Thursday, December 14, 2017

Visiting New York City During the Holiday Season

I've been home for a few days...trying to get back into the normal routine. A busy time to sneak in a quick trip to New York City, especially from Alaska...but it was well worth the effort for a few days packed full of spending time with good friends.

Day one...after I arrived 24 hours later than scheduled due to flight delays...I joined my friends at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. A somber way to start a trip to NYC but we all felt a huge impact in our lives on that day, no matter how far away we all lived from the scenes of terror.

Every American should visit the site and museum if they get the chance. There were tributes throughout the museum along with artifacts from that day.

It is a little hard to read this quote in the photo of this large wall of blue squares, "No day shall erase you from the memory of time." Each letter in the sign was forged from pieces of steel recovered from the World Trade Center. There are 2,983 watercolor squares representing the victims of 9/11 and the 1993 bombing. The variety of blues relate to individual perceptions of the colors of the sky.

There are thousands of amazing artifacts, many videos and audio recordings. I don't think anyone can get through the entire museum without tearing up a few times. I remember one woman's words who had lost her husband that day; as awful as that day was, she didn't want it to end because it was the last day she had with her husband.

From the museum we walked around looking for a late lunch spot. We stumbled onto, Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar. It was a fantastic Italian meal. 

For me...visiting New York is mainly about seeing shows on many as possible. 

Our first show of the trip.

It was such a small and intimate theater, Circle in the Square. We were seated in the round. Very energetic show. Wonderful music. Poor girl falls in love with a rich boy. Though not a happy was a fun show. Loved it!

The second day we awoke to snow! Lots of it! But it was the warm slushy kind. No problem. We headed out to 5th Avenue to check out the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. It looked very good with real snow. It was a sea of people even with the endless snow.

We did a quick trip back to our apartment before heading to an early dinner. Two of the ladies dining with me that night had been on the trip to Bali we took a few years ago and our restaurant was chosen for its Balinese decor style and menu, Tao Uptown.

Delicious. The portions were too big but it was wonderful. The atmosphere was perfect. 

We just barely made it to our seats before the second play we were seeing started.

This show is a perfect pairing with the 9/11 Museum visit. It is about Gander, Newfoundland being the location inbound flights to the U.S. were directed to land when all flight operations ceased for days. Gander, along with several surrounding towns, took care of 7,000 stranded strangers. 

This was my favorite show on the trip. A few sad moments but most of it was funny...a bit of Canadian humor which is pretty similar to Alaskan humor. Maybe that is why I related to it so much. 

Two of the ladies on our trip headed home on Sunday but there was one more day for me. We were staying at my friend's daughter's apartment just off of Times Square for the last night and were in walking distance to lots of theaters. We walked around on Sunday afternoon and decided to check the theater box office for tickets to...

Another fantastic show! I was definitely getting spoiled with all these great musicals. My head doesn't know what song to hum.

I was the last of group to the leave New York. I was planning to sleep in a little and leisurely make my way to LaGuardia Airport. Instead I woke up to sirens and the nonstop sound of a helicopter hovering over the apartment. Then I got a text from one of the ladies who was already home asking if I was okay. I found out there was some kind of suicide type bombing in a subway tunnel near Times Square. I  hurriedly got showered and dressed, grabbed my suitcase and started walking. 

There were no cars driving on the streets around our apartment as the streets were all blocked off by ambulances and police cars, in both directions. We had no idea how badly the bombing might be...or if there would be more bombings.

I was finally able to get an Uber and a gal on the street with her suitcase asked if she could ride to the airport with me. It was impossible to get a taxi and very tough to get an Uber. My friend's daughter had been trying to get an Uber ride before we left her apartment and started walking but the drivers couldn't navigate around all the blocked streets. 

Of course I said yes to the gal on the street and she very generously paid for the fare. She just barely made her flight. I had some time to spare once we got to the airport...then my flight out of LaGuardia was delayed...seems to be a pattern here with my flights this trip.

All the travel drama was well worth getting time to spend with ladies I rarely get to see. I'm second from the left. The two ladies on either side of me are friends from when I lived in San Antonio. I hadn't seen them since I moved to Alaska in 1998. My friend on the far right is my best bud and I try to see her at least once a year...doesn't always happen. 

We are hoping it doesn't take us so long to get together in NYC again. 


Ramona said...

I was in NYC this past weekend, too.! I was there for basketball games this time, but hopefully next time I can see a show or two. How fun to get together with friends in such a fun place.

CecileD said...

An unforgettable weekend no ? Surely with your friends (did I recognized Sandy ??) but sadly for this human bomb too...
I'm glad you came back home safety !
Hugs !

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

it sounds like you had a fun weekend even with the scare on the last day and getting to the airport - nice that you can meet up with friends like that and see all those shows. One day I will get there and see the museum

Sally said...

It looks as though you had a wonderful time in NYC...My son and DIL took a few days to get away from the hustle of Salt Lake City and arrived in NYC on Sunday glad you all were safe when the incident occurred.

Donna quilts said...

Sounds like a fun trip - although the bomb incident and travel delays are obviously stressful. Visiting NYC is on my bucket list. I love the energy of a big city.