Monday, July 31, 2017

Bad Selfies in the Big Apple

I still can't believe it.  It feels like it was a wonderful dream.  A couple weeks ago I flew to New York City for the week with dear friends, Andrea and Jennilyn.
This is all the belongings I took with me for six days in the Big Apple.  Impressive, no?
See, I really am a minimalist at heart.
Andrea's daughter was doing a week long Broadway Prep camp for the week and Jennilyn and I tagged along to keep Andrea company.  This picture was the first of what we called "Bad Selfies" we took throughout our trip.
"Airport Bad Selfie"
We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Fortunately my fear of driving across bridges does not translate to walking across bridges.
New York feels larger than life-- so much activity on so many levels-- underground, all around, towering into the sky.  I don't think I'd enjoy living there, but it is so impressive that so many people can live in such a small space in such relative peace.  
We went to Coney Island.  I'd never been before and I felt so turn of the century!  Why?  I don't know-- I guess I've read about Coney Island in so many books set in the early 19th century that it just felt very American to me.
New York was quite hot and muggy-- obviously, it is summer-- but the beach was decidedly cooler and refreshing.
"Bad Selfie at the Soaring Eagle".  The next time you are with me and I suggest we ride a roller coaster, please remind me that I'm OLD and prone to motion sickness".  Horrid.
"Bad Selfie at Coney Island".
Biking through Central Park-- it's like we were living in a romantic comedy set in New York.
We did some "grounding" exercises in Central Park.  It was lovely.  I laid down on the grass and tried to soak it all it.  It was a nice break because frankly, I'm out of shape and the bike riding was kicking my tushy!
We ate at a tiny basement ramen restaurant.  It was interesting.  Who knew ramen could be chic?
Oh come on, you know I'm not very adventurous with my food.  But I do try.  And I'm glad to have friends who help me be more adventurous.
We had a marvelous time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I have not spent a lot of time in art museums in my life, but I quite enjoy them.  In a high school English class in Fairfax, Virginia we had to do a big project called an "Art Notebook".  Basically we had to research and put together reports on famous pieces of art.  It was pretty cool to see some of the pieces in person.  
For the record, I do not appreciate, nor understand most modern art pieces done in the last 75 years.  Do I lack and artist's heart?  Perhaps, but I've seen my children's artwork that seems more inspired than what passes for modern art.  Frankly, my messy garage seems more artistic than some of the "pieces" we saw.
Chelsea-High Line Meatpacking District walking tour.  It was fun, but not my favorite part of the trip.  Still, any excuse for another bad selfie.
We got all around town on the subway.  To be truthful, Andrea and Jennilyn navigated throughout the week and I just followed them around.  But I never got lost form them, so that's something.
Doughnuts from the Doughnuttery in Chelsea Market Place.  Bite-sized handmade doughnuts dipped and rolled in sugary spices and flavors.  YUMMY!
You might notice our eyes are a little red and puffy, like we've been crying.
Yes, this was the "Crying Bad Selfie".  We had just finished watching Dear Evan Hansen.  We LOVED it, and unless I'm mistaken it was the favorite play of the week. 
We had a lot of choices for such an award-- Cats, Anastasia, Dear Evan Hansen, The Great Comet of 1812, A Wall Apart, Bandstand, and Groundhog Day.
I loved Dear Evan Hansen, Bandstand and Anastasia.  I didn't care much for The Great Comet of 1812 or Groundhog Day and I'll talk more about A Wall Apart in a bit.  I loved, loved, loved watching the plays, but almost as much as I liked watching them, I loved discussing them with Andrea and JL.  So much good stuff to talk about and the crying about Dear Evan Hansen continued during dinner at Junior's.
The gal in the hat is Vanessa from South Africa.  We made friends on a double decker bus tour, so naturally we asked her to join in for a bad selfie.  I quite enjoyed the bus tour, but it was hot, hot, hot.
 Horror of horrors.
I had never been to a wax museum before and I will never go back to one.  CREEPY!
These wax figures were freaking me out.  They were like standing embalmed celebrities.  Couldn't get out there soon enough.
One of the very, very coolest things we did was attending a designer's run through of a new musical that was opening for a Broadway festival the next week.  In a small room, the cast, wearing their street clothes, performed for the first time, a full run through of their play for the set designers to watch.  It was AMAZING because we were the only observers not connected to the play and the actors were right in our faces.  I mean they were like less than two feet away, full invested, singing in our FACES!  At times it was almost awkward for me-- but it didn't appear to be awkward for them because they are professionals.  It was just so raw and real!
How did we get such an opportunity?  One of the playwrights was in an old ward with Andrea and somehow she got this invite.  It was my favorite experience of the whole trip.  And the play was about the Berlin Wall-- and since I lived in Berlin as a child, I felt quite a connection.
It was so intimate that we knew it was not the time for a selfie.  That would be tacky.
But at the intermission we couldn't help ourselves.  We had to snap a quick one.
Now for the worst (but my favorite) bad selfie of the week.  The museum of Fraunces Tavern had a little patriotic dress-up area, presumably for the children.  But whatever.  We couldn't help ourselves.  It just screamed for a bad selfie.
Fraunces Tavern was pretty cool-- it was where George Washington bid farewell to his officers when the British evacuated New York at the end of the Revolutionary War.  It was also a meeting place for The Sons of Liberty.
We went to the restaurant Serendipity that was featured in the movie Serendipity.  We enjoyed the tastiest  ice cream dessert with fresh berries and a raspberry sauce.  I love raspberry sauce!
Our sweet husbands unexpectedly greeted us at the airport on our return.  It was so nice to see them and so nice to be home.  This trip was unforgettable and I can hardly believe I got to go.  As much as I love home and and love routine and keeping a regular schedule, it is very good and so healthy to mix it up and have new experiences.  To get new perspective and to be in a different environment.  Thank you, Andrea for the opportunity.
The final bad selfie!
This little sweetie was almost as happy to see me as I was to see her.  She just hugged me for about 10 minutes.  I had sort of weaned her before I left, but thankfully (for both of us) she happily resumed nursing upon my return.  I missed her terribly and was so happy to get her squishy-ness back into my arms.  

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