How lucky am I that I have a dear friend who lives in Manhattan that likes when I come to visit? The answer: SUPER lucky! Having a newborn at home last year, I didn't get to take what I would like to think is my yearly trip to the musical theater mecca.
This year I was thrilled when I booked my ticket and was beyond excited to visit with Celia. I couldn't wait for the fun adventures we had planned! I got in late Wednesday night and we couldn't help staying up far too late chatting. I felt really badly because Celia had to work the next morning.
On Thursday I got to sleep in and tried to get over the giddiness of being just in charge of me. I headed up to midtown to go to MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art. I really enjoyed walking around and exploring the exhibits. It was exciting to see some of my favorites, such as Van Gogh's Starry Night. There were also some amazing works of Picasso that I loved seeing in person. Perhaps this is just me showing how uneducated I am, but I started to lose interest in the works that were a little too "modern." I'm sorry, but a plain black canvas? Or a bicycle wheel and a snow shovel? After a bit it seems like the are pushing boundaries for the sake of pushing boundaries rather than really trying to express something. If any readers out there are better versed in modern art feel free to set me straight...
After exploring the museum for awhile, I took the subway back down to to Chelsea to meet a new friend. After reconnecting with my friend, Adam, on facebook I somehow stumbled onto his wife's blog. Nell is an amateur photographer that loves food, especially cheese, travel, and figuring out what she wants to do with her life. She was doing a 365 project and posting a picture a day. Over the last year I have loved looking at her work and getting to know her in the process. When I knew I was heading to NYC, I asked if we could meet. I had such a wonderful time meeting Nell, talking with her, eating the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich of my life (apple rhubarb chutney!), and walking along High Line Park taking photographs. She was even more fun in real life! It was also a treat to walk to Adam's office and see him again.
That evening I met up with Celia and her friend Brigitte to go to "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" with Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette. Loved it! Wan't really expecting to see Harry Potter sing and dance, but he did a great job! Even though I wasn't really familiar with the show, I really enjoyed it. I especially loved the set and the closing number made me (and the rest of the theater) want to stand up and cheer! Great show!
Friday was another fantastic day on my own. I headed up to the Museum of Natural History and explore around there for several hours. Not having to keep track of little people I was able to wander freely and listen to my book. I then walked through Central Park on the way back to Ceila's.
One of the bonuses about moving my trip from April was the fact that I got to meet Celia's boyfriend, Quincy. I was so excited to meet him! He came over for dinner on Friday night before we headed out to Jazz Standard to listen to New York Voices. Their set was amazing! I have been a fan since high school and it was such a treat to hear them live. The club was smaller so we had great seats. I was so impressed with their musicianship and how they voiced all their songs. Total pros! I want to be like that someday!
This part is kinda fun. Quincy is an amazing jazz musician and it turned out that he has actually played with New York Voices and several of the band members. After the set they came up to talk to him and we got to meet and talk with a couple of the members. So cool!
Saturday we walked down to Chelsea Market for some brunch before going to see a matinee of Wonderland. I enjoyed most of the musical numbers, but the story seemed a bit disjointed. Not the best show I have ever seen. We then walked over to Don't Tell Mama for a quick run-through with Brittany before her performance began. Brittany was a star and I absolutely love her gorgeous voice and ease of performance. It was such a treat being there to watch her perform and then an added bonus to sing with her and Celia.
After the show we hung out with Brittany and some of her friends before taking off and getting some cheesecake at Junior's. Of course, I had to bring Ken some real New York cheesecake. Yummy! On the way home we walked through Times Square and snapped a few pictures.
Sunday, after sleeping in, we headed down to Soho for a little shopping and lunch before I had to catch my plane. I can't tell you how I enjoyed my trip -- reconnecting with friends and making new ones. It feels deliciously selfish to only have to worry about me and what I want to do for a couple of days out of the year. It is the perfect way to rejuvenate! It makes me excited to be back with my fantastic family again. I think it also helps Ken appreciate how I hold down the fort. So grateful that I have the support for Ken and good friends who watch my kiddos so I can get away. Thanks Celia for having me. NYC in the spring is perfect for recharging my batteries!