Monday, July 6, 2015

"New York, New's a helluva town!"

I think living in New York would be pretty sweet from an exercise perspective. The food is many famous and amazingly yummy places to eat. And yet you do so much walking, so many stairs in and out of the subway...maybe it all equals out and you stay nice and slender? We walked all week long. My fitbit was recording record amounts of steps and miles and flights of stairs. Can you imagine the possibilities living in NYC?? But because we weren't used to it, each day my feet started getting sore a little earlier than the day before. And we were definitely tired as we tried to pack in so much each see as much as we could. So Saturday morning, though sleeping in was certainly tempting, I left three tired girls in my room fast asleep and slipped out to join Ryan, Andra and Jana for a little jaunt across the Brooklyn Bridge. All were invited, only four of us decided to wake up. Apparently more than just my roomies chose to sleep in.

And I'm glad I did. Because the morning was cool and there was a nice breeze. And the bridge itself was incredibly cool! It was all I could do to not pull a Spot Collins and yell, "Never fear, Brooklyn is here!" (You "Newsies" fans will get the reference...)
The walking path is a boardwalk of sorts with half for bikers, half for walkers. And we were up above the train and automobile bridge lanes. There was some graffiti and stickers slapped on poles. There were love locks here and there which was interesting because somehow I had it in my head that that was just a European thing. The cables were remarkably thick and the bridge itself just seemed rather stately and beautiful. Apparently the bridge took 13 years to build and when it was finally finished in 1883 people were scared to cross it, worried that it wouldn't hold up. So a year later P.T. Barnum marched his circus elephants and other animals across it in a demonstration of the bridges safety (and as great advertising for his circus) and it was fun to think about that as we walked. But in a more sobering became that much more real to look back at the NYC skyline as we crossed from Manhattan into New Jersey and think about those people on 9/11 who walked across that bridge to get away from the devastation.

Our walk was completely delightful. We stopped at a little cafe for a smoothie before continuing on to the subway station to ride back. I'd like to explore Brooklyn more the next time I visit NYC.

Many of us had picked up an extra Broadway matinee on Saturday. We were all split up between "Something Rotten," "Finding Neverland," "The Fantastiks," and "The Audience." Julianne and I had picked up tickets to see "On the Town" of my all time favorite Gene Kelly musicals. It was a new revival on Broadway as of last September. My friend Gary told me that though the reviews were good, the audience had been lax and that he didn't think the show would still be around when I got to NYC in June. But then it got nominated for a Tony Award which gave it a boost. I'm so glad! The show is about 3 sailors from the U.S. Navy who get 24 hours leave in NYC. The front curtain was a big American flag and the conductor of the orchestra stood up the audience and led us all in singing The National Anthem before the show started! I've sung or listened to The National Anthem before numerous sporting events and even some summer concerts in the park, but never a musical in a theatre before! It makes sense considering the show but I tell you what, it was awesome! And the show itself was completely wonderful! A love letter to the city and very dance heavy...which also makes sense considering this was a Gene Kelly musical. And they stayed very true to the original was like Gene Kelly was up there on stage in spirit. The lead female was actually a principle ballerina from the New York City Ballet Company and interestingly enough, is from Utah originally. I absolutely loved the show and was so glad we decided to pick up tickets at the last minute. Truly, of the five shows we saw I think this was my favorite...partly because of the sentimental aspect of it.

And if you wait around the stage door for a bit, the actors will come out and sign autographs.

It was a hard call as to whether we should see two shows in one day. Ideally, it's nice to just see one because you want to have time to process, you know? You don't want to jump into a second show before you've really had time to decide how you felt about the first. But the other line of thinking goes something along the lines of wanting to stuff in as many as possible because you're not in NYC very often and your to-see Broadway list is rather large....

So Julianne and I talked hard core about On The Town as we changed clothes, grabbed some food, and headed over to the next theatre to meet up with Alyssa and Liz for The Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. It won Best Musical at the Tony Awards in 2014 and I'd heard it was fabulous. Julianne and Liz (along with their friend Collin) had taken a song from this show and competed it at the regional theatre competition a few months ago. Apparently competition in the musical theatre category is fierce, but they took top scores! The song "I've Decided to Marry You" is hilarious and so we decided to go see the show when we were in NYC and bought our tickets a few weeks in advance. And it was very worth it! The readers digest version of the plot...Monty Navarro has discovered on the death of his mother that he is actually a D'Ysquith...a wealthy and aristocratic family, and realizes he is 9th in line to be the Earl of Highhurst. He spend the rest of the show basically finding funny ways to off all the relatives in line ahead of him. There is one actor that plays all of these D'Ysquith family members (even the girls) and oh my, he was so great! My cheeks were sore from laughing so hard.

I know it's Broadway and all, so of course it's going to be top notch talent and production....but holy wow, you know? I was consistently and completely floored by everything we saw. How lucky are we that we were able to see five Broadway shows while in NYC?!

We had a completely free day on Sunday up until 3:30 when we were to leave for the airport. A lot of our group decided to go to Coney Island. I would've LOVED to see Coney Island...but it was Sunday and my cute roommates Julianne, Liz and Alyssa really wanted to go to church at the Manhattan Temple. Elle and her mother, Pam who live in our ward at home also wanted to go to church. Also, we have a young woman from our ward who is currently serving a mission in NYC and according to her mother, would be at church at the temple that morning. So we hopped the subway and headed to the Upper West Side at the Lincoln Center and went to Sacrament Meeting. It was a neat meeting and we were able to find Sister Smith in the foyer and give her lots of hometown hugs. (And take pictures for her mom at home.) I'm really glad we went.

After church we headed to Vive le Crepe that we discovered last time we were in town. And then with our bellies filled with yumminess we walked over to the Lincoln Center. Alyssa had a hankering to "touch Julliard" which is part of the Lincoln Center campus. They were having a little festival of sorts there...lots of tents selling arts and crafts. High end, fancy stuff of course. One guy was playing his violin accompanied by a soundtrack trying to sell CD's. He was incredible! I mean, Lincoln Center...right?

We headed back to the hotel after exploring and taking in the cultural ambience of the Lincoln Center and Julliard....a place that plays a part in future dreams for many a theatre or music student.
Alyssa is looking sad in this picture because she just realized that she lost her ring that she bought a few days earlier. She was certain she had left it on the counter while washing her hands in the bathroom back at the Lincoln Center. She was stunned when she then found it in her pocket about 20 minutes later. We teased her that it was a blessing because she had chosen to go to church that morning....  ;)

Sad faces because the NYC trip has come to an end and it's time to head to the airport. It really was a fabulous trip. We saw so and did so many amazing things....this city, I just love it so much! Julianne and I came up with a bucket list for our next trip to NYC:
*bike Central Park
*explore Brooklyn
*Coney Island
*Baptisms for the Dead at the Manhattan temple (We had planned to do this this time but she forgot her reccomend.)
*Natural History Museum
*Metropolitan Museum of Art (I've been to the Met but Julianne has not.)
*walk the High Line
*eat at Sardis
*see a Jimmy Fallon show
*9/11 museum
*get tix for the Metropolitan Opera

NYC....we will be back!

1 comment:

Lori said...

I'm already jealous of this adventure (as well as previous ones), but I totally want to horn in on the bucket list for next time! Oh...I miss my New York! It's been way too long.