Monday, June 14, 2010

NYC: Don't You Dare Stop Moving!

The only single-word description I can use to describe NYC is go!  I felt like I was in the way the entire time; Leanne and I concluded that the people must only sleep on the subway.  We didn't have that luxury because we had no clue what we were doing when we were awake, much less when disoriented from sleep.  I also don't sleep well in situations where people yell, "Y'all better give up yer seat to this criminal."

Before we left, I told you how excellent my nerves are when it comes to flying.  I met a new $13.00 best friend at the airport before we went.

Between stomach-turning bouts of turbulence, I did manage to keep quite calm and actually get a good chunk of a book read.  The flight seemed like it took an eternity, but we finally made it there.  Our plans to play it cool and show NYC that we were in total control were carried out for a good 5 minutes...until we lugged the suitcase off of the baggage claim.

For as long as I live, I will never stop laughing at the memory of us [slightly freaking out] trying to determine how to get to our hotel from the airport.  I guess I thought the transportation would be a little more..advertised?  The subways are like some giant secret, all tucked away only for locals to know.  Some nice airport personnel directed us outside and told us a taxi would be our best option.  That nice man probably hasn't stopped laughing since.  I know we both looked panicked; just standing around doing our best deer-in-headlights impressions.  We sauntered outside with all of our bags and stood in front of this halted taxi caravan and Leanne said, "So, do we just hail one ourselves?"  Shrug.  Nod.  Discrete hailing action straight out from the hip.  Annnd nothing.  Unbeknownst to us, they were stopped because of the traffic light right above our heads.  It's a darn good thing we didn't carry out our fleeting thought to go knock on the window.

Nice Airport Man was standing behind us and slyly pointed for us to go down a bit further where we found a line of people waiting for taxis.  Here we met Lama Pema, our first taxi driver who did not a) understand any English and b) had zero indication of where our hotel may be.  We felt so comfortable riding with him as he spoke in some foreign language on his bluetooth.  We had to call our hotel to find out exactly how to get there.  Cab money well spent!

We did make it to our hotel where our room was fairly nice but felt like a sauna and smelled like cats (or something?!)  We were tired, hungry, and a bit frustrated by this point.  We were set on pizza, but called about 10 places and most of them were either closed or closing soon (seriously?  I thought food in NYC would be much easier to access).  Because we hadn't had enough transportation frustration, we decided to brave the foreign language of the subway system.  Super helpful subway man with thick NY accent was a great transition from the sleepy little pace we were used to (please note the sarcasm).  We ended up in Times Square, feeling like we just set foot in another dimension.  The energy was palpable but we hardly had time to stop and take it all in.  We found a fun little deli (Pax) and ate the first of many slices of pizza there.  We ventured back to subway land, made our way through the lit up city and then walked from the station back to our hotel.  I never really felt unsafe per se, but the walk at night was a bit shady at best.  It was so dark and just old, so it seemed a bit creepy.

We were in bed by about midnight which was a good thing given that we were prepared to head to the Today Show in five short hours.

We ventured out of our hotel at 4:45 local time, 2:45 our time and we got bagels on our walk to Rockefeller Plaza.  I have to say: I watch The Today Show on a daily basis, coffee in hand, so this was sort of a cheesey dream come true for me.  I also have to say: we were originally going to go on Friday but when we found out Justin Beiber would be there, we decided we would rather leave NYC with eardrums and not having been subjected to hundreds of screaming 12 year old girls.

So.  That left us Thursday only, and we were lucky enough to get there and see Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox from American Idol perform.  It was amazing!  We got to hear much more than what they show on TV due to soundchecks and the like.  We did manage to make our television debut on about four different occasions.  Some sweet security guard (first nice person we met in NYC!) let us in through the barracade as we left for more pictures.  Lee had come out to sign autographs, and we got right up next to him!

Russell Brand

Then we started walking.

And never stopped.

Seriously, sometimes I think my feet still hurt.  And it's been a week since we got back.  We did a ton that first day.  We also discovered how awesome it is to pair up two girls who don't do directions.  At all.  After we located a subway station (remember, they are secret holes in the ground), we would determine where to go, and then we would come back into the hustle and bustle and be completely lost again.
We picked up our own personal cheesecakes at the infamous Magnolia Bakery.

We saw cathedrals.

We saw 5th Avenue

We ate at Carnegie Deli where the food was okay, but we really went for the devine cheesecake. Definitely the best cheesecake I have ever had in my life.

We visited Knitty City which was pretty much the awesomest yarn shop ever.

We saw Central Park

We got lost in Central Park

We saw beautiful homes right by Central Park but I was quickly turned off seeing the rat traps outside the doorsteps.

We ate cheesecake from Magnolia Bakery in Central Park (I know, twice in one day).

We saw the cutest little old couple in Central Park; getting their pictures taken as they rode their bikes.

We managed to find the nearest subway (okay, if we're being real here, it probably wasn't the nearest.  And we probably took the longest route there) and headed back to our hotel to get ready for Wicked. 

We managed to not get off at our station, so we ended up a little behind schedule, but we managed to get cleaned up and then we had calamari and wine at Oceana before walking to the theatre district.  This wasn't before I laid on the bed and mentioned that I may never get up.  And discovered the bottoms of my feet to be completely black (ick).  My hair looked great for about .4 seconds after walking outside.  Humidity + my hair = dreadful combination.

Let me just say this: go see WICKED!!!!  Absolutely unbelieveable; the greatest performance I have ever seen bar none.  I came home and purchased the soundtrack; I haven't stopped listening to it since.  Amazing!

Our feet had a nice rest during the show, but it wasn't enough.  We walked to Wine30 afterwards to have wine (was that obvious?) with Ryan's cousin and her friend.  It was so nice to stop the go go going and sit and enjoy the company of others.  We stayed out late, managed to get another cab driver who had no clue where out hotel was, and we called it a night just before making it to 24 straight hours of being awake.

I have to mention:  I was so worried about being away from Ruby at night and it killed me to wait the six hours after waking up to call home and find out.  She did great which made the rest of my trip a little bit easier.

Part II coming soon (I hope).

And I know...Concise is my middle name.

1 comment:

leanne said...

OK, I can't stop laughing! I forgot about not getting off at our stop. "Ummm...that was our stop...what do we do? What do we do?" Nice scenic route:) Your pics are great.

So, want to go see Wicked tonight?

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