The Big Apple.Fourth August Blog Way, way back in 1964′ I was staying with friends in Canada. My friend and a friend she worked with had decided they wanted to take me on a trip to New York. At the last minute, they could not get the time off work. So it was decided we would still go, but just over the weekend. After they had driven from work and had something to eat, we packed the car and set off. We had to drive to Niagara first, planning to cross the Rainbow Bridge and on into America. Passports were checked before we drove over the bridge. My birthday was due and the Border Guards were very friendly when they saw the date on my passport. From then on, it was a non-stop drive down through the Catskill Mountains to reach The Hudson River ready to drive across one of the bridges into the Big Apple. It was a 600 mile journey. The friend drove all the way. Now, it was dark, we were driving through the night. My friend wnted to pass water. There was no stopping! She found a white paper cup and pee’d into it, a bit at a time. We were laughing. Her friend asked ‘how can you stop and start like that?’ The cup was emptied through the window which was wound back up after each throw. It was so funny. Now this time, I wanted to go. I tried this method myself, but no such luck. (It was not until I became pregnant a few years later, that I was able to pull off this trick, if need arose, a least, i could stop and start then). Finally we arived at a service station just the Jersey side of the bridge into New York. The place was packed but relief eventually was mine. We stopped a bit further on and my friends took a bit of sleep in the car. I was suffering from a bad chest infection and could not rest as breathing was hard for me. After about an hour, the girls woke and we continued across the bridge (sorry, I do not remember which bridge it was)’ and drove through parts of New York and into Manhattan. After a bit, we found a hotel and booked an apartment on the twelfth floor. It was stifling hot, such humidity, and we had windows open to catch a bit of air. We went shopping in Macys and other stores. Came back and ate, then rested. In the evening, my friends went swimming in the hotel underground pool. I was feeing pretty ill from the very bad chest infection and the humidity was bad. In my case, I cannot swim, so it would have been pointless my going down with them. I sat at the window and caught what breeze I could. In the distance, the Empire State Building loomed. But that was as close as we came to seeing it, not enough time. Around ten p.m., we set off to Greenwich Village by underground. ( I forget what it is called over there). We found a large bar called something like The Red Barn. It had an ‘Ump pa pa’ band, we drank from huge Steins, a very pale, light frothy beer. It was fun. Everyone drinking, clinking the steins and singing along with the band. New York was crowded. We were lucky to get an appartment room. You see, that year, that weekend, was The Worlds Fair. Everywhere was chocker block. So, of course, The Red Barn became packed as the night wore on. I cannot recall exactly when we left, somewhere atound 4 a.m., but leave we had to, we to get back to the hotel. There were around 8 to 10 police,with guns, on every corner. A strange sight for an English woman. We ended up at the hotel around 6 or 7 a.m., got a bit of sleep, then headed to Times Square for some food. Times Square on a Sunday morning was covered in litter (from the theatre goers) . We found a diner and the waitress was Scots, of all things. We left the Big Apple around 10 a.m.. The car was in a bit of trouble. We found a garage and got the problem sorted, then dove oit of New York,mheading north. We had 600 miles and a border crossing to get into Canada, then from Buffalo, we drove back to Toronto. The girls had to go to work the next day, Monday. That drive was very scary. Traffic was moving at over 90 MPH, and people were lane-hopping all the way along. But we finally got back to Toronto and my friends’ apartment. A trip fo me down memory lane. Be good kind people, Evelyn

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