When we lived in Delaware, it seemed like we visited NYC once every 6 weeks, especially once I was done with nursing school. I still remember Ryan calling me once from work and saying, “Hey, want to head into the city tonight for dinner and maybe a show?”
So naturally we were psyched to be moving back up north, to New Jersey….making us even closer to the city…maybe we would head into the city once ever 4 weeks!
But I got into school and SURPRISE! we’re expecting! I was feeling pretty miserable and stressed with school over the summer, so we never really got into the city. We did a quick day trip with my parents and I did a quick day trip with my friend Traci between summer and fall, but that’s been it! No other trips! Fall semester I was incredibly stressed with school, plus there was a lot going on in October/November between my brother’s wedding, a hurricane, Ryan’s school trips, Thanksgiving, etc.
So last week it was decided: Friday we would go.
Friday was the only sunny day of the week. Friday was also the day EVERYBODY in NJ decided to go into the city. When we got to the train station, it was a zoo. We missed the 9:21 train by seconds as we were waiting in a line for train tickets. The next train wasn’t coming until just before 9:53. We kept waiting, along with hundreds of other people who kept coming into the station for the train. And once the train arrived and we actually boarded, it was standing room only…and we were standing at the door of the train. We looked at each other, decided this was ludicrous and hopped off before the train even pulled out of the station. It was a local train and we would have had to stand for 80 minutes. With my luck I would have gone into labor.
So we ended up spending the morning in Princeton, and decided to head into the city later in the week.
Which was the best idea ever.
This morning we breezed into the station. Got the 9:21 express. an hour later we were in Penn Station and it was eerily empty.
Picked up some metro tickets, flew uptown. Shared a pastrami sandwich and the largest, thickest, nearly inedible latke (potato pancake) I’ve ever seen (it was kind of disgusting). Walked a mile down Lexington to my favorite cupcake shop, Sprinkles (we discovered it in Chicago when in town for the marathon last year).
Just before getting to Sprinkles though we stopped into a beautiful body store called Sabon. It’s one thing to have a beautiful window, quite another to smell incredible from outside. Inside were shelves and shelves of beautiful jars of lotions, scrubs, soaps, etc. I had the most amazing hand treatment at their stone fountain that left my hands feeling softer than any manicure (high end or other wise). My birthday is in March if anyone is looking to gift me 😉
But back to the cupcakes. The absolute worst thing about Sprinkles is trying to decide what kind of cupcake to eat. I picked pumpkin, but was also eyeing the black & white and the coconut. Ryan got a dark chocolate cupcake that was so. incredibly. rich. (I asked Ryan if we could get a third cupcake, for the baby…..he said no. such a fun burglar.)
Next on the agenda were the windows. which really didn’t happen. Bloomingdales had already taken there’s down. Bergdorf Goodman thankfully still had there’s up…and Tiffany, Cartier, and a few other jewelry stores were still decorated for the holidays. Saks was in the process of taking their’s down. The tree at Rockefeller was still there, lit and decorated, but looking pretty sad and weepy.
At that point we were on 49th and figured we might as well keep walking to the theater. Somehow, no matter how hard you try, you can’t avoid Times Square. But like Penn Station, Times Square was eerily empty. No pushing, no shoving, no getting separated.
As we walked into Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the ticket scanner pointed out the emergency rest room “…in case you have an emergency during the show.”
The show (still in previews) was pretty darn good. Not phenomenal, but a lot better than the other shows that are out there (it’s a shame how disney-fied broadway is becoming). It was my first time seeing the play period, so maybe I just really really liked the script? I don’t know. But I think it’s sealed a new found obsession for all things Tennessee Williams. The actress playing Big Momma (Debra Monk) was absolutely incredible. Curious to see the reviews after the official start.
Anyways, our last minute plan to go to the Met after the show went down the drain when the show ended at 4:45 and we found out that the museum closed at 5:30pm. Lucky Ryan. I would have liked to hit up The Strand, but really didn’t need anything to justify the train transfers we would have had to make to get downtown and then back to the UWS for dinner.
So we decided to just walk uptown (because the 40-odd blocks we walked earlier in the day wasn’t enough). But walking uptown I started having some painful contractions and at Columbus Circle we grabbed the 1 to 86th and walked into my favorite restaurant, Celeste (no website, cash only, I can go on, but you should visit to discover…).
We try and go there every time we’re in the city, and since it’s been about 2 years since it was just the two of us, it was 2 years overdue. Just as good as I remembered it….the only thing I missed was sharing a bottle of red wine. The mozzarella & roasted red peppers, the tagliatelle with cabbage & sheep cheese (odd combo, I know), the tiramisu, the cappuccino. All. So. Delicious.
Afterwards to kill time we hit up Goodwill (not spilling the location) where I found a pair of barely worn Stuart Weitzman silver heeled sandals for $14.99 that were a size 9 (if only they were 8 1/2!). The Tod’s loafers in the window apparently wouldn’t go on sale until FRIDAY, so I didn’t even ask if they were my size. I’m just going to tell myself that they too were a size 9, as almost every good pair of shoes, jackets, and pants that I’ve ever found at this higher end Goodwill has been in sizes for much taller, longer, women.
At Zabars I accidentally got in line for some rugelach. Hate when that happens. We walked a few more blocks south along Broadway before grabbing the express back to Penn Station, and literally walked onto the train back to NJ. The only souvenirs are the ones now sitting happily in my arteries and on my rear end.
I’m sad to be home and really wish we splurged on a hotel room. But alas, I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be that far away from the hospital (only 2 hours, but that’s from the train pulling out of the station). I purposely never asked about travel restrictions at my last appointment.
So glad though that I got a final dream date before the baby and classes start up again! Fingers crossed we can do it once more (but with a baby!) before getting reassigned….