Friday, October 7, 2011


The Big Apple

-New york city

What a whirlwind two days!!  Phew, let me take a moment to compose myself.  I’m finding it hard to believe that in less than 48 hours Dennis and I were in and out of New York City and were able to catch so many beautiful sites and flavors (pizza that is)!  It all started with Dennis announcing about a month ago that he was going to be heading for NYC for a training with Citi.  Let’s just say that before he finished telling me about his plans I had already booked my ticket and my in-laws to babysit so I could join him for two full days of fun in the Big Apple.  
What started with a limo ride to O’Hare in the wee hours of Wednesday morning and finished with a late flight back to Chicago on Thursday was a thrill.  I have never been to NYC, so I was determined to see absolutely everything I could in 48 hours.  My list was simple: The Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, Wall Street, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Central Park, Broadway, The Empire State Building, Brooklyn, drinks with Dennis’ colleague and fraternity brother and a walk through the neighborhood my MIL grew up in on the Upper East Side.  A short list, eh?  
I was lucky to have Dennis with me during the entire day on Wednesday.  We hopped in a cab the second we landed at LaGuardia and made our way through the tunnel to Manhattan.  As I was overwhelmed by the sites, smells and noise New York had to offer I couldn’t help but instantly compare it to Chicago.  My first reaction- it’s so dirty.  True, they don’t have alleys in NYC so where really do you expect them to put all of their trash but curbside?  It’s just a staggering amount of trash and I kept imagining how all of it was going to get cleaned up.  Well, it never really did the two days we were there.  
Instead of boring you with all the little details I think I’ll just pinpoint some of the highlights...
Day One...
We were staying at The Gansevoort.  Yes, the same swanky hotel with chevron marble floors that the Kardashians also happened to be staying at.  You will see in a couple fo photos that we saw and (I) yelled at Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries and her entourage Wednesday evening as we were making our way back to our room from the Sky Lounge- maybe the crazies (rooftop) bar I will ever be in.  
Because of the Occupy Wall Street Movement we were only able to see parts of Ground Zero and Wall Street.  Everything was blocked off and under strict surveillence.  Dennis did get to see the Bull (something that was on his to-do list).
Unfortunately, we did not get to travel to The Statue of Liberty.  We passed on the 3 1/2 wait and decided that would have to wait until the next trip.  I was dying to get so much in on our short visit to sit in a line for over three hours just wasn’t in the cards.  
THE PIZZA!  We had pizza twice, in a matter of four hours apart to be exact.  First, Girardi’s in Brooklyn (my favorite spot by far on the trip) and then a street corner shop across from the Empire State Building (something else we skipped because I couldn’t see paying $22 each to go up just to come down).  If you happen to go to Brooklyn look up Girardi’s.  You will not be disappointed.  And, the beer, Brooklyn Lager, was just as delicious as the pizza. 
We met up with Drue, a colleague of Dennis’ at Citi (but in the New York office) who also happens to be a fraternity brother of Dennis’ as well.  The Rogue was the hot spot for happy hour cocktails and conversation with men with thick New York accents.  Crazy fun company and a great time had by all.
Rattle and Hum- The DogFish Head bar.  AWESOME food!  PHENOMENAL atmosphere.  DELICIOUS beer.
Day Two (The day I was all alone in the Big Apple)...
I started walking.  I think I walked eight miles this day and that is not an exaggeration.  I hit Broadway, shopped 5th Avenue, Times Square and Rockefeller Center for the Today Show where Bridget Moynahan (yes, Tom Brady’s ex) gave me the book she was reading on the show for the boys to have.  I missed out on my chance to meet Matt Lauer (although I stared at him through a window) and Al Roker as I had planned (see sign in photo), but still a great experience.  FAO Schwartz and the Apple Store were also great highlights.  It just so happened that Steve Jobs passed away the day before and the mass of people remembering his genius outside of his store was touching.
Then there was St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  One of the most moving experiences of my life.  Anyone who has been there would understand.  I was overwhelmed- by the architecture and the pure beauty I found in those four walls.  To be in the pews of that cathedral, praying was an experience I will never forget.  
Central Park was my next stop.  I hit most of the hot spots, but was blown away by this park in the middle of skyscrapers and traffic.  You feel like you left New York for a quick stroll and then all of a sudden BAM... taxis again.  
The Upper East Side is exactly how I pictured it.  Amazing brownstones, super narrow streets decorated with nannies pushing oh so expensive stollers, and quiet compared to the streets of 5th and Park.  It was wonderful to see where Jane spent her childhood and imagine her there, in the mix of it all.
As I weaved in and out of blocks of high rises and compartment buildings I only wish Dennis could have been there to spend the day with me.  I’m going to assume that seeing New York would have been a much different experience had he been there to share it with me.  After checking out of what may have been the nicest hotel I will ever step foot in and picking up the husband from Queens we were on our way back to Chicago where I couldn’t wait to see the boys and kiss their cheeks.  
We spent today in I HEART NY tshirts, baking apple pies and simply enjoying some play time because for every second of those 48 hours the boys were constantly on my mind.  I missed them.

Dear New York, I’m sure I tried to do too much in such a short amount of time but let me tell ya, everyone is right when they say there’s no place like ya!  Until next time...
One very tired and sore (oh, my feet) tourist,

No comments: