Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Manhattan Milestones

Over fall break, my mom and I decided to take a trip to New York City. Ever since my entire family visited the city five years ago, I couldn’t wait for a chance to return to the Big Apple.

In front of Rockefeller Plaza, where we later watched people skate on the ice rink.

After an early-morning flight out of Indianapolis, we arrived in New York with a full day ahead of us. Not wanting to waste any time, my mom and I dropped off our bags at the hotel and set out to the High Line, a Monon-trail type public park that extends for almost 1.5 miles over the city. At the end of the park, we visited Chelsea Market, an artsy indoor area complete with arches covered in fairy lights and full of jewelry merchants, comical political-themed gift shops, and lots of unique food stands.
Even though it was raining, we still had fun on the high line.

In my opinion, the New York City experience is not complete without seeing at least one Broadway show. For this trip, we were lucky enough to see not only one, but two! On the first night, we saw Beautiful, portraying the music career of Carole King. She is one of my mom’s favorite artists, and I remember listening to her music growing up. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this performance; I was astonished at the commitment of the actors to singing, dancing, and fully committing themselves to their roles, as I always am when I watch theater.

Before watching Beautiful, the story of Carole King.

Being night owls, my mom and I decided live out, at least to an extent, the saying of “the city that never sleeps.” After the show, we walked through Times Square and stopped to get dinner, which was really much more of a late night snack.

Each night we were there, I was continually surprised by not only the copious number of people out on the streets at all hours of the morning, but how bright and lively areas of the city, especially areas like Times Square, were. Before falling asleep that night, I watched the end of Saturday Night Live, which was so surreal because 1) SNL was filmed live literally blocks away from where we were staying, and 2) Lin-Manuel Miranda was the host, and from our cozy hotel room, we could see the Richard Rodgers Theater that houses Hamilton.

Rain greeted us the morning of our second day, and did not let up until much later that night.  Rather than spend the day indoors, we decided to tough it out and explore the city as we planned to. We walked to the nearby NBC studios, then on to the United Nations. This was a bit disappointing because, due to the rain, the flags in front of the building were not on display. Still, we continued to the New York Public Library, which is one of the most beautiful and historic sights I’ve ever seen. Walking through the library, I couldn’t imagine getting any actual work done due to all the tourists (like us), but I could definitely imagine visiting the library just to appreciate the architecture.

The New York City Public Library was also used for filming for the Sex and the City movie, which is one of my favorites.


Before seeing our second show, Wicked, we stopped to have dinner with our cousin Andrea, who lives nearby in Brooklyn.

Wicked is without a doubt one of my favorite musicals, and although I had seen it once before, I had never seen it in New York City. It definitely did not disappoint, with the sets just as ridiculously elaborate as I had imagined.

Since the theater is such a permanent location for Wicked, the set was very elaborate.

On the Monday of our short adventure, we visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, taking multiple ferry rides and lots of photos.

We had to take a selfie with Lady Liberty!
A few subway stops later, we emerged onto 4th street in Greenwich village, with one goal in mind: Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop. After some issues with Siri’s directions, we at last found the famous spot, and were greeted by a few other Sex and the City fans. Since we were in the area, we went to Washington Square Park and watched some street performers, and then just people-watched until the sun went down.  This was my favorite day.


On the way back, we spent some time in Times Square, as we did most nights, and then the long day led us back to the coziness of our hotel for the night.


On our last day, we rented bikes and rode around Central Park, stopping to take in the beauty of sites like the Loeb boathouse and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Outside the Met Steps, a brief pause on our biking expedition.

At the end of the day, it was time to return to Indiana after a fast-paced but unforgettable trip spent with my mom.

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