I had a grand time in the Big Apple touristin’ around with Brenna and checking out my dad’s old haunts, etc.
Brenna and I got completely overwhelmed and overrun in Brooklyn during the Independence Day festivities, which was perhaps the most authentic NYC initiation I could hope for, fireworks be damned. We did have the pleasure of crossing the Brooklyn Bridge for some famous Brooklyn ice cream, and we also walked by the location of the building where my great-grandfather Niels Jensen lived and worked as a hotel “engineer” at the time of his death.
Brenna and I also had the honor of getting caught walking the “wrong way” in Central Park. The Met was amazing. The Empire State Building tour was hectic but worthwhile in some perversely inexplicable sense.
While Brenna was doing her ballet thing at ABT, I was wandering around on my lonesome. I managed to hit the Tenement Museum, Niels Jensen’s address in Hells Kitchen, the location of the old New York Chiropractic Institute (where my father started his career), Polo Grounds Towers—sacred to all SF Giants fans, the questionable neighborhoods around Yankee Stadium, and across the Bronx the New York Institute for the Blind and the nearby El stop, and even the old Chapman Estate in Mount Kisco. The current owner of the “Airlie” house (where grandpa worked for many years) was a very gracious host. I was very fortunate to run into such a charitable owner, to say nothing of her friendly dog. She also introduced me to a local couple with deep roots in the neighborhood with whom I had a pleasant and informative visit.
I was overjoyed to discover the gravestone of Niels Jensen in the Mount Kisco’s Oakwood Cemetery. Strangely, it is a rather large, well-preserved stone. How could grandpa have afforded such a nice stone for his father? Perhaps Mr. Chapman pitched in.
Working on Times Square in the old NY Times Building was quite an honor. I had a bit of fun there one evening when I got locked in the office and asked a janitor to help me escape. She kindly demonstrated that I was not locked in at all when she showed me how to press a big shiny button to open the doors to the elevator foyer. Hilariously embarrassing. What a bumpkin am I. I should have tipped her, I guess.