Trip Report NYC Sept 5-8th, 2008
My wife and I visited New York City from September 5 – 8th for our 5th anniversary. I’ve been to NYC only once before and this was to be my wife’s first visit.
When I first suggested we go to New York her first words were “Why would we want to visit another big city – we already live in one?” Well yes that is true, Toronto is a big beautiful city however truthfully as we both found out there is no comparison between the two spots.
I booked a package deal leaving out of Buffalo on Delta Airlines and staying at the Club Quarters – Rockefeller for three nights. Flight was non-eventful however when we touched down at JFK we sat grounded for a half an hour waiting for a spot to park the plane and off load. I booked SuperShuttle for the transfer to the hotel (much more about them later…). Because it was rush hour and the fact that it was Fashion Week in NYC and the Fashion Rocks show was being held at the Radio City Music Hall (directly across the street from our hotel) it was tough getting to our hotel.
We finally pulled up close to the hotel only to see barricades, cops and paparazzi all over the place. We managed to navigate ourselves through the crowd and into the lobby immediately asking the hotel receptionist what all the fuss was about. She told us that the stars of the Fashion Rocks show as getting dressed at the hotel. Not more then 2 minutes later out of the elevator pops Miley Cyrus right past us and into an awaiting Hybrid Escalade for the two minute drive to the red carpet at the Radio City Music Hall.
After Miley it was celebrity after celebrity…..Blondie (Debra Harry), Pussycat Dolls, Naomi Campbell, Ashanti etc. We missed Fergie and Carrie Underwood but apparently they were there too.
Welcome to New York!
We finally got to our room and were pleasantly surprised. The room was relatively small but it was clean and well appointed. The Club Quarters offers free purified water and bottles to enjoy at your leisure. We quickly freshened up and headed out to explore the beautiful Friday night evening. We walked around the Rockefeller Center and noticed that they had constructed a ‘stadium’ like atmosphere for the US Open tennis tournament that was talking place just down the road in Flushing Meadows. The grounds had natural grass, stadium seating and a giant big screen TV to watch the matches. Really nice touch we thought.
Since it was a beautiful evening we decided to head up to the TOTR. We purchased our tickets at the outside booth and headed into the Rockefeller Center to catch the elevator up to the observation deck. No crowds, no fuss…..what an amazing view. We walked around taking it all in before heading up to the upper open air deck…awesome and romantic what more can I say other than to say it was definitely one of the highlights of our stay and a not-to-miss site when visiting NYC.
By the time we left the Top of the Rock it was almost 10:00 pm and we were staving. We wandered done 7th ave and found a nice pizza restaurant (unfortunately I can’t remember the name). We enjoyed a casual dinner with a few beers all while listening to a guy playing the piano. It was thoroughly enjoyable!
Saturday September 6th – Our 5th Anniversary
Woke up late (8:30 am) and immediately looked out the window to see if the weather reports were correct and we’d have to face Hanna for our first day in the big city. Luckily it was overcast with no sight of rain yet. We quickly got ready for our first full day in New York. We heard that Macy’s was having it’s once a year giant sale so given it was our anniversary I asked my wife what she wanted to do for the day and guess what the response was….shopping, shopping and more shopping. We grabbed a coffee and a breakfast sandwich at a nearby coffee house and headed to the subway for our trip downtown and in particular Macy’s!
We were told to take the B train from the 50th street subway station. Well standing in the station and watching several trains and 20 minutes pass by without seeing a B train made me suspicious. I went over to the board and noticed that the B train doesn’t run on the weekends and the D train would take us to the exact spot we wanted to go…DUH!
Finally arrived at Macy’s. Wow, huge doesn’t give this place it justice. We walked in through the front doors and decided to split up and meet back in 2 hours time. Of course I knew regardless of how big the store was I’d be back waiting for my wife in roughly 15 minutes since my shopping methodology is just to do a quick ‘fly by’ and head back to the meeting location. I must admit I got caught up in the craziness when I spotted in Macy’s staff in the men’s area dumping boxes of 70% off dress shirts onto a table. Yippee I was now in the game….. Needless to day I met my wife back at the meeting location with my hands full of bags and noticed that my wife hadn’t bought a single thing as of yet. Of course the first words out of her mouth was that she didn’t have enough time to look at anything…..yikes…that meant a few more hours of shopping in Macy’s. Luckily the powers to be at Macy’s are smart and have nice chairs and tv’s outside the women’s change rooms….wonderful…the only thing missing was a waitress taking beer orders. This is the only way to shop!
Finally we left Macy’s with sore feet and thirsty (you knew I was going to get a beer at some point didn’t you?). We stared to walk up 5th ave to our hotel when I spotted a bar/pub called Heartland Brewery. We stopped in and had a nice cold home made beer before heading back out. Nice and refreshing for sure.
We had planned on walking up 5th all the way back to our hotel (51st) window shopping and just enjoying the hustle and bustle of 5th ave. At roughly 3:00 pm the rain and the wind started…Hanna has arrived. We hurried back to the hotel (5 blocks in the rain) and quickly headed off to our room for a rest before getting ready for dinner.
The evening agenda was a surprise for my wife. I had dinner booked at Trattoria Trecolori and tickets to see Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre. So we get dressed (sorry not in jeans …) and headed down to the lobby. One look outside suggested that we either stay in that evening or we’d better get umbrella’s and/or a cab before stepping out of the hotel. It was pouring…..and really windy. We asked the hotel receptionist to call us a cab. Her immediate response was that you’d never be able to get a cab on that stormy evening. I thought to myself how could that be possible we’re in NYC where there is nothing but cabs everywhere! Oh well it was time to step outside and stand under the awning and develop a plan. Not more then 3 minutes later a cab shows up in front of the hotel with a couple getting out. I ran out and got it and away we went.
Our reservation at Trattoria Trecolori was for 5:30 pm. I know that’s relatively early considering the show started at 8:00 pm however since it was our anniversary we wanted to enjoy it and savour the moment. Of course I knew already that this restaurant was popular among the pre-theatre crowd (Grease was right next door) which meant that the atmosphere would be busy and loud. We were seated at a nice table for two in the back and introduced to our waiter for the night Alberto. Alberto was extremely knowledgeable in regards to both the food and wine options. The food, wine and entire experience was extremely pleasurable. Dinner & wine totalled less then $100.00.
Ok time to leave the restaurant and get to the Gershwin Theatre 4-5 blocks away…Yikes..the rain and wind haven’t let up at all since we arrived! Luck struck twice on this evening as another cab pulled up just in time for us to grab it and head for the theatre.
We arrived at roughly 7:40 pm just in time to look around and have a quick glass of wine. I purchased our seats 3 weeks before the show from Playbill.com. We had orchestra seats in row W near the center of the stage. Perfect! The show was a lot of fun and really enjoyable. The plan was to head over to the Marriot Marquis View Lounge after the show for the fabulous view and dessert table however we were both bushed from a day of sightseeing and fun so we decided to walk back to the hotel and get some sleep.
To be continued.................