This trip was the result of a successful bid at a charity auction at the local university music school. The package included two nights at a hotel and tickets to the New Years night performance at the Met.
We left Portland ME on the 5AM Concord Coach on Friday morning direct to Boston's South Station. We caught the 8:15 Amtrack arriving at Penn Station at 12:15 after a relaxing, hassle free ride. We took the C train to 72nd Street and stopped for lunch at the Fine and Schapiro Deli on 72ntdSt. for my pastrami sandwich fix. We were not dissapointed as we had a great waitress and good food. From there we headed to the Beacon Hotel on 75th Street where we had a nice suite on the 5th floor. As check in wasn't till 3:00PM, we left our bags and proceeded on a walking tour that took us to Central Park, the Plaza and finally Rockefeller Center. We then took the subway back to our hotel which was only two easy blocks from the station.
The room was great with kitchen facilities, a living room and two bedrooms and baths. As others have noted, there is a fantastic market - The Fairway right accross the street. We ended up just getting some take out food from the Fairway and having dinner in our hotel. We picked up a bottle of wine from the Beacon Wine and Spirit Shop. Being New Years Eve, the place was doing a brisk business.
Around 7:00 we headed to Avery Fisher Hall where we had reserved tickets to the New Years Eve Gayla featuring the pianist Yang Yang. We could teach the Avery Fisher folks a few things in Portland about getting concert goers from the front door into their seats. However, once that was accomplished, the concert and the hall itself were fantastic. As good as our regional symphony is, the New York orchestra is a shining example of what money, resources and talent can accomplish. An event well worth the price of admission. Afterward, we walked back to the hotel and got a good night's sleep.
The following morning we headed out around 11:00 eventually hitting 7th avenue around lunch time - looking for another pastrami fix. We noted long lines at both the Stage and Carnagie Deli's. We opted for the Benash Deli, right accross the street from the Carnagie. Much less hassle and a fantastic pastrami sandwich. My wife had a monster BLT. We then did a brief walk through Times Square and then to the 2:00 performance of Jersey Boys. Don't have to say much to those of you who've seen it - a fun time! From there we headed back to the hotel stopping at the Met box office to get our tickets. We had an early dinner at a Chinese joint behind the hotel - I think it was the Grand Sichuan. Typical Chinese place - decent, cheap food.
We then headed down to the Met for a performance of The Majic Flute. We had orchestra seats, and what an impressive hall and the staging is just amazing. Back in my college days I had a chance to see a couple of performances in the old Met. One of the graduates of our local music school had a minor role and performed it to perfection. Another great evening!
The following morning we had a good breakfast at the Fairway Cafe and then headed to Penn Station. We took the 12:05 Acela. The train was packed and it took a while to find an empty seat. Once that situation was worked out we had a nice trip back. The speed is amazing once you ger over the border into Rhode Island. We caught the 4:15 Concord Coach back to Portland at 6:05.
A very successful trip!!!