New York, New York - Round One

 

My dad and I arrived in New York to meet my mom late Thursday evening. We finally got a cab to our hotel in Times Square, dropped our bags and decided to walk around Times Square to find something to eat. We walked around a bit until just past 1am and finally settled on some mediocre pizza, a bit of a disappointment. 

In the morning, we went by Rockefeller Center and obviously had to stop and peek in the Michael Kors store while we were there. Eventually, we got panini’s to-go from a bodega and sat at the edge of the park enjoying our lunch in the sun and people watching. People watching is one of my favorite ways to kill time. I love coming up with theoretical story lines for everyone I see. I’ve definitely missed portions of sporting events and concerts and spent hours at ice cream shops with friends making up new life stories for all the passers-by.  If you know me at all or have read any of my previous blog posts, you know about my obsessive love for all animals. I felt so bad for the horses pulling carriages around the park all day, doesn’t seem like a fun life for a horse!

 

We finished up our lunch and headed to a bike rental shop that my mom and I have rented bikes from every time we’ve visited NYC.  We got the bikes for three hours and set off into the park. We biked down the mall and I stopped to listen to an older gentleman playing the sax. Live music is also one of my very favorite things, right up there with people watching. This man reminded me of when my friend Nina and I went to Dazzle jazz club back home in Denver for a concert for class and surprisingly loved it. It also reminded me of all the live music and street performers I saw in Europe, particularly in Dublin and Prague. Two guys at The Temple Bar in Dublin performed the most incredible cover of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” and a street performer at the John Lennon wall in Prague played all my favorite Beatles songs.

We continued down the mall to the fountain at the end, locked up the bikes and strolled around for a bit. There were three different brides having pictures taken both on the stairs and near the fountain, each with a fabulous dress. 

Two boys around high school age set up near the fountain with a guitar and a cajón (a hollow box with a hole used as a percussion instrument) began to play “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes and were surprisingly good! I sat down and listened to them play a few songs and was reminded again how much I love live music. 

We continued around the park to Strawberry Fields and snapped a few photos with the Imagine mosaic on the ground. Of course there was a guy playing John Lennon and Beatles songs nearby. Have I mentioned I love live music? Or the Beatles?

After spending the afternoon in the park we headed back towards midtown and Times Square to get dinner. We settled on a bar and grill type place across the street from our hotel and had a great steak!

A few of my friends from college live and work in Manhattan now so I went to go meet up with them for a drink after dinner with my parents. My friends Corinne, Steph, and Julia were all in my sorority at CU and Corinne introduced us to her friend Amalia who also went to CU and moved out to NYC recently. We went to a wine bar in the Hell’s Kitchen area called Aria. After waiting about 45 minutes for a table for 5, we were told that it was still dinner time and we couldn’t sit if we just wanted to order drinks. Our waitress was very angry about this and mad at the hostess as well.  She said people were waiting for tables and it was dinner time, but as far as we could see no one was waiting… We said we waited 45 minutes for our table and it was nearly 9pm so asked if we could just order a few appetizers. After some convincing, we finally just ordered a few meats and cheeses with our wine and our waitress told us we would have to be fast so she could turn the table.  When we finished paying our bill, our waitress promptly told us that it was time to go. Needless to say, we probably won’t go back there anytime soon.

We made our way to a bar called Penny Farthing and had a blast singing and dancing along to great music which included some T-Swift hits. 

The next day we got up and made our way down to the 9/11 memorial. The previous night my friends all said that going into the museum at the memorial was a must-do. I’ve been to the memorial a few times but have never actually gone into the museum. When we finally made our way down to the memorial, we realized that we probably didn’t have enough time to hit both the museum and the Statue of Liberty. My mom and I have both done the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour before, but my dad had never been to New York so we had to make sure he saw it all too. 

After some deliberation about if we really waited to wait in the long ferry line, we decided to go and jumped on the boat.

After nearly freezing our faces off on the ferry on the way back, we headed up north toward Wall Street and the financial district. We stopped at the bull, which everyone and their mother needed a selfie with.

We continued up north and decided to go to Chinatown and Little Italy to find dinner. As we were walking we saw a very small film crew filming a few takes of a guy walking down the street. The camera man looked incredibly familiar but what are the chances of seeing someone you know in Manhattan like that. I watched him as they recorded a few more takes before approaching him. I prefaced my introduction with “This might be really weird but did you work for Bravo! Vail this summer?” He did recognize me! Zach was one of the videographers I worked with this summer for my job at Bravo! Vail. I became fast friends with the interns this summer and we all hung out with the videographers a few times. The older I get and more I travel and meet new people, the more I realize how small the world is!

We walked through a few blocks of Chinatown and my dad loved the fruit and fish markets. We continued on into Little Italy and settled on a restaurant. It took a while for us all to agree on somewhere to go. Shortly after sitting down, the song “Can't Help Falling in Love” (my parents' wedding song) began to play, followed by “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong (my dad calls it his song for me) so we realized that we were meant to end up in this restaurant over the six others we argued about going to ten minutes prior. We had an antipasta plate of delicious meats and cheeses. My mom got pesto gnocchi, my dad went with spaghetti and meatballs, and I got spaghetti carbonara. Mine was by far the best of the three and was incredible! Finally, we ended with my favorite dessert of all time, tiramisu. 

My mom and I share a love for Broadway plays and musicals so always try to catch a show when we are in town. This time she’d got tickets to see An American in Paris. I knew nothing about the story line going into the show and would say it was not one of my favorite musicals. The story line seemed weird to me, I didn’t love any of the song or dance numbers, and didn’t think the actors were great. The woman who played the lead was very talented and a great dancer as well, but I wasn’t terribly impressed by any of the other actors. 

In the morning, after packing up our suitcases and checking them in the hotel lobby, we went to go buy some macarons to take home. My mom loves macarons and has a favorite macaron store in Manhattan, Macaron Café. The store was near Grand Central Station, and for as many times as I’ve been to New York I’ve never been inside Grand Central. We walked through the terminal then I got some coffee and a muffin for breakfast, followed by a bit of people watching.

Back to the hotel to grab our bags and off the airport. Back to Denver.

BRB NYC – I’ll be back in two short days!