A few months ago I posted a note on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to go on a trip with me to help me use up vacation days before the end of the year. I got a few responses and we started planning, and this weekend Brandon, Lina, Steve and I went to New York City to see a show and do some sightseeing around the city.
The three of them came out here on Saturday, and GG joined us for dinner and some hanging around the mall. We came home and watched a little Wonder Showzen before bed. Sunday morning we were up early and left around 9 AM to head north.
We actually stayed at a hotel in New Jersey, so we drove up there and parked, then took a short bus ride into NYC. We had tickets to see Wicked at 3 PM, so we had some time for lunch and walking around. There are apparently a thousand pizza shops in New York that are named with some combination of the words Famous Ray’s Original Pizza (e.g. Original Famous Ray’s Pizza, Ray’s Famous Original Pizza, etc.). Brandon thought he’d found the original original one, but after eating there we’re pretty sure it wasn’t. It was still good, though. Then we killed time in the Times Square area. Did you know that there is a three story M&Ms store? They actually don’t have an amazing amount of M&Ms, but any other product you can think of, they have it with M&Ms on it. Compared to that, the Hershey’s store in Times Square seemed small, but they had pretty much only chocolate, and also handed everyone a square when they walked in, so they win in my opinion. We also walked around Rockefeller Center, and we found the Public Library (Lina and Steve were interested since they met while working at the library at school). That library must be the largest concentration of marble on the east coast, it was crazy. We only walked through the first and second floors, and only found one small room with any books in it. (We were just wandering around going, “Where’s the books?” A security guard said you had to go to the third floor to get to the books, but we weren’t doing any more steps.)
Swarovski crystal star which will top the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
Inside the NY Public Library
The show was really good. The woman who played Elphaba was excellent, and the standby actor for Fiyero was also great. I was very impressed by the scenery and everything. I really liked it, and I know some people who are totally obsessed with this show, but I wasn’t like, “Oh, I need the CD of this show!” Lina had never seen The Wizard of Oz, and she was worried that she wouldn’t understand the show, but I think she did okay – except for a couple jokes and things that referenced lines directly from the movie.
We took the bus back to New Jersey after the show and planned to get dinner near the hotel. I think I’d strained my eyes during the show, though, so I had a really crazy bad headache and was not feeling good. We all walked over to the restaurant and I ordered with everyone (I was really excited about the potato soup), but I realized I couldn’t just sit there and definitely didn’t feel like eating, so I left some money and went back to the hotel by myself and got in bed. My friends are so sweet though, and they brought me my soup in a takeout container! I ate it for breakfast the next morning when we went down for our complementary meal.
For Monday, I got a really cool offer from a girl online – she said she could take us on a tour of her office and then get us free tickets to the MoMA (through her company). Oh, and she works for DC Comics! As I imagined, the offices of a comic publisher are really just offices, there’s not a lot of crazy stuff going on or people running around with Nerf swords or anything. But everyone seemed very cool and their offices were all filled with comic books and action figures. Their two reception areas were decorated like Superman and Batman (the Batman area was actually very impressive). Also, MAD Magazine is part of DC Comics but we couldn’t get onto their floor with our tour guide, but she said (as we had) that she always imagined it to be like that scene in The Simpsons where Bart opens the door to their office for just a second and all kinds of weird stuff is going on.
This was in the window of an office across the street from DC Comics!
After our tour, we went over to the MoMA, which, even on a Monday, was totally crowded. I think it might have been the most crowded museum I’ve ever been in. We started at the top and worked our way down. There were a few cool exhibits, and actually many of my favorite artists and paintings are in there. The Tim Burton exhibition had just opened, but I was only in there for a few seconds because it was so packed with people. (We heard people were lined up for hours to get in the day it opened.) All I really remember seeing was a display of characters from The Corpse Bride, a big model of Edward Scissorhands, a bunch of drawings and sketches, and the angora sweater from Ed Wood. Other favorites were Starry Night, a whole bunch of Mondrian paintings, and a special exhibit of Monet’s waterlillies. By the time we got to Monet, everyone was getting pretty cranky. So we got the bus back to NJ one last time, picked up the car, and headed back to PA.
Waterlillies at the MoMA
After a lot of discussion on the way home about what to do for dinner, we finally decided to just walk from my house over to Wawa and get hoagies. We ate in my living room and then Brandon, Lina, and Steve had to continue west. I’m not sure how much longer it took them to get home (Lina and Steve probably had another three hours of driving ahead of them), but everyone has since posted about the trip on Facebook, so I know they all made it safely.