Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Strykers Take Manhattan (and New Haven, CT)

Saturday: Up early and up to Times Square again in the frigid TKTS line. Avenue Q is our first choice of shows, but we'll take Chicago or Gypsy. Turns out Gypsy is the best deal. We find a great spot to have bagels with lox as we walk back down Broadway; the sort of place I've never seen outside of NYC - a full service deli, plus salad bar and hot food bar, almost like a cafeteria. They sell groceries and flowers, and we warm ourselves with hot chocolate seated upstairs while looking out at the bounty below. Back down through Union Square's farmer's market and our first ever apple cider donuts, The Strand bookstore, more exploration of the village and it's time to change for the show.

The neon lights are much brighter at night. But then again, there are far fewer people at 9 AM on a Saturday in January.

Mere blocks from the place we stayed.

Words cannot express how awesome the experience of watching Patti LuPone play Mama Rose and the rest of the incredibly talented cast perform Gypsy was for me. This show has been near and dear to my heart since I was wee, and getting to see it both live and on Broadway was phenomenal. Our seats were in the orchestra, second row, far to one side so the view was a bit obstructed, but it didn't matter a bit. I was high for hours afterward and completely forgot that I hardly ate anything all day.

Dan went back to get our bags; I subway'd to Grand Central to buy train tickets up to New Haven. He made it back and we got on the train with no time to spare, but the ride up was quiet and peaceful.

Our friends bought a house recently in a town outside of New Haven, surrounded by land and trees. We spent a quiet evening enjoying delicious pizza, meeting kitties, touring the house, and watching Wall-E in Blu-Ray projected onto a wall of their living room.

Sunday: Lazy day, stayed in our jammies until 2 and then went out for a quick frolic on the snow-covered beach. I discovered the joys of crunching through crusty-soft layers of snow and laughed at the things they call "waves." We toured Yale campus and took a quick jaunt through one of the campus libraries, which looked like a church but wasn't. Shopped for supplies, made dinner, and played Scene-it - a lovely visit with our friends who came through this last trying year with flying colors.

There were a billion shells on this beach.

And far less seaweed (and tar) than the last beach we were on (Santa Barbara).

Old lighthouse

Library at Yale. The inside is even more church-like, except instead of Jesus they worship knowledge. Or something.

Monday we took an early train back to Manhattan, and spent the day walking with all our stuff (luckily we packed light) from Grand Central all the way up through Central Park (saw my very first cardinal ever!), to Fifth Avenue and Museum Mile, up to Harlem and 125th street. We found another deli-type place and finished our time in New York with tasty, tasty food. The only notable thing about the journey home was that the teenager sitting next to me spent the ENTIRE 4.5 hours biting his nonexistant fingernails, methodically, one finger at a time, then starting over again after finger 10. After an hour I wanted to slap his hands; after 3 hours I wanted to throttle him like Bart Simpson. Note to teenaged boys everywhere: compusive nail biting is NOT SEXY. Wanna get laid? DON'T DO THAT.

I found the Chrysler Building far prettier than the Empire State Building.

I wonder if someone puts roses here every day, or if this was a one-time thing?

My favorite thing in Central Park (other than the free public bathrooms at the boathouse).

All in all, it was a terrific trip, with enough time in the city to get a good taste, with some downtime and friend time, with the promise to return when the weather is better and Central Park has more in it than fences, snow, and barren trees. Because while a few days is enough to get a taste, the city of New York deserves a far more thorough exploration.


Hillary said...

I like the idea that someone puts roses there every day.

Anonymous said...

Woo! I'm so glad you had a good trip! You really packed in a TON of stuff. You are an expert tourist.

BTW, did you get my cookies?!?!