Life, Travel

Night in New York City

January 11, 2004

Back from a whirlwind 28 hours that took me from home to the Big Apple to Philadelphia to Dickensian England and back again!

New York City
I ran a bit late getting home from work yesterday, so I had approximately 15 minutes to pack. In the car by 3, on the Greyhound by 3:30. I slept a good chunk of the way — from exit 8 of the Turnpike to approaching the Lincoln Tunnel.

Without the WTC, the New York skyline looks wrong. It hurts. A shot to the heart not unlike seeing your ex with their brand new squeeze. And s/he doesn’t even turn your way. The reality of the orange world we were living in hit hard when I saw two fully uniformed soldiers bearing automatic rifles at the entrance of the tunnel.

We de-bused at Port Authority Terminal. Thor planned the trip well — the hotel was a half-block away from the terminal, and BBKing’s was across the street from the hotel.

Checking in, the front desk clerk verified that we were staying in a suite. Wha? My groom pulled out all the stops! We hopped in the elevator and zoomed up to the 44th floor. The view was phenomenal. By then it was dark, and when we pulled open the curtains, we saw the beautifully lit Empire State Building, and the rest of Times Square glittering below.
city that never sleeps
After freshening up, we asked the Concierge where to go for a casual dinner. He suggested Cafe Un Deux Trois, a small French bistro not far away. We were seated within 10 minutes. I started off with the French Onion Soup (naturellment!) and had a veal chop with mashed potatoes and grilled veggies as my entree. We got a bottle of French red wine and drank it to the dregs. No dessert, as I was quite stuffed and tipsy by the time dessert was nigh. Tipsy enough that the intricately tiled floor was quite a distraction to walking properly. Hm.

By my request, we braved the bone-chilling cold and walked to the Sephora store nearby. When I say bone-chilling, I’m not exaggerating. My legs were numb beneath my jeans. I bought a new lipstick from Stila. And we moved on.

The cold was so bad we were aching. We walked through the center of Times Square — where the ball drops on NY Eve. By now it was 9 pm, and our show wasn’t until 10:30. D’oh! So we ducked into a Starbucks to grab some warm stuff and scurried back to the hotel. Mmm……warm….sleeeepy.

Luckily, I set the alarm clock for 10:10 pm. We dozed on the sofa for a bit and believe me you, we did NOT want to go to the show.

But we did, and I’m glad!
big apple

After having to wait outside in the single-digit temps (ow!) we were let into BBKing’s. Along with the cost of the ticket, it was a $10.00 minimum order per person. I started with a Bailey’s and Coffee, and then had a sloe gin fizz. Except I think they forgot to add the “fizz” to the drink. It was straight gin. Poison!!

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy rocked! I mean, SWUNG! I eat up that genre of music. Bass, horns, piano, drums, guitar. I am always incredibly impressed when I see a band live, and they play their own music, AND they sound like the record! Plus, they dressed in sharp suits and hats. (drool) I was born about 45 years too late.

As soon as they hit the stage, hoardes of couples swarmed the dance floor to swing dance. There were some standout couples in the crowd, but for the most part, it reminded me of the old “muppet show” ballroom dance skit when the couples are swinging each other around violently.

Yes, I’m jealous. I wish I could swing dance. I would have loved to have been out there. But alas, I am clumsy, and clumsy people aren’t meant to dance.

They played tunes from all 3 albums (you probably know their only radio hit “You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight”). About halfway through the set, my blood alcohol level hit three and it appeared that the McDonaldland gang took the stage. That Hamburgular plays a mean trumpet.
i am freezing my a$$ off

I didn’t want the show to end! But it did, as all good things do, and we all trundled out into the cold again. Luckily the hotel was a short sprint across the street.

Thor hit the sack, but I had other plans. The room had a whirlpool tub, and I was ready to partake. Our tub here in the apartment doesn’t hold water that well, so I’ve really missed taking long hot baths. The jets were divine — there were three on each side of the tub. After braving the cold weather, this bath was the perfect prescription. I spent about 20 minutes submerged up to my chin, then dried off and went to bed.

I woke up around 8 on Saturday morning. In order to make it home in time to see Oliver! at the Academy of Music, we had to catch the 10am bus. We were out in the bitter cold again by 9. We’re so wimpy. The temps were in the high single-digits, and the wind howled. I snapped a few photos of Times Square, and we ducked back into the hotel for breakfast. The Hilton had a breakfast buffet and we hopped in without realizing the cost. At about $17. per person, I wish I’d taken some more scrambled eggs!

We left the Hilton at 9:50, and made it to the bus with moments to spare. The armed guards were gone from the Lincoln Tunnel Entrance. I snoozed on the ride back. Thor dropped me off at Mom’s, and by 12:30pm, we were off to Philadelphia to see Oliver!
Which was good, except I found it hard to understand what Nancy was singing, due to her super-thick English accent.

Edited 5/6/07: I came across this post today. A lot of my old Blogger posts didn’t have titles, so I added one. And then I reread it and laughed aloud at how I sugarcoated things. This trip was miserable, and he and I barely talked the whole time. I drank a lot more than I blogged here, and cried in the whirlpool tub. Funny how people say “We never saw your separation coming!” and realize that’s because I never really let anyone know that it was a long time in coming.

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