August 4, 2014

the dyers take manhattan...

our first official post-honeymoon vacation was to one of my dream destinations...new york city. as a traveler i usually try not to be uber-touristy, but for our first time in nyc i was willing to tourist it up a bit. we made a 'must see' list and attempted to get at least a little off the beaten path.

day one:
the first morning we stepped out of our hotel onto a quaint new york neighborhood street and took a stroll through greenwich village, where we paid a visit to the homes of two of my all time favorite tv 'families'...the huxtables and my friends from friends. this immediately crossed two major items off the new york to-do list. at this point we hopped on the subway, which was actually another of my favorite things of the trip. we wanted to get the lay of the land so we hit up times square, rockefeller center and the new york public library. we had lunch in bryant park and played a game of chess a la bobby fischer.  


next we headed to astoria to visit the museum of the moving image.  we weren't quite sure what to expect, but this place was pretty awesome.  my favorite was the bill cosby sweater, donald pretty much loved it all.  after grabbing some super delicious korean fried chicken for dinner, we capped off the night with a ride to the top of the empire state building.

day two:
another obvious high priority was seeing a show, so first we headed to the nederlander theatre to get tickets for that night. dyer avenue was not too far away to we stopped by for a quick photo op before visiting rexy at the american museum of natural history. then we took a stroll through central park and ended up in sheep meadow where we spent a bit of time doing another of my favorite things...laying in the grass. it was about this time we noticed our feet were starting to hurt, which they essentially did for the remainder of the trip, but we persevered.


that night we followed the bright lights back to broadway and enjoyed a great performance of newsies. since this coincidentally marked the day of our year and a half anniversary, we topped off the night at serendipity 3 with their famous frozen hot chocolate. on another memorable note, we also saw our first rat. it was not down on the subway track as i expected, but was instead calmly descending the stairs to the subway platform right along side us. i somehow managed to hold myself together and not cause a scene, which is on par with a miracle.

day three:
we called this one 'neighborhood day'. we grabbed some bagels from murray's and did a little more exploring in greenwich village before visiting chinatown and little italy. it was a big food day as well. i got some grilled corn from cafe habana, which was also where donald created his genius diy insulated cup, and we had some classic new york pizza at lombardi's. our dinner was at the original shake shack in madison square park, where we managed to get famous on the shack cam and had some delicious burgers. then we spent the evening enjoying live music and a dance lesson at swing 46.


day four:
our first activity of the day ended up being one of donald's favorites. we took a ferry over to governor's island, which is an old army base that is being restored for public use with parks and such. we snagged some free bikes and took a ride around the island, which has some great views of the statue of liberty and lower manhattan. then donald enjoyed seeing fort jay and reading up on some of the history, i enjoyed laying in hammock grove.


a couple hours later we took the ferry back to manhattan where we grabbed lunch and donald got an iconic black and white cookie. unfortunately i chose a rainbow sprinkle cookie which tasted an awful lot like dirt. from there we walked to the 9/11 memorial and spent a few hours in the museum. we're glad we decided to go, but it was heavy. we decompressed a bit with a walk to city hall park where we found the wafels & dinges food truck i had been waiting for. the waffles were delicious, but we ended up eating them on a park bench that is apparently frequented by insane squirrels. it was bizarre. we finished up the afternoon with a stroll across the brooklyn bridge before having dinner at katz's deli. an establishment best known to me for the memorable 'i'll have what she's having' scene in when harry met sally.


our way back to the hotel we had a fun new york moment. when we had been in central park a couple days before we heard a bluegrass band playing that i really liked. we didn't have time to stop and listen, but i just kept thinking about how much i liked their music. the closest subway station to the deli was a small one with only one line running through, so it wasn't very populated. as we descended the stairs to the platform it sounded like a musician was setting up and i couldn't believe it when i realized it was the same guys from central park! i was so excited we let the first train leave without us so we could listen to them longer. they were also selling some homemade cd's and i really wanted to get one but we only had big bills and they couldn't make change. so a random stranger bought two cd's and gave one to me. i heart nyc.

day five:
on our last morning i had my first celebrity sighting. we were on our way out of 30 rock and as we went through the doorway we passed a root, of the jimmy fallon roots, on his way in. it took me a second too long for it to click, so unfortunately he made it into the building before i could stop him for a picture.  but i saw him.  

my friend amy moved to nyc just a week before our visit, so we dropped by to see her new apartment and i was delighted to discover she was on the top floor, which meant we got to climb up on the roof!  


she joined us for a stroll through harlem, some delicious cookies from a fun bakery and an unexpected stop at the cathedral of st. john the divine, which was pretty amazing. i've seen my fair share of cathedrals over the years, but when i was standing inside i had a hard time remembering i was in new york city and not somewhere in europe. from there we hopped on the subway one last time to grab our luggage and say goodbye to our beloved larchmont hotel before heading to the airport.

it was definitely a bit of a whirlwind trip, but we had fun exploring the city together. and i can now officially say that i heart new york.