Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Big Apple

Hotel room taxis

Click for larger. You can see more pictures from New York City on

During the first week of November I tagged along with my husband on his work trip to New York City. I had a great time except that I wore my feet out. I thought I brought comfortable shoes but I guess they weren't.

I grew up a few hours from the city (in South Jersey) but only managed to make a few trips there and I never got a chance to really explore the city as an adult. And now that I'm a grown up and travel pretty much wherever I want, it never really crossed my mind to take a vacation to NYC. I'm afraid Paris, London or Rome or lots of other cities I haven't been to are higher on the list. But the opportunity came up and I'm glad it did. I had fun playing "tourist" and fulfilled most of the "must-see/do" items on the mental list I'd made.

  • Hang out in Times Square. It was a mob scene, especially on election day but it was great to experience it. I don't think I'll ever go there for New Years however.
  • Eat at one of those delis with sandwiches named after celebrities. We ate at the Stage Deli; however, I didn't eat such a sandwich because they were monstrous. I had a hamburger and milkshake instead.
  • Walk in Central Park
  • Ride in a NYC taxi cab
  • Take the subway
  • Check out the reading room in the library. Quite spectacular.
  • Go to the top of the Empire State Building
  • Visit Grand Central Station
  • Eat a hot dog from a street vendor (and I'm still alive!)
  • Have a slice of NY pizza
  • Eat a soft pretzel - also bought from a street vendor
  • Buy an "I ♥ NY" shirt (5 for $10!)
  • Buy a $5 pashmina/silk shawl from a street vendor - which is actually kind of nice!
  • Window shop on 5th avenue
  • Shop at Mood and all of the other fabric and trim stores I've heard about - of course I bought fabric
  • See the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Have some NY cheesecake
  • Watch the skaters in Rockefeller Center (and Central Park and Bryant Park too)
  • See a NYC rat -- well, not actually on my "must see" list, but we saw one run out of a planter and try to scale the side of another stone planter.

I didn't visit the Statue of Liberty but would like to some day. I also didn't take a carriage ride. We almost did the carriage ride on Saturday morning, but my foot hurt too much for me to walk to Central Park and it was starting to rain anyway. Seeing a Broadway show would probably be on most people's lists, but it's not really on mine. I've seen shows in L.A. and could see them in San Francisco too. For me it's more about seeing the show and not that it's in New York. We really didn't have a lot of time to see one anyway.

I enjoyed the city more than I thought I would. Of course it helped to be staying in a nice hotel in a prime part of Manhattan. After the first night I even slept through the honking of horns and the blare of emergency vehicle sirens. There's so much energy from all the people walking everywhere, all of the time. The hotel was a-buzz too, first with NYC marathon runners (we arrived in the city a few hours after the marathon completed) then with convention goers. It was a kind of energy that sweeps you up and urges you to go somewhere and do something. I went fabric shopping (and visited the FIT museum) and had a great time!

fashion district