Friday, January 1, 2010

Bright Lights Big City

We drove into the city Wednesday afternoon and guess what? We weren't the only ones. We inched our way thru the Lincoln Tunnel and were only nearly squashed between two very large trucks once or five times as we made our way over to Rockefeller Plaza. was good to be parked. Really really good.

We have friends from the UK who relocated back to the US about the same time we did and they have access to some lovely apartments right in Rockefeller Plaza which they kindly allowed us to use for a couple of days. Oh the view y'all.

Why yes that is the steeple to St. Patrick's Cathedral right outside our living room window. And here's the cute little kitchen...not that I was cooking.

Wait, I did make coffee every morning.

And this is what we saw every time we walked out the front door of our building...

We were on the 24th floor and from our bedroom window we could see the crowds standing outside the Today Show. I've decided I need an apartment in Manhattan and I especially like this one across the sky(?) from us...

This apartment has it's own sweet little pool on the rooftop opposite St. Patricks. My daughter pointed out that everyone who lives above you would be watching you swim but I'm pretty sure I could live with that.

Once we were settled into our apartment (I know it isn't technically ours but let's pretend okay) we walked over to the Museum of Modern Art. I love meandering thru art museums and I love all sorts of art. And sometimes when I'm in a museum of modern art I find myself asking 'what is art'? I mean we did see Van Gogh's Starry's beautiful and haunting and also annoying to my kids that I must sing Don McClean's Starry Starry Night for the remainder of the afternoon. We saw Monet's Water Lilies which makes me long for the French countryside...sigh.

We also saw this...

My daughter the 'artiste' patiently explained to me that this type of work was a reaction to the period prior and is a statement of sorts...okay. Hey, I taught kindergarten and I can appreciate a well painted block of color or three as much as the next person.

Wednesday evening our friends arrived and they were staying in the apt. across the hall. fun! When you opened the door to their apt you were greeted with a spectacular view of the Empire State Building all lit up in its Christmas colors...

Our friends pup wasn't too impressed.

We ventured out amongst the masses Wednesday evening. Actually it's pretty hard to avoid the masses if you're in NYC over the New Year holiday unless of course you're in a lovely apt. 24 floors above them but I digress. We window shopped and people watched and had a wonderful Italian dinner in a fantastic little spot. Oh and we may have taken more pictures of the tree. I mean how can you not?

Thursday we woke up early and by we I of course mean hubs and I...the kids had to be rousted out of bed at 11. We sipped our coffee with the city all around and we agreed that we could live in an apt. like this one without too much difficulty.

It was really chilly on Thursday and it was also snowing/raining a little bit so we headed over to the Expo Center to see the Titanic exhibit. It happens to sit right beside a Da Vinci exhibit so we saw that too. We made our way s-low-ly thru Times Square because really you couldn't hurry...there were people ya know. We went back to our apt and looked out the windows some more because did I mention it was on the 24th floor over Rockefeller Plaza? Plus we needed a little rest since I'm a wimp and wouldn't make it til midnight if I didn't have a cat nap.

Our friends had booked dinner for all of us at a wonderful Brazilian restaurant which was technically only about four blocks from our hotel but oops, we needed to cross Times Square and that is a whole lot easier said than done after 3 PM on New Year's Eve. Unless of course you have NY City's finest give you a personal escort right thru the middle of the million people in Times Square.

Oh yes we did. This picture isn't the best but we were walking and I didn't want to get left behind the barricade. And let me just state for the record...the NYC police were some of the nicest, most helpful, friendliest people we've ever run across. This whole Times Square thing is one gigantic headache I'm sure but they did not lose their sense of humor and really they just made our night. We essentially needed to cross one block and then walk a bit to get to the restaurant but the road was blocked and nobody was getting thru. A wonderful policeman said he'd be happy to help us and he essentially escorted us thru the barricade and right thru the middle of the Times Square crowd before handing us off to another officer who walked us the rest of the way to the restaurant. The people in Times Square are actually systematically penned...kinda like sheep...each pen holds 2000 people and when one is full they close it up using police barricades and open the next pen and on and on down the street. It is highly highly organized...there were over 15,000 NYC policemen on the square and that is not counting the federal officers mixed in with the crowd. Every sewer is searched and sealed, there were helicopters and metal's absolutely amazing and impressive and you just have to appreciate the NYC police department. They are awesome.

And if you've never been to one of these Brazilian steak houses you really must. Unless of course you're a vegetarian because that wouldn't be good at all...these Brazilian steak houses are seriously all about the meat. There was an incredible salad bar which you could totally fill up on but the maitre d warned us to save room for the meat. They put a coaster at each place that's red on one side and green on the other and will just keep on bringing you meat until you flip that coaster to red.

And they bring it all tableside and carve it right on to your rib, sirloin, sausages, chicken, pork tenderloin, turkey wrapped in bacon, bbq ribs, and on and on and on....thank goodness I've got the detox book and my new juicer waiting for me at home!

We were able to get a taxi after dinner and had to take the long way round to get back to our apt. but we managed. We watched the ball drop and then had a champagne toast to the new year and good friends and the NY City Police force.

We woke up in our apartment on the first day of the new year (okay so it's not really our apt.) and we sipped coffee and loved the views and packed up to head home. Back to the countryside where we really live.

We may not be 24 stories above an amazing city but it's pretty nice here too.

Happy 2010!


  1. Wow! That all sounds so fun and exciting. I fell asleep at 11:44pm . . . sad, isn't it?!
    Cute family photo at the end and I totally don't get that art either!

  2. *squeal* Sounds divine and right up my alley. Which is not behind my apartment on the 24th floor, but we can all dream, right?

  3. What an awesome trip!!! A great way to end 2009 and welcome in 2010. "Your" apartment is gorgeous! What a view! You guys packed a lot into the time you were there. Glad you had a wonderful time. Love & blessings from NC!

  4. Wow! That all sounds like a fun way to bring in the new year! I haven't ever been to NYC...maybe in 2011 fro my 50th?

  5. Hi Mom! I thought I'd leave you a comment so you can have easy access to my very first post. I had so much fun in the city pretending we had that awesome apt by the way! love you!

  6. So absolutely fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Oh, and we got to go to one of those Brazilian restaurants this year. It was so much fun!

  7. What an amazing experience! I can't believe that "your" apartment was 24 stories up in Rockefeller Plaza where you can see both the Empire State and St. Patrick's cathedral (well from the neighbor's window included). Hello?? How awesome is that?

    Shawn has been to those Brazilian restaurants and I've yet to go. There is a really good one in Manchester that I might have to plan a date night and go to. Sounds like a plan!

    Happy New Year to you and your family again, Joyce. :-)

  8. Oh my! I just decided we need to find friends who have an apartment with a view. ;) Fun! You guys look great.

  9. Oh, what a great way to bring in the new year, Joyce! Love the pictures and word-tour! I always enjoy reading about your excursions, so much!!! :-) AND I looove NYC!!! I just asked Ed today if we can go back sometime soon! :-)

  10. I enjoyed the trip via your post- thank you so much. What an amazing hook-up to be able to use that apt.!! Friends make the world go 'round!

    In our recent trip to NYC, we also found the police to be quite amazing. Also met some of the firemen and they were super nice as well. Those two sources were who we trusted for city information. Everyone else seemed to have faulty directions and such. Happy New Year.