Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 New York at Christmastime

Another item from our bucket list was to visit New York City at Christmastime.  We went for a long weekend in December a day after the lighting of the tree.  Our plans were to visit the museums, do a show and eat at some of the great restaurants.  We had an early flight to New York so that we could make a 7pm showing of Kinky Boots.  We THOUGHT we had plenty of time but that was not the case.  Our flight was delayed from leaving at 9am to 2:30pm.  We arrived in LaGuardia at 4pm only to find out that the luggage carousel was broken which delayed us by another 30mins.  Ok, so it was 4:30pm at that time and we figured we still had time.  Yeah right.  Because all of the flights were delayed, the cab line was 2 hours long so now we were sweating because the show started t 7pm.  We got in the line and this seedy looking man asked us if we wanted to take a car to NYC for $50 per couple.  THIS WAS A DEAL.  We were a little concerned but we knew we didn't have much of a choice.  A group of Toronto fliers were beside us and asked if they could join us.  I felt, ok, there is safety in numbers so this will work so sure, please join us.  We arrived at the hotel (Hyatt at Times Square) at 6:30pm and walked into the theater at 6:55pm.  Whew just in time.  We hoped this was not an indicator of what the weekend was going to be but Kinky Boots turned out to be one of the best shows I've ever seen so I had hope.

The next day we decided to walk to MOMA after a great breakfast across the street from our hotel that looked like an old mafia hangout, BOND 45.  We sat in Kathleen Turner's booth.  We visited the famous tree  

  MOMA had Starry Night which was why we wanted to go to that museum.  We ran through MOMA because it was packed but the original art was breathtaking. 


For lunch, we decided to eat at a NY  deli so we started out for Carnegie deli however the line was almost a block long.  We found a deli across the street called BENASH which had a great beef brisket sandwich.  We think just as good however, we will never know.  Since we had gone to NYC 10 years ago, we did not want to visit the typical landmarks so we decided to go to another show that night.  We checked out TIKbooth but they didn't have the shows we wanted to see so we thought we would try the box offices.  We were able to get great seats at Pittsburgh prices for WICKED and MOTOWN for Friday and Saturday night.  This was unbelieveable because we purchased aisle seats 7-9 rows back from the stage at prices we paid for Book of Mormon and Les Mis in Pittsburgh.  Both shows were great and we enjoyed this experience.  We ate our dinners at Amarone in Hell's Kitchen and .  Had great meals. 

On Saturday, we took the tour bus because we wanted to see Brooklyn.  That turned out to be a great idea because we got to see Brooklyn without driving or walking around AND got to visit Little Italy on the way back.  Ate at a great restaurant called Grotta Azur.  Had beef brachiole.  MY FAV.  Now this is where our luck changed.  We decided to take a subway back from Little Italy to Grand Central.  We got on a train but about 10 mins into the ride, the conductor came on and said they we all had to evacuate the train and transfer to another train in another station because there was a police incident on the tracks.  Not sure what it was but it meant we needed to figure out how to get back.  So, NY is famous for cabs, right?  Not right! especially when the subway is shut down, its raining AND its Christmas.  So, we decided to take the bus but the buses do not accept cash.  We needed to find a metro station so we could get a metro card to pay for the bus.   So, we buy the card and as we are trying to figure out where and what bus to catch, a cab unloads a women and we beg the cabbie to take us somewhere near our hotel.  He tells us he getting off work and can't, we beg again and he says ok, get in.  We hurry in and then he pulls up as close as possible to our hotel (which wasn't close) and kind of wants us to jump out quick.  So Michael's hands me cash folded and tells me to give it to him.  I do as I am asked.  As he pulls away, Michael asks we where is the rest of the money?  I say, I gave it to the cabbie.  He says, what, you gave him a $25 tip.  Whatever!!!   We then retreated to our hotel in time to see Motown.

Sunday, we decided to find a breakfast place since our favorite one was closed.  We did and then decided to attend the nearest catholic church for advent services.  The hotel concierge referred us to one that was one street away.  Great!! not very far.  We arrived in plenty of time for the services and realized as we were sitting there that it was a Episcopal church.  Have to say that it was VERY similar to catholic services but MUCH longer.  We were welcomed by the congregation and it was a nice way to end the trip. 

Our flight home was due to leave at 2pm and that flight got delayed by 8 hours.  We arrived home by 12midnight.  Not sure I want to fly anytime soon.  Again, a good trip!


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