|View from our 37th Floor room at the Marriott Marquis|
Dot, Debbie and Donna made a trio of travelers looking for new adventures. All of us had traveled to NYC many times, and this trip we wanted to see and do things that we hadn't experienced before. Of course we stayed at a familiar hotel, The Marriott Marquis, because of the convenient location right in Times Square, and we did see Broadway plays and visit THE MET, but the trip was sprinkled with new fun each day. Good planning was the key!
First things first: Food. We wanted to go somewhere we had never been so we sought out a recommended pizza joint. Rays Pizza was only four blocks from our hotel, so we walked there and sampled the pizza by the slice and a calzone. The crust was chewy and the toppings were very generous.
After lunch we had time to visit the TKTS booth on Duffy Square and purchase Broadway matinee tickets. We selected "Anastasia." The special appeal for this play was that the lead was played by a young woman from Louisiana whose mother is an acquaintance of mine. Molly Rushing did a great job as young Anastasia. It was thrilling to see a young person achieve a dream of acting and dancing on Broadway.
|Waiting for the play. A happy place!|
Later that afternoon we hit the TKTS booth again and scored tickets to "Waitress." This musical was nominated for four Tony awards in 2016 and was a real crowd pleaser. We cried and we laughed. It is the story of a young woman named Jenna who is in a bad marriage, but is famous for her pie baking at a small town restaurant. She dreams of winning a baking contest, but her dreams are shattered when she becomes pregnant.
Her fellow waitresses are her friends and confidants. Their love lives are interesting and in the end all found happiness. The songs were catchy and we found ourselves toe-tapping and laughing at the impossible situations that the waitresses got themselves into! An interesting tidbit about "Waitress" is that real life husband and wife Katie Lowes and Adam Shapiro, play husband and wife in the play as well. I recognized Adam from "Grey's Anatomy."
The Mean Fiddler right next to the theatre. The menu that featured a large list of small plates just right for a quick meal. I chose the Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls and they were very tasty with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. This Irish Pub right in the middle of Manhattan was big on social media and one could take a selfie and post it on Instagram and they would in turn show it on the big screens all around the place. Fun!!
|We forgot the picture, so there are a few bites missing!|
The hotel fees at the Marriott Marquis include one "free" attraction. In keeping with our theme of new adventures, we chose to receive tickets to a GrayLine double decker tour bus that featured "hop on, hop off" service. We rode the bus to Soho where we shopped at some places that we don't find back home. Many bargains were to be had.
|Can you see on the top deck?|
Each passenger on the GrayLine bus gets earbuds and is treated to a recorded city tour. Our trio thought we knew everything there was to know about NYC, since we had visited so many times. We admitted to learning some new information. One example is that NYC restaurants are graded by the Department of Health. They must display the grade in their windows. We learned that grade A is best and grade D means: "don't do it." Sure enough, we started looking and those letters were displayed every where we went. Another tidbit that I didn't know is that Wall Street was so named because the Colonists had built a wall at that spot to keep the British out during the Revolutionary War. Of course it didn't work, but the street kept it's name.
|High Energy!! Barrels of laughs!!|
We capped the evening with a visit to The View, a revolving restaurant/bar on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis which happened to be our hotel. The pricey cocktails included a spectacular panorama of the city at night! I enjoyed every drop of my $25 Cosmopolitan....good company and great scenery going by as we turned.
|Live television is such fun!|
The GMA staffer who warmed up the audience was hilarious and kept up the fun with jokes and audience participation. We got to see the concert twice because we were there for the rehearsal and the sound checks. We were cued as to when we should applaud and dance. It was the best new experience of the trip! "Despacito" is now one of my favorite new songs!
As we left the concert we were still humming the melodies and we walked through the park to THE MET. While this was not a totally new experience the exhibit we saw was new to the entire world. It was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. In addition to seeing designer garments that represent a "dialogue between the creators and Medieval art and fashion" there were also papal robes and accessories from the Sistine Chapel that had never been outside the Vatican. We were able to snap photos of the designer garments but not the Papal accessories.
|The Pope's Shoes|
The clothing worn by Saint Pope John Paul II was on display. From the clothing it was apparent that he was a very small man. What struck me was the shoes he wore....he had large feet. The shoes were red and matched the embroidery on the robes. He wore them once. We also saw the ceremonial Keys to the Kingdom in an ornate chest. He was presented these on the occasion of his installation as Pope. It was a thrill to see the jewel studded tiaras worn by Popes from times past. The rings and scapulas were also gorgeous. Many of the items were intricately embroidered. Almost every item was a gift to the Pope from a King, order of nuns or a Church of another country.
After leaving THE MET we walked 5 blocks down 5th Avenue aka Museum Mile to the Neue Galerie. There we dined in the Cafe Sabarsky on rather authentic German food. Bratwurst and Potatoes and open faced sandwiches on hearty wheat breads were sampled as well as a dessert item of Hazel Walnut Torte.
|The Woman in Gold and me|
The museum also has paintings and accessories by several German and Austrian artists/artisans and is considered to have the "best collection" of those. We saw many Klimts and Schieles. These two were contemporaries and considered by many art enthusiasts to be the first of the modern artists in Europe. The paintings were in many cases stark and almost lewd. Some of the paintings were from the personal collection of Estee' Lauder whose son Ronald founded the museum.
The only thing left for the day was another play. We hit the TKTS booth again and decided to see "The Play that Goes Wrong." It's a slapstick comedy of a play within a play. The ramshackle set and the British accented characters including a corpse who doesn't play dead very well, combined for a hilarious show. We laughed until we cried. One character was a master of malapropisms and that added to the fun. It's a "who done it" with twists and turns of "funny." While not a musical, it was very upbeat and recommended. It's a the Lyceum Theatre just off Broadway.
The next day was lunch, more shopping and trip to the airport! Again Delta was on time and we enjoyed the ease of the pre-checked status. We left with fond memories of many new adventures and vows to return again. Our trio is very special and we hope to travel together again, soon.
|Dot, Debbie and Donna|