Ghost Tour in My ‘Hood

The day I left for Poland, I convinced J to buy tickets for the UWS Ghost Walking Tour on Halloween because I love walking tours (I did, like, 8 in Poland) and especially ghost ones! On Halloween nonetheless.

We met at the “Ghostbusters” building at 55 Central Park West (you know, the one Sigourney Weaver lives in) and there was one other person there, as well as our tour guide, an older man wearing a cape and a black hat. He looked the part, for sure.

During the 90 minute tour, we weaved through the streets from 65th and Central Park West back to 72nd and Central Park West. First we took a detour along 69th Street between Central Park West and Amsterdam. The neighborhood association shuts down the street every year and goes really insane. It was quite the scene to walk through. There are some photos after the jump…

Back to the Ghost Tour: It was a ghost tour along with some history thrown in. We saw the Masonic Temple on West 73rd Street; we heard a story about a single woman who lived at 234 West 72nd Street and liked to pick up men at the bar across the street and once was killed by one of them in that apartment; we heard the history of the grand Ansonia. Our guide also pointed out that the first ever automobile accident was at the corner of 74th and Central Park West where someone was hit by a car while getting out of a horse-drawn carriage. Supposedly if you stand in the middle of the street, you’ll feel the hand of the man who was killed pulling you back towards the sidewalk. The townhouses on the north side of 73rd Street were designed by Henry Hardenberg, who designed The Dakota and later The Plaza. Our guide also pointed out the building where supposedly the first rock’n’roll song was ever recorded in this country (”Rock Around the Clock”) and it later became condos and home to Lady Gaga’s parents and later Lady Gaga. He said he likes to think the spirits of those musicians had something to do with her musical talents. 

We ended at my favorite building in New York City – The Dakota. If you’ve seen Rosemary’s Baby, you’ll recognize it. It’s the only movie that was ever permitted to film inside the building. I watched with envy as we stood outside, listening to ghost stories, and watching the occasional resident run inside. Edward Clarke, the original owner of the building who died two years before it was finished, still haunts the building, we were told. There’s also the ghost of John Lennon, of course. And the ghost of a crying woman who can occasionally be seen.

The tour was less informative than some other walking tours I’ve been on, but it was still the perfect way to spend a chilly Hallow’s Eve.

Movies, Marshmallows, and Moving

I had planned on going to my first yoga class in three (3!!) weeks on Friday afternoon until I received a notification that there was a fire in the building. Well, damn. Elliptical in my building’s gym it was. 

The rest of Friday night was spent eating a delicious meal at Cascabel and watching Rosemary’s Baby with my dude. He really liked Rosemary’s Baby and I didn’t find it scary at all – just more silly than anything else. I was also admittedly falling asleep through parts of it. I just appreciated that they lived in The Dakota. 

On Saturday we went for a nice run, followed by a long walk back up to my apartment, and brunch at The Ellington. We both had some things to take care of during the day (I cleaned out my closet and reorganized the storage underneath my bed – score!) but we reconvened at night and watched Catching Fire (because he’s a good sport) and made s’mores in the microwave. Seriously, it’s the best snack ever.

Sunday was spent brunching at The Penrose with my friend Ben and then finding this $1,250 rare breed of short haired Persian cat in a pet store on the UES. That cat is huge and it’s only 5 months old. I know you shouldn’t get pets from pet stores, but he was SO cute. Should I put together a GoFundMe to rescue it from the pet shop? We went into the UES Housing Works where I bought a dress for a 1920′s themed seance party that I’m going to later this month and I saw the above dress which looks shockingly like Glinda’s from Wicked. I have no idea how much it is, but if you’re looking for a Halloween costume, you should totally buy it.

I hit up a yoga class on the UES afterwards (never again – the teacher kept the room freezing the entire time which to me is a big no-no), went grocery shopping, and started going through my pictures from Scandinavia. More photos to come, don’t worry….

John, we miss you.

Today is the anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination in front of the Dakota. After an hour of protest at the Barclays Center, I stopped by Strawberry Fields to sing a few songs and send some love to where ever Joh is now. 

If John were around, I think he’d protesting with people in the street too. After all, he did write Power to the People. He just said it was a song that came too late.