Sunday, April 11, 2010

New York City

Warning: Picture and text overload!

On our trip to New York a couple of weeks ago, we stayed in Midtown Manhattan at the Warwick Hotel.

It was a nice place. Kinda reminded me of The Palmer House in Chicago but not as big- same time period. It was in a perfect location, 5 blocks from Central Park, a short walk to the stores on 5th Ave, minutes to Time Square... I'd recommend it.

Cary Grant lived in the Warwick for 12 years. That's the patio balcony off of his 'apartment' now called the Suite of the Stars. We didn't stay in that room...

This is the lobby...

We took a little stroll over to Rockfeller Center and poked around there for a few minutes looking for some grub.

We took the Downtown Loop Tour on Grayline Double Decker Bus Tour. It was pretty nice out on that Wednesday and we got on the top deck of a bus that was covered. It was like a greenhouse in there. My suggestion would be to not go on one of those. We couldn't take any pictures because the plexiglass was all scratched, it was SO hot in there and the windows kept flying open and then banging shut. Plus our tour guide wasn't that good. We should have gotten off and gotten on another bus a few minutes later since it was hop on, hop off. Oh well.

We got off at Central Park since that was only 5 blocks from our hotel and there wasn't too much more to see on the rest of the tour.

We just went in CP a little way and watched the ice skaters and this girl fall on her ass. In a puddle of water. And that water was probably freezing cold. Just like her wet ass was. It was pretty funny. Can you see her? She's right in the middle of the photo.

The infamous LOVE statue. It was only a block from our hotel. Too bad I got the glare of the flash on it. Steve wouldn't sit between the V and E. Party pooper.

After Central Park we walked back to Rockefeller Center to go to The Top of the Rock. It is the best view. Period.

Empire State Building from the 70th Floor Balcony. Sweet.

It was so windy up there. The other shot when Steve had his glasses off (glare issues) my hair is ALL OVER the place. Best to just delete that photo.

We went to Chinatown Brasserie in NoHo for dinner. It was really great. In a city that has so many restaurants it is hard to choose. We did some research before we left and found this one. Glad we did! We had the Steamed Crunchy Vegetable and Peanut Dumplings and the Pan-fried Vegetable Potstickers for appetizers. Dumplings are my favorite thing about Asian restaurants. Yum. I LOVE them. Steve had the Noodles with Wild Mushroom entree and I had the Wok Fried BBQ Beef with Asparagus (Chef Specialty). For dessert we shared some chocolate gelato and mango sorbet. It was all just yummy.
On Thursday, I met up with my cousin, Walter, and Steve went to his conference. Walter had emailed me the week before and asked if I wanted to go to a spa on Thursday morning. Do you even have to ask?? Of course I do!! We had a little time to kill before so we walked around SoHo and NYU a little bit. Walter went to NYU so he knew about this statue.
The Bust of Sylvette by Pablo Picasso. I thought it was pretty cool. It was a gift to the University and not too many people know about it (well, I am sure plenty do but it's not like the LOVE statue or some other ones). Now you know about it too. See you learned something from my visit to NY.
Next up was the Bunya CitiSPA (or the Banyan CitiSPA?? The website says one and all the press says this... weird.)
This place was suprisingly much bigger than I thought it was going to be. Very simplistic and Asian details. Walter booked me a package (he had a gift certificate). I had a 90 minute massage, facial and a manicure. The massage was great! For such a small woman she sure was strong. It just kept going and going... She told me it felt like I had rocks in my shoulders. Good to know. Next up was the facial. The people at the spa (nor did Walter) didn't tell me what treatments I was going to have so I was rather confused. Plus the women didn't speak much English (except for my manicurist who translated for most of them). After the massage I got into my robe and was ready to leave the room when the facialist came in and told me that I was having a facial and to disrobe and lay down again... Okay. After the facial, I went back to the locker room and was about to get dressed (or go into the sauna) when a lady came to get me for my mani. OK... I have had a mani maybe 3 times in my life. Tangent: *I used to bite my nails until about 6 months before my wedding. Then I got tips put on and they totally killed my nails (which my manicurist pointed out that my nails were damaged... thanks.). That was 8 years ago. I still wasn't biting my nails until recently. OPI Nail Envy helped me get off the habit the first time and this time again. AJ was playing with mine about 8 months ago and spilled it and got the lid stuck on it. I was dragging my feet to get another bottle which I thought I'd have to buy at a salon (and not many salons carry it) so I had my friend, Miss K, get some for me (she's a stylist). A week after she gave it to me I found it at Target. Whatever.* Tangent over. I had her just put clear polish on them so they didn't look weird. We had a sandwich at the spa. It really was a nice little place. I just wish I knew what I was in for. And I didn't drink enough water during or after.

Next, we went to the American Folk Art Museum (since the MoMA is closed on Thursdays) over by my hotel. This was a good thing since the AFAM is small. And 2 of the floors were closed for installation of a new exhibit. I love folk art. I think it is kitschy and fun. Sometimes I wonder why pieces get put into museums when they just look like a big hot mess. The BEST folk art museum though is The International Museum of Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM. Amazing and so much fun. Anyway, this was okay. Walter had never been and he has lived in NY for 30 years so now we can both say we have been there.

I really liked the above painting.

Walter and I in front of some funky statue that we both thought was cool.
When I got back to the hotel I was not feeling well. The super long massage and lack of water wore me out. We didn't end up going out for dinner. I just laid in bed for a couple of hours before we went to see Lion King.
The Lion King was AWESOME! We had great seats and the costumes, musical numbers and the actors were outstanding. The only thing that kinda was annoying were the kids talking behind us. And their parents not telling them to zip it! They were old enough to know better. As were their parents! I texted Summer at intermission that I was going to sleep in instead of meet her because I felt sick. :( Should have met her Thursday BEFORE the spa.
So the hubs had day 2 of his conference and I was on my own again. I was trying to get together with my friend, Nini, for lunch but she was swamped at work and couldn't make it. I slept in and took my time getting ready for the day. I was going to hit the MoMA but when I got there the line was a block+ long. I didn't have that much time so I headed to 5th Avenue to shop. I posted about my trip to Saks here already. I met the hubs for lunch at Heartland Brewery where I had vegetarian chili and a small salad that I barely ate because I still wasn't feeling so good. Not hungry anyway. My high school friend, Mike, texted me during lunch and asked what I'd like to do with him that afternoon. So we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge. I hopped on the subway by myself - yesterday I was with Walter!- (with thorough instructions from Victor at the hotel) and met Mike at City Hall Park. It wasn't too hard figuring out the underground. Mike and I haven't seen each other in 17 years. You'd never know it though. I wrote about Mike here, he's an amazing fashion photographer. Please check out his site! We walked and talked our way across the Bridge, through Brooklyn Heights (where the Huxtables lived!) and wound our way through the Financial District and Wall Street. If I lived in NY, I would want to live in BK Hts. It was a cool way to see the city. Next time I'll know to wear more comfortable shoes. My feet were killing me!
Mike and I before I headed back on the subway to the hotel. I could barely walk the 4 blocks from the station to the hotel... Yes, it was chilly. And windy. We are wearing winter coats.

We went to Trattoria Trecolori on Restaurant Row for dinner (we were supposed to go there Thursday before the show...). It was good but again I wasn't feeling stellar. I had the gnocchi alla baba. The waiter was very concerned when I didn't eat much and when I told him I wasn't feeling the best he asked me if I wanted some tea to help calm my stomach. That was very sweet. Excellent service. Good food but if you are only there for a couple of days find another Italian place.
We slept in. Aaaaaahhhh. It felt great. I was feeling good again. Let's EAT! :) We rode the subway with a little help from Victor again. (I am an expert now. Yeah. Right.) We went to Battery Park and got a view of Lady Liberty.

Then we went to Grand Central Station, just because. We ate lunch at some Mexican place in the 'food court'. I didn't care- I was hungry. Then we subwayed to The Met but we didn't go inside. We walked around the 'hood nearby and then went for a stroll through Central Park.

We came upon a castle... It was pretty cool. But windy.

We came upon a plaza-esque area with a fountain that would have been even more neato mosquito if the water was on.

Then we went to Strawberry Fields. I didn't take a picture of the Imagine mosaic because there were too many people around. We headed back to the hotel for a little R&R before dinner. We went to John's Pizzeria in Times Square. Yum. The building was a church back in the day and such a cool place for a restaurant. The Margherita 'za was tasty too. We headed back right after dinner since we had to get up at 3:15 am (that's 2:15 for us...) for our WAY too early flight home. Laguardia was a hot mess at 4:30 am... Note to self: DON'T FLY SO DAMN EARLY!! It was good to see poquito when we got home though! :)

No comments: