NYC Labor Day Weekend 2009


First, we must thank American Express for having great bundled hotel/flight deals (Expedia, you had them, too, but your sales kept ending too quickly for us), Paramount Hotel for the great location, Paramount Hotel for your comfortable – – yet so not really – – double-sized bed (you liars!), City Sights tour buses for showing us the city (I think it’s safe to say that you live up to your name), Circle Line for showing us Lady Liberty, American Airlines for keeping us safe and for $40 less in our pockets (I shake my fist at you baggage fees!), TKTS for getting us in to a real Broadway show for “cheap”, Mary Poppins the New Musical for allowing me to relive my childhood in an incredible way, 9th Avenue for having amazing restaurants, oh and the house cleaning lady who did not know what “Privacy Please” signs really meant and gave us a clean room every day – – even when we didn’t want one.

We arrived in New York City the Friday before Labor Day.  We checked into our room at the Paramount Hotel, made a pseudo plan for the evening, then made the short one block trek to Times Square.  Our goal was to just explore Times Square, find some New York style pizza, and possibly get discount tickets to a Broadway show.  We wondered up and down Times Square, taking it all in, hoping to run into TKTS and score some tickets.  After about an hour, we finally stumbled across one (Broadway and 46th maybe?!).

What happened next led to probably one of my favorite moments at NYC.  We scored majorly discounted tickets to Mary Poppins for that night, about 20 rows from the stage.  Definitely one of those wow, I feel blessed moments.  And because of our new found plans, the evening took on a bit of a different plan.

New York style pizza was still on the list for supper, and there just so happened to be a delicious looking place right next to our hotel, Patzeria.  Off we went, folding our pizza in half, eating it in this cute little restaurant only big enough for four bar stools, the giddiness growing in my everyone moment for what was in store, and then we headed back to the hotel to freshen up before the play.

Seeing a Broadway show was incredible.  Disney renovated what is now known as the New Amsterdam Theater, and it is gorgeous.  We actually got to take  pictures inside, but they do not do it justice.  One of the most unbelievable things for me about the play was the set on stage.  They actually constructed an almost life-size doll house for 17 Cherry Tree Lane, and they would roll it back and forth to the front, as well as raise and lower the third floor (where the children’s room is) for certain scenes involving just Mary Poppins and the children, or when they would run into Bert up on the roof.  I am doing a horrible job that does not do the set justice, but I promise it was incredible.  It was something that I’d think real architects would have to had build!

Besides the set, the dancing, acting, singing, all of it was incredible.  It may be a silly little kids story to some, but it really isn’t.  It was amazing.  I have not stopped thinking about the experience.  I am not as cultured to theater as Jeff, him being a thespian once, but it is something I’ve grown interested in over the past few years.  Between this experience and seeing the touring Broadway play Wizard of Oz in Nashville in January, I am now hooked.  I cannot wait for my next Broadway show!

Saturday was one of two days we spent on a double decker tour bus.  We got a package that gave us 48 hours to use the buses, and we could hop on and hop off at stops as we pleased.  Places we saw included Downtown Manhattan, many of the villages, Macy’s (and we shopped, too), Empire State Building, New York City Museum (we got off here, too, but I don’t know that I really enjoyed it), Central Park (more to come on this later), Carnegie Hall, Rockefeller Center, several of the Broadway and Off Broadway theaters, and the night tour took us over the Manhattan Bridge to give us a good view of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn (beautiful).

While on one of the tours, we were told that 9th Avenue was the place to eat.  So we ate a couple times over there.  We ate at 5 Napkin Burger (yum!) and Amarone (Italian and also delish!).  Other eateries included the Carnegie Deli (wasn’t a huge fan), Roxy Delicatessen for some delicious New York style cheesecake, and a pizza place over by Central Park.

Sunday night, after a day of touring on the bus, we made our way over to Pier 83 to hop on Circle Line and drive (boat?) by the Statue of Liberty.  That was a beautiful sight.  Monday morning we checked out, boarded our bags at the hotel, and then headed over to Central Park.  We saw most of the southern half, and it was gorgeous.  The building that John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in (apparently she is still there), and also where John was shot, is right across the street.  It is a beautiful building, and in Central Park, by the building, is where Strawberry Fields is and the Imagine tribute.  The Plaza Hotel isn’t too far from there, and in the center by the hotel is the location of FAO Schwartz and a rather interesting Apple store.  We visited both. We also took a hop, skip, and a jump (well, quite more than that) over to Serendipity to try the Iced Hot Chocolate.  It was good, but I think it would’ve been awesome hot (defeats the purpose, I know).  But I was bummed to discover, when rewatching the movie Serendipity after we got home that Monday night, that the scenes filmed in the store were filmed upstairs, which is where we did not go.  So close!

So anway, here is a look into our little weekend getaway.  I hope you enjoy…