Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New York or bust!

This month literally flew right by. May seems to always kick my butt. Literally so much to do so little time. This month ended with a very important test for Chad (which he passed) and a trip to New York.
My last visit to New York was months after 9/11. The place was so different this time. It felt more alive and bright. Like the cloud of despair and sadness had been lifted. Chad had left the Sunday prior to my leaving on Wednesday. I caught a red-eye at 10:30pm from LAX and the turbulence was crazy bad. My hopes of sleeping through the flight were demolished. I finally got to JFK at 7:00am and was picked up by the Shuttle for a 2 hour trip to the hotel. I hate shuttles. I like the price of Shuttles but I hate riding in them. Once I got to the business hotel that Chad was at I rushed downstairs to find some food. I was starving. I wound up at Utopia a small restaurant for breakfast. I had the salmon and onion omelet and it was very good. I must have looked like the walking dead because each person I spoke too asked if I was ok. After my meal I stopped into a deli to grab some water and headed back to my room for a nap. I finally woke back up at around 1:00pm and decided to go ahead and research some Tattoo places for my possible inking. I found one that was about a 11 min Subway ride away so off I was. I purchased a $10 metro card and got on at 72nd street and took it downtown to Red Rocket Tattoo. After making a reservation for a Sat night tat and then walking around in that area and picking up some much needed face powder I got back on the subway and went uptown to Colombia University were Chad was taking his test. I love the Subway. This was my only time riding it and I wish we would have used it more often for Transportation. Something about the speed and the different people you see makes you feel like your on an adventure.

Columbia campus is wonderfully green. I knew I had a few hours to kill so I found a Japanese restaurant to sit at and enjoyed a glass of plum wine and very salty edamame while I waited. I also put on band aids because the blisters that were developing were making it impossible to walk. After about a hour of sidewalk banter with crazees I walked to the building that Chad was taking his test in. I waited by the entrance and after 30mins I saw him walking out. The news was not good. Apparently Chad felt that he had blown the test. Let's fast forward to the dinner that night at Le Monde when he finds out he passed. After the test there was a wine reception where everyone was discussing how badly they failed. We then joined the class for dinner were more discussion were had about how horrible the test was. Later that night for those that stayed till the end of dinner scores were given out. Dryden and Chad had passed. What a relief. For celebration Chad wanted a cigar bar. So we found the Carnegie club after a quick change at the Hotel.

What a great cigar bar and the drinks were so good that the rest of the evening gets a bit fuzzy. We did go to the Plaza and shut down The Rose Club. We had one more drink there and by the time we got home at about 3:00am... well lets just say we celebrated the passing of their test in New York style.

Friday morning included sleeping in for me and packing to move to the Parker Meridian hotel. I had all the bags ready to go and waited in Dryden's room for the boys to come back from their last day of classes. Around 3:00pm we headed to the next hotel, Le Parker Meridian. After Chad gashed his head on luggage and we made a cluster of the hotel lobby we finally got to our amazing room. Perfect view of Central Park. We left quickly to go find a replacement purse for my completely trashed one and then returned in time to get ready for our night out. Dinner at the Harvard Club with Dryden and his niece and then Spiderman. Dinner was very nice, not the best meal in NYC but I blame that on my bad ordering. I strayed a bit far from what I typically order. No drinks to speak of here other than a great cup of coffee at the end which ended up hurting my tummy later that night.


After dinner at the Harvard Club we walked to Spiderman and made it just in time. It was an amazing show. Not the typical Broadway show, a stunt show mixed with crazy good music and so much action. You can tell it was still in preview because there were a few hiccups but overall most things went well. The stunt work was just amazing. I had to hold my breath a few times during the aerial work. I am excited to to get the soundtrack when it comes out. After the show we walked around Time Square for a bit and took some shots by the ticker. Dryden was an amazing host and knew so much about NYC. Dryden wanted to treat us to a drink at the Peninsula rooftop bar. Salon De Ning is located on the 23rd floor of the Peninsula Hotel. Very trendy and crowded. I ordered a Cucumber Martini and was floored at the $23 price tag. Chad had a Makers Mark. Lets just say they pour them deep at this place. There was an aged women DJing outside and I couldn't help but laugh at her lack of skills. This was the type of "to be seen at " bar that New York is well know for. We had a Raspberry Mousse for dessert that was to die for. Amazing!! The view was wonderful and the weather was perfect. It was the perfect way to end the evening.It was about 1:00am so we cabbed it home and fell right to sleep.

Saturday morning we woke up and met Dryden for breakfast in Central Park. It was as if we were exactly were we should be our whole trip. Sitting in Central Park and just watching life move around us was nice. Then we decided to go check out some stores and Dryden wanted to share with us the Plaza Grand Ballroom. Now there are not many times in life when I can go speechless but this was one of them. When we excited the plaza elevator that placed us into the lobby of the Ballroom we were greeted by the most beautiful pieces of floral artwork that I have ever seen in my life. Chad and I literally stood with mouths wide open in awe. I couldn't move or talk. I actually started crying because I had never seen something so beautiful in my life. I decided to not take a picture, one because it just didn't seem right and two, it would have not done the work justice. The Grand Ball room was very nice but having spent my fair share of hours in ballrooms decorating and so forth it didn't really have that much of a wow factor for me. Those flowers however. They will remain in my mind for the rest of my life. A room so full of floral pieces that it literally moved me.

We checked out FAQ Schwatrz were Chad was able to see the Big Piano and walked over to Grand Central station. I wanted to jump on a Subway so bad but Dryden explained that Times Square was only a few short blocks from us. It was time for our amazing tour guide and Chad's boss to leave. With a mighty handshake and warnings of taking cabs he was gone.

After our Saturday tour with Dryden Chad and I walked towards Time Square to pu tickets for the Harry Potter exhibit at the Discovery Museum. We stopped for a break and bloody marys at a small tavern. Happy Sat mid morning prices were refreshing. 2 drinks for less than $20.00. AMAZING! We finished up and literally walked right into Harry P. No line, no issues. The exhibit was very cool. Tons of props, costumes and various movie decor were setup in a walk around style tour. My favorite finds were the wands and how individual each was. I also liked the costumes and seemed to be transfixed by the shoes of each character.

We left the exhibit after more than a hour of wandering and found a BBQ place called Virgils. We had TRAIN WRECK FRIES-fresh cut fries, covered with melted cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, scallions, pickled jalapenos and topped with ranch dressing, BBQ riblets and Biscuits and Gravy. While we were being served a Navy Dr. that had been sitting next to us offered up 2 free Matinee passes to Catch Me if You Can. We were in shock. Another show! We hurried through our meal and ran to the Neil Simon Theatre just in time. The show was great! The typical musical of Broadway, different than Spiderman but a great contrast for Chad to experience.

After the performance we headed home to change before my tat apt. Chad bought a touch of liquid courage for me and a few cigars for himself. While in the shop he saw Rev. Al Sharpton. Hmmm interesting. We decided to cab it to the shop.


I had already picked out the artist had a drawing done and was ready for my 6:00pm apt. When we arrived at Red Rocket Tattoo my artist had called in sick that day. I was heartbroken. We did however have another option and after reviewing Marcus's work I ended up going through with it. 11 years in the making and I finally got my 3 little birds. Amazingly detailed and just so cute, each bird was colored with the corresponding child's birthstone color. Jackson on top with Julia in the middle and James floating by on the bottom. It hurt, the color mostly. The fine line wasn't too horribly painful.


After the tat we walked back to the hotel with a few store stops. We decided to eat at the Hamburger spot located in our hotel. It had rave reviews from yelp. We ordered 2 huge Hamburgers and fries and went upstairs and ate and ate and ate. It was pretty good. That night we fell asleep in a food coma.

Part 2 to follow



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