Adventures in NYC

Rockefeller Plaza

Hiya folks. Hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July. I'm sorry I didn't have any SYTYCD updates last week--I was preparing for a trip to NYC and didn't get a chance to see the whole performance show, and I haven't seen any of the elimination show. But, my sister and I had a great time in New York, as usual. The impetus for this trip was that Maroon 5 was playing on the Today Show on Friday, July 2.

Before we get to that, I wanted to talk about Thursday evening. We arrived in NYC around 6pm (the usually 4-hour ride took 6 hours...lots of folks on the road). We later met a friend for dinner at a place called Ayza, a Wine and Chocolate Bar. Wine AND chocolate?! Wow. Great food, great company--and great weather...we ate outside and it was wonderful. We finished the meal with this yummy-ness:

Molten Chocolate Cake @ Ayza in NYC 20-layer crepe dessert @ Ayza in NYC

By the way, Ayza sits at the bottom of a gorgeous apartment building. Can you imagine living in a place like this, and above a wine AND chocolate bar, no less?

So, after dinner, we walked around a bit, and then Deb and I headed to our hotel to prepare for Friday's activities.

On Friday morning, we got up at 3:30 a.m., got gussied up, and then headed over to The Today Show. We came across a police officer who pointed us to where we needed to get in line. We were thinking, there's a LINE? At 4:30 a.m.? The cop must've read our minds and pointed out that the first people arrived the night before at 8:00 p.m. and spent the night on the sidewalk. We got in line, and the folks who came behind us, counted the folks in front of us...we were about 80th in line.

The powers that be let us into the plaza around 6:00, and Maroon 5 drummer, Matt Flynn, warmed up and helped with the sound check. We crowded in, and noticed two things: 1) There's a whole "VIP" section in front of the stage, we were a bit back from that. And 2) we stood about 30 feet away from the gals who'd arrived at 8:00 p.m. the night before. So, lessons learned: 1) there's no real need to get there SO early, and 2) try to get your hands on some VIP passes.

The whole band came out around 6:30 and did some more sound testing/rehearsal. We got to hear "Sunday Morning" and "This Love." The crowd went crazy. We could barely see anything, but the band sounded good. Then, the Today Show started at 7:00 a.m., and we stood, and stood, and stood, until 8:30 when the band performed for real. We again heard "This Love" and "Sunday Morning." But we also got to hear their new song, "Misery." And...that was it! Most folks filed out at 9 a.m. Overall, it was fun--we were glad we went. Even though we were set back a ways from the stage, we still figure that it's the closest we'd ever be to the band, so we may as well enjoy it.

Maroon 5

More Adam

Matt & Meredith

Me and Deb @ the Today Show

After the show, we went back to the hotel for a nap, and then we met the same friend from the night before at her office building downtown. This is what she gets to see from the 42nd floor:

NYC skyline

NYC bridges


It was GORGEOUS up there!!!

Late Friday afternoon into evening, we visited with a friend who'd just had her second daughter last week. The baby was cute, and it was fun to hang out.

On Saturday, we set out to Brooklyn with our aunts and we spent the day at Coney Island. Deb and I had never been there before. The weather was spectacular--no humidity, just a few clouds, and a nice breeze. We walked most of the boardwalk and rode a couple of rides. One of the rides was a small roller coaster called "The Tickler." It looked rather tame, so we all decided to ride--then we screamed the whole way through--it was so funny!

Coney Island boardwalk

The Tickler

Coney Island

After Coney Island, we headed back to Manhattan to Times Square to see a part of the "Play Me, I'm Yours" art exhibit. This exhibit consisted of 60 pianos placed around the city--anyone can come up and play.

Play Me I'm Yours Piano @ Times Square Play Me I'm Yours

We hung out a bit more with our aunts, and then we parted ways. My aunts went to see a play, and Deb and I headed out to a new park they told us about called High Line Park. The High Line used to be an elevated railroad track. My aunt told us they were going to tear it down, but then someone came up with a plan to turn it into a park. Right now, it's from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District up to W. 20th Street between Avenues 10 and 11. It's planned to go up all the way to 34th street.

That night, Deb and I walked from Times Square (42nd and Broadway) all the way to the park (we entered at 20th street) and then to the end of the park. This was AFTER we walked all day at Coney Island. Our dogs were barking when we got home, but it was worth it--the park was so cool.

Along the High Line

The High Line

On the tracks

Oh, we had dinner at a place in the Meatpacking District, and then spent some time trying to figure out where they shot the final scene from the first Sex & the City movie...I think we found it. (But did I take a photo...noooooo.... not sure why!)

On Sunday, we finally had a celebrity sighting. We were at a diner, waiting for a friend, and in walked Dr. Drew Pinsky and another guy--his son perhaps? We were hoping they'd be seated at the two-top next to us, but they decided to go somewhere else. That was kinda cool. After breakfast, we took a stroll through Central Park, and then we headed back to catch our bus home.

There was no traffic coming home--this time our 4-hour trip only took about 3-1/2 hours! It was a great weekend, and I'm happy to have one more day off work so I can get in some relaxation and catch up on Tivo.


Kerri said...

val-- that looks so fun!! you packed in so much fun in those few days! i love that about NYC-- it seems to always happen, doesn't it?

very cool that u went to the today say and (sorta) saw maroon- but hey, you got a good pic of adam!!

and oh my gosh, i LOVE dr. drew!! too bad he didn't have some celebs in rehab with him!!!

great picture of you and your sister- what cute girls!

thank u so much for sharing the adventures of your fun trip to the big apple! :)

Valerie said...

Thanks, Kerri! I actually was kinda impressed that we covered three Burroughs in as many days. Maybe next time we'll try for the Bronx Zoo. (Haven't been there since the mid-1980s.) I have no idea what's in Staten Island, but that's the only Burrough I haven't been to yet. I should go, just to go.

One of these days I need to get to Texas so I can come hear you sing and then I'll blog about that! :o)

Anonymous said...

Kerri, it looks really tasty,idea of wine and chocolate is excellent, I just wanna try it...thanks for your comments...