New York at Christmas: Part II

After a fabulous Friday in New York City, Alex and I made our way south from her apartment in the Upper East Side to the Financial District. Our first stop was the Brooklyn Bridge. We chatted while strolling along the iconic landmark, which is a lot longer than it looks! Luckily it was a gorgeous morning with wonderful company.

 Next we ventured to the South Street Port TKTS stand — this location, as opposed to the uber-popular one in Times Square, offers tickets for the following day’s matinees AND opens a whopping four hours earlier. We were hoping to get tickets to The King & I because my parents couldn’t stop raving about it, and neither Alex nor I had ever seen it live. Upon reaching the front of the line, much to our dismay, tickets were still outrageously expensive. We decided on Finding Neverland instead, which Alex eagerly agreed to see again and came with high regard from Liz and Warren, as well. After a tasty lunch, we stopped by Wall Street and saw my buddy George Washington at the site of his inauguration.

Our plan, as mapped out by my handy-dandy flow chart (because that’s how I roll), was to then visit the 9/11 Memorial and Mueseum. Unfortunately, we didn’t buy our tickets ahead of time and were told that the next available entry time was several hours later. Alex and I resolved to alter our plans and come back in the morning, so our gears shifted to…shopping!

There are few things I love more in this world than deals, so Alex knew she had to take me to Century 21, a department store of discounts that’s basically one giant TJ Maxx. We perused (and purchased), then made our way uptown to the big kahuna — Macy’s. ICYMI, Macy’s is THE place to be at Christmastime — between the “Yes, Viriginia” window displays, entire floor dedicated to holiday decor and giant mailbox to Santa, Macy’s is ebulliently festive. Oh, and basically all of Manhattan was squeezed inside the mega building….it was crowds unlike I’ve ever seen……until it got worse on 5th Avenue…..

 Picture this: a mob of mindless tourists who don’t know where they’re walking, distracted by a giant lights display on the side of a building, stopping to take selfies while pushing passed the carts selling street meat and knock-off designer bags. Have a clear image? If not, just picture that scene in Independence Day when everyone is congregating for the alien’s arrival while Vivica A. Fox fights her way upstream. We were Vivica A. Fox. It was maddening and absolute carnage…but hey, I guess it did give us time to look at all the spectacular window and lights displays….Saks Fifth Avenue had a spectacular “winter palace” inspired lights show and Bloomingdale’s even had a photo-booth!


Once finally out of the mass of humans, we stopped at the still-very-crowded-but-not-unbearable destination of Rockefeller Plaza. Along with the glorious Christmas tree and decorations, this location is also special because Alex actually works at THE 30 Rock! (You can read all about her incredible tree-lighting experience on her blog.) This iconic landmark is even more spectacular to behold in person, and I loved ever second of the Christmas splendor. The weather throughout the weekend was mild and crisp — staying in the 50s during the day and 40s at night — which made it all especially enjoyable a. because it was chilly but not unbearable and b. because I bought a fabulous hat that I didn’t need and finally was able to wear it!
For dinner, we ate at Alex’s favorite pizza joint, John’s Pizzeria in Times Square. Devouring delicious pies plus scrumptious sangria, the two of us were positively smitten by the time 10:00 PM rolled around to see none other than the world-famous Radio City Rockettes!
Prior to this trip, I had seen the Rockettes three times while they were touring in Houston throughout the years. With each performance, I was captivated and mesmerized by their talent: the synchronization, passion and all-around sparkle of the Radio City Rockettes have solidified the Christmas Spectacular as one of my favorite shows of all time. So you can imagine how excited I was to see the Rockettes at home in Radio City.
After finally getting through the inefficient security and ticket line (I am very critical of these things for obvious reasons), Alex and I beheld the majesty of Radio City Music Hall. We similarly geeked out over the Moulin Rogue this past summer because you can just feel the historic energy in these famed performance halls. As the music started, the dancers began tapping and kicking, filling us with the kind of awe and inspiration that only comes from something as magical as the Rockettes. We even cried — tears of laughter, mind you — from #RogueSnowflakeof2015. Alex explains it so eloquently that you really just need to read her account of this blunder. It was, appropriately named, spectacular: both for me having seen the Rockettes and for Alex who’s first experience was that night.
One more post to go — I warned you that this weekend was one for the books and needs lots of explaining! But this next account means so much to me because of the gravity of the 9/11 Museum, as well as how Finding Neverland completely turned my world upside down. It’s a worthy grand finale, promise 😉


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