Sabbatical Day 29: Three weeks in Hospital

The day started with me sleeping almost to 8ish. This is an improvement as I am now getting more sleep and not collapsing in the daybed at the end of each day here in NYC. I have the window open, so I can hear the chimes and all the city noise. At night, I like to listen to the sounds of a city I visit. It is strange how loud NYC is in the Upper West Side near 104 by Amsterdam.

I was a bit lazy and did not do anything but get dressed and head out. Banana for breakfast with instant Maxwell House is my new start every morning. I before was having more of an eastern-styled breakfast with olives and sausage and bread with hummus. Now, I just want a few simple items.

I was at Mount Sinia West right on time (10ish) after riding a half-empty but busy 1 train. It is Saturday, and it has been cold and rainy. Not as many people are headed for NYC in the morning. Susie has a rest day; no therapy today. She is still in bed and trying to find something to watch.

The stroke was about three weeks ago. This is our third Saturday at Mount Sinai West.

It is 30Oct2021, and the main items on the cable supplied are home shopping opportunities and dismemberment. Every possible horror and Halloween movie, cartoon, or episode with a horror or Halloween theme is now playing on cable. Susie was not amused.

I put the Vampire movie with all the young sexy folks falling in love as I remember liking the film and the first book in the series (I also remember never reading any more after the second book–terrible). Susie was Ok with that.

I stopped by the Greek Kitchen and tried a new item on the menu, little beef patties. While excellent, the lamb is better. I had a light dinner the night before and just a banana for breakfast, and thus this called for a nice plate at Greek Kitchen. I am spoiled by their quality and interesting time of sitting on 10th and 58th and watching NYC folks go by. I will miss Greek Kitchen when I am home (which, with luck, should be Friday).

Susie had lunch and then napped for a bit–it was her day off. So I headed out at 3ish to meet with Kat. We meet in the Roosevelt Garden in front of the hospital; it is all that is left of the original name of the hospital, Roosevelt.

We headed to Columbus Circle, and I discussed with Kat, and we changed our direction to downtown. We also discussed movie options. Ghost Busters is back in theaters for Halloween and playing in Times Square. Kat has not seen it (but had to model the Stay Puff monster in one of her animation classes).

So we pop down to Houston Street Station on the 1 Train and find the crowds. Folks are just getting started on Halloween Eve. There are folks dressed in costumes or fine clothing with a hint of darkness for more formal events.

A few blocks, and we find a shop that has seen better days, Chess Forum. The paint is peeling, there is moss on the sign, the wood here and there turning to dry rot, but the store is packed. All the tables outside are engaged in chess. The narrow, dusty, and almost Harry Potter-like shop is stuffed full of people, and there are more chess tables in the back with more games in play. Chess sets are everywhere for sale, and some are old.

I look around a few times. I ask if they have a Soviet set for sale. “Only the single color version,” says the guy at the desk with a knowing look. I decline to see it. He approves of my choice. We look at a few books. He picks out his fav beginner book after I tell him I am not rated. I buy it as I always try to buy something in a gaming store (support your local store!). It is translated from Russian, My System: 21st Century Edition. And the first chess book in a long time in larger print! Perfect!

Kat and I circle on our navigation, so easy to do with iPhones, but finally, reach The Uncommon a few blocks from Chess Forum. It is busy and confusing at first. The Uncommon is a place to rent a table and play games, they have a huge collection that you just take, play, and put back.

I ask about getting a reserved table and then purchase a nice table for two for three hours ($10 each). Kat is surprised that we bought space, but I have been to many gaming places before. They also climb up, get on top of a bench, and balance and tease out of their stacks of games the Istanbul board game for me. It is an old well-played box under five other boxes.

Kat orders some food. I set up and teach her Istanbul. This game is more experience than a teach. So I play it with her and get most of the rules right. We fixed one mistake, and play continues. Kat watches as I make very efficient moves and learns how to play. I won by a significant margin. She was ready for the next game. She won by one gem (I was so close).

In Istanbul, the board game, you have resources to collect and then use them to get gems by buying them, exchanging for them, or increasing your capabilities and earning a gem (up to three). Six gems ends the game with a win (five for more than two players). Your moves are constrained by a unique process that is too hard to describe in writing but easy to lean on the board. Thus, you are simulating running around the markets in Istanbul, collecting resources, trading, buying, and investing. It is a race. It is a fav for me as it plays fast once you get it down, and everything you do is essential. In most games, you are only a move or two away from winning when someone else pulls that last gem.

We played two games, and Kat got a taco. We then thanked our hosts. It was a nice place but a bit packed for a pandemic (vax status must be proved to be inside). While I taught Kay Istanbul and played two games, and Kat ate a taco, another group was still trying to learn Fall of Rome, Pandemic. This suggests that maybe that version of the Pandemic series is not needed in my collection.

We need more fuel. We headed back to the direction we came and found a pizza joint and just ordered pizza. The pizza place had Amstel Light Beer, so I had one of those (I only see this on the East Coast as on the West I would just have a lighter local craft beer). My first ever NYC pizza was perfect with the famous gooey cheese and meat and veggies. Even with the earlier taco, Kat and I downed all but two pieces.

A heater caused the red coloring.

And then we got lost. We had spent a bit more time than we should have enjoying NYC pizza and needed to quickly find and travel the 1, 2, or 3 train back to Times Square. We could not find the Uptown entrance for the trains! We must have walked by the subway entrance without seeing it. Kat called an Uber, and then in the car, we ordered tickets, only $13 for two, and still had to jump out and hoof-it to the AMC. The pre-Halloween parties (and traffic) had descended on NYC. Folks were either in tight formalish wear or costume or both.

We managed to make the movie, after a seemly endless number of escalators. We enjoyed the film, and there were a lot of laughs, even for such an old and often inappropriate movie.

I headed back, limping from one blister, and Kat joined me for a one-stop ride to get closer to the Kat Lair on the 1 train. I got off at 104th a few stops later and was home about 11ish.

Again, I hope you enjoy the stories. We had a very fun day doing many things.

2 thoughts on “Sabbatical Day 29: Three weeks in Hospital”

  1. Hi Michael – good to see you had a nice day in Big Apple… fun fact… For some reason the name “Chess forum” sounded were familar to me and I had too look it up… and yes.. about 12 years ago I had a Hotel “The Marlton Hotel” which was on the other site of the Washington square park… and I remembered that flag when I took some walk in the evening… nice memories coming up šŸ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s