Ah, New York during the holidays. We see it in movies, hear about it in songs, daydream about it in all its splendor come December. I have always wanted to experience the glamour and festivity of the Big Apple during Christmastime, and now I can tell you fine folks from firsthand experience: it’s just as magical as I had imagined.
For a long time, I’ve wanted to make the trek up to NYC because my best friend, Alex (who also has a blog and recapped our weekend!), works in Manhattan, and my sister, Margaret, goes to school at NYU. During a flash Southwest Airlines sale, I was able to snag a fantastic deal on airfare, so after having my wow-I’m-an-adult-and-can-make-these-decisions moment, I set a course for New York!
Flying in late Thursday night to Newark, I took the train from the airport into New York’s Penn Station. This was the cheaper option (versus flying into LaGuardia), however I wouldn’t recommend doing it at odd hours. Because it was 11:15 PM by the time I got off the plane, I had to wait another half hour for a train…my mother can tell you based on our phone call that I was not exactly patient at this point. Flying home in the afternoon was much easier, though, which is why I’d say just consider your timing if you look at landing in New Jersey.
Because Alex had work on Friday, I spent the whole next day with Margaret wandering around the western part of the island. Upon encountering both Alex and Margaret, I experienced the odd sensation of realizing that life goes on….but not in the dramatic “weep for yesterday” sort of way (which I know I’ve spoken about probably more times than you’d care to hear). Rather it finally clicked that this is, in fact, where they live: it became a tangible memory, not just some theoretical statement of which I have to remind myself.
The highlight of the afternoon was that I checked an item off my bucket list: visiting the one and only Kleinfeld Bridal of Say Yes to the Dress! Alas, I didn’t accomplish part two of that dream, which was go in and play dress up (but never buy a dress because there’s no chance in hell I’d ever spend $5,000 on a dress I’ll wear once #bargainshopper).
While Margaret went back to her dorm for a nap, I took the subway to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, my favorite museum in the entire world. Even though I only had about an hour and a half to browse, I hit up some of my favorites (the American wing) and explored new exhibits (the Fashion wing). Truly nothing compares to the magnificence of the Met: it would take a lifetime to see it all, so I’ll be hard-pressed to ever visit New York without stopping here.
Margaret and I had planned to meet at the Neue Galerie across the street because it was free from 6:00-8:00 PM that evening. I wanted to pop in to see the painting, “The Woman in Gold” by Gustav Klimt because the recent film of the same name is amazing. Unfortunately, the rest of New York had a similar idea, and by the time we met up, the line had wrapped around the building. As I always say, it’s just another excuse to visit again.
By then, Alex was done with work, so the three of us grabbed a burger in Rockefeller Center, and Margaret and I made our way to the Great White Way to see School of Rock. This brand-spanking new Broadway musical is based on the movie starring Jack Black, which just so happens to be a Fisher Family favorite. I was able to score extremely discounted seats through a Playbill membership (Dad takes the credit on finding this gem). We had seats in the back of the middle orchestra section for the same price as tickets from TKTS (still great discount booths in the city) up in the mezzanine. Needless to say, I was pumped.
Much to my excitement, School of Rock exceeded my expectations. Written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and none other than the creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellows, I felt as though I was actually in the band and eagerly rocked out to stick it to the man (both aptly named songs, I might add). The sheer talent of the cast — most of whom are under the age of ten — gives me reason enough to highly recommend this show to everyone, theater-lovers and newbies alike.
Thus concludes day one of my New York City adventure: I’ll be publishing Part II soon, where I tell all about the length of the Brooklyn Bridge, the beauty of Radio City and the chaos of Christmas crowds!