Monday, April 30, 2012

New York Day Three & Church on Sunday

TKTS in Time Square sells 1/2 price tickets to some Broadway shows that have not sold all their seats for the day.  Better seats for the price of nose bleeds.   The trick is to line up one hour before the window opens, then it’s only a one hour wait.  On our last morning we bought tickets to the endearing nanny (guesses?) show. 
After buying tickets for a 2:00 matinee, and a McDonald breakfast, we headed over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 227The Met (can I call it that?  I was just a tourist) is huge.

There were many ancient artifacts and I did find them fascinating, however I also loved this room designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  frank lloyd wright room
It's from a Midwest house and while we were looking at it we hooked up to a tour.  The docent explained how most home design and d├ęcor at the time was European influenced.  Frank’s work “harmonizes with humanity and the environment”—straight from wikipedia but entire walls of windows, & purposeful seating areas…He also mentioned that the room was a room most of us would be comfortable having in our own homes.  His stuff’s timeless.   It looks like your house, VanessaSmile.      
In two hours we saw almost the whole first floor. There are two floors and special edition wings everywhere.  We hit a Shake Shack on the way to the subway. Good, but the burgers are smallish, so we both should have ordered one; the frozen custard was mmmmm.  We headed back to Broadway to see, yes, your guess was right, Mary Poppins.  I’ll admit I was skeptical about Mary not being the Julie Andrews Mary who wins warbling competitions with cartoon birds…
But by the end of the show she had me in her pocket, promenading up staircases, flirting with Burt, and hugging Michael.   And the talent…this was a random matinee on a Saturday in November and upon opening up the program a bunch of understudy announcements fell out:  Today, Burt will be played by so and so, Jane will be played by….awe dang,  I’m seeing the second string.   The verdict:  the talent runs deep on Broadway.  I couldn’t tell, honestly, I was charmed completely.   Step in Time! 
After Mary, we took a quick subway ride to Washington Square to eat a falafel.  One end of Washington park is under construction so it was a little ‘shanty town’ but there was a street fair where I bought some souvenir earrings, so all’s good.  And Falafels: tasty.  Ground seasoned chick pea balls, deep fried and stuck in a pita with lettuce, tomato and a cucumber cream sauce.  Cheap (comparatively) and with a coke, Yummm.  
We ended the day deciding to go back to the Met where we found out it was open an extra hour that night.  Two more hours and we hit the highlights, being escorted out with the security sweep.    
For dinner: Indian Halal takeout from the cart by the MOMA and it was even better than the first night’s cart.  A blurry Empire state building.   
The next morning we rode the subway to church, the subway stop is right there, and the counselor conducting promised the numbers would increase when the next train arrived.  The chapel is on the second floor…I think.  We took an elevator and saw this beehive.  
After church we walked to the subway through central park. Most of the park was closed off for the NYC marathon but we did happen to see the first women finishers pass at about mile 24. They were cruising. Sunday morning in central park was full of families and strollers. Made me miss the kids. We packed up and headed to the airport. I really loved New York with James.   
Some ending thoughts:
1.  These posts make it seem like everything is close, and it is.  But with the subway came a lot of walking.  By the end of the third day I was tired…
2.  The subways can be hot.  New Yorkers must be temperature indifferent.  I was always taking my coat off, putting it on, taking it off. 
3.  The reason New Yorkers are into fashion, is because they look at each other, all day, everyday, walking everywhere.  I declare the winner of the winter of 2011 season was boots and scarves, and scarves and boots.  So many combinations. 
3a.  But no one looks and smiles at anyone in the face…weirdo tourist…     
4.  Take food to the airport.  The waits are long and so are the flights and a sandwich is $9.
5.  The top of the Empire state building is too crowded to be romantic.
6.  I saw three different rats, down in the subway tracks, three different times.  I was looking for ‘em.  
7.  When you go, could you pick me up some trinkets in china town?  It was our first stop and I didn’t realize that’s where they were the cheapest and with the best selection.  I should have guessed.  
8.   Have you been?  Do you want to go?  If I ever go again I’m buying the inexpensive Brooklyn Bridge street art.    What would you do?   

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New York New York Day 2

Here’s the answer to NY for James: a very smart phone.  There was an app that told us what subways to ride to get anywhere in Manhattan.  Another app for walking the streets of NY to find places (like the doughnut plant).  We bought unlimited subway passes that were good for a week.
People watching was never better than on the subways.  Tourists, workers, executives, parents, high schoolers & preschoolers.  Once we were in a half empty subway car when two young men got in with a boom box (really) and base ball hats.   As soon as the car got going they turned on their music and did a dancing, flipping, swinging routine from the poles and bars in the car that was choreographed to end right before the car got to the next stop. After passing the baseball caps for change, they exited quick, looking for another half emptied car.  We were almost kicked in the face but were being entertained, so we didn’t mind.   278 030158283
On the second day we went to see the lady.  She’s beautiful and under renovation so we couldn’t climb up inside her toga and crown.     
And then a boat ride to Ellis Island, which was fascinating!  Folks desiring a new life, the US organized at receiving them, the whole process was laid out well.  A day in the life of an immigrant!  In my mind all I hear is the way it’s said on West Side Story…eem-me-grint…    153    146149135
The view coming back from the island is the financial district.  157We hadn’t made an appointment to see the site of the twin towers, and ground zero. We would have gone had we known, we would have been close.  Instead, we walked over the Brooklyn bridge.  Over in two ways.  The pedestrians and cyclist are literally walking over the cars passing below. 
To Gimaldi’s we went to eat pizza for linner where the tight eating quarters lead us to getting to know our seat mates; a couple from Spain on their honeymoon.   The baked-in-a-coal-brick-oven and the use of  a lot of cheese, plus a coke, led to a great meal.    
170171183We moseyed the shore a little and then took the subway back to Manhattan.  It was Target-get-in-free night at the MOMA (museum of modern art).  Art for free is James’ favorite kind.     186188
Van Gogh,  Monet,  Jackson Pollock, Picasso…
What the…?  Very tired feet as well.
We ended the night with dinner at the mysterious "burger joint" behind a curtain in the lobby of the super swanky Parker Meridian hotel.  Why have it hidden?  Why is it so trashy?  I had questions but there was no one to ask.  There are only three people working the whole place and you can see them taking orders, at the grill and one guy was doing drinks and shakes.  We split an order of everything and had father son seat mates from Chicago share our table.  I wouldn't say it's better than Five Guys but it was cheap-ish and unique.  

We walked to Rockefeller Center, I saw some folks camping out for standby tickets to Saturday Night Live (and it was only Friday night) but it was COLD so we headed back to the hotel.