Saturday, February 7, 2009

January 13, 2008

I'm a little late in posting this, but here it is. Better late than never.

I got into New York on Tuesday afternoon. The bus to New York was not bad at all. It took a little over 4 hours, but it did not feel that long. There was plenty to look at from the windows; Connecticut is a lovely state to drive through. The bus driver reminded me of a Disneyland ride conductor. I felt like I had boarded the Indiana Jones ride or the Jungle Safari. There was a movie during the latter half of the trip and a pit stop for food and such. For $20, it was amazing. Probably had a better trip than I would have had I taken a plane into the city.

I met Jenna outside the Port Authority station and we took a taxi to our hotel. They had run out of standard room, so they upgraded us for free to a superior room on the 15th floor. We were on 45th and Madison (a few blocks away from Times Square and a central location) and our window faced the Metlife tower and the Chrysler building. We dropped off our bags and went right out into the city.

The weather was amazing! I brought back the warm California weather because everyone kept mentioning that it was unusually warm. Except for Thursday when it was really windy, we didn't really need sweaters.

Jenna took me to Central Park, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Chinatown, and Little Italy. I picked a random pizzeria in Little Italy to eat for dinner, but I made a bad choice. The pizza had no flavor whatsoever. I felt like I was back in England. I wanted us to go out for a drink at some cool lounge, but I did not expect to so exhausted. I was completely drained. We went back to the hotel around 8 or so. I told Jenna to not let me fall asleep, but I passed out and basically slept until the next morning.

Wednesday was probably my favorite day. Unfortunately, it was also my least favorite day. But more on that later. We left the hotel at 12pm and went to lunch at Thalia. Jenna has worked in the area and had always wanted to eat there. It was a great restaurant with wonderful food. Afterwards, we went to the MOMA and I got to see some amazing pieces.

I was initially hesitant about going to this museum because not the biggest fan of modern and contemporary art, but I really liked what the museum had to offer. For example, I got to stand in front of Van Gogh's "Starry Night," Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," and Matisse's "Dance." That's why I love museums. You get the opportunity to stand in front of artworks you have only seen in textbooks or postcards. You realize that these pieces are real and not just illustrations in a book. Museums are always a surreal experience for me. What can I say? I'm an art nerd.

After the museum we went to Serendipity. Yes, like the movie. The restaurant itself was really cool and eclectic, but the food was highly overrated and overpriced. I had Serendipity's famous frozen hot chocolate and it was nothing more than an overpriced Wendy's Frosty. Good, but a Frosty nonetheless. I accompanied the giant drink with a slice of pie. I felt awful afterwards because it was so much sugar and fat. I swore I would never eat again (one of the biggest lies I've ever told).

Bloated, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a night at the theater. I had surprised Jenna with tickets to Broadway adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Seeing Times Square at night was awesome. The area was all lit up and it reminded me of Vegas. I thought it was the coolest thing to be basked in the glow of all the advertisements for various products and billboards for the current musicals.

I really liked the show. It was far from perfect because there were some disappointing moments. There was a reprise of 'Les Poissons' that sounded all too much like 'Be Our Guest.' A chase scene that was random and confusing. Ursula's demise was totally disappointing. It was like, "That's it? She's dead? Oh. Ok. Sure." The 'Kiss the Girl' scene featured these goofy looking frogs halfway through it that looked like Muppets; it completely distracted from the beauty of the scene and moment. Some of the costumes were god awful. The seagulls looked like rats with feathers.

And now for the good. The voices were incredible. It was amazing to see live performances by Sherie Rene Scott and Norm Lewis. I couldn't believe that 'Amneris' and 'Jake' (name those musicals!) were in front of me and gracing me with their amazing voices. Sierra Boggess was a dream as Ariel. I LOVED her voice and it was as though cartoon Ariel had come to life on stage. She had the character down. Sherie camped up Ursula, but she did just fine in the role. Loved the fact that Flotsam and Jetsam were given a song, and they were my favorite characters in the show. The show was really pretty and I liked what they did with the water aspect. The greatest parts of the show was seeing Eric drown and Ariel transform; you could hear everyone whisper, "oh my god." It was just that good.

After the show we looked for somewhere cool to have a drink. We ended up at a lounge in Times Square called Blue Fin. And now why this was also the worst day. We ordered our drinks, but Jenna got a drink that tasted of nothing but bourbon. I switched drinks with her and I drank the awful and strong cocktail. We got back to the hotel and I felt poisoned. I was tipsy and I had a terrible stomach ache from the drink and all the food. I went to bed repeating that I would never eat again.

Thursday was also a long day. The day started off by doing some shopping at J.Crew. We ate a wine bar next to Dean & Delucca. Cool little place that had very good food. Afterwards, we went to the Met and saw some more amazing art. From there we went downtown. We walked down Bleeker Street and had the best cupcakes I've ever had at Magnolia's. The frosting was like nothing I've ever tasted. Of course, I overdid it and felt poisoned once more and once again swore I would never eat again. After stuffing my face in desserts, we took a taxi to the seaport and did some more shopping. From there we went off for dinner at Dip Cafe. Jenna had told me it was fondue place. I really liked the place because it was not your average fondue restaurant. It was actually a trendy lounge. We had some good drinks and some delicious melted cheese. It was definitely a place I will come back to with Mariana. The night ended with us going later in the night to the infamous Chicken and Rice. The food looked like crap and didn't taste that amazing, but I found myself wanting more of it in the morning. And once again, I passed out swearing I would never eat again.

We left New York on Friday. We took a bus to Staten Island and were driven back to Boston by one of Jenna's best friends, Kim. I had been really looking forward to meeting her and I was not disappointed. The drive to Boston was a lot of fun. I felt like we were laughing the entire time it took to drive across 3 states. We got into Boston around 6, and so ended my first of two New York adventures.

Overall, I saw SOOO much and I had an amazing time. I cannot wait to return to New York at the end of the month with Mariana.


- R

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