In New York, everything smells like urine. But you hardly notice, because you're having so much fun! Michael and I hit Manhattan for four days, while Soph stayed home under the competent care of her grandparents. A few highlights from our travels...
Our primary modes of transportation were the subway and our own little feet (lots of walking). Some travelers are intimidated by the subway, but we love it! It helped that I navigated the system for a few months during my internship. Whenever we travel, we love to take public transportation like the locals. It is cheaper and more adventurous.
Ever watch "Night at the Museum" with Ben Stiller? Love that flick! We actually went to the American Museum of Natural History (that's a dino skeleton behind us). It was remarkable, spotless, and HUGE! We spent hours there, but it would take us days to cover everything. I kept thinking that if we ever had to move to NYC, I'd take my kids there like every day. I was in heaven at their horse exhibit! One of the highlights, fer freakin' shure.
The first night there, we were treated to a lovely meal at the iconic Tavern on the Green, a swanky restaurant within Central Park. Because the weather was perfection (the entire trip), we chose to eat on the patio outside the famous crystal room. This place has been featured in lots of movies and television shows, but frankly the only one I think I ever saw was a random episode of Nick and Jessica's "Newlyweds," in which they celebrated one of their (very few) anniversaries there.
Speaking of food, of course I had to hit Magnolia Bakery for their famed cupcakes (you know me and cupcakes...). I got two. I was bummed they were out of my fave red velvet, but this chocolate one...holy sheesh... it was indescribable cocoa delight. My tongue is tingling.
Last trip, we hit the Guggenheim museum on the one day of the week that it closes (note to travelers: every Thursday). This time, we made it in but were totally disappointed that most of their permanent exhibits were closed and the main spiral of the museum (see photo) featured this totally wacked out artist. She did mixed medium work that resembled poo, male genitalia, and rabbit entrails. Not kidding. The audio tour sounded like repeat..."this piece represents so-and-so's struggles with her oppresive male father." What was so entertaining was watching and listening to all the sheep, er, people trying to impress each other with "oooh, isn't the phenomenal?" and "wow, how insightful and powerful and expressive." All a bunch of poo, if you ask me.
I love the street fairs in NYC when the weather is good...city blocks barricaded for vendors to sell random fried cultural food and cheap pashmina shawls. Michael didn't see the magic...
We actually packed quite a lot of adventure into those four days. More fun:
- Two Broadway shows: Wicked, which pretty much lived up to the adulation (I sniffled during "Changed for Good") and Mary Poppins, which was very cute.
- Dinner at Sylvia's soul food restaurant in Harlem. Ribs and fried chicken with waffles... mmm.
- Shopping at Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue and the Abercrombie flagship and H&M.
- The Roosevelt Island Tram is a cable system, much like a ski resort tram, that chugs over the river. A really fun, off-the-beaten path way to see the city from the sky. Plus, it is part of the Metro system, so we used our subway passes to cross... way cheap.
- Twice, we went on late-night runs to Roxy's deli in Times Square. Once, for banana caramel cheesecake with a mammoth pastrami sandwich and another time, for cherry chocolate cheesecake. We'd take our yummies back to the hotel for a fun snack.
- I particularly enjoyed an hour of downtime and people watching in Bryant Park.
- Oh yeah, for the first time ever, we went to the top of the Empire State Building. The line is usually about four hours long so we've never done it. We hit the ESB at about 10pm, and there wasn't much wait at all. We basically got to the top, snapped a pic or two, then headed down. No big whoop.
- My only other disappointment (besides the poo art) was church...or lack thereof. We got up and got ready, I researched meeting times the night before online. But when we showed up, we joined several other Mormon out-of-towners in staring at the locked front door of the building. A note said the meetinghouse, on the third floor of the temple, was closed for renovation. We didn't have time to find their alternate location so instead, we went for a special brunch at my favorite NYC restaurant, Isabella's.
- Star Sightings: Anthony Bourdain (google him) chasing his toddler down the sidewalk as we tried these funky Japanese pastries (he'd be so proud) and Marla Maples (again, google) eating on the patio of aforementioned Isabella's.