For more than a year, my daughter and I have been planning a week's getaway to New York to celebrate her fortieth birthday. As I am wont to do, I have looked at rentals and neighbourhoods to find the best possible situation. Our Canadian dollar has dropped in value considerably so a Manhattan hotel was not in the cards this year.
During previous trips to New York, I have stayed in older hotels near Times Square. The hustle-bustle, proximity to theatres, sights and lights hold an allure for us but we had decided to stay in Jersey City where we could rent an apartment with a kitchen, a gym, and a swimming pool for less money! It seemed ideal...Until 12 hours before we were boarding the plane, I received an e-mail from Booking.com that the apartment for which I had already paid more than $2000 Canadian was unavailable!!! How could that be?
Booking.com offered me another hotel (no kitchen, no gym, no pool) in Brooklyn for the same price but I still needed to get back my money from the first rental or non rental! It was 10:00 pm Sunday night in New York so I really was in no position to quibble. The 24 hour Canadian phone number for Booking.com is out of service anyway.
A really sleepless night! Note my overuse of exclamation marks. I had to cancel my Airport Shuttle and find a way to get from Newark, New Jersey to Brooklyn in rush hour. We required a town car as there really is no simple way. Our driver was not familiar with the route so at one point, he left us in the car, stopped in the road and enquired somewhere (I don't understand).
After 24 hours of extreme uncertainty, my daughter and I arrived in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn.
Life does not always turn out as we plan. On Sunday, our minister talked about the futility of worrying..It was the lilies of the field sermon. As it happens, Sunset Park is more than 50% hispanic
|Sunset Park brownstone|
I love to be where another language is spoken, where there are mama y papa vegetable stores, Mexican delis and bodegas. Last night, I convinced Daughter to try an Ecuadorean restaurant, El Tesoro Ecuadoriano. I love to try different foods but my daughter is a little more wary. I had a cazuela de mariscos, (fish stew with a tomato broth thickened with plantains)which was delicious. My daughter has decided that we need to go back another night.
|Sunset park was Brooklyn's first park|
Today we wandered down our own (Brooklyn's) Fifth Avenue with its food smells, its dark-eyed mothers and babies, its windows filled with religious ornaments, hula hoops, phone cards for Central America and $3.00 hoodies. So different from its counterpart on the other side of the river!
|Tomorrow is Mexican Independence Day|
adventure, we would have missed a really interesting and affordable neighbourhood.