We just got back from a vacation to New York City. I wanted to update my blog every day that we were there but didn’t want to take my laptop. I couldn’t upload my pictures, so I waited to post until we got home. My first time to New York was in December 2007 and after that trip, I couldn’t wait to go back. I absolutely fell in love with that city. Everything was just so magical to me. I love being in the city where everything is busy, all the big buildings, all the places to do and see and things to eat. We went right before Christmas last time, so that probably added to the magic. So, ever since then I have wanted to go back but my husband never wanted to. Finally, after 6 1/2 half years, I just started planning the trip myself. I am a planner and when I say that I planned the trip, I really planned the trip! First I got all the places together that I wanted to see, all the tourist-y things, all the places my favorite movies were filmed, and then looked up all the best-rated restaurants, coffee shops, pizza, and bagel places. Then I created my own custom map on Google Maps (which is awesome, by the way) and then went through the map and mapped out the stops day-by-day. I spent hours and hours and hours on this trip, wanting everything to be perfect. I read blog after blog that anything to do with New York. I went on Google Maps and just “walked” the streets just to see what they looked like. I studied up on the Subway maps. I was just so excited to go. The weather was only bad the night we got there but other than that it was sunny and cool…which was great for walking around outside all day. And I mean we walked. We. Walked. All. Day. Long. I just finished mapping out everywhere we went. The total was 39 miles. 39 MILES! And my feet and legs are still aching. We only rode in a taxi to and from the airport. We only took the subway a couple of times. Other than that, we went everywhere on foot. But that’s the best way to explore this city, in my opinion.
On Friday, May 16th, we got to the airport for our 9:55am flight. It was a little delayed due to the wind in New York City. Everything went smoothly and we finally got to the hotel around 3pm. We stayed at the Pod 51 Hotel. Picking a hotel was tough because I didn’t really know where the best location was and I couldn’t spend a whole lot of money. The rate was one of the cheapest I could find, but the ratings were still good. As I read about it, I learned that you don’t have a bathroom in your room. They are shared bathrooms on each hall. And the cheapest rooms had bunk beds. At first I was going to just forget about that hotel and find another one. But, the more I thought about it I realized that we are really only going to be in the hotel to sleep and shower. So, in the end I figured what the heck and decided to give it a try. And I’m glad we did – I had no complaints about the hotel…the room was clean, the bathrooms were clean, and everyone was really nice. I was worried that it would be a bathroom with stalls in it like a locker room but it wasn’t. Each bathroom had one toilet and a shower in it. Each floor had 4 bathrooms. And inside your hotel room, above the door, were 4 little red lights that told you if the bathroom was occupied or not. So, you didn’t even have to leave your room to tell if a bathroom was available. And there was never a time where there wasn’t one available. There was a sink in the room, so you could at least wash your hands and brush your teeth in there. The bunk beds were fine, too. Each bed even had their own little tv, which was very nice. We could each watch whatever we wanted 🙂
After we got settled into our hotel, we went to one of the bagel shops I had looked up. Fortunately it was on our block. The name was Ess-A-Bagel and it was yummy. I had read that the popular thing to eat up there is salmon and cream cheese on a bagel. I’m not one for salmon but I tasted some of Michael’s bagel and eventually ended up getting my own later on. I tried to sample different types of cream cheese each day, but my favorite from this bagel shop was the blueberry cream cheese.
After eating, we headed to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I had read that they had free admission on Fridays from 4pm-8pm. We walked there and it was pretty crowded. There was a long line to get in but it went fast. I was really looking forward to looking at all the art but honestly, I just couldn’t get into it. No offense to anyone, but I just couldn’t understand why some pieces were in there. Like this one:
I did enjoy seeing the original Starry Night painting, though. The guard fussed at me because I accidentally had my flash on the first time I took a picture. Ooops.
We skipped the last floor of the museum and left. We walked towards Times Square and looked around and then headed towards the Chelsea area because we had tickets to a comedy show at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre that night at 9pm. We stopped at another bagel place – Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee – and I got a bagel with basil parmesan cream cheese. It was really good.
We stood in line for the comedy show in the rain and waited (with umbrellas from a street vendor, thank goodness). We finally got inside and got good seats, on the second row. The group that we saw were called The Stepfathers and they were pretty good. I think that what they do would be extremely tough (improv comedy) and I know that I could never do it. I didn’t get to see all of the show because the combination of bagels and pizza didn’t agree with my stomach and I had to keep leaving to go to the bathroom. Ugh.
When we left there, it was pouring down rain. Thank goodness for the HopStop app on my phone (which is awesome to have in NY city). I found a subway station near the comedy club and we managed to find our way back to the hotel. We got cleaned up, got into our bunk beds, and went to sleep!