I love New York — especially in April and May, September and October, and around Christmas.
Hubby and I went up for a junket last Thursday and it was perfect–sunny and in the mid 60’s, while at home in Nashville it was cold, rainy and blah! Of course, when I booked our trip I had no idea of the weather patterns. The weather gods were good to us.
I picked this particular weekend for three reasons:
1. My friend Monica Ramey was singing (with Beegie Adair) at the famous Jazz Club, Birdland on West 44th Street, right off Broadway. This was their third time there and it was sold out! I was like a proud mama!
2. I needed a good birthday idea for Hubby last month. He’s so hard to buy for. He loves jazz. He loves NYC. And he’s crazy about Monica. In March, I told him to block the May dates off on his calendar (in ink), then told him why on his birthday. He just had to trust me in between.
3. I had a Delta companion pass (buy one ticket, get one free) that expired May 31st.
So off we went…
The venue was sensational (though taking pictures without a flash was a bit challenging).
We got a table right by the stage. (Lucky us!)
Monica and Beegie were amazing. They sold a ton of CD’s and people stood in line forever to get them signed. Gee, when I bought my ten copies when it was first released back in December (gifts) I just handed Monica a check and she handed me the CD’s in the back room at a party–sort of felt like a drug deal, not that I’d know what a drug deal would feel like, mind you.
Afterwards, we went to dinner with Monica, Beegie and a handful of friends, most with a Nashville connection. We met some fun new people and had a great time–even though I had on really high heels and my feet hurt. That’s why they have taxis.
Sorry, Beegie, that none of these picture feature your face. I’ll just tell everyone: she’s cute as a button. It was the first time I’d met her and it was apparent why Monica adores her. And, oh my goodness, can she tear up those ivories!
We also went to the September 11th memorial. The last time we’d visited, it was just a giant hold in the ground. This time there are two beautiful reflecting pools. The base of each covers almost an acre (almost as big as each building) and the names of those who lost their lives are cut all the way through the stone top surrounding the pools. Every part of the memorial is symbolic. So much thought went into memorializing the 3,000 who lost their lives that day.
They’ve started an impressive museum brilliantly designed to look like the top of one of the buildings had it landed in tact. It will house seven floors of underground exhibits, including a “trident” column from the exterior of one of the Twin Towers and the “Survivor’s Staircase,” which was used by all who escaped. The museum should open in 2015.
If you go (and I recommend you do) I suggest taking the tour led by people with a connection to the event. Our tour guides (pictured below) were a first responder paramedic-type and a lady whose husband worked in the building but had slept in because he’d been up late the night before watching football. Her son lived in an apartment next door. He slept through an hour of her constant phone calls and didn’t wake up until the first building collapsed and he thought there’d been an earthquake. There are over three hundred volunteers who lead these tours so no two tours are alike. Another advantage of doing the tour…they get immediate access through security (very tight) and can cut through long lines.
I’d not made plans in advance to see a play. (I hope those of you who know me didn’t hurt yourselves when you fainted!) Nope. No plans other than a hotel and tickets to Birdland. Our first choice was Tom Hanks in Lucky Man, but the only seats available were $350 each. I can pull out my DVDs of Sleepless in Seattle and Castaway and make do. Instead we saw Spiderman. We got 1/2 price tickets at TCKS. I was skeptical as to how Spiderman would translate to the stage, but they did a great job. Bono did the music and it was wonderful. This is one show, however, where I’d recommend a balcony seat instead of orchestra. We were in the latter and had stiff necks from constantly looking up at the characters flying around. IMHO, the strongest character was Norman Osborn/Green Goblin. He was perfectly cast.
We went to Johns Pizzeria twice. Enough said. And Hubby got to play with some friends in Time’s Square.
We flew into JFK and out of LaGuardia and I was amazed. (I guess you can’t take the small town girl out of me.) Both airports had equipped most of the chairs in the gate areas with iPads with free (yes, free) Internet and docking stations. Now, if you wanted to use your own iPad or computer, you still had to pay for an Internet connection, but you could use the airport provided iPads (and there were plenty) while you waited. They seemed to have more seats with them than without at the gates near us.
We got home Saturday afternoon to yucky, cold weather but it’s 65 and sunny today–just like was in New York.
Do you have any favorite NYC stories?