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Trip Report A few days in my favorite city - New York

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We were in New York City for a few days during the Thanksgiving week and had a fabulous time. We stayed with a good friend of ours who lives near Wall Street. We have visited the city many times and I always like to do some new things besides seeing my favorite places.

On Sunday, we woke up to beautiful sunny skies and decided to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I always wanted to go to Ellis Island in past trips but never seemed to make it over. Due to our friend’s location Battery Park (where the boats leaves) was only a few blocks away making it convenient this time. The boat leaves every half an hour so we headed out in the morning. The fare includes a stop at Statue of Liberty (we choose not to get off) and went directly to Ellis Island.

We had read all about the High Line so we wanted to experience the
urban stroll on the path that has been created over old rail line tracks. It’s elevated above the streets and starts in the meatpacking district in the West Village. It got crowded in some sections so you shouldn’t be in a hurry – you need to go with the flow. I overheard someone say there wasn’t much here so it appears that some may not appreciate what has been created here. We thought this was a special place to take a stroll, people watch, admire the architecture, vegetation and views that the High Line provides.

Staying so close to the Southport TKTS we purchased our Broadway tickets for 50% off for the Adams Family. You have to buy your tickets on the day you want to attend the show. Important note is that not all shows are available (e.g. Book of Mormon will not be sold here) and you don’t get to choose where you sit. The nice thing about this location rather than the one in Times Square is that the line is shorter and it opens at 11am.

I was really happy when I discovered we had seats in the 3rd row for the Adam’s Family. Enjoyed seeing Brooke Shields as Morticia. I grew up watching this show so it was a good choice for us. All the actors were excellent but especially Jim Rees who played Gomez, Brad Oscar who was Uncle Fester (we also saw him in the Producers on a previous trip) and Rachel Potter as Wednesday really stood out in their performances. I highly recommend seeing this show before it closes on Dec. 31.

At the end of the performance, the cast was raising funds for a non-profit cancer organization (I can’t recall the name) but it was a good cause and
they had autographed playbills, posters, CD, and a ring that Brooke was wearing was auctioned off. The bid started at $50 and then the bidding got lively with it rising to $200, then up $500, a bidding war got heated and the audience was amazed to see the numbers going up. The winning bid ended at $1500. It was fun to watch and I had not seen this done on Broadway before so I applaud the cast for being creative and supporting a charity that was closed to their hearts. I happily contributed to their efforts but did not get the ring. Wink.

Bryant Park (behind NY Public Library) has a nice ice skating rink. It seems a bit bigger than the one in Rockerfeller Center and the great thing is that it’s free if you bring your own ice skates. You can rent ice skates for $13.

Went to see the Metropolitan Museum and Guggenheim Museums to see the new exhibits. Good choices for the two raining days we had in our short visit. Central Park was always nice to visit and although I heard they lost many trees in the part they still have quite a few left. I was hoping we could catch the floats being inflated near Central Park but it just didn't work out. Next time.

We spent Thanksgiving day on Long Island so took the LIRR train out of Penn Station in the morning. It was absolutely sunny for the next four days on Long Island. How lucky we were to have great weather and for all those who came to see the Macy’s Parade this year! I had seen the parade in person before so I know the thrill of seeing it with sunny weather.

Restaurants we enjoyed on this trip:

Il Cortine in Little Italy: good Italian food here- fresh made pasta and wonderful antipasto dishes.
Via Quandrono in Upper West side – Stopped in for a Macciato coffee drink to warm up – cute place. I plan to come back for lunch next time.
Delmonico’s-Financial District - great dinner and service at one of the oldest steakhouse restaurants in the city. This is where Baked Alaska and Chicken Ala King was invented. Both delicious.
Tout va Bien in Theater district – This was five blocks away from the theater where Adams Family was performing. The food was good and the service was fast. They have an inexpensive pre-fixed menu here. We got here for an early dinner so it wasn’t yet crowded. This was a good thing because the tables are closed to each other and you have to squeeze in and out from table.
ONIEALS in Soho – We enjoyed a nice dinner at one of the oldest bars in the city. This place goes back to the prohibition era where there used to be a tunnel from the Police Department across the street that went to their wine cellar. The wood carved ceilings were imported from Italy. If you are a Sex in the City fan, this was where they filmed Steve and Aidan’s bar.
Butter in the Nolita neighborhood – Dinner was great. Service and food was good in this trendy place.
Adrienne’s Pizza in financial district – good pan pizza with thin crust.
Trumpets on the Water – East Port (about ½ hour drive from South Hampton, Long Island) – This was a hidden gem. You drive down a rural street and we weren’t expecting much but discovered a restaurant that was once a home and has a beautiful water view of Great Southbay. We arrived at sunset and it was just a beautiful and romantic place. The restaurant European interior was all decorated for the holidays. We enjoyed a great dinner and excellent service. They serve continental food.

Tip: Somehow I discovered Savored www.savored.com which is a program that saves 30% from your bill at selected restaurants in New York City. You pay $10 to make reservations. They have over 200 restaurants to choose from. We used this program for three restaurants and it was easy to use. Great savings. Bon appétit!

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