Monday, December 24, 2012

The New York Saga Pt. II: My Hotel and Love on the Streets

In my last post I told you how I decided to take a trip to New York alone. New York is full of so many great memories that it may take several posts to share it. Let me tell you a little bit about my hotel and how I navigated the city streets.

The Hotel

My little boutique hotel. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name but it was truly hilarious staying at this little gem. First, it was smothered between two other buildings, and it was so inconspicuous that I walked past it every time I tried to return after a day of sightseeing. I knew that if I reached the alley I had gone too far and promptly turned around. Second, I had heard that New York was notorious for its’ small hotels. However, I didn’t expect my room to be so small that I could lie on the bed and cross my ankles on the toilet. Oh and whenever I took a bath or shower my entire room steamed up so that I had to wait until it all cleared to take down my hair. Plus, there was one “engineer” that fixed everything from the TV to the heater.  I didn’t care, hell, I was in New York!  The service was great and I had no intention of being in my room except to sleep and bathe. It was safe, cute, clean, and a few short steps from Broadway.

The Streets Pulsate

Part of the allure of New York is that it lives up to its’ reputation as being the city that never sleeps. One night after I checked in with my friend to let them know I was safe, I decided I needed some Haagen Dazs ice cream. This was about 11:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. I put on my coat, waived at the desk clerk, and headed out. Everything was jumping and bustling. Since nothing seemed to be closing anytime soon I figured I’d pop into the bar on the corner and have a quick drink and then go get the ice cream. That’s just what I did. I had a drink and made small talk, which I am not good at, with a few people in the bar. It was fun. The ice cream was only slightly better than the bar company.

Exploring the City on Foot

On my first day there I couldn’t handle my excitement so I threw my bag on the bed and almost immediately headed out to explore. I had just made it to the corner of a busy street when I met a man. Yep, not in New York for two hours and already approached by a man; one staring at me so lustily and with a huge smile that my golden cheeks were actually blushing pink. He asked expectantly if I was married. I am not, but I nodded yes that I was married. He looked up at me with a big smile and said “damn”.  You might have just noticed that I wrote he looked up at me. This is unusual as I am only 5”2.  My admirer was a dwarf, I think, or maybe a midget. I have nothing against dwarfs at all, but I am partial to men that are taller than me. Consider it a character flaw.
Ice skaters at Rockefeller Center

Anyhow, after that fun experience I kept walking and stumbled upon Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, and later Rockefeller Center where I saw a postcard picture-perfect scene of people ice skating. Later that week on my third day in New York I went back to Rockefeller Center to Top of The Rock which was glorious. The ticket booth salesperson warned me that it was cold, but I assured him that I would be fine. “I’m from Chicago”, I said boastfully (for some reason strangely proud of my ability to withstand frigid weather). He said, “Oh, you’ll be okay then.”  The view of Manhattan was amazing and definitely worth it.  It was so cold that day (to NewYorkers) that the only people up there were me and the security guard. He was a sweetheart who offered to take a picture of me. I wonder if he thought I was alone because my friends abandoned me because I was crazy enough to want to go up there in the cold?

Times Square-Check out P.Diddy
During and after both of my tours I wandered around Manhattan. I can honestly say that it’s my second favorite city to get lost in after Paris. I walked up and down upper Manhattan window shopping at high end stores. I didn’t bother to go in-I just waved and smiled at the security guards. I didn’t see the point of creating unnecessary heartbreak for myself. I ventured over to Barneys and challenged myself to go on every floor. It was worth it. Even though it was winter I saw lots of women wearing Juicy Couture sweat suits and bared belly buttons holding tea cup dogs while appraising clothes and fragrances.

I also had fun pretending that I was going to buy a purse from the street vendors. I have to say that those purses looked pretty darned good-and I do know my purses- but I’m a purse snob and didn’t want to own an inauthentic anything. I did buy my cousin Aaron two of the nicest silk ties I’d ever seen from an old Jewish man for $10.

Did I buy any food on the streets? I didn’t. However, I did eat in a deli. Remember New York is a city full of delis and I wanted to try one. Question: Were they eating in a deli on Seinfeld? Anyway, it was pretty good. I had a sandwich that was so damned big I had to take half of it back to my room. Now that I think about it I also bought a muffin that was as big as my head and I was able to eat it for two days. You can probably tell I didn’t spend a ton on food.  My one food splurge, if you can call it that, was at Virgil's for barbecue and it was very good. When I told my father this he thought it was hilarious. He’s a food fanatic and travels to do two things: eat and gamble. The fact that I was in New York City and not eating like a mobster was beyond crazy to him. Hey, I had my priorities……shopping.

Next Post- C.Bradshaw, shopping tours, and Broadway

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