New York City 2017

My husband, son and I recently returned from a trip to New York City. Here’s a recap of what we did, saw and ate.

ARRIVAL HALF-DAY:

Getting a good deal on Cyber-Monday, we stayed at The Viceroy on West 57th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, which is also right around the corner from Carnegie Hall. There are only a few feet on the right side and bottom of the bed, so it was a rather small room. But, we were in New York City, so it didn’t really matter. It had a masculine feel with brass accents and somehow reminded me of the “steam punk” vibe in the movie The Time Machine…the 1960s version.

I loved this mirror in the bathroom. The side mirror could be swung in front of the larger mirror…

…and then the small mirror swiveled around to regular or magnified.

The City received a few inches of snow a day of two before we arrived. Luckily, we were a couple of days post-storm and didn’t have any flight delays or cancelations. At the bottom of this photo, by each air-conditioner, there were statues of various men, saints…not sure exactly who, but they were interesting to see. I love old architecture.

Our room was billed as having a “park view”. I was initially very excited until I saw the view in real life. See those trees in the center of the photo on the horizon? Yeah, that’s our view of Central Park. Oh well.

I knew it would be cold and I didn’t want to pack a lot of bulky clothes. I found several cashmere sweaters on sale ($25 and less), so I bought 4. I then felt the need (the weekend before we left) to make me a warm scarf that would coordinate with each of the sweaters. I got lucky, found the perfect yarn and cranked one out using the garter stitch. Look sis! I finished it! It served me well.

We arrived late afternoon and our first dinner was at Quality Meats. No, it doesn’t sound too fancy, but it was pretty nice and was our most expensive meal. I love listening to New Yorkers talk. They just have this way about them. A little overbearing and particular about what they’re ordering…we sat near a man and a 20-something year old and the older guy was hilarious telling the younger one about how things are done. When the older guy started dishing food onto the younger one’s plate I had to turn away before I burst out laughing.

The steaks and sides were great and we completed our meal with the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Fig Ice Cream. Oh. My. Goodness. The Brown Sugar Sauce was divine.

And I loved the Ladies’ Room.

From Quality Meats on West 58th, we walked to Rockefeller Center on West 50th and Top of the Rock. It wasn’t a bad walk, except for the snowy, partially slushy street and below freezing temperature with wind gusts.

Our faces and ears were frozen by the time we arrived, but you can’t beat the view! Luckily, the clouds had dissipated and we had a clear night to view the Empire State Building.

DAY 1:

We always chose to sleep a little late and never had breakfast. Lunch on Day 1 was at the Todd English Food Hall at The Plaza Hotel. Well, really it’s under The Plaza, below street level. The Food Hall has a variety of foods to choose from, but you can all sit together. Yes, just like the food court at a mall, but upscale. There are also a variety of shops, restaurants and food counters to choose from. It’s a fun little area we like to visit.

We walked out of The Plaza in hopes of catching a cab up to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, but it was a mad house in front of the hotel so we decided to walk. The sun had come out and we only had to walk from West 59th to East 82nd. That sounds like a lot, but it isn’t as far as it sounds. 5th Avenue is the dividing line for East and West. The West side of 5th Avenue is West 59th, the East side of the street is East 59th. So, yes, it was still 23 blocks but…on a nice day it wouldn’t be too bad.

While it was still cold, the sun was out and the snow was melting. And that was our biggest problem…the melting snow. Well, that and the fact that our side of the sidewalk was blocked most of the way because the City was setting up bleachers for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We were often walking on little pathways through the snow and that’s where, when trying to cross the street, I couldn’t tell if the corner was a hard curb or sloped ramp and I stepped down off the curb and got a foot full of slushy ice water! I didn’t have boots and instead wore these Cole Haan loafer/walking shoes that I scotch-guarded the heck out of. The water rolled right off and although my sock was wet, my foot was warm. Those shoes were great! My feet never felt cold.

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth

Because I always like black and white stripes…

Always…

I was captivated by this painting entitled Tomorrow is Never,  d. 1955. Oil on canvas by Kay Sage (1898-1963).

From The Met’s website:

One of the most prominent women associated with Surrealism in the United States, Kay Sage made this work after a five-month hiatus from painting following the sudden death of her husband Yves Tanguy. Like many Surrealists, she utilized landscape imagery as a metaphor for the mind and psychological states of being. Rendered in somber gray tones, Tomorrow is Never combines motifs that appear often in the later stages of her career, including architectural scaffolding, latticework structures, and draped figures, to evoke feelings of entrapment and dislocation. The painting is one Sage’s last large works before her suicide in 1963.

As exhaustion set in, we took a cab to dinner at Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ near Times Square. Traffic during the pre-showtime dinner hour gets backed up so allow plenty of time. Already 15 minutes late for our reservation, traffic was at a stand still and we jumped out of the cab and walked the rest of the three blocks.

Gyu-kaku was great fun and delicious! You order meat and vegetables and cook them yourself on a grill that’s inset in the middle of your table. Definitely order cabbage and a bowl of rice per person.

And then this happened…Hamilton!

Here’s a tip about shows: There are no guarantees as to who will be performing. We bought our tickets when Lin-Manuel Miranda and the original cast was performing. Soon after, they left the show one by one. Although disappointed, I took comfort in seeing Javier Munoz, who the New York Times described as the “sexy Hamilton” and I was familiar with his work in Lin-Manuel’s other musical In the HeightsWell, Javier was out due to an injury. After my initial devastation, I researched who was filling in for Javier and thought, okay, he should be good. Then, when we got to the performance, it was a different actor! A friend had a similar experience going to see Gary Sinise and he wasn’t on that night. It can be heartbreaking, but things happen. There are injuries and illnesses and the show must go on!

In the end, the show was fantastic! If you are not familiar with it, check out the soundtrack. You may become as obsessed as I am. The performances were great and the staging is incredible! I cried at the very beginning, the end of Yorktown, it’s Quiet Uptown and of course the end. The then at the very, very end Eliza does this thing that I can’t tell you about and I sobbed. I can’t wait for a chance to see it again.

DAY 2:

Because we saw so many shows, we purposely stayed close to Broadway so we could walk back to the hotel at night. There are so many people out, that even the night a saw a show by myself, I felt completely safe walking 5-6 blocks alone. For activities further away, we bought an subway card for a 1 week unlimited usage. It was about $32 dollars, but worth it. With the slushy streets, sometimes it was just exhausting to fight your way uptown.

We took the subway down to the Meatpacking District to Chelsea Market at West 15th & 9th Ave. Chelsea Market is in a building a block long and a block wide full of shops and restaurants. Below is a photo of the spice shop, Spices and Tease.  We had a delicious chicken pot pie at The Green Table, a farm to table restaurant.

We then walked to Trinity Church to, of course, visit Alexander Hamilton’s grave. For those who know me, I cry at everything. It’s no surprise I teared up, especially after having just seen the show the night before.

I’m told that tour guides would comment on Alexander Hamilton saying, “You may remember….he’s the guy on the $10 bill.”  Now, visitors come specifically to see his grave and leave flowers and mementos.

Eliza had roses left on her grave.

Dinner before the night’s show was at Lattanzi on West 46th. I had a wonderful pasta for dinner and chocolate mousse for dessert. It’s hard for me to resist chocolate mousse.

Dear Evan Hansen was another great show. The show deals with not fitting in, teen suicide, social media… I know, it sounds heavy, but there is humor throughout and Ben Platt leaves everything on the stage.  He is mesmerizing and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t win a Tony Award for Best Actor. He is so good!

The hanging screens showed social media feeds that related to the story on stage.

DAY 3:

Day 3 was drizzly and, honestly, we were just exhausted at this point. We had a late start with lunch at the hotel at the Kingside Restaurant. Lunch was surprisingly good. I don’t know what we expected, but we all walked away very happy.

With a rainy day and tired feet, we had a quiet day. We took a short cab ride to the Museum of Modern Art on West 56th Street and then back to the hotel for a quick nap before dinner and show.

Joseph Albers

 

Dinner was pork buns and ramen at Ajisai on 9th Avenue and West 46th.

Our show for the night was Natasha, Pierre and The Comet of 1812. This is the show with Josh Groban and it’s an amazing spectacle!

The theater was designed as a Russian cabaret. There was seating on the stage on upholstered banquettes or at tables with chairs and also in front of the stage along the front of the stage (like sitting at a bar) and additional small round club tables and chairs.

There were small tables with lamps throughout the theater. We sat directly in front of a raised, narrow stage and performers danced and sang right in front of us. They clinked glasses with and often looked directly at audience members.

DAY 5:

We caught at train at Grand Central Station to Bronxville to visit my father in law. We had relaxing day with a great meal and good conversation.

Back in the City, we walked around and looked at the various windows on 5th Avenue. No one does windows like New York City and Bergdorf Goodman had the best windows!

 

I love going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The last time I was in New York it was undergoing restoration and was covered with scaffolding.

It was great to see it restored. It looks beautiful.

I love the striped effect on the ceiling.

A window at Saks Fifth Avenue.

The Coach store had handbags hung on revolving racks used at the cleaners. The constant movement livened up the corner shop.

DAY 6:

We took the subway to Mario Batali’s Eataly. Eataly houses markets, restaurants and shopping. We opted for a charcuterie board and pasta at the Pizza & Pasta restaurant. I had a delicious Bucatini. In fact, I loved it so much, I made it tonight with THIS RECIPE.


My son spent 6 months or so in Japan. Ippudo is his second favorite ramen restaurant in Japan. It just became my first favorite!

I went to Groundhog Day the Musical by myself. It was a fun and entertaining show and the lead, Andy Karl, was wonderful! There were even a few disappearing and reappearing moments that I’m still trying to figure out how they pulled them off.

And I couldn’t resist this mug souvenir.

FINAL MORNING:

The sun was out and the snow was melting quickly on our last day.

We loved Ippudo so much last night we decided to have lunch there before heading to the airport.

Taking off from JFK and heading back to OKC.

Love you NY!

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