RIDING THE D TRAIN

I often take this train that goes from 205th Street in the Bronx, through Manhattan , and finally all the way to Brooklyn in Coney Island.

It is one of the most widely used trains on the New York City subway system.

Today, I’m taking this train from the Rockefeller Center Station at 47-50 Streets all the way up to the Bronx.

My stop is going to be 161st Street and River Avenue , now known as Rivera Avenue after former New York Yankees star, Mariano Rivera , to Yankee Stadium .

There is another Yankees game going on, so the station and train is more crowded than it usually is .

This train is an express train, which means that it skips many stops, mostly in Manhattan .

After it gets to 59th Street at the Columbus Circle station, it goes express and doesn’t stop until the train reaches 125th Street in Harlem.

The train might be crowded and the seats are uncomfortable , but you will be using this train a lot if you come to New York City .

WALKING AROUND MONUMENT PARK

Monument Park is a park located in the New York City boro of The Bronx .

You won’t find this park located on the list of New York City parks, though.

However, it’s just as popular as Central Park, maybe even more popular .

Many people don’t know about this park, but many people do, and most of them aren’t from New York City .

It’s free to enter this park but there’s a catch.

To get to Monument Park, you have to have a ticket.

Not just any kind of ticket , a ticket to a baseball game .

Monument Park is located inside of Yankee Stadium, the home of one of the most famous baseball teams in North America, the New York Yankees .

It’s located right in the middle of center field.

If your 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City just happens to include a Yankees baseball game, I would advise you to get to Yankee Stadium early to not only watch the Yankees and their opponents take batting practice but to walk around Monument Park, which is designed in a circle,and look at all the plaques honoring former Yankee players .

If you happen to be a huge baseball fan, you’ll enjoy seeing the plaques and retired numbers of former Yankees greats like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig , and Joe DiMaggio, who most people know as being Marilyn Monroe’s ex husband.

Younger baseball fans will enjoy seeing the plaques and retired numbers of the Yankees players who are known as “The Core Five”, Andy Petitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera , and Derek Jeter.

Right in the middle of Monument Park, there is a huge plaque of the man that Yankee fans affectionately know as “The Boss”.

(Non Yankees fans know him by some other not too nice name, by the way.)

He is the late owner of the team, George Steinbrenner.

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Monument Park .

There are plaques commemorating the visits of Pope John Paul the Sixth and Nelson Mandela .

Like many major league baseball parks in the country , you’ll see a plaque with tge number 42 on it, which was the number worn by Jackie Robinson, who was the first player to intergrate major league baseball.

There is another plaque in Monument Park that stands apart from the other plaques.

Many people want to see this one just to pause and reflect.

They aren’t all baseball fans either.

It’s the plaque for 9-11 .

RIDING THE 4,5,AND NUMBER 6 TRAINS

No, I haven’t lost my mind.

The title of this blog post is correct.

I’m actually taking three subway trains.

I know what y’all must be thinking.

How can you take two trains in one day, let alone three?

New Yorkers have been doing this since the subways have been in existence .

This is basically part of our DNA.

It’s a little foreign to tourists and to those who don’t take the subways that often, if at all.

But to those of us who take the trains more times than we care to imagine, taking more than one train is as common as changing your underwear.

Officially, it’s known as transferring from one subway train to another.

Yeah, it’s basically changing trains as it were.

This is how I did it a few days ago.

I had to get to the Bowling Green train station .

I was no where near the station.

I took the number 6 train, which begins in The Bronx, goes through Manhattan and ends at the Brooklyn Bridge stop.

The number 6 train is a local train, which means it makes all stops from The Bronx all the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge Station.

However , it didn’t stop where I needed to get to.

What did I do?

I changed trains and took the number 5 train, which also begins in the Bronx, goes through Manhattan , and ends in Brooklyn.

The number 5 train stops at Bowling Green, where I met some friends, who live on Staten Island .

Being friends of the Sports Diva , I don’t need to tell you where we going, but I am anyway .

We were doing our own 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City, which meant going to a Yankees baseball game .

(The game got cancelled but that’s a story for another day.)

Coming back from the Bowling Green station, my friends and I had to get to Yankee Stadium .

The number 5 would get us to The Bronx, but not the part of the borough that we needed to get to.

Say hello to the third train that I had to take, the number 4.

Like the number 5 train, the number 4 train is an express train that also goes through Brooklyn, Manhattan and The Bronx.

Together, these three trains carry the most passengers on the New York City subway system.

If you happen to be on Lexington Avenue in New York City , you’ll be taking one of these trains, no matter where on the avenue you are.

By the end of your own 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City , you’ll be taking the subways a lot .

Maybe you’ll get to be an expert on this transferring thing just like a native New Yorker .

PICTURES FROM ANOTHER VISIT TO ROOSEVELT ISLAND

Last year, around this same time, I went to the area of Roosevelt Island that msny tourists and even some New Yorkers don’t even know about .

I went there with a relative for a barbecue and to enjoy the nice ,and not so hot for once, summer New York City day.

As usual , there was good food, the view of New York City from the Queens side and lots of dancing.

My auntie even got to do the “electric slide”, a dance that I DON’T even know how to do.

It was a wicked fun time as you’ll be able to see from the pictures.

By the end of the evening, the nice summery dress that I was wearing was full of barbecue, ice cream, and watermelon juice stains.

Yep, I was a walking advertisement for laundry detergent .

All in all I had a good time, even though I just know that I packed on a few pounds.

But that’s ok. Im on my way in a few days on a 30 Plus Teams Tour of somewhere, so those pounds will melt away.

COMING HOME ON A DELTA FLIGHT

My great 30 Plus Teams Tour of Las Vegas is over and I’m returning home to New York’s JFK .

I’m NOT a happy camper after a week in Las Vegas .

I used to work for Delta and fly them from time to time .

I had an idea of what their planes are like.

Or I thought I did.

At Las Vegas McCarron International Airport , you have to make sure that you have your boarding pass BEFORE you get on line.

If you have bags to check, pay before you get there, because they DON’T take cash.

There are machines in the airport where you can buy a card to pay for your checked baggage , but you pay $5 more for it.

The agent that checked me in told me a way to get around paying extra for a prepaid card and how to keep my money.

It’s called consolidation .

Put my handbag in one bag so that I only have a personal item and a carry on.

It worked as my carryon bag fit in the overhead bin and the personal item did fit under my seat, which had a blanket , still wrapped in plastic.

I relaxed on the flight even though as usual going through good old TSA, was always an adventure.

As I settled in my seat, I watched the safety feature.

I have to give Delta major props for having one of the most innovative safety videos .

Not only do they tell you what to do and what not to do, the flight attendants are all wearing Delta uniforms from all the years that Delta has been flying.

I don’t know who in Atlanta thought of this or how they found all of these uniforms, but it was brilliant , just saying .

I was able to take out my headphones and either watch tv, listen to music, track the flight, which I did quite often, or see a movie.

As I didn’t like any of the movies or music, I watched some tv.

Being the sports diva that I am , yes I did watch some of the shows on ESPN.

I can’t tell you about the beverages or food served on the flight, nor can I tell you if my flight had a lot of turbulence .

I have no idea on either.

After the takeoff, I settled into the middle seat and went to sleep.

I didn’t wake up until the flight was landing at JFK .

Yeah, I was THAT tired.

As much as I was unhappy about leaving Las Vegas , it was good to come home and just jump on my bed with my comfy pillow and my even comfy stuffed animals.

Thank you for getting me home safely , Delta .

HAPPY AND BLESSED TO BE ALIVE

Every morning when I wake up, I always say a prayer.

Most of it goes like this, “Happy moments Praise God, Difficult moments Seek God,Painful moments Trust God, Quiet moments Worship God, Every moment Thank God.”

I thank God every day for getting me up and seeing a new day but this particular day, I DEFINITELY have to thank God for getting the Sports Diva up and seeing a new day.

Six years ago after another 12 hour shift at the black car company in Queens, New York that I worked at, I went to bed and yes, said evening prayers before going to bed so that I could get up for my 8am shift.

Something was wrong though.

My left side was numb.

I didn’t think anything of it because that happens sometimes.

For some reason, I bit down on my tongue on the left side.

I COULDN’T FEEL IT!

I knew something was wrong.

I called my job and told them that I was on my way to the emergency room of Jamaica Hospital because I couldn’t feel my tongue, but I would let them know what was going on.

After awhile at the hospital , the doctor told me what was wrong with me.

I had suffered a mini stroke.

The ‘S’ word?

A Stroke? Mini or major? Me?

I couldn’t believe this.

To say that I was in denial would be an understatement .

Strokes happened to other people, not me.

Or so I thought.

I was 59 years old, this wasn’t supposed to be happening.

But it did. Asprin became my best friend as did a lot of reading to regain some of the memory lapses that I had.

I can say six years later, that, praise God, I am okay.

I watch what I eat and yes, I’m happy and very blessed to be alive and as long as the good Lord allows it, I’m able to go on those 30 Plus Teams Tours.