Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Big Apple

Each year, the first weekend in January, Matt's work has an annual meeting. This is not the most wonderful time of the year, especially for Matt. It makes for very stressful holidays. For me, though, I usually get to capitalize on a free hotel room in a major city. This year's meeting was held in New York City. Having only been to NYC once in my entire life, I was really lobbying to go with Matt. After some debate, I found a decent deal on train tickets and booked my trip. I was also really excited because this was my first ever time riding on a train. The train ride there left a little bit to be desired, but still a pretty good trip considering the easiness of it. We got the train only about 10 minutes from our house and it delivered us to Penn Station in the middle of Manhattan. I got the train home at Penn Station again and it left me off close to home again. The ride home had Wi-Fi. So great. I did my CPR certification for my license renewal, wrote this blog post, got ready to return to work. So productive.

Moving on from the train experience...I took it pretty easy in New York. A few years ago, Matt and I spent Memorial Day weekend in NYC and literally did not stop the entire weekend. We did every touristy thing available and it was exhausting. This time, I had no plans. I was also going to be doing anything I did plan by myself. We arrived on New Year's Day around 2:30. We walked to our hotel from the train station. Dragging a suitcase through Times Square was quite an experience. We got to see the remnants of the mayhem from the night before...mostly just a lot of confetti and police barricades. That night we just went to a staff party for Matt's work. After that was over I walked a block over to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. It's huge! And very pretty!

Friday I decided that the weather wasn't looking so great for the weekend so I decided to do my last 6 miler in Central Park that morning. I was a little nervous about the whole thing. Unfamiliar territory, big city, usual running worries, etc. It turned out to be a super easy thing to do logistically. You can read about it in my Marathon Monday post from this week. This is up there with one of my favorite things I did in NYC.

After my run, I met up with an old friend from my Summer Study days for lunch. We went to have Greek food in Hell's Kitchen at Uncle Nick's Greek Cuisine. It was really nice to catch up and get some advice on what else I should do while visiting the city. That afternoon I just took it easy and researched some Broadway shows. Matt and I went to dinner at a place called Becco. After deciding we would eat there last week, we realized it was a sister restaurant to one of the place we like in Pittsburgh. So weird. The food was pretty good. We both ordered the table side pasta.

Saturday I decided I would investigate entering the lottery for the Book of Mormon on Broadway. This was quite an experience. I knew the chances would be slim, but I decided to take a shot at it anyway. You have to arrive 2.5 hours before the show to put your name in a big bucket. If you are pulled you can buy one or two front row, center seats for only $32. Since I was by myself, I looked for someone else who was alone and asked them to partner with me. She agreed, so we could double our chances. We didn't get the lottery for the 2:00 show, but we decided we would try again for the 8:00.

In the meantime, I decided to take the train downtown to visit the 9/11 Museum. Just as I was walking to get the train it started snowing. By the time I got downtown it was an awful mix of rain/snow/sleet/ice. I proceeded to wait for over an hour outside, in line to get inside. If I didn't have an umbrella it would have been miserable. Once inside, though, the museum is completely worth it! I LOVED it. This is also kind of a big deal coming from me. I NEVER LOVE museums. Sometimes I really like them, but never love. I really could have spent so much time there. There's so many things to listen to and read, and it's just so relatable. All the mementos of people's loved ones, stories of the day, pictures, news clips, etc. It's so well done.

My favorite parts were the exhibits in memorial hall and the timeline of the day. In the memorial hall they have a picture of each person who was killed on the walls. In the center you can view a projection wall where each person is featured and has a loved one speaking about what they were like. Also in there are things that were valuable to each person that were either found in the rubble and donated, or were just donated by the families to have their person remembered. In the timeline of the day you walk through everything. There are different artifacts that were found, pictures taken, personal accounts, so many things you can't even imagine. This was by far the most crowded part of the museum, so it was very difficult to see everything. You could go into these little rooms and hear people tell about what it was like to be in the towers and walking down the stairs, or being trapped in their offices, seeing firefighters they knew were walking to their deaths. I could have listened to the stories all day. I think the reason I enjoyed the museum so much is because it's something I can remember during my own lifetime and it's so focused around the people directly impacted by 9/11, and I just love people and their stories.

I left the museum in time to make it back to the night lottery for Book of Mormon. I met my morning friend and we didn't get chosen again, but that's OK because I was pretty wet from the weather and pretty tired. Matt and I just decided to get some pizza and watch the Steeler game in our hotel room. Sunday morning I quickly used the treadmill in our hotel before making my way to Penn Station to head home. I would say my trip was a perfect balance of relaxation to end a wonderful winter break, and exciting activities to make the most of my time in NYC.

No comments:

Post a Comment