I bought my flight to Europe and back with frequent flier miles, but any return that I tried to book had horrible connections and timing. Most had me arriving in New York after 10:00 p.m. and continuing on to Tucson by 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Those would be either some really awful hours spent in JFK airport overnight or the most expensive hotel night per hour I would have ever spent. So I found it was more reasonable to book my frequent flier return to end in New York and simply buy a completely separate flight back to Tucson. And if I’m going to stay in New York where I have several friends and can stay for free in my friend Doug’s apartment, I might as well spend a few days. So that’s what I did.
He took me on a walking tour of his neighborhood, which I had never seen. It is actually a very livable place.
I also met up with my friend Olaf in Manhattan for a drink on his roof as well as a nice dinner afterward.
Marc, who had been with me in Arizona just a couple weeks earlier, was back home and joined me one day for some touring of the city after I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first time. One of my target places was Kalustyan’s Market, which had more international spice mixes and other foods than any place I’ve ever been. I bought one each of the six different kinds of za’atar they had.
On another day Marc also joined me and Doug for a day’s birding and natural historying in upstate New York. We saw the famous Henslow’s Sparrow on territory at Shawungunk.
I don’t remember all the other places we went, but I do remember we saw Golden-winged Warbler and Cerulean Warbler in one spot, as well as Louisiana Waterthrush and Acadian Flycatcher in another. I got preoccupied with flowers, butterflies, and other critters in the verdant places we visited.