Thursday, November 18, 2010

New York City - Part I

I’m so glad that I decided to take the train from Montreal to New York City.  It was the longest, but most pretty, train ride I had ever taken.  I had no idea that upstate New York was so breathtakingly beautiful.  I tried to take pictures of the serene magnificence, but no picture could capture it just right.  11 hours later I arrived in NYC!
The feeling that I had as I surfaced in New York City from Penn Station was one I didn’t expect.  I instantly felt calm, comfortable, at home, and incredibly familiar as I joined the lively streets of NYC.  I can’t tell you how happy I was as I walked through Times Square on the way to my hostel the first night.  New York just does something to me!
I arrived at night so my NY adventure didn’t begin until the next morning.  And it began with a costly reminder of the differences between Chicago and New York.  In an effort to find a cheap place to get my haircut, I used Yelp! to find something in the one $ sign range.  I had momentarily forgot that one $ sign in Chicago means something completely different than one $ sign in New York.  $95 later I had my haircut and a hole in my pocket.  I attended church at the 4th Universalist Church on the Upper West Side across the street from Central Park Sunday morning and afterwards took full advantage of the 61 degree mid-November day and took a nice long stroll through Central Park.  It was so gorgeous with the leaves changing colors and falling.  People brought out their rowboats in the lake and the street performers were out in full glory taking advantage of one last day before the weather turned cold to earn some money.

I’ve been spending a lot of my time taking in the different neighborhoods of NYC.  So far I’ve walked the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, the Theater District, Midtown West, East and South, SoHo, Chinatown and Tribeca, and I’ve only been here 4 days!  I could spend every day in NYC and be happy. I’ve found myself waking up earlier and earlier each day so I could have more time to do things each day.  My body is adjusting to that and got me up this morning at 6am, and while normally that would annoy me, I couldn’t have been happier about it!  So far I’ve seen two Broadway shows, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Memphis!   The first was pretty good, but Memphis was simply incredible!  I loved loved loved it!!  If you go to NYC you MUST see this musical!  So high energy and the stars of the show have amazing voices that give you goosebumps!
In my lifetime I have been known to seek out a celebrity or two especially when in LA or NYC, but somehow this time I have been in the right place at the right time because so far I’ve seen 11 celebrities, having only actively sought out one.  On my first night here as I walked down 53rd St, Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth walked out of the stage door for Promises, Promises just as I passed by.  Then a few blocks later I was waiting to cross the street and David Letterman came driving by in his Land Cruiser, which caused me to wonder what a late night host was doing at his office on a Sunday night…or should I say who??  Hmmmm.  As I was walking from my hostel to Times Square for a tour I passed Columbus Circle and heard someone yell, “Rolling!” and I turned around and there was Ben Stiller filming his movie Tower Heist.  Next up, later that afternoon I was walking down the street to go to the Hello Deli and I saw a huge crowd of people so I walked over and a few minutes later out walked Jamie Oliver, Jay Z and Rihanna (who had all been on Letterman)!  That was a big one!   Jay Z got in a $500,000 Rolls Royce to drive not even 5 blocks away to where he lives at Columbus Circle.  As Jamie Oliver drove away he rolled down his window and blew us a kiss and said, “Hello my lovelies!”  After Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson as I was leaving I saw my favorite Australian, Curtis Stone, in the audience!  I turned to float back to my hostel and just as I did so Patrick Stewart and T.R. Knight walked out of the stage door from the theater showing their play.  And finally I spent a considerable amount of time waiting outside a certain TV show set in the cold wind to see a certain actor/singer only to learn that he had gone to a different location.  Anyone who knows me should know who this is!  If you’d like a clue, I did see Tom Selleck there on set as well!

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