Saturday, August 16, 2008

New York in A Nutshell

I went to New York last week and it was amazing!! I have some individual stories that I'll post later, but I wanted to start with a run down of our week. I went with two coworkers, Emily and Todd and his wife, Kate and a former coworker, Marc and his wife Sara. Marc grew up on Long Island and we stayed with his parents who still live there. They were wonderful and took good care of us.

Marc did an exceptional job of organizing the trip. I think he should do it professionally. There was a website involved where we could give each possible site a star rating. It worked very well, and I think we got to see just about everything we wanted.

We spent 3 days in New York City, broken up into lower Manhattan, upper Manhattan, and midtown Manhattan. On our first city day (lower Manhattan) we hopped onto the Staten Island Ferry where we passed by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was kind of surreal actually seeing the Statue of Liberty in real life for the first time. Very cool!

Then we took a nice walking tour where we learned quite a bit of history. Our tour guide was a young fellow in grad school I believe. You could tell he wasn't completely confident, but he had a lot of good information and interesting history. Then there was the "sidekick," a small middle aged New York man who felt the need to interject his own knowledge throughout the tour. It was a little annoying and our poor tour guide was definitely annoyed. But at least it gave us something to laugh at.

We took a nice little stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge and then headed into Chinatown. Turns out Chinatown is amazing. We had quite an adventure looking for knock-off designer purses which I will write about in a separate blog post. It was great, that's all I can say.

On our second city day, we walked around through Central Park a bit, passed by some famous museums, and then headed to a Mets game. Central Park was fascinating to me ... it's basically a woods inside the city. It's pretty much brilliant.

Our third city day was my favorite. We started out in Times Square which is basically madness. We visited a fun M&M store and took a tour of NBC studios and Grand Central Terminal. We also went back to Central Park to see the rest of the sites there. Then the main event: Mary Poppins on Broadway! This was my first Broadway show ever and it was everything I could have wanted. They changed the story quite a bit from the movie which was a little disappointing, but as an overall production it was incredible.

We ended the day with a fun trip to the top of the Empire State Building.

The rest of our time was spent running around Long Island. We visited the Hamptons, Teddy Roosevelt's home and grave site, and a couple lighthouses. It was beautiful and relaxing.

We were also treated to a true-blue seafood dinner by Marc's parents. It was lots of fun, but I felt a little sad about eating my lobster which I named Buster. Poor guy. He was delicious.

I took way too many photos, but if you want to see them all they're here:
NYC Day 1
NYC Day 2
NYC Day 3 Part 1, Part 2
Long Island Part 1, Part 2

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