Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Big Apple

Some friends and I met up in New York City for the weekend.  New York has never been my favorite city to visit.  I’ve been a few other times to see friends who live there, and I find it rather claustrophobic and so crowded.  However, I had a plane ticket that needed to be rebooked in the next 6 months, some friends in the city, and another friend in Virginia who was willing to fly there as well…the weekend was booked and highly anticipated.

I made the mistake of not packing my real camera  because I didn’t want to carry it around.  The iPhone didn’t take any pictures that I would enlarge and put on the wall, but they did capture the highlights of an amazing time…

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We stayed in Astoria which is a lovely neighborhood in Queens. nyc 003 nyc 009 I taught with Jill when she lived here in California before moving back to the East Coast.  Her sister Tracey, who also lived in LA for awhile, is an actor and photographer who lives in NYC.  Tracey took us on a wild, fun filled weekend!

After we all arrived Thursday night and Friday morning we were ready for our “running” tour.  The only time we stopped was when I yelled, “Wait, I’m taking a picture!” 
- The best part about being in a big city…taking the subway!
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- A stop at TKTS to purchase Broadway tickets for later that night
- Lunch at South Street Seaport with views of the Brooklyn Bridge

 nyc 019 nyc 024 nyc 025- Battery Park to see the World Trade Center Globe Memorial and the Statue of Liberty 
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I had never made a point to see the Statue of Liberty when I was in New York before.  We didn’t have time to do the museum, but at least I got to see it.
nyc 042 Battery Park
- We passed through Zuccotti Park which is the home of the Occupy Wall Street protestors.
nyc 055 nyc 057 nyc 058 nyc 060 nyc 063 I think I understand what the protest is about, but I wondered as we walked by if, one, how many of the protestors actually knew what they were protesting, two, how many of them would be jobless even if we weren’t in a financial mess, and three, how long it had been since they had taken a shower.
- After fighting our way through the protestors, we found our way to Canal Street to buy purses, (which I guess is ironic to a point). nyc 068- and then had dinner in Little Italy.
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- Books of Wonder was next – Have you ever seen the movie “You’ve Got Mail?”.  The children’s bookstore that Meg Ryan runs in the movie was based on Books of Wonder.  Well-known children’s authors and illustrators visit on a regular basis and sign their books.  It is like a candy store for those of us who love children’s literature…
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They had signed copies of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.  It took every part of me not buy it.  It is such a wonderful book, but I already own it AND it weighs as much as a brick and I didn’t want to carry it home in my luggage.
- We wasted some time in Time Square before the show started.
nyc 079 nyc 076 nyc 078 Time Square is the epitome of what I don’t like about New York City.  It is SO crowded.  The lights and busyness are fun, but I don’t like being bumped into!
- It was then time for a Broadway Show!  We saw Billy Elliot, which was wonderful.  nyc 080
nyc 085  nyc 084 I do like that theatres on the East Coast are very, old, ornate, and usually smaller than their West Coast counterparts.  Our seats were half price, and they were great. 
- We headed back to Time Square for some shopping after the show, before making our way home for the night.

And that was just day 1!


  1. I'm so tired. My feet are killing me. That was a long day!
    NY overwhelms me too. I'm such a small town boy that I almost get eaten up alive there. Then, when I'm dragging four kids along with me, it's almost too much. We try to avoid Time Square as much as possible. Now, if I hang out with a real New Yorker, I feel safe.
    I'm glad that you went.
    And your thoughts on the Occupiers were very honest. m.

  2. It sounds like you had the MOST fantastic time! I am glad you could go on such a fun and adventurous trip!

    I hope the people that are occupying Wall Street can take a shower soon.

    I really, really want to go to that bookstore. Oh my!

  3. @mark - I can hold my own in a city, but it is definitely easier when you have a local to guide you. We were definitely more productive and more relaxed as we just followed Tracey around. She tried to tell us what we were doing but we'd shake our heads and say, "It doesn't matter because you are in charge!"

    @becky - it was busy and fun. I could only be part of the protest if I got to home at night, sleep in my bed, and shower in the morning! :)

  4. I loved going on this little trip with you... Great blog post!
    I agree, the Times Square area is outrageously busy, full of tourists and ok for about 10 minutes.
    Billy Elliot is a super show, hope you had a great time with ur girlies exploring the city. Reminds me off my trip there.
    I love travel blog posts.
    Jennie. X

  5. Yay, I'm so glad you blogged about it. We really did all that on day one? No wonders why I am still tired oh- and I think you're pictures turned out great. :)

  6. NYC looks reasonably pleasant. You gals aren't muffled up. And your friend that moved back from SoCal. Personally I would have thought that the logical step -well swim- should be Hawaii.
    Dose she suffer from that condition described by Freud on your sidebar. :-D

  7. Oh my gosh what a full packed day! I love Mo Willems bokos...Piggy and Elephant are my kids abosolute favorites...I loved N.Y. and I didn't think I would...but I agree Times Sqaure was too much for me...I stepped outside the barracade and walked because I couldn't take being in the pack not being able to move. Sounds like you had a great time!

  8. @Jennie Louise - Yes, I loved Billy Elliot! The movie was just great so it's been a show I've wanted to see for awhile. I'm so glad we got to go.

    @Jill - I know! We were busy! As I went through the pics I forgot we did all that the first day. Fun! Fun! Fun!

  9. @Vince - ha! No, they are both actually from Buffalo first, with just a short stint in LA. So NYC and Virginia are warm compared to Buffalo. Yes! The weather was grand - Perfect travel weather.

    @Marey - Mo Willems makes me laugh out loud. My faves are Leonardo the Terrible Monster and Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct. He's so talented!

  10. I would deal with that city just for Books of Wonder.

  11. Lovely story - you must have had a lovely trip. There's a fabulous Greek restaurant we know out in Astoria.

    Nice that you visited Zuccotti Sq. I think, like all movements, some members have clearer understanding of the issues at hand than others do. As for the hygeine issue - well, they have been there a long time, it must not be easy for them.

    ah, I love the interior shot of the Imperial! All those B'way houses are such wonderful jewel boxes.

    For a phone, those photos are pretty darned great.

  12. I'm exhausted just reading it...and jealous! Looks like a great time.

  13. Next time send me to NY in your place.

  14. @Blonde Duck - It's such a great place. It's even more fun when the authors are there!

    @Aunt Snow - Thank you! Someone, somewhere mentioned to me about a Greek restaurant they like in Astoria too...wouldn't it be funny if it were the same one!?!?

    @Jlo - Yes, great time! You'll need to join us on our next adventure!

    @Mami - Ha! I don't know about that, but you could come too. :)

  15. I believe I understand why the Occupy Wall Street people are protesting... isn't it something like big money corporations / individuals making a bunch of money in a way which caused the world to go bankrupt and then these same corporations / individuals holding out their hands for a tax payer funded bail out, a bail out to pay for loss of earnings as a result of the GFC which these corporations / individuals caused?

    And something about 99% and not paying taxes and controlling government and the rich getting richer and executive bonuses... which I don't understand what the problem is, it is compensation for a job, do the employed Occupiers want someone to set up a protest outside of their workplace demanding that they get paid less?

    Whilst I understand the Occupier's fundamental ideologies, I feel like it is part a case of sour grapes between the haves and the have nots and part an outlet to get out anger at a depressed economic situation they can't control... and I suppose it is better an Occupation of Wall Street than street riots.

    I have some other thoughts on this subject regarding the separation of Corporation & State when the government actually achieves separation of Church & State, and when the last time a politician ever voted in way which was in the best interests for their constituants instead of their own career & financial gain and it seems to me that the Occupiers really need to be occupying Washington DC and not Wall Street, but like I said, I only believe I understand what they are protesting about.

    Wait... I did want to make other comments about your trip, but now I have forgotten them.

  16. Oh yes! I remember!

    I love taking the subways in all the cities I travel to, as well!

    They are each so different and the stations are a slice of history (or will be)

  17. @Hula - Yes! Love the subway in all cities, oh except mine because it's so inconvenient to get to it. :)