Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Travel Tuesday

For the love of New York!! Yep, we love it.

I have a friend, who shall remain nameless--okay, it's Connie--you got it outta' me--it's Connie--who was in NYC recently and hated it. Yes, she said it that strongly! She said she's never going back. Seriously, that's one way to dodge the bigger issue which is that she hates traveling in general--so there's that.  

Still, there are a few things I agree with her on:
1. There are tons of people everywhere--yep--definitely! But that's New York. All you have to do is go downtown right here in Nashville and see that it's the same way! Any big tourist city is crowded. The crowds don't bother us a bit, because we love to get off the beaten path and explore the quieter neighborhoods when we've had enough of the hustle and bustle of Times Square. That's another great thing geo-caching does for you--ideas for little-known and unusual places. Steph found a cool one for us. did you know that in Bryant Park there's an escape hatch for the New York Public Library? Ahh, but I digress.

2. It's dirty--true--it's not like that in our downtown, but what about New Orleans? It's equally as dirty as NYC. Connie told me about something pretty disgusting that they observed. NEVER had we seen anything like that until this trip. We were walking to dinner one evening in the quiet SOHO part of town when we saw a lady with her little boy--say 5 or 6--straddling him while he peed in the gutter. I was pretty disgusted by that and said, loudly, "Are you kidding me?" It's not like there aren't dozens of restaurants and bars that I'm sure would have pity on a little boy.

3. It smells! Oh yeah, it smells--that's for sure. Exactly like NOLA too! In fact, the smell that we hate the most is pot. Pot everywhere! Apparently decriminalizing it has led to constant public use. In NYC, I think it goes further than that. It must be completely legal. They were even selling "joints"--which is not what they call it--in every little souvenir shop. Still, we don't like walking through the smell of it. 

But even with ALL of that, we just can't get enough of NYC. We love it!! It's so exciting, the craziness, good food, the shows--oh wow, the shows! If it weren't for the shows, I wouldn't feel so passionately about NYC. On this trip we were only there for two days, so were only able to see two shows. If we go from Thursday to Sunday, we work in 4 shows. We are theater geeks and it's our favorite thing to do for sure. 

Considering we arrived on Friday morning--got to the hotel about 10:15--we crammed a whole lot in!! First stop...
...was Ellen's Stardust Diner. That's been on our list for ages, but the lines are always around the block (and if you know NYC, it's the long block!). This time we were determined that we'd stand in the line no matter what! And we did. But apparently, around 10:30-ish is a good time to go. We only waited about 15 minutes. Then the fun began.
There are live performances by the wait staff constantly. They even deliver food and drink while singing! The MC told us that the people that work there are just waiting for their big Broadway break. There were 9 hired last month in various shows. Every single one of them had the most amazing voice. This pair was unbelievable. Just goes to show the talent in New York. You would think they'd already be on Broadway. Sort of like Nashville--so much talent here too.

Woah, I better get moving, this is way too long.

Next, we walked to Macy's for a little shopping.
Stopped at a bar for drinks.
Back to the hotel to unpack and refresh.
Went to a rooftop bar for happy hour.

Dinner at a new place: Daniela's.
On to the show: 
SIX--omgosh! So fabulous! It didn't hurt that we had row C, center seats! The show is about the 6 wives of Henry VIII. Each one tells their story in a song. It's a pop concert where the audience is asked to judge who suffered the most and should be the lead singer. It's coming to Nashville this year, so we're really excited to see it again. High energy, fun costumes, and great choreography. Everything I love in a musical.

Mindy went to Barry's on Park Avenue to work out--she does that all the time on vacation. Good for her!

Sandy, Stephanie, and I did the "hop on hop off" bus. We did one years ago that was associated with tv & movies. We were able to sit on top. It was a fun thing to do before our brunch reservations at Marseille--our favorite brunch place.
After brunch, we headed to the show:
The show did not disappoint!  We expected nothing less. We are pretty amazed that Hugh Jackman at age 53 was allowed to do all the jumping around, on and off of things. I would think his career would not allow risks like that. Anyway, it was so worth the wait. Our seats were great--on the aisle row N--so we didn't need our opera glasses. I speculated that when Hugh's run is done, I don't think the show will last much longer. The story is kind of lame compared to today's shows, but the music is really good. I'm just not sure it will hold up without the big stars. The kids in the show--and there were many--were phenomenal. There were pretty many "old" people in the show too. In fact, I didn't like that they seemed more the age to be the grandparents of the kids rather than the parents. Still, I guess it gave a lot of "old" Broadway people jobs.  Personally, I did not love Sutton Foster's voice. The girls did. I don't really like those "high" soprano voices. I'm not a Mariah Carey fan either. 

After the show, Mindy and I went back to the hotel to drop off souvenirs. Then this happened:
Yep, Sandy and Stephanie got to see Hugh as he exited the stage door. Mindy and I were really disappointed, but happy that they got to see him. Well, I guess I can't say Mindy was exactly happy! More like "resigned" would be the proper feeling! 

The girls surprised me and treated me to an unusual bar and dinner spot that Mindy found in SoHo. The bar was Beetle House. It was completely decorated Tim Burton-style in Beetle Juice--dark and Halloween.

The drinks were smoking! This was Sandy's. 
We got some sort of coconut drink that was really good. It had a ball/head of ice like the round white head in the picture with the girls. There was even a fire eater there. He came and performed right next to us at the bar.

After drinks, we walked about a quarter mile to the restaurant. It was really fancy. It's called Beauty & Essex. When you walk in the front door, you are in a pawn shop. There's a somewhat hidden door in the back. 
When you walk through the door, you see this. We enjoyed our dinner--tapas--so we got an assortment of things to share. 
After dinner, we decided to go back to the Stardust Diner for dessert. But, when we got there, the line was too long. Sandy and I went back to the hotel to shower in advance of our 4 a.m. wake-up. Steph and Mindy went for just one more drink!!

And the souvenirs:
As if I really needed another mug--but we all got them, so I couldn't resist! New York bracelet and a coupla' t-shirts.
Sandy's purchases. She had planned to splurge on something really big--like a Gucci purse. But she didn't find anything that called out to her. You know, like, "buy me, you have to have me!"

As always, we had the best time. We're already planning our next trip and hope to include all of the younger girls. We'll see. It won't be soon enough for me. I love New York. I'm already making a plan for Butch to go with me before the year is out. That would make three times in one year for me!! Can't wait!

So, while we were out gallivanting, what were you up to?

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