Monday, January 19, 2015

New York City!

They might not make great salsa there, but they sure do a HECKUVA lot of other stuff right!
Duane and I were able to get to (and back from!) New York City just before the new year, and, although a SHORT stay (or, I really should just start saying "normal for us" stay...), we were able to see and do a lot of FUN things!!!

We flew out GOD AWFUL EARLY Monday morning, and arrived at about 9:00 a.m.  We caught a cab from La Guardia to our hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton, near Times Square.  After dropping our messenger bags (didn't need to take much, since we were just there for a quick overnight), we headed out to explore the neighborhood.

We found a place for a quick slice of cheap, but AWESOME pizza (for a buck a slice!), then headed to the St. James Theater to purchase tickets to see "Side Show" (more on that later!).  We were going to go to the TCKTS booth in Times Square, but the concierge at the hotel said that they could match the prices at TCKTS.  Turns out the theater was closer, and there was no line...BONUS!!!

After securing tickets, we wandered around Times Square.  New York City is ALWAYS busy, but, since it was December 29th, it was even more crowded than usual, since people were in town for the big New Year's eve ball dropping thing.  Honestly, there were times when we had to push our way through the crowds just to move anywhere.

It was ESPECIALLY crowded near the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.  We spent a little time there admiring the tree (and deciding to come back after dark, because, honestly, the tree is a little shaggy and uninteresting in the daytime).


After the tree, we went took a quick look inside St. Patrick's Cathedral...


...then stopped to look at the window display at Saks Fifth Avenue (gorgeous...and a really dynamite "fairy tale" theme!)...

...then headed to the New York City Public Library.  We've walked past it many times, but have never actually gone in.  It's BEAUTIFUL!  The frescoes, and artwork alone are worth a stop.  Unfortunately, the Rose Reading Room (the most spectacular room in the building) was closed, so we didn't get to see it, but the rooms that we DID see were worth the stop.

After the library, we headed to the park behind for a Christmas market, which was really cute, and Duane had an AMAZING hot chocolate, which, I think, was actually just melted chocolate.  It was DELICIOUS!!

After hanging out at the market, we walked past the Empire State Building (and would have gone up, but the line to get in was MILES long), and spent a little time looking at MY favorite building in the city...the Flat Iron Building.  I love the Flat Iron Building.  The masonry is so beautiful, and it has such an unusual shape, the sun was setting and reflecting off all the windows...sparkly!

Eataly, a really cool, warehouse-y Italian market was located across the street from the Flat Iron, so we stopped in to take a look.  Lidia Bastianich has mentioned it on her show, and I had pulled an article out of a travel magazine which recommended it, as well.  It was AMAZING, and would have been REALLY fun, had ten THOUSAND other tourists not also heard about it!  We could barely walk through the place.  I definitely want to explore it again, during a future NON-NEW YEAR'S trip, because the different sections (meats, bread, cheese, pasta, etc.), and the tiny cafes set up throughout the market looked heavenly!!

After Eataly, we walked to midtown...

...and had a "decent" dinner at Burger Heaven.  Wouldn't go back, but it's always good to try new places.

After dinner, we had time to kill before the show, so headed back to look at the Christmas tree (which was MUCH more beautiful after dark, but the crowds on the plaza were CRAZY!), walked back to Times Square to look at all of the lights, and then stopped at a diner to warm up and get something hot to drink.  We then looked through a couple of tourist shops, then went to the St. James for the show.

Duane and I first saw "Side Show" in Minneapolis thirteen years ago.  One of the leads is an actress I had seen in a few other shows around the cities, and ADORE!  She was mezmerizing as Daisy Hilton, one of the cojoined twins, and we liked the show so much that we saw it THREE times!

We had heard a few months ago that it was being revived on Broadway.  We were excited, until we heard that it had already been slated to close.  Fortunately, it worked out to get there FOUR DAYS before the show closed, and it was SO worth it.  Even though a few things were rewritten (hello, new ending!), the songs that we loved most were still part of the show, and the cast was BRILLIANT.  It's a shame the show's really amazing.  I'm VERY glad we were able to be part of it, and I hope a national tour is soon to follow!

After the play, we went back to the hotel, and went to bed.  It had been A LONG day (and my feet were killing me), but a good one!!!

Tuesday, we found a cafe in which to grab a pastry and coffee (which we ate on the sidewalk outside, since it was wall to wall people INSIDE!), went back to the hotel, grabbed our bags, checked out, then hailed a taxi and spent the rest of our time at the American Museum of Natural History.

I LOVE the Museum of Natural History!  A few years ago, I spent three days at an IB workshop which took place there.  During the workshop, we toured the museum, and were led through a variety of inquiry activities utilizing the museum collection.  It was a wonderful learning opportunity.

Having been there for that workshop, it was fun to show Duane some of the places in we had spent time, specifically the Hayden Sphere (so cool!) in the Rose Center for Earth and Space.  I also showed him the Hall of Gems, the Hall of Minerals, and OF COURSE took him to view the big blue whale.  Being tourists, we also looked for dioramas and items from "Night at the Museum"!!


Much too quickly, it was time to get to the airport, and head back to Minnesota.  We hadn't been to New York for awhile, so it was good to get back again.  We revisited favorite places from previous trips, and saw cool new ones as well!  I can't wait to go back again, and continue exploring that AMAZING city!  In fact, I just read an article today entitled "44 Amazing NYC Places That Actually Still Exist".  I want to check them out!!!!!

Here's hoping YOU enjoyed a quick getaway recently too...but that there were WAY FEWER TOURISTS!!!!!