S: New York City ~ October 2011
BC: Thank you, New York City! We had a blast! (And a helluva time finding a cab!)
1: New York, New York, it's a wonderful town, The Bronx is up and the Battery's down, The people ride in a hole in the ground, New York, New York, it's a wonderful town! Mark and I soaked up every inch of NYC by walking from the Bronx to Brooklyn (well, almost). At least our feet felt like we did! We first took a fast-paced and fabulous "Photo Trek" tour. We got to see so many sights while getting a lay of the land for a less hurried return visit. AND! We got loads of pics of us! Our trip included a food tour through Greenwich Village--highly recommend. We sampled some nummy vittles while learning lots about the architecture, the history, and the culture of the West Village, and NYC in general. What follows are pics of the above and much more--Times Square, Central Park, fun restaurants and entertaining Broadway shows, a boat ride (we are from Minnesota after all), and all are shown with my undying gratitude for this wonderful life I am lucky enough to live. And BONUS! Mark was there, too. (He kinda makes it all worth it!) New York, New York, it's a wonderful town!
2: From Central Park to Soho ~ and oh-so-much in-between!
3: Here's a trick: Take a picture on the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge and try NOT to tick-off the bicyclists as you encroach on their lane. They just LOVE tourists in their way!
4: Busy, crowded, often overwhelming-- and so very fun to see! Mark made some new friends, and I shopped the sale that Macy's was surprisingly having! | We saw two fabulous and very different shows. First we saw Avenue Q, starring some delightful puppets. Well, maybe delightful is not exactly the right word--raunchy may be better. Yup, raunchy it is. I loved hearing Mark laughing all through his first Broadway (well, off-Broadway) show. Also had the PRIVILEGE of seeing Bernadette Peters in the production of Follies. In a word, she is damn good. What a thrill live theater is... always makes me cry... whether it's happy, sad, or somewhere in-between, it just makes my heart sing to see and hear people giving it their all for the sake of ART. And for my enjoyment, to boot! Ah, Broadway, thanks for the thrills!
6: Our Greenwich Village Food Tour was fantastic! Our cute guide, Heather, is an aspiring actress who lives in 175 square feet in Harlem--175 square feet!! We sampled some New York-style pizza (and learned how people get REAL SERIOUS about their slices); fancy olive oil on Amy's Bread (and bought a few fun bottles to bring home); Cuban sausage from Little Havana (BANG!); "Arancini" rice balls from a local deli (can you say rich); a host of goodness at a local Italian joint (where we got to sit!); massive varieties of cheeses at Murray's (Mark's Nirvana); and finally, a delectable (yes, delectable) cannoli at Rocco's! Can you say FULL? and HAPPY! | A Minnesotan Sighting! Dave Kuehn's friend, Katie | Cute Heather! | I loved the wonderful homes in the Village!
7: NYC's narrowest brownstone (9 1/2' wide!) Sold for $1.275 million! Hope they're skinny! | After the tour we stopped for a pint, because, why not?
8: Our adorable Hotel Indigo in the Flower District, on the edge of Chelsea. Perfect location for us--right in the middle of Manhattan without being right in the middle of Manhattan. | Interesting views out our window--gotta love how New Yorkers get creative with space! | Modern art, a cozy king bed, and flora, fauna, and ferns on the way home. Life is good! | A great place to relax (or crash) after a busy New York day!
9: Had a fun dinner at E & E Grill, which just happened to be next door to The Book of Mormon. We asked what the large crowd outside the theater was waiting for... Apparently they give out a handful of tickets each night just for fun! So OF COURSE we put our names in the hat... We didn't win. Return Visit! We did, however, have a delicious steak dinner and toasted the joy of being together in NYC! | Trying real hard to win tickets to The Book of Mormon! Next time, babe, next time! | Love ya, Babe!
10: After a whirlwind first day of tours, we decided to slow down and smell the coffee--and the orange juice, and the omelet and french toast--oh, the JOY of diners. Our Upper West Side joint came complete with Vera, the quintessential New York waitress: "Do yous need any more cawfay?" When asked if we could take her picture, she replied, "Honey, my photo is all over this world--snap away!" What a delightful way to kick off our leisurely day of strolling Manhanttan. | Zabar's--a New York icon. We picked up an almond struessel to enjoy later in Central Park. The store itself overwhelmed me--lots of people in not a lot of space. Ah, New York. | Vera! | After a whirlwind first day of tours, we decided to stop and smell the coffee... and the bacon.. and the French Toast...gotta love diners! Our Upper West Side establishment came complete with Vera, the quintessential New York waitress: "Would'ya like anotha cup of cawfay?" When asked if we could take her picture, Vera replied,"Honey, my photo is all over this world, snap away!" A wonderful way to start our day of strolling NYC. | Ode to the Patch ~ | We were so proud that we split the breakfast. Seriously.
11: Mark and I enjoyed looking at our new home in the Upper West Side. (I loved it so much, I took "artistic" pictures with my new camera--so fun!) We just need a cool 10 million or so and it's ours. | I loved to watch how the architecture changed within the city. Lots to learn from those building! | They were READY for Halloween!
13: We got blissfully lost in Central Park. Found an old Swedish building, a Shakespeare garden, a few lakes, John Lennon's "Imagine" memorial, miniature sailboat racing, and loads of sunshine, trees, and Ahh... What a wonderful gift Central Park is to all who enter! What wonderful October weather! AND! We took a row-boat ride! Wait, no, that isn't us--but someone had a good time out there!
14: We left Central Park and ended up on the Upper East Side by the Met. I did a TaDa! and we went on our merry way. This trip was all about the art found on the streets of Manhattan, not in the museums (Return Trip!) And speaking of streets, the streets of theUpper East Side were loaded (pun intended) with pricey spanorty-looking stores (Cartier!) and pricey, spanorty-looking people, (the high-heeled girls below!). Still can't decide if they were heiresses or hookers. | We kept traipsing back and forth between Fifth and Park Avenue (and feeling oh-so-chic). We paid homage to many churches, synagogues, and to the Plaza, which holds a special place in my heart as Mom and I spent a wonderful weekend there when I was 18... complete with Eloise! | Heiress? Hooker? You decide! | Then we headed over to Rockefeller Center...
15: ...and we ran into Andrea Brown and her daughter, Meghan, who were visiting with friends. What are the odds in a city of 10-15 million, give or take? They highly recommended the Top of the Rock, so off we went to see the view... | Mark has learned how to TaDa! so well!
16: What views from the Top of the Rock! All of Manhattan spread out before us: Central Park, the Empire State Building, and way off in the distance--Lady Liberty herself. (We'd get an even better up-close view later...). It was thrilling to get another perspective on NYC--with just a few hundred of our closest friends.
18: We set sail on a wonderful sunset cruise from Chelsea Piers. We both feel it was the absolute highlight of our trip. We sipped vino while admiring the skyline. As we sailed past the Statue of Liberty, we toasted those brave souls who left their homelands with nothing but a dream. What a magnificent sight she must have been for them, and for us! We also toasted those lost on 9/11 as we saw the Freedom Tower (which is still being built). It was an emotional time as we huddled close on this chilly cruise. And having Mark there by my side was, as always, pure joy. | Our crew worked hard to raise these sails... and then to get us our drinks!
19: It was hard to get too great a shot on the wavy water--but, it doesn't matter. These images are in my heart and mind forever.
20: Our romantic and well-lit Indian dinner at Junoon. | Naan! Chicken Korma!
21: Our last day! Let's have breakfast at Katz's! What a fantastic idea! This visit was numero uno on Mark's list, so I'm glad we made it down to the Lower East Side, which is completely different than the Upper East Side. COMPLETELY. Katz's Delicatessen is a hoot--the whole ticket process, the intimidating guys behind the counter who take your order, trying to find a seat in the crowd (if you're lucky you can sit where Sally sat!) and, best of all? Really good pastrami sammies. Mark was in heaven. | Pastrami sandwiches and matzo ball soup at 10am? Yes, please!
22: The Lower East Side is, well, more colorful (read: not as rich). Chinatown, the Tenement Museum (which was sadly sold-out), lots to buy from street vendors, and tons more graffiti. All great to see. | Mark, go stand by that purple thing... this'll be great... | We checked out the New York Public Library (still funny). It is a beautiful building inside and out, so, of course, another "artistic" shot had to be taken.
23: Grand Central! All Aboard!
24: Chelsea Market & Highline Park. Not overly impressed. One is a crowded strip mall with really good brownies, the other is indeed a unique idea of a park built on old elevated railroad tracks, but can you say C-R-O-W-D-E-D? Perhaps we were a bit tired. Perhaps.
25: Have I mentioned the pizza? I have? | Well, how about the the Gyro food truck outside our hotel? Oh yeah!