Here's the thing about New York City: yes, it is larger than life in every possible way and it is exactly what you expect it to be and so much more. Yes, there are people and languages and colors covering every inch of that place and more to see than seems possible. It is loud with honks and the sounds of people out doing; working, commuting, running, sight-seeing, exploring, eating and living. It is not a place I wish to call home but is a place that everyone should see because within all of that busy, a very vibrant heart beats and makes New York feel like no other place I've been.
When Brad surprised my with our trip for Christmas, my excitement immediately took over. Having been there once before almost eight years ago with my mom, on a trip I will never forget, I knew exactly what was waiting for us. I was anxious to drink in the sounds of Broadway, feel my patriotism peak at the World Trade Center and taste my way to the best cheesecake in the city, all with The Rizz by my side. We started making plans almost immediately, thrilled once again to have our trusty side-kicks by our side and with one common thought among us: we were going to see and do everything.
And we did.
We were lucky to have Brad's sister Eileen as our personal tour guide, as she has called New York her home for the past 8 years. We stayed at her cozy little flat in Harlem and got to experience a side of New York that otherwise would have gone unseen but which we completely loved. She took us to amazing restaurants (can you say brunch at The Eatery where the stuffed french toast came with ice cream on top?) taught u s the ins and outs of the subway system and made sure we had a very full New York experience.
Throughout the week, we:
::Saw Billy Elliot, That Championship Season, Mama Mia and Rock of Ages on Broadway
::Went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
::Walked through Battery Park, Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, the East Village, Harlem, the upper east and west sides and explored everything in between
::Shopped at Tiffany's
::Sat at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park
::Visited the World Trade Center site
::Had lunch at Carnegie Deli and ate the best. cheesecake. ever.
::Toured the Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MoMa
::Ran into Donald Trump while searching for a bathroom
::Re-enacted the end of The Adjustment Bureau on the top of the Rock
::Saw the city from the Empire State Building at night (highly recommended)
::Said a prayer of thanks for free refills at the Olive G arden in Times Square (I know it's lame that we went there but it was raining and we were waiting for a show)
::Shopped at the largest Forever 21 and H&M I've ever seen
::Downed the yummiest fries, burgers and shakes at The Shake Shack
::Saw Lucas Haas on the sidewalk
::Got an autographed playbill from Mr. Big
::Heard the voice of Darth! Vader! as he stood a few feet away
::Made a little visit to the Jimmy Fallon Show
::Served as back-up dancers for Booker T. Jones
::Got chills as the one and only Jack Bauer took to the stage
::Almost bought purses in Chinatown, and then didn 't
::Walked and walked and walked and walked
::Decided that the gigantic Mac store on 6th ave is for the boys what Tiffany's is for my and Linds
::Were comped the most amazing meal at Momofuku's Noodle Bar, a sister-restaurant to the one where Jared's brother Mitch is an amazing chef
::Ate fried chicken and waffles in Harlem
::Became masters of the subway system and wondered for the 10 millionth time how people used to travel without apps on their phones
::Hiked 20+ blocks in the rain with Lindsay leading the charge at break-neck speed because in the words of Jared "Hizzy doesn't like to get wet"
::Discovered that pretzels from sidewalk vendors are nast but the roasted nuts are divine
::Realized at our third museum that we were more excited to be there because of Night At The Museum than to see the fine art
::Spent $20 on a few pastries one morning and decided they were worth every penny
And now a ton of pictures that you don't really care about but that I had to include:
Statue of Liberty
Quiet poiibly my favorite picture of the trip, even though it's blurry...at Carengie Deli, that sandwich was sick