Monday, November 19, 2012

NYC Day 3

Wednesday, Day 3 of our New York City Extravaganza, was a busy one that included visiting two museums, witnessing the parade balloon inflation, our first New York pizza, and Brad's very favorite event of the trip, Wicked on Broadway!

But the whole day started off with a quick move. We were able to get a great deal on a fancy schmancy hotel in Midtown for the first two days, but then transferred to a cheaper (bigger!) hotel in SOHO for the rest of the week. We actually liked this one better than the boutique hotel, even though it was just a Holiday Inn. It had much more space, was conveniently located near a Subway Station, and still had a great view of the city outside of our window. The hotel switch did, however, require our first cab ride. I was actually very nervous. (Too many crime shows have put the fear in me. You willingly jump into the back of a car in a city you know nothing about and trust the driver to take you where you ask instead of dumping your body in a back alley??) Even though I was spooked, Bradley handled it like a champ.

Once we settled into our hotel, we headed toward our first intellectual museum experiences at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Let me just be honest with you here, this was a little too sophisticated for our liking. We spent the better part of our morning walking around and trying to hide our faces of confusion. We would come upon something that other people clearly found fascinating, and just look at each other and stealthily go, "Huh?? I don't get it... What is that even supposed to be??" Finally, when we got up on about the fourth floor they did have some Vincent van Gogh displays, and we both found those legitimately interesting. But after that, we decided to drop the hoity toity facade and call that museum a bust. We subsequently dropped the Metropolitan Museum of Art unceremoniously from our schedule for the day. At least Brad and I both felt the same way. Good riddance to "art" we just don't get. It was time to move on to more fun things.

Did you know that the day before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, you can go watch them inflate all of the balloons?? I was like a little kid walking around the block surrounding the Museum of Natural History (our next stop) and trying to figure out what each float was going to be before it had fully taken its form. If we couldn't tell, we just consulted the sign that accompanied each one indicating its name and the year of its first flight alongside a photo. Even only partially inflated, I could already tell they were going to be larger than I realized from tv!  Dispersed within the balloons were semi trucks hauling giant tanks of helium. It was awesome.

By then, the Dunkin' Donuts we ate in the subway that morning (there is an entire city underground!) had worn off, and we were starving. So for lunch, we tasted our very first authentic New York Style Pizza at Patsy's Pizzeria! Patsy's claims to be the city's very first pizzeria, opening in 1933. I don't know if the legend is true, but I do know that the pizza was delicious!
Once our bellies were filled, we headed to Museum Numero Deux for the day, The Natural History Museum. This bit of learning was much more our cup of tea. The majority of the museum was like a zoo of every kind of animal in the history of the whole world. I especially enjoyed the life size elephants that you could go right up to. But our favorite part of the whole place was the dinosaur exhibit, with fossil skeletons as big as an entire room!

When we walked back outside, we re-entered Balloon Inflation territory. Not only had the floats grown in size, but so had the crowd! It was now an official, organized tour around the block. It was so cool to be experiencing a tradition with native New Yorkers who participate in this activity every year! Not as cool, however, was walking against the huge crowd to make it to the Subway entrance we needed...

But fight the crowd we did, because we had a schedule to follow! We rushed back to our hotel room to change clothes for our Broadway Musical! I even exchanged my comfy tennies for some fancy heeled boots! (You better believe my feet were screaming after two museums, but I figured we'd be sitting most of the evening, and it was worth it. You can't dress like a hoodlum for such a classy event.)
Ohmygoodness, you guys! Wicked was soooo good! Brad and took great care to not let the show get spoiled for us beforehand. We knew nothing about the story and had heard none of the songs prior arriving on the scene. We wanted it all to be brand new and enjoy it with fresh eyes. We each ordered a novelty cocktail in souvenir cups (Brad chose the Ozmopolitan, and I drank the Flying Monkey Punch.), and then we took our seat right in the center of the Gershwin Theatre. It was overwhelming and amazing. My skin broke out in goosebumps when the lights went down, and I'm not ashamed to admit that a couple tears fell out of my eyes during the "Defying Gravity" number. I've never experienced anything like it in my whole life. We must go back and soak up as much Broadway as we can stand ASAP! (Because of this one performance, the Broadway-focused trip to NYC is already in the works for May, 2013.)

Brad touts that Wicked was easily the highlight of his entire week in the city. But mine didn't come until the following morning, bright and early. I have a feeling you can guess what it was. I can't wait to tell you all about it!
Check out the rest of our days in NYC!


1 comment:

Dad said...

I am SO glad that you had a GREAT time! Memories were made, for sure!

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