, Ivan, his wife, Donna and two sons, Joey and Ryan, my niece, Nivea, her husband, Chris, son, Jake, daughter, Jessica and my sister-in-law, Cielo. What a wonderful family I have.
My dad had given the ring to my brother, my mother’s eldest child, when she passed away, and my brother gave the ring to his wife. After my brother passed away, my sister-in-law decided to give the ring to me. This special gift was totally unexpected, and means so much to me since it’s the only thing that I have that belonged to my mother. Such a meaningful gesture, one I’ll never forget.
The next day, we visited a couple of Hector’s friends, Don and Linda, in New Jersey. As we drove to their home, Hector recalled how many times he’d driven this same road on business to his company’s headquarters.
We spent the next two days in New York City. I’d made an appointment at Devachan, a salon owned by one of the curly hair gurus in the U.S. This was an expensive place, but I’d been saving money by having Hector trim my hair (he got a lesson from my hairdresser in Denver). And yes, sometimes you get what you pay for, nurturing service and a great cut.
Afterwards, we had lunch in Little Italy and walked around a bit but the rain persisted and we took the subway back home.
The next day, we visited my beautiful friend, Ann-Gel, in Spanish Harlem, where she works. Ann-Gel gave us a tour of the Barrio, which has fabulous murals featuring various political and community themes. There is a rich history of work to achieve social justice in this community. After our tour, we had lunch at La Fonda Boricua, a fabulous Puerto Rican restaurant. Ahhh, comfort food.
We walked around Grand Central Station, Bryant Park and Times Square. We wound up walking a total of 15 miles in these two days!
And of course, we enjoyed the variety of food offered both in Jersey City and New York. In just a few days we had Puerto Rican, Middle Eastern, and Italian food, including dinner at Becco, one of the restaurants owned by Lidia Bastianich, television chef and cookbook author.