Monday, April 8, 2013

New York, New York

"The streets are paved with diamonds, and there's just so much to see,
But the best thing about New York City is you and me."
-They Might Be Giants
Y’all. I went to New York City with my Stephen this weekend, and we had a blast. In a lot of ways, it was just what I expected. I guess I’d seen so much of it on television and in movies that the picture in my head was pretty true to life. There were tall buildings and a ton of people. There were car horns beeping constantly and fabulous restaurants everywhere.
There were a few things about the big city that I was not prepared for, though. Apparently, the no-boots-after-Easter rule that I so strictly follow in South Carolina does not apply in NYC. Of course, I can understand why, considering I froze the whole weekend. All in all, we had great weather. But the wind whipping around all those skyscrapers was COLD. My toes are just now recovering from peeking out of my super-cute-but-not-even-close-to-appropriate-for-NYC-in-April open-toed shoes.

Traffic in the city was nuts and not something I plan to experience again any time soon. We had three cab rides during our stay, and I could have used a stiff drink before each one. Drivers go too fast to be so close to each other, and everyone is in more of a hurry than necessary.

The subway, on the other hand, was better than I’d expected. I thought we’d be overwhelmed by giant rats and the smell of urine and share our ride with that angry ghost who taught Patrick Swayze how to push a penny. Stephen and I rode the subway at 1:00 Saturday morning, and I couldn’t have felt safer. Kudos to NYC on that.
The sidewalks were surprisingly clean, too. Of course, we passed the occasional vomit spot on our late-night walks, but the sidewalk fairies must visit each night to clean up, because overall, the sidewalks were clean. I mean, I wouldn’t eat off them, but I wouldn’t do that at home either. That’s gross.

We enjoyed some insanely good food while we were there, did one of those double-decker bus tours through the city (highly recommended, but bundle up unless it’s a really warm day), a boat tour around the city and a stand-up comedy show.

Joan Rivers pulled right up in front of us in Times Square (as we came out of a McDonald’s bathroom, no less) to film a TV spot. She looks exactly like she does on television.
Times Square reminded me of an amusement park, minus the rides. There was something interesting to see every way you turned, including people dressed up in costumes. We saw the Smurfs, Captain America and the Statue of Liberty.

Just so you know, if we’d had the children with us, I would have covered their eyes when we walked up on Hello Kitty. Her skirt was entirely too short. And her boots were a little prostitute-y (and we all know how I love boots).

Without a doubt, though, the highlight of the trip for me was seeing The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I was mesmerized from the time we walked into the Majestic Theatre until the cast took their final bow. The music, the costumes, the staging -- I might be obsessed.

Oh, while we were waiting to board our flight home at LaGuardia, I had to move my foot so a gentleman could pass. It was Regis Philbin (I’m not exactly sure why we couldn’t see a celebrity younger than 79, but whatevs). I totally choked. I just said his name as he passed. <Palm to forehead> What a great conversationalist I am.

I’m still processing everything I experienced on our trip, but I’m clear on two things: (1) I missed my kids (who were on their grandparents’ farm) like crazy, and (2) I am most definitely a southern girl. While NYC is a wonderful place to visit, I missed my trees and views uninterrupted by massive buildings. I’m happy to be home.

From one extreme to another. I think Stephen was happy to get to the farm . . . where things make sense and baby goats follow you around like puppies.

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