Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm in a New York state of mind.....

(And since the Yankees aren't in the post-season, it's okay for me to feel this way.)

So, I just experienced my first trip to New York City -- and I love, love, loved it.
As much as I enjoy the quiet of the country, I also enjoy the bustle of the city.
Had I moved there as I had wanted to many years ago, I would've truly enjoyed being there.
And I can't wait to go back.

Thoughts of the trip....

1. I love flying. It's a sin that September 11th put a damper on it for me. Now, I'm certainly much more cognizant of who my flying companions are - and I've got to be honest, I don't relax nearly as much as I used to. Of course being a Mom makes my mortality that much more of a heightened awareness, but generally speaking it's a different experience for me now. I do love every thing about flying too. Take off and landings are the best. I'm also one of those crazy types that doesn't mind turbulence, and I enjoy being able to listen to Air Traffic Control. Of course on a 30 minute hop to NYC that doesn't get to happen -- but Bloody Mary's in first class do! That nice little upgrade for $50 didn't hurt any, that's for sure.

Plus, I am a people watcher and there's few better places to take advantage of that than at an airport. You see happy people greeting family and friends; sad people saying goodbyes. So many stories.

2. Speaking of people watching....does it get much better than in Manhattan and Times Square? Wow. It was, nothing short of awesome. If I lived there, and had nothing planned for the day I'd get a good cup of coffee and a seat on one of the benches and just watch everyone go by. There's always something to do; something to see. I love LA - and to me, this was like being able to go to LA without having to take the long flight. Granted, there are stark differences between the two, I'm not comparing the two cities -- but the overall experiences are similar. And this, is just a car ride away! I am in awe that I've never been before. For the record, I didn't find New Yorkers any ruder than we are; actually, most people were really quite friendly.

Funny story... we were walking down 8th street, and there was a flea market of sorts that went down about 7 blocks maybe? And it's filled with vendors selling their wares, mostly knockoff purses and the like - but some decent things too. Very hit or miss. Anyway...most of these vendors are of an ethnic descent that is not Caucasian/American. There was just about every flavor under the sign of ethnicity - which made the street dining experience phenomenal, by the way (mmmm, falafel wraps and fried plantains! But I digress....) -- and marching down the street causing a ruckus are some very white bread Americana types shouting "Christians for McCain!" "Take back our country!" "Vote for McCain, it's the Christian thing to do". Of course, people were yelling back not so nice things at them. And I couldn't help but think: here are people who bust their butts setting up shop to sell their wares for dirt cheap just to make a buck -- this isn't the demographic you should be marching in the middle of to persuade them to vote Republican, dumbasses. Just a thought....

3. Walking is the way to go! We walked everywhere....from our hotel on W52d to Greenwich Village which we unfortunately didn't get to spend time at because we had to get to the airport. We were trying to get to Ground Zero actually, before our flight - but we weren't able to get that far in just an hour. But we walked around all day yesterday, and a good part of this morning. Probably in total, 8 miles between yesterday and today -- which is great for burning off all that food we ate! And for the record, every place we stopped to eat was very good. Including the above mentioned street vendors! Truly, we didn't eat a lot - but our dinner choice was the Oyster Bar at W54th and it was surprisingly good. It was tough to bypass Shula's, but when you're in the mood for seafood - Shula's just isn't going to cut it....

4. We weren't overly impressed with the Sheraton Manahattan in Times Square. $564.00 for a a room that was not in the best condition, and not even free internet?!?! Seriously, though I've never been to NYC previously, I set up rooms for G for far less money that were far nicer than we were last night. And, they were in the heart of Times Square as well - so that's not an excuse. But I think it was an availability thing -- short notice trip during a long weekend and all. It was a bit high priced for it's purpose and offerings. So next time -- and there will be a next time in the very immediate future -- we will stay someplace different.

5. They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway.... As we all know, I started out in life wanting to be an actress; and if you didn't already know - I was a theatrical actress "back in the day". To actually have been on Broadway, the place that I dreamed about as a kid - possibly seeing my name in lights -- was nothing short of fantastic. It was awesome, full of life and just so very cool.

6. We saw a very cute play, "A Boy's Life" at 2econd Stage Theatre. It starred quite a few well known television actors and one relatively well known movie actor, Jason Biggs. I saw him in "The Graduate" with Kathleen Turner, actually. It was cute - and the theatre is wonderfully intimate. Off Broadway plays are fantastic because they're theatrical presentations rather than musicals. Fun little note - there were some familiar faces in the audience watching the show, including Judith Light, best known as "Karen" on "One Life to Live" - and of course, "Angela" on "Who's the Boss". She was two rows ahead of us.

There's so much more I could say, but I think this is enough for now. Next time, I think we'll stay in Manhattan again, but travel around a bit more...hit the Upper East Side a bit, visit Ground Zero....trek to Mulberry Street. Maybe a fancy, schmancy hair cut at a fantastic uber glamourous salon -- and of course, another play.

I don't know how I hadn't done this sooner.....!
How's that for a fabulous anniversary gift?

(Red Sox postscript: Very odd to be in NYC and see all Yankees gear; we saw NO Red Sox memorabilia anywhere, on anyone. It's probably the first time I've ever travelled to a location and not seen at least one Sox shirt. And I've been all over the country. That was really weird to notice.

And what the heck is up with Beckett?!?!)


~**Dawn**~ said...

When I still lived up north, I used to go into NYC every year, the first weekend of December. We'd walk around, taking in the sights, enjoying the city all festively decorated, have lunch, see a show, walk around some more, then get some dinner before heading home.

As for Beckett? I wish I had an answer. In fact, at this point, I almost wish the answer lie in something physical, because this apparent indifference is hurting my heart.

Nichole M said...

I had the privilege of seeing Judith Light perform in a show in Boston when I was in medical school. I wish I could remember the name of the show (Alzheimer's moment here), but it was about one woman's experience with ovarian cancer, chemotherapy, and the whole medical esatblishment. Not just good for people who are learning to be doctors... good for everyone.

I'm going to be braving the streets of LA this weekend. Being firmly rooted in the OC, I'm a little nervous. Especially since I'll be in Beverly Hills. omg, what do I wear???