I go to Paris, I go to London, I go to Rome, and I always say “There’s no place like New York.” Robert DeNiro

The Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, Gotham. However you refer to it, it’s my favorite city in the world. It’s like a gift I get to open each and every visit. You never know what you’re going to discover. One of the best things about living in Wilkes Barre is its close proximity to New York City.

When Mr. Smith moved to Wilkes Barre for the first time in 2007, he discovered Isabella’s, a lovely restaurant/bar on his route from work to home. When I joined him in 2008, we were frequent customers, getting to know the staff and owner. In fact, it was the owner who told me about the “Shopper’s Special” bus I could take into NYC. My $30 ticket would whisk me in to the city in the morning and deliver back that night. I was suddenly a much happier citizen of Pennsylvania!

And now my sister Jeanne is here visiting from Michigan. I picked her up at the Scranton/Wilkes Barre International Airport on Thursday and we stopped at Isabella’s for lunch on our way home. There sitting at the bar was the owner! He waived at me but as I’ve been away for five years, I asked if he remembered me. He very smoothly replied “Your face is familiar.” I reintroduced myself and reminded him he was the one who turned me onto the convenient Shopper’s Special.

Even better than the Shopper’s Special, is the Mr. Smith Express. Yesterday Mr. Smith drove Jeanne and me into the city for the night. We are celebrating her birthday! Although we have a couple of things planned, we are always open to the unexpected.

As we eat and drink our way through New York, I’m grateful that the treasures of the city are close enough for an exciting weekend. Next Sunday’s post of New York pics and tips will hopefully tempt you to plan your own adventure.

C’est la vie.

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