You're either on the bus or off the bus. Tom Wolfe

This past Wednesday I was on the bus!  This trip I chose to leave directly from the bus terminal and not rely on the Curbside Pickup service (forever to be known as Curbside Driveby!).   My niece, Judy, who lives in Indiana was spending a week in Connecticut and had a free day to meet up in New York City. Who am I to say no???  We booked a couple tours and kept our fingers crossed for good weather.

I boarded the bus in Wilkes Barre before the sun was up and during the trip I watched the sky turn from violet to red to a beautiful blue.  By the time that oh so familiar skyline came into view, the sun was shining with the promise of a great day ahead.  The bus makes a couple of stops on the way into the city and I always marvel at the number of people who use it for their daily commute.   In addition to the commuters, there are folks like the group of four women who boarded in Scranton, heading in to take advantage of NYC restaurant week.  Then there’s the woman I shared a seat with over a decade ago who was on her way to Lackawanna County Prison in Scranton, PA to visit her incarcerated boyfriend.  Along the way she asked to borrow my compact so she could check her makeup before meeting him.  You have to look good for your man.

I met up with my beautiful niece at the lion-guarded New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue for our first tour of the day.  This is something that has long been on my bucket list and I was pumped!  We watched the Visitor’s Film before our guided tour of the three floors of this magnificent Beaux-Arts style building.  This amazing structure filled with marble, soaring arches and incredible artwork did not disappoint.  

The library took ten years to build and opened to the public in 1911. The research collections are unparalleled, including a map collection which includes over 10,000 maps of New York City alone.  Fun fact – During World War II, Allied military intelligence used their map division to research and prepare battle plans.  

After our library tour and a pass through the gift shop, we hot footed it over to the United Nations for our second tour.  Founded in 1945, the four pillars of the United Nations are:

  • Peace and Security
  • Human Rights
  • The Rule of Law
  • Development

Located on a strip of international territory on the east side of the island of Manhattan, this complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations since 1952.  The tour was exceptional and I felt humbled in these lofty corridors of international diplomacy and began to better appreciate the work of the UN. 

 I was not aware that in 2015 all the UN Member States adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone everywhere.”  The members hope to meet these goals by 2030.  Progress has been made, but more ambitious action is needed to deliver these goals on time.  To assist us all in helping achieve these goals, they have issued The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.

We walked the city, catching up on family news, until it was time for Judy to head back to Connecticut.  We parted ways at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.  She headed downtown and I walked up to Rockefeller Center for people watching and to peruse a couple of shops.  I ended my day in the city by stopping into Morrell Wine Bar overlooking Rockefeller Center for a glass of Sancerre and some delicious French fries.  Then it was back to Port Authority and back on the bus for a quiet ride home, wondering who my next travel companions might be.

C’est la vie.