Mom in the City

Alright, I may not be in New York anymore, but I’m not quite finished with my NY blogs. Also, I’m having a little trouble with writing Nashville posts at the moment… all I can manage to discuss is how difficult it is to unpack without furniture, how best to organize a closet and how often I’ve wanted to cry because I get almost zero cell service here. For now, I think it’s best that I write about the rest of my Mom’s visit in NYC.

Mom was only able to visit for a couple of days, but I managed to squeeze in a wide variety of NY events during her short visit. You know all about our time at Central Park and Bergdorfs, but we did so much more! Mom has never been to the Empire State Building or any other tall building with a fantastic view, which is a must when visiting the city. I tried to convince her to sneak on the roof of Le Parker Meridian with me, but she was against breaking the law. So, I took her to Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center that is) instead.

topoftherock mom

And no trip to NYC is complete without a walk through Time Square. We went to the bar on the 8th floor of the Marriott which has a great view of the whole square.

timesquare

Another park I somehow failed to mention in the “parks blog” is Brooklyn Bridge Park. The day we walked through this park was so beautiful that every single Brooklyn-ite decided to spend the whole day lying on blankets and picnicking right by the water. As Carrie Bradshaw once said, “New Yorkers treat every nice day like it could be their last”.

bbpark

If we weren’t park hopping, shopping or sight seeing, we were eating. The amount of food we consumed is a bit ridiculous, but we like to believe that we walked it all off. It’s the perfect excuse to eat what you want in New York, you can just walk home afterwards. I had already taken my Mom to my favorite pizza place (Lombardi’s) on a previous trip, so I took her to the second and third best this time.

We accidentally walked into Madison Square Eats (an annual food festival) one night and happened to find a Roberta’s booth. Roberta’s makes this incredible brick oven pizza called the “bee sting”. It has spices, honey and fresh mozzarella. It typically comes with some sort of meat, but I order it vegetarian style.

madisonsquareeats

Then, there was Grimaldi’s. Grimaldi’s is a famous and always crowded coal-fired brick-oven pizzeria right under the Brooklyn Bridge, and a few other newer locations. It’s VERY good, but I still think Lombardi’s has a leg up in the competition.

margheritapizza

One of Mom’s goals this trip was to try some authentic Italian food. I decided to take her to Eataly. Eataly is a large Italian market with lots of delicious Italian restaurants within the market. We shopped around for chocolates, wandered through the handmade pastas and made ourselves very hungry. We decided to have dinner at Le Verdue because a) the food looked so fresh and beautiful and b) there was no wait. Lucky for me it’s a vegetarian restaurant. Our meal, our wine and our service were all exceptional. We sat forever and caught up on life. We talk on a daily basis, but our chats are often short and rushed. It was so nice to sit and actually enjoy each other’s company.

After dinner we bought some dark chocolate and gelato.

eataly

While roaming around Chelsea Market one day we found a brand new food stand called Hybird. We weren’t even a little hungry, but when I saw a watermelon jalapeño slush on the menu, I had to give it a try!

So bizarre, but so delicious.
So bizarre, but so delicious.

One hot spot I couldn’t wait to take Mom was the rooftop bar of The Standard hotel over the High Line. Last time I went it was beautiful and relaxing. There were large cozy chairs and cushions to lounge on, drinks to order and fresh crepes to eat. I didn’t realize that this time happened to be Memorial Day. It also happened to be the opening day for the new season. It was so crowded that we could barely find a spot to sit on the astroturf ground! The rooftop was full of NY’s trendiest crowd and was bumpin’ with the latest hits. By the time we were halfway through the crepe, my Mom said we had to leave because “this place” made her feel WAY too old. 

thestandard

 

I’m pretty sure my Mom left New York feeling more cultured, trendier, happier, more relaxed and very well fed. You’re welcome Mom.

Cheers!

 

The Weekend Photo Album

Our recent weekend was full of lovely fresh fall moments. Besides spending all morning in the park with Belle, we did some sight seeing and people watching.

While relaxing in Central Park, right above Bethesda Fountain, we found two very young girls playing the violin. I am going to assume that these two girls are Juilliard students making some extra money for fun because they were phenomenal! They ended up drawing a very large crowd of people who sat and watched forEVER (hello! free concert!), and they each dropped cash in their violin cases before finally walking away.

Quite possible the most beautiful music I’ve heard on the streets (or sidewalks) of New York.

After listening and watching for a while we walked through the Mall and towards the Sheep’s Meadow.

Can’t wait until the leaves change colors

Near the volleyball courts we found a soccer match, and I was fixated on this intense looking goalie.

Later, we walked to Ward’s Island Bridge. This is a walking Bridge that leads to Ward’s Island (named after the large psychiatric ward located on the island) that Husband has been dying to check out. It was a nice walk, but the island itself was a little boring and slightly creepy. We couldn’t help, but think about Shutter Island and fear that we would never be able to leave.

 

Next stop was the Lower East Side to check out the preview of the highly anticipated LowLine. The LowLine is an innovative park being planned by a creative team in NYC. They want to transform an abandoned trolley station into and underground park, basically the opposite of the HighLine. The preview was a small replica of what to expect from the LowLine put together in a large warehouse. It was interesting to read about the plans for this future park, but it will be MUCH cooler when it’s actually completed.

I can’t wait to see the finished project with real plants growing under the city!

The cherry on top of our weekend was getting to enjoy the FABULOUS view from the top of a friend’s building (46 floors up)! His rooftop is complete with potted plants, small trees, and lounge chairs.

3 more days until my next weekend begins!

Cheers!

 

Perfect Last Day

My parent’s last day in NYC* was sunny and warm, and Central Park was definitely calling our names. We picked up bagels at the famous H&H and ate them in front of the reservoir as we watched the classic sailboats float by, being steered by clumsy preschoolers. We also watched a few middle-aged men drive around their personal miniature speed boats, battleships, and pirate ships.

This one even had it’s own theme music.

After breakfast, we walked them to Bethesda fountain, through the Ramble, to the large Sheep’s meadow, the Mall, to Shakespeare’s Garden, and basically to every pretty part in the southern half of the park.

While relaxing in Shakespeare’s garden, we spotted a beautiful bride and groom making their way through the garden. We couldn’t help, but stare and discuss whether we thought they just got married, or were about to get married. Within a few minutes, they had walked up to where we were relaxing, and the bride walked over to us and very politely asked if we would mind videoing their vows with her little camera. It turns out that the couple is from Canada, they are getting married all alone (besides the officiant and a photographer), and the bride wanted her vows videoed so her Mother could watch them later. We were more than happy to video the sweet ceremony for her.

They had the four of us, plus one more park-goer as their witnesses, and it was a really beautiful wedding! We were all a little extra sappy with thoughts of mine and Fiance’s nuptials right around the corner.

After what must have been miles around the park, we were famished. We hopped on a train to Union Square and had hotdogs and burgers at Dogmatic. The dogs just weren’t enough, so we had dessert at Chelsea Market. It was my Dad’s first time to have gelato!

That’s an asparagus dog. It’s mine, obviously. Also, we won a Dogmatic Dollar for solving this riddle, “When you take away the whole and some is still left…” **

We also took them to the high line, since we were so close. It’s not my favorite park…but it’s worth visiting to have my favorite popsicle. We tried a new flavor this time too, Mango and Chili. It was very spicy, and not near as good as my cucumber-lime -sicle sprinkled with chili.

Fiance and I started to feel a little bad for my parent’s blistered and sore feet, so we took them back to the apartment to rest.

But, only for 30 minutes, we had tickets to see Rock of Ages! My Dad has never seen a Broadway show, so we wanted to be sure to pick one he would love. I have seen Rock of Ages 5 times now, and I’ve yet to tire of it. Rock of Ages is basically all the best 80’s songs turned into a hilarious story full of 80’s jokes, neon, animal print, strippers, alcohol, crazy dance moves, a sweet love story, and phenomenal singing.

I am a sucker for beautiful dances and beautiful voices. I get goosebumps anytime I hear or see someone super talented. Idina Menzal gives me goosbumps anytime she opens her mouth. Some of the students I used to teach in TN would gave me goosebumps when they’d perform. I have a friend who gets goosebumps when watching someone draw or paint. In fact, she once got goosebumps when I drew Spongebob SquarePants on a blackboard. So, I don’t feel so weird about the goosebump thing…

Some performances even bring me to tears. I cry while watching Dancing With the Stars, Glee, and basically every musical I’ve ever seen. While watching the finale of Rock of Ages for the 5th time, I wiped the tears from my eyes, and thought how weird I am for crying (they were fist pumping and singing “Don’t Stop Believing” in a bar). I looked to my right and saw my Dad wipe tears from his own eyes. Then it all made sense.

Sometimes I forget how similar I am to my Dad. I wonder if he gets goosebumps too?

After the show, we strolled through Time Square to get some night time views.

I should also mention that we did a series of “dance dares” in the very large M&M store for about an hour. We videoed most of the dance dares, but I think I need to save that for its own blog! (If you aren’t familiar with dance dares, watch Ellen! Or just watch this…)

All that dancing apparently worked up an appetite because we stopped and had dinner at midnight at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

And, that’s the end. We had so much fun with my parents! We stayed up too late, said goodbye in the morning, and reminded each other we’d see one another again in just a couple weeks!

Cheers!

*just kidding! My parent’s flight turned out to be canceled and they had to come back to our place and hangout for an extra day! We let them relax this time.

** Answer to the riddle? You didn’t figure it out??? It’s wholesome.