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Trip Report Cat and her Kitten Take Manhattan

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First of all, I really want to thank everyone for all the input, tips and suggestions. It really helped make our trip great! I don't think I've ever actually written a trip report before so bare with me. Now I'm wishing I had jotted down some notes.

Wednesday morning dawned as one of those spectacular California Days - crisp, clear, Santa Ana conditions. DD (almost 17) and I were all packed, and even though I had gotten gobsmacked by some weird flu/cold thing, I'd found the right drug combo to feel almost okay, and we were ready to go, and on time. What could go wrong? Well for starters, I triggered something going through security that meant I had to get my fingertips wiped down and run through a scanner. So me and some scary gang member type were placed in a plexiglass box while they ran our, I don't know, sweat? A bell rang, and that meant one of us was clear to go. Guess what? Not me! They found some residue or something that required an extra pat-down, but they couldn't find the pat-down person. I'm not sure why I needed some high level patter-downer but she finally came. Given the muscle aches from the flu, I was tempted to ask her to pat me down a few more times as it felt really good on my shoulders. But no, she gave me the all clear and we went on our way. She did say that some medications can trigger the sensor, and DD, who was watching my bags as they were thoroughly gone over said that one of the TSA people saw something in my bag and chuckled, saying, "Oh, that was it." but she wouldn't say what "it" was. Oh well, they were all really nice and polite and soon enough we were sipping our Starbucks and getting ready to board our flight.

The flight to Baltimore was fairly problem free. We flew Southwest, left exactly on time, a full flight but it went fast. Getting close to Baltimore, things were really bumpy, to the point that when we landed, the plane actually broke out in applause. I don't think I've ever had that happen before. It was dumping rain in Baltimore, which led to our first big hiccup. The one and half hour layover turned into 2-, 3-, 4-, 5 and a half hours!!! Grrr! They said it was a gate delay at La Guardia. Someone (Adu?) mentioned LaGuardia was notorious for delays. I think they were right! Finally, at 10:30 pm, we were able to board the plane. We were so exhausted, it seemed like we were there in ten minutes. In fact, the landing woke us up! Luckily, thanks to some really good advice, I had arranged a car with Dial 7. They were great! Called them as we got into baggage and they were there within a few minutes of us getting our bags.

The good news - we loved our hotel - the Moderne. It is just off of Times Square, around the corner from the Ed Sullivan Theater. It was really clean, really modern, the staff couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful. The room was small but big enough for the two of us. The bad news - I guess our bags sat out on the tarmac the entire layover in Baltimore! They were soaked!!! Even some of our clothes had gotten wet. It was dumping rain, it was howling wind, it was freezing, our clothes were wet, but we didn't care! We were starving and had been sitting for too long. We pulled together some dry clothes and headed out with borrowed umbrellas from the front desk. We walked along Broadway, looked at the signs at Times Square, blew out one of the umbrellas and headed back. There was barely anyone out on the streets so rather than wander too far, we ate at the diner closest to our hotel. The AppleJack Diner. Can't say it was glamorous but DD loved the Spaghetti Bolognese and I loved the coffee with Bailey's. The Matzoh ball soup wasn't the best thing I've ever had, but I've never had it so I'm not sure how good it is supposed to be.

Warmed up, bellies full, we ran back to our room, turned in our surviving umbrella and went to bed, determined to get up at first light and hit the town. Of course, it was now 3:30 am. But we were going to give it our best. I never sleep later than 8 am, in fact, I'm usually up with the sun, so I wasn't too worried. Perhaps I should have set an alarm...

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    Day 1
    I woke up, after what seemed like just a few hours sleep. The room was really dark so I figured it to be 6:30 or 7am. Glanced at my phone and freaked. It was after 9:30!! So much for our early start!!! We had a packed day and we were already behind! I peeked out the window and saw... another wall. Couldn't see a smidge of sky so had no way of knowing if it was still pouring. Not to mention, the hotel puts out breakfast breads that we were counting on, and we missed the cut-off. Thanfully, the Kuerig runs in the little lounge 24 hours, so I was able to get us hot cocoa and peek out that window to see clear blue skies! Yay!!! Luckily, most of our clothes had dried overnight so we got dressed, wrapped up in scarves and gloves and long underwear (We are California kids, after all), got a map from the really sweet guy at the front desk and headed out towards Central Park via Columbus Circle. There was a Christmas Market there, that I would have loved to browse but we didn't have time. We did sort of take our time meandering through Central Park. It went on and on! There was a group of men singing gospel Christmas songs a cappella, near the Bethesda Fountain. It was really a beautiful sight. They were actually in a little tunnel kind of thing near the fountain. Tile ceilings, lovely terra cotta. It felt more like Paris than New York. We continued our walk, past some beautiful willow trees and the gorgeous buildings in the background.

    We made out way to the Metropolitan Museum, taking advantage of another tip - that you can pay what you want. Since we ended up spending barely an hour there, I was glad we didn't have to spend the full $25 each! It is very warm in there, so we were thankful for the coat check! We took a quick peek at the Greek and Roman statues, went down to look at the 9/11 Peace Quilt (which was really touching), then saw some of the Renaissance paintings of the Madonna. I would have lingered much longer, but one look at dd told me we were done. We hadn't even had breakfast yet! So we made my first mistake of the trip, imo, and grabbed a bite to eat at the cafeteria. It was not that great, and we were in a basement of a room. It wasn't until after we were finished and heading up for a quick glance at the Steiglitz collection, that I saw there was actually a terrace cafe that looked quite lovely. Oh well... my rule number one is don't get too hungry and I broke that one the first day! By then it was after noon, and we had 1:45pm tickets for the Liz Taylor Jewelry Collection so we hopped in a cab and took off to Christies.

    Fortunately for us, Christie's is right next to Rockefeller Center so we were able to walk around a bit before we had to get in line for the jewels. Rockefeller Center is breathtaking, standing below and looking straight up! It is so tall! The line to tour Top of the Rock was really long, and tickets were $25 so we skipped it. Our plan was to hit the Empire State Building at some point. But we took a few minutes to see the skaters ( a lot smaller than I thought it would be), look at the tree (also smaller than I thought it would be) and walk through the lobby of Rockefeller Center.

    We go into the long line for La Liz and waited for them to let us in. They let us in, we checked our coats and then got in the long line to actually go into the exhibit. We got into the exhibit and then got into another long line to see...everything. Did I mention there were long lines? Did I mention there were a lot of people? I know - it is La Liz but people were just parked in front of her jewels and not moving. DD was not as enthralled as i thought she might be. And frankly, I wasn't, either. Probably she rubbed off on me a little. With someone super excited to be there, it might have been different. But we were both tired, I wasn't feeling great, and there were just so many people. That is about the only place where we encountered rude people. Ugh! We zipped through the whole exhibit in about 45 minutes. We probably had to be a little rude ourselves, by peeking over shoulders and working our way into things The guards would tell you to go ahead, that there were no lines, but try telling that to the people who were waiting in line to see something. yk gives a great description in her trip report so I won't go into a lot of detail here. It was something we'll never get a chance to see again, and I think, in hindsight, dd will be glad we went. But she is more about the future than the past, and this really wasn't her cuppa.

    We left La Liz, wandered around the block (we seemed to do that a lot), and found ourselves in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is really something! We went in, and it is just gorgeous inside. We lit a candle for a friend who was in the hospital, and said a few prayers and mostly just looked around. As we were leaving, someone managed to light the whole box of candles on fire and then just stood there and watched it burn. I wonder that there aren't more accidents! After that, we needed a breather, and we stumbled upon a Dean & Deluca. A latte and a lovely ginger cookie for me, a chai tea latte and a banana nutella cupcake for her, and we were ready to go again. We walked along 5th Avenue, looking at the many Christmas window displays and then Carly spied Sephora ( a high end makeup store). It was in a beautiful Beaux Arts Building and had once housed Charles Scribner and Sons Publishing. She had a field day trying different makeups, and I was content to sit on the ledge and take pictures of the building, and of her, trying out the perfect shade of red lipstick. After that, she found the Forever21 store. We have those here, but she said this one was much better! Six stories of clothes - it was like a clothes palace! She spent almost all of her money there, pretty much, but I have to say, she was able to get quite a lot of bang for her buck! And she was having such a great time! It was more than worth it. By then it was getting late and we had 7 o'clock tickets for the Book of Mormon. We made it back to the room with just enough time to change our clothes, touchup our makeup and scoot out the door. We were able to walk to the Theatre. BoM is at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre and I was immediately struck by how small it was! And the seats are really close together!!! But it was wonderful! Really a great musical - very funny, very irreverent, great songs. We had a wonderful time! We decided to try Doug's suggestion - 5 Napkin Burger - after the show. By then we were starving and it was not a super short walk but I am so glad we went there. There are a few different locations. We went to the one in Hells Kitchen, at 9th and 45th Street. Great atmosphere! It seemed very trendy without being pretentious. We had about a 15 minute wait, just long enough to sit at the bar and see what other people were ordering. One man had an order of Tater Tots. They looked really good and he even offered us a bite. We declined but knew we would have to get an order of our own! We started with a lemonade (almost too tart) for dd and I had my very first Manhattan. I had never before wanted to try one, but I figured if ever there was a time, this was it! And it was really good. They make their won cherries, which is what sold me, not the gross fake ones. Anyway, our tater tots came shortly after, and what can I say? Not tater tots, exactly, but oh, so good!!! More like little puffs of herbed mashed potatoes, rolled into delicate balls and deep fried so they had the perfect crispy crust but were still light and fluffy on the inside. Those were probably our favorite thing we had on the whole trip! We split a really good burger (cheddar bacon, on a perfect bun) and subbed the onion rings for the fries. I had mainly wanted the Stack of Cornmeal Crusted Onion Rings because of the dipping sauces but you don't get those automatically when you get them as a sub for fires instead of served in a stack. But I had to try the sauces so I just asked - The blue cheese dressing was just that, and the 5N sauce was pretty much 1000 Island. Meh! But the rings were nice and crispy and the burger was really good and by the time we were done, we didn't have room for dessert so we made the long walk back to our hotel and collapsed into bed. It wasn't even that late - just around midnight, so I didn't bother setting the alarm. Besides, we didn't have anything specific planned for the next day so it wouldn't hurt to sleep in a little bit, would it?

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    Hi cat, really enjoying this! That's awful about the layover and your wet clothes. YUK!

    Oh, I believe it was flygirl who went to the La Liz exhibition, not me. Just want to make sure she gets the credit. :)

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    Day 2 (of 2)
    Woke up bright and early. Too early! 6:30am! Well, closing my eyes for another half hour couldn't hurt, could it? Whoops!! Now it is almost 9:30! Once again, our hopes for an early start and a free breakfast are dashed! Not too tragic - we had no real agenda today, just a list of a few things we'd like to see, so we donned our long underwear and off we went. Managed to go about twenty feet when I realized I would roast in all my clothes. It was almost warm! So back upstairs to remove a few layers, and then we really did go on our way.

    We decided to take a huge leap and try the subway. I know everyone says it is super easy, but really, it is super scary for those of us not used to it. DD was better about it than I was, mainly because I couldn't read the map without my glasses and I kept putting my glasses in my purse and then could never find them when I needed them! One thing that was frustrating was that the girl at the front desk told us you could buy a day pass, but you can't. It is $2.25 each ride, which isn't bad, but frustrating when you realize you've gone through the wrong turnstile. Now I can't remember which train we took first, but it sort of took us the opposite way we wanted to go but we didn't realize it at first, until we got out, walked around, and sort of ended up very close to our hotel! Undaunted, we got back on, and went the right direction this time, coming up closer to Bryant Park. We were aiming for the New York Public Library so this was perfect. We grabbed a bite to eat at the one of the stands at the Market there. I would have loved to linger but as it was I made to with a wonderful concoction made of pretzel bread stuffed with feta and black olives. It was so good! Will try to duplicate at home. That and a little hot cider and we were good to go. Funny thing, all DD wanted was a good ol' New York bagel but we could never seem to find a bagel shop when we were ready.

    I was not sure why DD was so insistent on seeing the library until we were almost there and she told me she wanted to see the cat. "Cat?" I asked her. "Yes, you told me about a cat that hung out at the library!" Now it makes sense, although she had mixed up the stories. There is a cat that hangs out at the Wesleyan College library (I believe I read about here on Fodor's) and she had mixed up the story. Oh well, we were there and what a treat! It was a very beautiful building. By far, the loveliest library I've seen, not counting the Library of Congress, and I'm not sure you could count that anyway. It was truly magnificent! And the tree inside was gorgeous! Much better, imo, than the Nativity Tree at the Metropolitan Museum. We walked up stairs to the reading rooms, but didn't really see where all the books are. I'm sure we'd have found them if we'd spent a few more minutes but really glad we saw what we did. If that was my library, I think I'd go there all the time!

    After that, we went back to the Subway, and took, I think, the E train all the way to the World Trade Center. It felt good to sit for a little while! We hadn't been able to secure timed tickets online for the Memorial Center, but I still wanted her to see the area around Ground Zero and go to St. Peter's Church. While asking a nice woman for directions (honestly, everyone we met was so nice the whole trip - can't stress that enough!), she told us that they offered a certain amount of tickets to the Memorial each day so we went to check it out! The line was ginormous, a few blocks long, and that was just to get a time stamp ticket! We almost didn't bother but at the last minute, asked on of the linekeepers, and she assured us that the line would move pretty fast. By this time, it was just after 1:00pm, but we decided to go for it. The line did move quickly, and we got a time stamp for 3:30. We took a few minutes to go through one of the temporary memorial sites (very emotional) and stepped outside, at maybe 2:40, trying to decide what to do for the next hour and a half or so. A nice tour guide tried to convince us to go on his tour ($40 a person) but offered that if we really wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, we'd best avail ourselves of a taxi to get to Staten Island Ferry as quickly as possible. He said the Ferry left every half hour on the half hour and that the trip each way was just under thirty minutes. We thanked him for the advice and dashed up to Broadway to get a taxi. While I looked for a taxi stand, DD, quite confidently stood on the edge of the sidewalk and lifted her hand. Too many Sex in the City episodes, I was thinking, but damn, if a sedan didn't pull right up and offer us a ride. It wasn't until after I was inside that I realized there were no visible permits, not meters, no anything, but a very kind driver. He said it was a $20 minimum but he'd take us for $10 since we were so pretty! Ha! I have no idea what the fare would have normally been, but he got us there just in the nick of time so it was worth it to me. We were able to walk right on the the Ferry minutes before it departed, grab a good seat and see great views of the Manhattan skyline, Ellis Island, the beautiful Statue ofLiberty and a very nice lighthouse, though what it was called, I have no idea! (Anyone?) DD posed for shot after shot and wondered if you could just pay people to follow you around to take your picture, and only got slightly embarrassed while I told her about the iconography of the Statue of Liberty, because telling about it always makes me tear up. Oh well, she's known me for almost 17 years, so she knew what to expect on that front! We docked on the other side, got off the Ferry, got right back on the Ferry and headed back. Landed at 3pm on the dot, leaving un enough time to stroll up Wall Street, take a side trip by the now almost empty Zucotti Park (more police officers than occupiers and the occupiers that were there did not seem legit to me) and got in line for the 9/11 Memorial.

    Wow! I am so glad we were able to get tickets. I hadn't looked at any pictures of it, and had no idea what to expect but it was simply perfect! I am not sure pictures would even do it justice and I am sure I have no words worthy to describe it so I will just say, if you can at all make it there, do go. It isn't finished yet. There will be a museum but it is not opened yet which is why they have a couple of temporary exhibits nearby. Security is extremely tight, like the airport all over again, but well worth it.We both thought so. We took quite a few pictures, but just of the Memorial and surrounding buildings. There were people there posing for pictures, smiling like that were at Disneyland, that both DD and I thought a little out of place but oh well, to each his own, I guess. It was somber, but not morbid. Just thought provoking. A perfect memorial The man who designed it is to be congratulated!

    After that we made our way back to St. Peter's Church, via a few twists and turns and circles. I'm sure there was an easier way to get there but we missed it. When you exit, you go through a sort of tunnel like bridge and instead of exiting it at the first fork, we took it all the way across and so ended up too far away and unable to cross any street due to construction. Seemed to be a theme of ours, so we took it in stride, found a way and got there. When I had been in NYC a few years ago, I remembered being emotionally wrecked by St. Peter's but I think they have removed quite a bit of the 9/11 displays, perhaps they are now in the temporary exhibits. Maybe it was just anti-climactic after seeing the exhibits we had already seen and the Memorial itself, but it didn't pack the emotional punch for me that it had before. I seem to remember a large portion of St. Peter's dedicated to the Mychal Judge, the chaplain for NYFD who died, but there was nothing there about him this time that I could see.

    We wandered around that area a little bit and by then we were hungry. We had tickets for Godspell at 7pm so we didn't have a ton of time, but we took the Subway to Little Italy because a friend from high school recommended a pizza place called Lombardi's, supposedly the oldest pizza place in NYC. We were able to find it and grabbed some pizza. It was okay, but not the best, though I don't have the heart to tell my friend. I actually loved the flavor of the crust (coal fired) but the toppings could have been better And it was fairly expensive, I thought. But the restaurant itself was pretty cool looking. It was like going through a rabbit warren getting to our seats, and the table was very tiny but we managed. Luckily, there was an exit near our door, because I am not sure we would have ever found our way back tot the front! After dinner, we tried to find our way to the subway, at the corner of Broadway and Prince. We found Broadway and Prince but no subway station. What? We carefully checked each corner but nothing was there. We finally asked someone and he said, "Oh! You'se want Broadway. Dis hear is West Broadway! Head dat way a few blocks". Okay... All we could do is laugh. Where we come from, adding a direction to a street name doesn't necessarily change the whole street! Live and learn. We found our Subway, went down the stairs, swiped our card and then realized the subway we actually wanted to be on was on the other side of the tracks. Nothing to do but go out, up the stairs, across the street down the stairs and add a few dollars to our cards and head home. I had the same frustrations with the subways as I do with freeways in a strange town. They give you city names for directions but if you don't know the cities, how do you know what directions they are in? Oh well, we made it back to our room with just enough time to drop off our bags,(somehow during this day, we made it back to Rockefeller Center to shop at the NBC store but I couldn't tell you honestly when we did that!) and do a quick refresh before getting to the Circle in the Square theater with a few minutes to spare...

    Or an hour! Somehow, I misread the time on the tickets, or worse, just assumed that all the shows started at 7 on weeknights, forgetting that Friday was not really considered a weeknight! The show didn't start until 8! D'oh! Okay, back to the room. It worked out perfectly, though, as I was able to check in for our morning flight and DD crashed out for a much needed nap. How she can fall asleep that quickly I don't know, and I'm envious! It takes me forever to fall asleep, even for a nap. Especially for a nap! But sleep she did, to the point that we were almost late! Luckily the theatre is really close to our hotel but we did just make it with minutes to spare!

    The Circle in the Square Theater! Wow! Godspell! Wow wow wow!!! I didn't really know what to expect from either of those but I was blown away by both. The theatre itself is very small, very intimate, part of a conservatory, I guess. It is literally a round stage inside a square theatre. The front row is about 2 feet from the stage and each corner there are big floor pillows that seat about 4-6 people. There was tiny bit of water drip drip dripping on the stage and because of all the rain lately, I honestly didn't know if that was part of the effects or a sign that we were in for an unusual evening. As it turns out, it was both! Our seats were in the first row, which was fun, but also exactly behind the piano, so it sort of blocked our view of some things. The play opening was a little slow and awkward, but then everyone sat down around the edge of the stage and only John the Baptist was left, singing Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord. Then the dripping water turned into a stream as Jesus came up to be baptized. Apparently, there were ponds of water under the stage, hidden buy trap doors. There were many such tricks and devices that really added to the joy and exuberance of the production, including hidden trampolines used in We Beseech Thee. Since I had never seen this, I can't tell you how it compares to other productions, I can just say it moved both of us quite deeply, and neither of us is religious or even Christian really. The cast had such a sense of joy about them and it was jut really fun to watch. They were able to improvise and threw in quite a few current references - Rod Blagojevich, Donald Trump. Very funny! I don't want to give to much away for anyone who might be going to see it, but if you are undecided, I would say Go! Of the two productions we saw, we loved both, but Godspell is the one we would not have wanted to miss. If you won't be able to see it, you may want to click on the link below. Click on the photo gallery and then the Video Montage. It made me tear up just watching that little but again! http://www.godspell.com/broadway-cast-photos.html#

    We didn't want it to end, but it did, all to soon. Or not quite. Apparently, almost the entire cast comes out nightly and signs autographs and chats, right out in front. DD got her playbill signed by almost everyone. For my aspiring Broadway star, that was quite a thrill. It was fairly late but we weren't all that tired. We had tossed around the idea of going to the Empire State Building for a nighttime trip to the top but we were approached by a guy "recruiting audience members" for a late night comedy show. We figured we didn't have much to lose. Tickets were $20 a piece but I literally only had $20 in my pocket as I hadn't felt like carrying my purse. He said he was cold and those were his last two tickets so he sold them to us, two for $20. We went back tot the room so I could get money for drinks (2 drink minimum) and our coats as it was now getting really cold. We walked to the club, Comedy on Broadway, and waited for the show to start. It was a midnight show, which means no holds barred and it was just that. Totally raunchy but still very funny! The host and the first guy were hilarious, and then it sort of went down hill from there but it was still a fun way to end the evening.. By the time it was done, we were hungry so we hit our neighborhood diner, the Applejack, for a farewell bite to eat. Vincent, the Maitre'D, (can you have a Maitre'D at a diner?) greeted us like old friends! DD got the Spaghetti Bolognese again, and I got a decaf and Bailey's and a huge chunk of New York cheesecake with fresh strawberries. It was so good. Creamy and delicious. No crust, though. Is that usual for NewYork Cheesecake? It didn't matter, it was so good and such a perfect ending to a perfect trip. We sat and reflected how seeing Liz Taylor's jewels seemed like it had been a week before, not the day before! Time seemed to have taken on a whole different reality, proof, maybe of Einstein's Theory of Relativity. I don't know. It made no sense. It seemed impossible that it has just been two night ago we had stopped there, soggy and cold, for our first meal in NYC!

    Back to our room to pack and try to sleep a few hours before our 9am pickup by Dial 7. Now DD's shopping spree seemed like not such a good idea! How to fit everything back in to bags that were already full to begin with? We squeezed, stuff and crammed, and finally collapsed into bed at 3:30am! I had no choice but to set my alarm for the next morning. This was one morning I couldn't afford to oversleep;

    <Saying Goodbye

    Woke up the next morning, slammed a few last minute items into the bag and went out in search of a bagel while DD slept a little bit longer. We couldn't leave NYC without eating at least one bagel, could we? Vincent recommended Carnegie Deli. I found it, and I'm sure I'll get slammed here, but whenI walked in, it just wasn't appealing. It smelled like, well, deli. That is fine for lunch, but not first thing in the morning, at least not for this LA girl! I continued around the block to a place called Bagel and Bean, grabbed an everything bagel for myself, and a large latte, and a plain bagel with cinnamon cream cheese for the girl. Got back in time to wake her, get her dressed and then our car was there to whisk us back to La Guardia. On our drive out of the city, I caught a glimpse of the Hearst Building and I wished I had seen it sooner. But then, there were still quite a few things left undone on our list. I think that is the sign of a good trip, though, having seen a lot, but wanting to come back for more.

    Outside of both plays, the other things that we are glad we didn't miss were the 9/11 Memorial.

    A few things, upon reflection, that I wish I had done or done differently...

    I wish we had just left more time for simply walking around, maybe grabbing a sidewalk cafe to be able to people watch more.

    The Halal Stands. I didn't actually read the food recommendations of our hotel until our last night, and they raved about the kabobs. We walked by several and they smelled scrumptious! Now I wish we had taken a few minutes to try one!

    Hot nuts! I really wanted to try those roasted chestnuts, but, like the bagel shops, they were never around right when I wanted them.

    Not waited until we were starving to eat a few times.

    A bigger map! Needing reading glasses, I should have found an easier map to read, and insisted on mapping out a route. I did mark everywhere we wanted to go on a Google map, and even printed it, but in our haste to leave (why do I always put things off until the last minute), I didn't realize how small it printed. All the marks were there, but pretty much all smooshed together on one brightly colored blob!

    Either left more time for the Metropolitan Museum or skipped it all together.

    We probably also would have skipped Liz's jewels, as well. If we'd had more time, maybe we'd have felt differently but with just two short day, it just took too much time.

    I think DD would have gotten more out of FIT than either of those.

    And now, reading about the Dead Sea Scrolls, I would have liked to have seen them, though I know that would not have been DD's cup of tea at all!

    Now that I can calmly look at my map, I wish we'd seen Union Square and Greenwich Village, and also Soho. I remember seeing the Cast Iron District from the HOHO tour I took when I was here before and I totally forgot about it this time.

    Well, I'm sure there is more I would have loved, and things we loved that others would have skipped but there it is - our trip in a nutshell!

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    Cat, what a great report! I enjoyed reading it so much...and it sounds like you had a wonderful time. It also sounds like you need to plan another trip. There is always more to see in NYC. I'd love to go back.

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    Fabulous trip report, especially after watching all your planning.

    A few corrections, so others who read your report have the correct information:

    = The church you visited near the WTC memorial was St Paul's Chapel (not St Peter's Church, which does exist in another part of Manhattan).

    = "We found our Subway, went down the stairs, swiped our card and then realized the subway we actually wanted to be on was on the other side of the tracks. Nothing to do but go out, up the stairs, across the street down the stairs and add a few dollars to our cards and head home."
    Actually, if you make this mistake, the solution that avoids paying another fare is to take the wrong train a few stops in the wrong direction until you reach a station with the platform in the middle between both tracks. There you could cross to the train in the other direction for free. Another way to avoid the error is to know whether you are headed uptown or downtown and then read the signs as you descend the stairs to the subway, which will say "uptown only" or "downtown only" if that is the case.

    Glad you had such a great time!

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    Thanks, everyone!!!

    >>= The church you visited near the WTC memorial was St Paul's Chapel (not St Peter's Church, which does exist in another part of Manhattan).<<
    ellenem, I can't believe it! I have St. Paul's Chapel written in all my pictures in my facebook album but then I googled something to clarify and read somewhere St. Peter's Church. I thought I had gotten it wrong so I went back and changed what I had written. Grrr! Thanks for pointing that out, though. I hate giving wrong info!

    As for the subway, we thought about doing just that, but we didn't know if there would be a place to just cross over. Since we were trying to get back in time for our show, we just ate it $2.25!

    I can hardly wait to go back!!!

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    Just like you, I only offered the corrections so others wouldn't end up at Lexington Ave and 54th Street at the wrong church.

    Now that you have returned home, what is your daughter saying about the trip?

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    Well, she is still in heaven! She was such a natural, and really does want to end up on Broadway, so now the question is how to get her there. She already told me she would have to go back a few different times, at different times of the year so make sure she likes it all the time. I'd love her to get into one of the summer workshops there, like at the Circle in the Square, but not sure if they offer scholarships. She'll be there again, I'm sure of it!

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    Glad you had such a great time! MY DD LOVES New York......I'm looking forward to our next trip.

    and BTW, don't beat yourself up for sleeping until 0930. Your body was telling you it was 0330 in California and to go back to bed!! ;)

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    cat, your DD sounds like mine when she caught the NYC bug! She lives there now, a bonafide NY state resident, senior in college and loving it.

    Try to go again late spring? Do take time just to walk around and be a part of it (as Frank sang), especially a sidewalk cafe and the Village. So glad you had a nice time.

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    Loved your report Cat!!!! I think your DD and mine might want to hook up and be roomies :) My dd has caught the bug as well - ugh. I would prefer not but she would really love to live here!

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    Sounds like a great trip!

    For some reason I can't get the hang of NY subways either. I don't know what my issue is!

    Sounds like you definitely need to start planning that next trip.

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    The trip sounds fabulous, but in the spirit of advising "future travelers" , it was NOT a good idea to get into a "sedan" sans meter, permits, etc. Glad you arrived at your destination safely!

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    sf, that is something I will definitely be aware of next time. The guy was super nice but still... Is that something that people do, just drive around and look for people who need taxis? Not in a bad way, but just to make money?

    flygirl, you are right, and I am so sorry! It was really crowded, but still a once in a lifetime event! I'm glad we went.

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