Thursday, November 14, 2013

Playing Catch-up

I think we hit the human limit of activity, we're just hanging around the apartment this morning until we go grab lunch and then head downtown to 30 rock for Jimmy Fallon! So here's been our trip so far:

Day One:
We got in to the city and settled into our apartment. It's really cute and old and shockingly large for New York, it's felt like a really luxury to have so much space to spread out in. We got lunch at this awesome Belgian bakery called le Pain de Quotidien. I'm not one who usually takes pictures of my food, but just look at this tartin!

After lunch we took the subway all the way down to Brooklyn and walked back across the Brooklyn bridge towards the city which put us right in the heart of the courts and financial district. The streets were relatively empty on account of Veteran's Day but there was a fun street fair leading the way to the bull of Wall Street. I don't know why I thought the bull was at least 20 feet tall, but I did, and it's not!

We kept walking just a couple of blocks more to the water and BOOM! Statue of Liberty! (well, maybe not "boom", she was pretty far away) By this time the sun was starting to set so we decided to save her for another day and wandered our way back uptown to Little Italy. We had dinner, it was okay, the food was super boring but the restaurant and ambiance were beautiful and by that time we were just thankful to have a warm place to sit down!

To cap off the night we took the subway up to Times Square, and people, it looks JUST LIKE THE MOVIES! It was breathtaking and bright and loud and busy and so much fun to experience in person. Probably my favorite park was all the Buddhist monks walking around taking pictures on their iPads.

Day Two:
Snow, snow, snow, snow, SNOW! Let's be real, nothing stuck at all...but we still got to go on our morning run in Central Park with the snow falling down. I kept wanting to pinch myself, it was too perfect!

After putting in a good five miles (not advisable when you're spending the entire day on your feet). We headed over to the Met for our museum hack tour. I've never been a tour person, in fact, I don't think I've ever been on an organized tour my entire life. I'm a saver, not a spender, at heart but the Met was so huge and I wanted to get a creative take on it. We had a blast, it was just us and five other people paired up with a guy who was an undergrad art history major and just finished his master's degree in museology (?) at the UW of all places! He was quirky and edgy and definitely showed us a good time. They had an actress stationed at different parts of the museum and she would do these little bits to tell the backstories behind the pieces we were seeing. We didn't see much of the famous stuff and we really only saw a few things, but it was more about learning how to experience museums in a new way. All the things I usually blow past had such amazing tales to be found out. We did "power moves" (dance moves) cheers (all hands in, 1 2 3...MUSEUM!) and played the party game. We were instructed throughout our tour to hunt for something that epitomized our "party personality", take a picture of it, and at the end of the tour we had 10 seconds to defend our choice, Nathan won the contest and got a small blue hippopotamus (the museum's unofficial mascot)

After the tour we grabbed burgers at Shake Shack and took the subway down to Times Square to get in line for our broadway tickets at the TKTS booth, which opens at 2 pm. We ended up with second row center aisle seats to Newsies! The way they did it was really interesting, they basically take the median ticket price and then take 50% off of that, but they give you the best seats they have available. 

Well by this point we were exhausted so we went home to nap and refuel for our inaugural Broadway experience. I know I wrote about this last night but Newsies was just unbelievable, the singing and acting were of course fabulous but the set and dancing were probably my favorite part. The set was just bunch of scaffolding and metal staircases but it was split into five individual towers that would move and rotate to make different configurations while the cast was running up and down them. Sometimes the cast would be running up a spiral staircase but it would be spinning in the opposite direction which made for a really cool optical illusion. And the dancing, oh, the dancing! Here's the best number from the show being performed at the Tony awards, when they threw the newspaper it all fell on us, it was incredible.

Day Three:
We started out our day taking the subway down to Columbus Circle and from there we explored Central Park. It was the coldest day by far but it was so clear and crisp and beautiful, I was surprised how many of the trees still had their leaves on them.

From there we went downtown to the 9/11 memorial. It was a strange thing, I had never been to a memorial for an event that I actually remembered. It was beautiful and peaceful and sad, but I'm really glad we got to see it in person. The reflecting pools are massive. Probably the coolest thing is the survivor tree. It was a stump that they pulled out of the wreckage and nursed back to health and now it's planted in the middle of the memorial.

We decided our poor little feet just hadn't had quite enough punishment so we decided to go back to the Met and see some of the highlights. I'm glad I went back and saw them but it really reinforced how great the tour was. Van Gogh's Cyprus Tree is Nathan's favorite painting so we spent a good long time enjoying it. I think a lot of times art needs to be digested in one big piece, I get so much more out of it when I can compare lots and lots of works side by side. Out of all the frenchies I decided yesterday that Van Gogh is my favorite too. Seeing his paintings in person takes it to a whole new level with the depth of paint and texture, very cool.

Alright, finally! (are you still reading?) We had our all out crazy splurge dinner at NoMad last night. It was quite the experience! The best I can describe the interior is sumptuous. It was a fun combination of very trendy (you definitely got the sense that this was the hot ticket) but also incredible food and service. They do this thing to order drinks, they bring you a deck of cards and you choose a type of alcohol and then three cards with illustrations on them that describe how you're feeling (batman, indiana jones, a rockstar, oscar the grouch, a fancy lady, mermaid, etc.) And they make you a cocktail based on the cards you picked. I ended up with what they called a Necromancer (gin, absinthe, cointreau, lemon, and a bunch of other stuff I didn't know what it was) YUM!

 The couple at the table next to us were a hoot and when they found out we were from out of town they woman started rapid-firing recommendations at us for where we had to go to eat, but they were really warm and fun. We got the chicken for two which is a whole roasted chicken, they plate the white meat with foie gras and black truffle and then bring out the dark meat in a little cast iron skillet with a soft boiled egg, which they then break up and mix all in the dark meat. It was hands down the best chicken (possibly the best meat) I have EVER had. We were just giddily devouring it and enjoying the atmosphere.

Nathan can be kind of impossible to go out to meals with. Since he used to work at Canlis he notices EVERYTHING, but even he was impressed with our service last night, it was flawless. Nathan got dessert and I ordered some scotch for my dessert. Asking for the scotch menu definitely got the respect of our server and by this time we were the only ones left in the restaurant so we had a fun little chat. They even had one of our favorite scotches, Springbank 10. The night lived up to our expectations and then some, it was one of those lifetime experiences.

I don't blame you if you're not still reading this, but now that I see it all written out I don't feel so bad for being so exhausted. Up next, Jimmy Fallon...stay tuned!

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