Sunday, November 21, 2010
I love NY
My day dawned early, too early actually, but knowing why made it so wonderfully exciting. I was meeting one of my best friends and her daughter at Penn Station for a blogging adventure. She was coming in on Amtrak from upstate to enjoy a day on my turf. You see, I am always up there. I was ecstatic. I had so many ideas. I only hoped my feet would hold up.
I was on the 7:24 to GCT with half a cup of coffee and a half an english in my stomach. The train was SO crowded. There were these MS girls that got on the train at my stop chaperoned by two women. Of course, one lost her ticket within 5 minutes of purchasing it, and one got sick, leaving this woman to have to usher her to the bathroom. The conductor was super patient with letting the girls try to find the ticket, but the girls were super rude. I wonder, is this a communication gap. The conductor was incredible, never lost her cool. In any case I arrive in GCT at 8:40, head to get a cup of tea and hit the ATM before heading to Penn Station. I knew the tea would make my stomach turn when it was so empty, it did, and just before meeting Kelly I had to shove a bagel in my face to settle my stomach. BUT EARL GREY IS SO GOOD!!!
We headed downtown to Little Italy, Ferarra's to be exact to start the day off right. Hot Chocolate (with a shot) and a sampling of pastries. The Hot Chocolate (with a shot) was amazing. We left there and headed to China Town, Mott Street to be exact, just walking. Trying to avoid shops with duck and pork snouts was near impossible, poor Maggie. Somehow we ended up at Joe's Shanghai, which was packed with a wait at 11:30. We ordered soup dumplings to go on the principle of experience despite not being hungry, which we shared in the park on Lafayette (around Prince). They were wonderful, but not really able to be eaten correctly, the soup ended up in the container.
We wondered through neighborhoods, China Town became little Italy became Noho became the Village. We looked in a few boutiques, saw a mini street fair (on the sidewalk) and headed to Washington Square Park where we people watched (and squirrel watched) a bit before heading to the Subway for the 2nd part of our day, the Met, and Central Park, and the Upper East Side...
We got off the A train at 81st and traversed the park, Kelly's daughter took this really cool picture of this guy playing sax under a bridge, I just took the bridge (if you look closely you can see the guy). We had looked at what was being featured at the museum before arriving and with our limited time we wasted no time and went there first. After viewing the Stieglitz exhibit we looked at the Rodin's and then went to find his wife's work (Georgia O'Keefe). We did detour for just a moment in the Impressionists/Post-impressionist galleries where we discussed a few Van Gogh's as well as a Suerat. On our way out we happened upon another special exhibit that highlighted musical instruments from Oceania.
We walked over to Lexington on 81st Street passing some really smelly Ginko trees. As we walked up the Avenue, we found a cupcake shop. Kelly wanted to bring some sweets home. Its funny, after we saw the cupcakes we saw a chocolate babka in the window of Hot and Crusty. That was what they should have brought home or maybe a dozen of the bagel that we sampled to hold us over until dinner. I was happy that they really liked that bagel. Most people outside of NY have no idea what a bagel is supposed to taste like and tend not to like the chewy and crusty consistency as their taste buds have been conditioned by Breugers or Dunkin Doughnuts bready over sized rolls. After walking a bit, we headed downtown to Times Square, which was nuts on a Saturday evening (pre-theatre and pre-holiday). Walking was equivalent to traffic at the inbound GWB on a Sunday Evening. It took us 30 minutes to walk 3 blocks. We walked into the M&M store only to find a line to go up the escalator. Is this what a tourist might think of NY? Its amazing the transformation, Times Square used to be this seedy place where you were entertained by the local voyeurs while heading to the theatre. Now the peep shows might be gone, but that seedy element is still an underpinning of that Disney facade that is there today. With foot traffic that thick and that slow it is a pick-pockets holiday.
We survived, thankfully, and headed back downtown to Herald Square to find a bite to eat. I had this thought that there was this Tavern we could go to, I had my addresses mixed up and we didn't have the time to venture to 18th street. So we headed to Penn Station and just ate at Friday's which was fine. I do wish that I had remembered K-Town though, we could have walked a few blocks south of Herald Square and eaten at Kum Gang Sang which was on 32nd by the Broadway split. I was just so tired by then that I was not thinking to well.
I said my goodbyes and took the C train back to Times Square where I managed to catch the number 7 right away. There was this guy trying to hustle money by break -dancing in the car while it was moving, informing us to look out of the car at Bryant Park, where he hoped off the train, did a flip before hoping back on the train. He then told us our money would be safe with him. For some reason I found this guy as comical as I did intimidating. I arrived back at GCT in time to catch the 7:23, which was about as crowded as Times Square. The same group of 12 year olds were just as obnoxious on the way home as they were 12 hours prior. Weren't they tired? Why did they have to pick that train and that car. I had been lucky enough to grab a window seat. This girl got on the train and practically sat down on top of me and proceeded to talk across the isle to this guy whose brother she dated. They were loud, so was the woman behind me on the phone giving all of her personal information loudly enough to be heard in Brooklyn. I would love to be the fly on the wall when she learns her identity has been compromised. Heck, I could have gone online shopping with my smart phone as she divulged her credit card several times (security code included) as if she was speaking through a megaphone. She was definitely annoyed too. I eventually fell asleep and woke up with only 30 seconds to spare. Missing my stop would have sucked, especially with no one home to fetch me.
I cannot wait to do this again. (oh before I forget, McKenna that Jeter Jersey shot was for you!)
Times Square Subway Station from lisa floryshak-windman on Vimeo.