From the Beginning

Today is the second day of our stay in New York. Yesterday we flew in from Seattle after a short one hour flight red eye at 6am from Spokane. We got into Newark Airport around 4pm, Eastern Time. We then took a ride service to our hostel that we will be residing in the Upper West Side, on 101st and Broadway, this will be important in later posts. So, we got checked into our room after the two hour ride into the city and quickly bundled up (it was 12o but felt like 0o with wind chill) and left for Times Square. As a New York virgin, this was the Mecca of my first day experience and everything that I imagined it to be. Minus the fact that I couldn’t feel my face, or my hands, or my feet, I had the best time walking down the famous Broadway Street with all of the bright lights illuminating my frostbitten nose. The group of five that I stuck with on this glorious night including myself was comprised of John, Ali, Samantha, and Jordan. How I Met Your Mother, the TV show that I binge watched last year through the entire 9 season series in a month, based their bar McLaren’s off of a real bar McGee’s in Midtown on 55th. Our group decided our night could not conclude until we got to that bar to pay tribute to one of our favorite New York based shows. We started at 42nd in Times Square, and continued to walk 13 blocks, in the frozen tundra to get to this three story bar. After we all finished our drink we concluded our fun for the night and walked back to the subway station to go back to bed, or so we thought.

Once we reached Times Square again coming back from the bar, the group decided to split up and Samantha, Ali, and I went back to the subway station while Jordan and John continued shopping. The group of five had now become a group of three and the subway station was an intimidating dungeon of smelliness that none of us knew how to navigate. I’ll admit, the New York subway system is an efficient means of transportation but three first-timers sat dazed and confused bumping into strangers trying to figure out the direction in which we had come. For every train that passed by, we would walk back up the steps to find another direction to go. The next platform we stepped on just so happened to be the platform we just got off and soon enough the leader of the group being myself decided to give up after four rounds of which direction is north? I headed back up the steps to find assistance, with the other two keeping pace with my panic walk. I approached the help desk and politely asked the train that would take us to 96th street exit. The wonderful lady behind the glass pane then replied inquiring as to what the cross-street was? I tried to think, I turned to Ali and Samantha and they shook their heads with their eyes getting worried because none of us knew the cross street of our hostel. It was getting late and we did not want to go the wrong direction at this time of night and on the first day because getting lost may mean we might never find our way back! The lovely woman then began listing off street names, “7th…8th…Broadway?” The first one she said was what I blurted back to get some kind of answer and she told us to get on the Number 2. Relieved to have some progress after the twenty minute ordeal, I reminded myself to not go anywhere in New York without a map. My nerves settled after we figured out this train did, in fact, go to our stop and we would make it back to the hostel, that was called the Broadway Hotel with the cross-street in its name, to end the night after a terrifying experience that gave us the subway savvy to not be lost again.

Our 2nd day in New York was a full day off from scripted activities. I woke up to get a nice hot shower and headed to the lobby for a free breakfast, nice. Jim led us through Central Park in the morning toward the Metropolitan Museum of Art and History, “The Met” for short. Walking through Central Park was amazing while the scenery was not as beautiful and lush as I’m sure it is in the summer, it was still quite majestic. From Central Park West to the famous 5th Avenue, we walked by some of the most expensive real estate in all of Manhattan and amongst all of the high rises and all the business of the city there is Central Park, tranquil and charming in all its splendor. The Met was the first of many museums in New York for us to visit. 5th Avenue alone has half a dozen, the main reason they coined the street “Museum Mile.” After two hours in the Met examining countless artifacts and antiques, Ali and Samantha and myself decided to start our journey down 5th Avenue to get to the New York Public Library, another museum and place Jim had recommended we go. On our way down the street we come across a few landmark places to sight see as well. Rockefeller plaza was a great stop, with Radio City Music Hall across the street. NBC studios gave us a sneak peek into The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and SNL. We walked by where the Today Show does their morning show in the plaza. After walking a few blocks down we finally got to the New York Public Library.  We spent about an hour and a half there and then went to Grand Central Station. We took the Subway to Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall to get pizza. Got lost on our way to Rosella’s Pizzeria. Looked it up online, then found Rossella’s Pizzeria. Then walked the Brooklyn Bridge at night, in the freezing cold, to see some incredible lights of the city, worth it. Then came back to Grand Central, took the S train to Times Square, then took the Red line back home. Went out to Mexican Festival and got appetizers for twelve bucks, thanks Sam.

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