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A New York City night out on the town.

It’s been a rather tough week for me.  Sometimes I can forget that I am a widow and just go through the motions of each day.  This week started out differently when I decided to share a petition to re-investigate my husband’s murder on social media.

Before I shared my letter to law makers, I finally viewed the video of the night where the 2 men killed my husband.  I had put off ever looking at it.  I refused to be interviewed because it was too upsetting.  But last weekend I felt ready.  Then I felt sick.  It is all so wrong. The night my husband died is still such a sore wound.

I have spent 2 years trying hard to focus on the positives in my life.  Meeting challenges and adventures with an open heart. People have stopped mentioning Mike to me and are happy that I am moving forward.  So this week was different.  As more and more people read the letter and viewed the interview with video footage, people expressed outrage that I still do not have answers about why no one was arrested in my husband’s homicide.

And I started playing that night over and over again in my head.

I am doing what I can to fight for justice for Mike.  I think he is proud of me not giving up but would not want me to be depressed and sit alone being angry.  So to humor him, I went out on the town this weekend.  It was the type of night he would have loved.

I took the train from my home the one hour trip to Manhattan.  I walked along the chilly streets and and then ducked into the first floor of Macy’s on 34th street.  It was a winter wonderland of lights and moving owls.  Music was blaring and people were smiling and enjoying the beginning of the holiday season. I stopped to look at new bags but didn’t buy anything, this time.  I chatted with sales people about the sudden change in weather.

Macy's New York City

Macy’s New York City

Macy's New York City Christmas

Macy’s New York City

Lord and Taylors Christmas Window

Lord and Taylors

Lord and Taylor Christmas windows

Lord and Taylor windows

Next I met a friend who gave me a tour of Grand Central Station.  We stopped into The Campbell Bar which is tucked away in a discreet corner of the Grand Central Terminal. This apartment was once the office of railroad tycoon John W. Campbell in the 1920s.  It later served as a jail and now a bar. The intricately wood carved ceiling and loft space truly bring you back in time.  Cocktails cost about $19.00 each, oh, but the atmosphere!

Campbell Bar in Grand Central Station

The Campbell Bar in Grand Central Station

Campbell Bar in Grand Central Statoin

Campbell Bar in Grand Central Station

Next we walked over to Rockefeller Center to see the ice skaters.  The giant Christmas Tree is en route and was not there yet but will be soon, and so will the crowds! We walked around the building hoping to get a glimpse of the animals entering the side door for the Christmas Spectacular show at Radio City Music Hall.  Each show ends with a nativity scene featuring live animals such as camels, donkeys and sheep.  It was opening night but we must have missed the entrance of the animals.

Rockefeller Center at Christmas

Rockefeller Center

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall

Next stop was the beautifully restored and sparkling St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  We lit candles for loved ones and toured the many stunning displays along the sides of the church.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral, New York City

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City

Saint Patrick's Cathedral New York City

After building up an appetite we headed back to the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant.  What a relic this over 100 year old establishment is.  There are several places to eat in the Oyster Bar but we felt we would enjoy sitting at the bar and watching the man prepare soup in the steam kettles.  Wow, what a show.

So the waitstaff I believe is part of a union here in New York.  Many of the characters have been employed for 30 or more years in this spot.  After we sat down, it took several minutes before we were acknowledged by a busy man slamming down 2 small water glasses filled with tap water.  We asked for 2 glasses of wine and were given barely a glance and no response.  Five minutes later the wine showed up in short stocky glasses and we placed our order for Manhattan clam chowder, Oysters Rockefeller and assorted Oysters (they have an extensive menu of oysters from all over so you order an assortment of west and east coast oysters and get what you get). When a young couple sat down next to us, he asked them if they were going to order food.  They said no and he sent them on their way.

It was about the time that our first course arrived that we noticed the crazy soup man.  His eyes were bugging out of his head and every few minutes he started to have a conversation and yell at someone.  We looked down the bar and noticed no one was engaging with him.  This behavior continued throughout our meal, harmless I guess. When we mentioned it to our waiter, he even got a bit crazy and shared stories of other waiters who yell at customers who only tip 15 percent.  I guess that was our warning.  Overall the food was fresh and tasty and the experience awesome.

Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant - Crazy soup man

Crazy soup man by steam kettles

Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller

We left Grand Central Station and headed south with no particular direction.  We stumbled across Pierpont Morgan’s Library and Museum on Madison and 36th Street.  The $20 admission is waived on Friday evenings.  The cafe serves drinks and live music is played in the lobby area.  The library displays his extensive collection of rare books, drawings and ancient artifacts.  I loved the jeweled book covers like this 8th century Gospel cover from the Medieval Treasures of book bindings.

For the next 2 months you can view the Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas exhibition which marks the 150th anniversary of Dickens’s famous reading tour around the United States. The Library displays all five of Dickens’s Christmas books including A Christmas Carol one of the most beloved holiday stories of all time.  Love the message and sketch at the end.  “This boy is Ignorance.  This girl is Want.  Beware them both”.

Pierpont Morgan Library

Pierpont Morgan Library

Pierpont Morgan Library - Tapestry

Tapestry above fireplace

Pierpont Morgan Library jeweled Gospel

Jeweled Gospel cover from 8th century

Pierpont Morgan Library

Late 1600s hornbook used by children to learn to read.

Pierpont Morgan Library Christmas Carol

Page from “A Christmas Carol”

It was an exhausting week but I am glad that I got out of bed and ventured into another adventure.  Just because life throws us curve balls, don’t stop living.  It’s sometimes hard but can be fun to get out.  Once I walked into Macy’s the energy and light of the season took over and I had a wonderful night.  Meeting the handsome man who was my dinner date and companion for the evening made the whole event magical.

Whether you visit New York City for a girls yoga weekend  or simply a fun trip on your own to the Bronx zoo like I did last year, it is worth it to get out and engage in life.  Wishing you a week full of great adventures.

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At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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32 Responses

  1. amomsnewpath says:

    This was a wonderful read. I felt like an armchair traveler. I’m
    Going tomorrow to nyc for the day for work and I now will make a point to stop at macy’s

  2. MH Sidor says:

    Kristin, What a fun adventure! Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry it’s been such a difficult week. My heart aches for everything you’ve been through and I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for you to watch that video. I’m just so sorry, but I’m also glad to see the outpouring of support for you and for justice for Mike with your petition. Mike was such a class act, so smart, a devoted husband and a proud father. No doubt he’s with you on every adventure and smiling all the way. Your grace and courage is an inspiration. Love, Melissa

  3. My heart is with you – thank you for sharing your NYC trip.

  4. Addie says:

    What a night, I’m exhausted just reading about it…but sure sounds like you needed it after a very rough week.

  5. Vox says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Sorry for your loss. I am glad you are able to still find joy in your life. ❤️

  6. Anastasia says:

    This was a wonderful read. I felt like an armchair traveler. I’d love to go to NYC and really brought it to life with sights feeling and smell amazing. My sincere condolences on the untimely loss of your husband

  7. liz says:

    I am inspired by your strength. I have no doubt Mike is watching over you and smiling as he sees you are moving on, having fun while still seeking justice. You are going to get through this…

  8. sarakimmerle says:

    What a wonderful post. I am going to NYC in December and now plan to check out the Pierpont Library. So thanks for your beautiful description and photos. But most of all thanks for showing the way to those of us who are battered and bruised from this life called widowhood. I admire you so much. You are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  9. Wow! You really have been through a lot but it’s good that you are getting out and having some fun after such a tragedy

  10. Wonderful and well-written. its good you are happy and having a nice time and moving forward.

  11. Leslie says:

    Kristen, l am so glad you took the time to treat yourself right and the night turned out so beautifully!! XOXXO

  12. joleisa says:

    I loved reading this but it was still oh so bittersweet. I’m in midlife too, so I understand so much of the emotions. I don’t know anything about Mike’s case (I live in England) but I often watch cold cases on tv. Nowadays I see a lot where someone reaches out to lawyers or investigators in training and ask them to reinvestigate the case. Might be worth a shot. I visited Macy’s and Grand Central for the first time about 3 years or so ago too. They really do know how to attract the crowds! The atmosphere is always amazing. Anyway, I’m glad you took some time out for you. Continue to love and live your life. Your blog is amazing!

  13. Juliann Madden says:

    I love you and your blogs! Stop looking backward…forward Pete! He’s a great guy! Write bigger and better; you are good at it! The future is just waiting,
    You know I’m your biggest fan! ❤️Juliann

    • runawaywidow says:

      Thank you sweetheart! And we have many more fun adventures ahead of us both too!

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