Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

DD’s First Bite of the Big Apple – Marigross’ New York March 08 Trip Report

DD’s First Bite of the Big Apple – Marigross’ New York March 08 Trip Report

Old Mar 30th, 2008, 07:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,790
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Day 2: From down in the Battery up to Midtown heights

Guided by the weather forecast I decided to spend this day doing most of the outdoor things that I wanted to do. It was supposed to be chilly but sunny while the forecast for rest of the week was for cloudy skies (turned out not to be true).

DD would looooove to be a night owl but she is secretly a morning persons – just don’t tell anyone as this is rather uncool – and mostly recovered from the previous night’s utter exhaustion we managed to get out of the hotel by 9:00 AM.

We boarded the subway and went all the way to South Ferry. Now, I never quite figured out if I was really on the first five cars but every time the conductor announced that we had to move to the front if we wanted to go to South Ferry were told by fellow passengers to ‘stay put’. It worked out fine so I am not really complaining but I must say that I have successfully navigated the train system in Paris and in Madrid but I am still a bit confused by the subway in NYC. The routes themselves are easy enough but then there are 10,000 exceptions listed on posters all over! ‘Train A will run on the B track from 6:00 PM to 10:AM’, ‘The Local #1 Uptown will be running on the Express track while the Express #1 will be running on the D Track’. Hummmm….I disgress!

We picked up coffees and sandwiches while waiting for the 10:30 Staten Island Ferry (free ride). I somehow assumed (ya’know, making an ass out of me) that the 30 minutes was for a round trip, not for the single trip so even though the views were magnificent (it was bitterly cold for us Puerto Ricans –and seemingly for everyone else!) it took a good slice out of the morning. Got some great pics of Lady Liberty before the camera died. I think it was the cold. Is this normal? My neighbor’s camera also died while ski vacationing in Colorado. Not a thing one gives much thought to while living in a tropical island.

In 100% hindsight I should just have gotten on the Ellis Island ferry and gotten that done early in the AM as (1) there were at least 5,000 persons waiting for the Liberty/Ellis Island ferry when we came back from Staten Island and (2) we never made it back to South Ferry on another day. Oh well, one more reason to go back.

So the marathon began. We walked by Trinity Church. A Good Friday service was going on and I felt really sorry for all the parishioners that were trying to get into the solemn spirit of the day! All the tourist making noise and taking pictures.

We then walked over the Ground Zero. What can I say that has not been said a million times? Even though DD understands the magnitude of what happened there and the global ripples it triggered, I don’t know if anyone that had not actually been to the towers will just grasp the emptiness by looking at the construction site. I told my daughter about having lunch at Windows of the World with my birth father just when I was as 15yrs old too and how impressive it was to me. How grownup and sophisticated I had felt at the time and how sad it made in at a personal level to see the location of the memory gone.
Next stop was Century 21 but that was such a madhouse that we quickly bailed out. Our wandering path then took us to NY City Hall and then over to Canal St. We meandered through Chinatown where DD bought a hat suitable to her tastes (she was mostly wearing my travel/winter clothes as there is no need for these kinds of garments in Puerto Rico!).

I had thought that we could have lunch somewhere in that vicinity but I ran into analysis paralysis. It was like picking a shampoo from the grocery store aisle…too many choices! I had (again) neglected to take recommendations with me. All the places seemed equally touristy to me, there was no enticing smell or cozy window front. So what did we do? Keep walking.

Our wanderings took us along Orchard Street and where do I suddenly find myself in front of? The Tenement Museum! This had been on my ‘if we have time and it is convenient’ list. We went in and purchased the last two tickets for the 4:00 ‘Getting By’ tour. It was 2:15 and our feet (even more so than our stomachs) kept reminding that it was time to stop for lunch. After evaluating several alternatives offered by a brochure at the museum (criteria being the effort level required to get there) we just walked across the street to The Little Giant.

We took the last empty table. The place looked absolutely cozy and warm so we settled in to wait for the tour. I had a soup and salad special. It came with a great turnip soup and I chose from the menu a really good cobb salad. I had a glass of Cotes du Rhone for medicinal purposes. DD had an amazingly good grilled cheese sandwich and green apple Izzies to go with it. Total bill was $46 wo tip.

Note on non-alcoholic beverage options: This was the only restaurant that we went to that had ‘interesting’ drinks for kids. This was very disappointing! Being in NYC I was expecting to find lots sodas and juices that we would not have at home. This was sadly not the case and DD mostly drunk regular coke with her meals (she is not a great fan).

At 3:40 we dragged ourselves out of the restaurant and back to the museum. I watched the introduction movie and DD availed herself to one of the computers which had internet access. She posted on Facebook that her phone was lost so that her friends would not think she had been abducted by aliens (which is the only plausible excused for any teen to be disconnected for more than four hours). Naturally she did not have a single phone number memorized so she was really, truly incommunicado!

The ‘Getting By’ tour was certainly interesting and well laid out. The guide was funny and informative. A bit too perky and over excited but maybe it was just that I was running out of steam by then. I would moderately recommend this tour but I would not really go out of my way to get to the museum. Again, it must be clearly stated that this opinion is biased by my level of tiredness.

We wandered a bit around the little stores in the area but our next destination was really chosen by the closest subway station: The V line which would take us very close to the Empire State Building. Some lack of oxygen in brain must have been involved in that decision. You must be laughing at me at this point… what?!??! She is already tired and she wants to go were??? Does she not know how long those lines are? Does she not know that the Top of the Rock is a much better option? What can I say in my defense? It was included in the City Pass.

The line from the outside did not look too awful. It moved rather quickly. Surely what the two-hour estimate was a conservative opinion. HA! Not only it DID take only a little under two hours to get to the observatory… nobody tells you how long it takes to get back DOWN!!!! The queue makes the line at the newest Disney attraction in a mid-summer afternoon seem like –hmm- a day in the park. A few spots were downright claustrophobic.

We finally made to the observatory past sunset. It was crowded and unpleasant. Outside it was bitterly cold and one side was closed due to gale-force winds. The full moon was out, the night was clear and the view was amazing. Was it worthy? Not really. DD can now scratch of the ‘must do’ list and put it where it really belongs: ‘been there, done that, never again’.

It took over an hour to get back down. The thermostat must have been set to 85 ºF and people were breaking a sweat. At one point they had us queuing through the gift shop. Tacky! Very, very tacky! The only thing that was minimally funny at that point was listening to the outraged complaints in multiple languages of other people on the line.

We stumbled out of the building into the freezing cold. I am not even sure how we got back into the Times Square Area (I think that we had a nearby subway station that transferred at TS where we could then go to directly to Circle Center). I also think that I was looking to eat at Carmine’s but I just kept walking in the wrong direction. Just when we were ready to tip over and wait for death, we walked by Café Un Doux Trois (123W 44th St.

Couple of minutes later we were warm and comfortably seated. It was only 9:45PM but we ordered from the late-night menu. DD had cheese Ravioli ($16.50) which she says were very good and had not really planned to eat them all but suddenly they were all gone. I had Moules Frites ($14) which were also good – not the best I have ever had, but certainly good. It was a huge plate and I thought it was great value for the price. I barely made a dent on the fries. I am pretty sure that I had more than one glass of brouilly but the bill shows only one. Total bill was $48.77 wo tip.

It took only a couple of minutes to get back to the hotel where we collapsed after showering.

Next: Now this looking more like a proper vacation and the best mushroom soup on the planet.
marigross is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,871
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
a thoroughly engrossing report from marigross!

For what it's worth, I prefer the empire state building to The Rock and so does mrlou! Of course, timing is everything!

I love mushrooms!
gyppielou is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 623
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great report! I love your term "analysis paralysis!" I will have to tell my husband that's what I'm afflicted with each time we're in a big city and I can't make up my mind about where to eat.

Lee4 is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,637
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Well done - great details on where you eat and the cost.

More please.

SandyBrit is online now  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 09:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,790
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all the remarks! I try to write detailed reports to capture the memories. I love to read them years afterwards.

I also try to include the prices of things whenever possible as I always find it helpful for my own planning as I can see right away if it goes in my budget or not.

Here is Day 3 (Day 4 might have to wait until tomorrow)
marigross is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 09:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,790
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Day 3: Getting into the rhythm and the best meal of the trip

I woke up at my usual time but considering last night’s level of exhaustion, I let DD sleep a little longer. I put that time into good use by checking out some Fodor’s printouts I had taken with me and mapping restaurant recommendations. Better late than never!

We went for breakfast around 10:00 at The Flame diner. Eggs Benedict for me (surprisingly good) and DD had an egg, ham and cheese sandwich which again, looked huge but she ate the whole thing. Bill was a surprisingly low $22.60 considering the quality and quantity of the food.

Our first stop was The Frick Collection. I had never been there but I had read it was similar to the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris which I absolutely adore and I had included in my ‘must do’ list for this trip. WOW! It is hard to even understand the magnitude of the acquisitive power Mr. Frick must have had to build the beautiful house and gather such an amazing collection. The free audio guide was really good as well.

Even though I enjoy company while looking at art, I love going to museums by myself. I can then look at what I want for how long I want without being considerate of another person’s desires. I also have an embarrassing habit of talking audibly to paintings and sculptures which can only be indulged in ‘private’. I must return to this place in the future and give it ample time.

There was a line outside the Frick when we came out. I would estimate around 50 people out in the cold (36ºF).

Our next stop was the Met. I was sooooo happy to have purchased the City Passes as I could bypass the ticket line. DD checked in the coats and her backpack while I picked up the passes by the group/tour line. The grand lobby was do mobbed with people, I wont even theorize on how many there were. That is a huge place to fill up!

We started out with the Egyptian Collection. I love that place. DD not so much so. We took a detour to the fashionblog exhibit. It was very interesting and DD absolutely loved. By the time we made it to the temple of Dendur I could see that she didn’t care anymore for anything Egyptian.

After sitting around for a while and giving up on trying to get the camera to work in the warmth, we headed to the Medieval Art exhibits (I am a junkie for this stuff) and then to the modern paintings which DD likes better. Since I had skipped this area on previous visits it was interesting to me as well.

We looked at the Arts of Africa/Oceania (also a first for me) on our way to the Greek and Roman Art. Absolutely loved the Etruscan chariot – I like anything Etruscan; I think it is because I had a great time at the Etruscan Museum in Volterra which I went with DH on our first trip together )

I would have tackled the second floor but DD had lost interest by this point and I was remembering last night’s vow not to indulge in competitive vacationing anymore. So we bailed out.

When we came out there was a street dance show which was really fun to watch. The guys had a real stand-up comedy thing going there, more than real dancing. It was a riot!

We walked back by Central Park East and picked up a hot dog to keep us going through the afternoon. We eventually subwayed our way to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. This was on DD’s ‘must do’ list. As this was her bday trip, I indulged. Since our camera had died we bought one from the museum in a ‘combo’ with a guide for $21. But what would the point be if you cannot take pictures with the waxed celebrities. The entrance fee plus combo was $84 for both of us. Ouch!

The elevator was broken so we had climb five stories up the stairs and then board a freight elevator. We took pictures with Princess Di, the Dalai Lama, Ghandi. DD got a pic with Bob Marley who is her #1 artist. I took a picture with Rachel Ray (I almost laughed out loud thinking of Thin/Marginal/Jon) and Wolfgang Puck. I have to say that for all my reticence, it was kind of fun.

We were out by 6:00 PM and headed to the West Side to search for a nice place to have dinner. The #1 subway dropped us by Lincoln Center and we walked over to Telepan. They kindly seated us by the Lounge without reservations where we proceeded to have the best meal of trip.

The amuse bouche was a threesome of a tiny little pizza pie stuffed with spinach, a brussel sprout salad in a spoon and an AWESOME mushroom soup in a little espresso cup. DDs eyes lit up when she tasted that soup. She wanted to see if she could change her order and get a couple of full plates of the marvelous broth. I had a great glass of Verdicchio with it, DD had to make do with Pepsi.

At this point I was regretting not ordering the full tasting menu but it was too late. I was too full from the stupid street hot dog to get a third course. What a shame!

I had a great beet salad and then a Short Rib Ravioli in broth. The name would never come even close to describing the sheer goodness of this dish. DD had a wonderful lobster Bolognese which was just a tiny little bit not as good as my pasta. I had a glass of Sangiovese with it.

We usually don’t do desserts but the meal had been so good that we decided to try it. DD got a pear custard and I had a banana cream brulee with hazelnut crepes. DD’s was too sweet and mine was just too big and a bit underwhelming. Should have skipped dessert. Total bill $120.30 and totally worth it including the dissppointing dessert.

By 8:30 we were back in the hotel and watching TV in our PJs. We were ‘good’ tired and not exhausted as the two previous nights.

Next: Day Four – Sights to be seen only in NYC and Broadway lights
marigross is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2008, 10:39 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,741
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Really enjoying your report. Can't wait for day 4.
Hershey is online now  
Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 05:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,790
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Day Four – Sights to be seen only in NYC and Broadway lights

Pleasantly refreshed we set out the next morning around 9:30. We had breakfast next door to the hotel, at Saffee. Good food and certainly more hip than the diner. This a self-serve place and the final price ($22.00) was certainly equivalent to the sit-down service at the diner. Oh well, this is after all DD’s vacation so I went along.

Our plan for today started with a visit to the Central Park Zoo ($18 for both) . I must say that we love zoos in general and it would be hard to disappoint us. I thought it was a great little zoo. Sea lions, penguins and polar bears….what is there not to love. The tropical enclave was nice too but a dramatic temperature change going into a steamy 85ºF from the chilly 38ºF outside. We wound up spending over two hours hanging around the zoo.

I wanted to take DD to a Broadway show during this visit but I had neglected to buy the tickets ahead of time. Yes, I knew about broadwaybox and playbill; and there is not much that I can say in my defense except that I wanted to keep the schedule flexible. Therefore I was at the mercy of TKTS. We reached the selling office around noon (temporarily relocated to a semi-hidden corner outside the Mariott in Times Square) and found the lines to be very short (being Easter Sunday I was prepared for awful lines) and started looking for ticket availabilty to a matinee show. Several customers ahead of me went away without tickets because they thought that they could purchase for the evening show but those were not for sale until 3:00PM.

There were tickets available for Hairspray, Legally Blonde and several others and I told DD to choose the one she wanted to see. Good thing I did not pre-buy without consulting her because suddenly her eyes lit up and said: GREASE!!!!!

I must interject here that there is background to this choice. It is my family’s guilty pleasure that we absolutely love Grease. My mom, sisters (all three of them), myself and DD know every word and song to the movie. Since I am confessing this publicly at this time, I will go for full discloser will add that not only do we love Grease, we are the biggest fans of Grease 2. I have very fond memories of six women singing –none of which can carry a tune- ‘Cool Rider’ and ‘Grease Lightning’ at the top of their lungs.

So tickets in hand, we had a little less than four hours to kill before the show. I wanted to walk a bit around fifth avenue (I had intended to go see the Easter Day parade but it just didn’t work out) and after wandering around and watching another hilarious street dance show we wound up by St Patrick’s.

The church was packed and IMO the tourist were certainly being detrimental to the service so we promptly took off. We crossed the street over and went to the Rockefeller Center to watch around the skating ring.

What a spectacle this was! Ring side was packed and the rink itself was pretty full. What we absolutely loved about this was the amazing diversity of the skaters. There were ‘serious’ skaters practicing routines and people which had obviously never skated in their lives before. Wild kids playing at roller derby and railing-huggers. And then there were the people themselves! There was a Hassidic Jew father coaching his +/- 7yr old daughter on how to improve her spins. The daughter had a beautiful doll which was wearing skates. Once in while, the girl would put the doll on the ice and take her for a spin around the rink.

Skating close to them was a ragged little girl that looked like she had not had her blonde hair washed in over a month and wearing what was obviously a rather dirty, hand-me down coat. What broke my heart was the longing look this girl was giving to the father/daughter skaters. It seemed to me that she sooooo wanted to twirl and spin like the beautiful Jewish girl. The girl was not a bad skater but I guess she needed someone to teach her how to improve. I had never seen a wistful look on one so young. She kept looking around the ring to see if anyone was watching, so what else we could do but smile and clap whenever she looked in our direction. I prayed that she has the strength as she grows up to turn all that pent up desire into making her life and circumstances better.

There was a group of serious skaters making the rink. One of them was a very tall (at least 6’-6”) either transvestite or transgender person wearing a tutu (not very successful as passing as a born-woman). There was this other character that DD and I christened ‘The Poet’. He was wearing a long trench coat, jeans, a beret and round glasses, his hair was straight and cut in a bob halfway down the neck. He was 50% Yoko Ono’s slightly younger brother and %50 Beatnik poet. He was dancing what looked to me like a tango while observing himself in the window reflections.

Then came in the perfect stand-in for Jerry Garcia. Baggy jeans, leather jacket with a hippie print a bandana holding back his long, curly, gray hair. He was dancing to his own music and obviously having a blast. He was the only one of the ‘serious’ skaters which looked friendly and tried to help some of the beginners. DD and I made peace signs at him and then he tried to convince us to get into the rink.

Bottom line, we spend over two hour looking at this wonderful spectacle until we just could not take the cold anymore. DD says that this is part of her three-way-tie for first place Top Five NYC experiences list. When she said this I almost felt like the parent whose toddler does not pay attention to the expensive/impossible-to-get Christmas gift and instead wants to play only with the box! Anyway, we both loved and had a BLAST people watching.

We took shelter inside the Rockefeller building and bought two hot chocolates at the Godiva store to help us warm up. I think that DD was traumatized by the Empire State Building because she did not want to go to the Top of the Rock (she doesn’t like elevators anyway).

After bringing our body temperature back to normal we headed back to Times Square. DD wanted to go to the Billanbong store that we had seen earlier. She got a jacket and an INY / Billanbong shirt. These two items were her only NYC purchases, so I can accurately reinstate that that we are not shoppers and this was certainly not a shopping trip. It also made me realize that the quality and availability of shopping in Puerto Rico has gone dramatically up as we did not see ‘stuff’ that we absolutely had to buy and haul all the way back home.

We arrived at the Brooks Atkinson Theater around 3:30. There was a huge line outside but once they opened the door everyone was seated rather quickly. We found our sets to be OK (Left Box at $61.50 ea) and settled down to watch the show. The cast was good but I thought that the characters for Marty (Robyn Hurder) and Rizzo (Jenny Powers) absolutely outshone Sandy (Laura Osnes). We absolutely loved the show and it is the second item of the three-way-tie for first place in the Top Five NYC experiences.

We returned to the hotel vicinity and went for dinner at Angelo’s Pizza (Fodorite recommendation). We came in around 6:30PM and were promptly seated. Maybe twenty minutes later there was a line in the entrance and people were standing outside in the 33ºF cold. We ordered a large pizza with mushrooms, onions, peppers and prosciutto. It earned high marks for taste but did not do so well on the consistency category: the center got a bit soggy. I absolutely love pizzas, sampling them wherever we go, and this is one of my pet peeves. Sogginess did not hold us up from devouring most of it and only two slices were left at the end. Two glasses of Abruzzo for me and two cokes for DD brought the bill up to $51.75.

By 9:00PM we were back to the hotel and happily settled for the evening.

Next: Gunpowder and all that jazz…..our last full day!
marigross is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 10:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,790
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Day Five: Explosions at the Guggenheim and a detour to Chicago

After a second breakfast at Saffee’s we setout uptown on the B train. My plan was to get off at Cathedral Parkway but somehow we got on an Express train that did not stop there. We had to backtrack two stations on the local train but no major problem.

I kind of misjudged the distances and after a LOT of walking we arrived at the Guggenheim. Another place where I was really happy to have a City Pass as there was a long line outside! I had never been to the Guggenheim in NY and truthfully I must say that aside from the building itself), I had very low expectations. I still have mixed feelings about the one in Bilbao and I did not care much for the art being shown there. Usually, expecting little is the best way to become pleasantly surprised and surprise me indeed it did.

The outside is disappointingly covered by construction scaffolding but once you come in, that wonderful spiraling space is just surprising, even if you know beforehand what it looks like. It’s like the Vatican Museum spiral staircase meeting the Jetsons. Dear old Frank Loyd Wright certainly knew what he was doing and never fails to amaze me.

The main exhibit is Cai Guo-Quian: I want to believe. I must again state that I am not a big fan of most contemporary art out there, but this exhibit I just loved. As you come into the rotunda, there are nine cars suspended at different levels simulating the sequence of an explosion. This exhibit works also to bring a sense of dimension to the space itself which might otherwise be lost.

The top level was filled with ‘drawings’ achieved by laying gunpowder and ink over paper and then creating an explosion. Very powerful and a masterly use of the media. There were other installations which were also very interesting and worked perfectly with (or because of) the space itself. DD absolutely enjoyed this museum (I think that the concept of the gunpowder did it for her).

We found the subway station and took the train to the Rockefeller Center so we could go to our final City Pass museum: The MoMA. This one I had visited before but I liked it better this time. DD enjoyed the first hour but began wilting towards the end and we skipped part of the fifth floor and all the sixth.

I wanted to go by the TKTS box office to see if we could find tickets for one more show, so we headed that way after buying a kabob from a street vendor. This time the line was HUGE. There must have been a thousand persons lined up to purchase tickets and the show availability was very low by 3:45 when we came in.

One of DDs favorite musicals is Chicago and I really wanted to take her. Yes, I know that I set up myself for this by not pre-purchasing. So what did I do? Walked over to the Ambassador Theater and bought two full price tickets. At one point you just have to bite the bullet and I knew that the extra money was not going to kill me. I am a firm believer that if you are going to go the hell, might as well do it in first class. Out came the plastic and $233.00 later (I know that its not thaaaat bad! First Class is relative ), I had two tickets in my hand for the 8:00 show. I just know that if I didn't do it I would be kicking myself for a wasted opportunity!

DD had wanted to go into the MTV store which had been closed the previous evening and we headed that way. Nothing appealed to her so no purchases were made. Same in the M&M store.

She had wanted to have her portrait done by a street artist so we stopped by one and she posed. It turned out to be not very good but she got a kick out of it, and for $5.00 not a bad treat. So we get stuck with the unfoldable, urollable piece of paper and we decided to drop it off in the hotel.

This was the only time we returned to the room during the day, so when I say that I only need a good place to sleep and hot, clean shower- I mean it!

While DD went up to put the drawing in the suitcase, I plunked down at the bar in the hotel to have a glass of Gamay. I will not say that this was a mistake but I suddenly reached the point where everything that I really wanted to do during the vacation had been accomplished and I was ready to sit down and not move (I just wished that moment had come at a more interesting place). I had been ready to try another fodorite recommendation in the neighborhood for a late lunch but I was just not wanting to move.

When the bartender ‘kindly’ and ‘helpfully’ suggested that we had lunch in the restaurant, I was ready accept it as a wonderful, utterly brilliant idea. So we relocated around 20ft to a table and had sushi at the Blue Ribbon. I had never considered the combination, but Gamay and sushi worked beautifully together. We had miso soups to warm up and two sushi and maki combinations. Excellent quality and the maki rolls were nicely presented. Not a single one collapsed while eating. Bill was $83.18 and not having to move certainly made it worthwhile.

After eating we went back to Times Square and found ourselves still too early to go to the theater. Easily solved by walking over to Ruby Foo’s (??? Paid cash for this one so I don’t have a ticket as reference) and having one more drink. I know, I’m a bad influence on my innocent, impressionable child! This time the bartender was ready for the non-alcoholic request and offered the house drink: The Double Q. Quince paste on the bottom, cranberry, orange and soda. Very good, DD had two.

The theater opened at 7:30 and we were firmly seated by a passive-aggressive lady usher. We laughed at her seating antics until the curtain went up. ‘Sir, SIR, please, PLEEEEASE, allow ME to seat YOU’ followed by ‘Madam, MADAM, please MOVE OVER’. It was a show by itself.

In our very limited musical experience I must say that we thought the show was excellent. Roxie (Bianca Marroquin) was excellent but Velma (Brenda Braxton) was superb. ‘Mama’ Morton (Kecia Lewis-Evans) stole every scene she came on, up to the point that the tune we were humming after leaving was ‘when you’re good to Mama…’

DD was happy and therefore so was I. We were still full from the lunch and headed straight back to sleep.

Next: Sniffling at Macy’s and a few parting thoughts.
marigross is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 454
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am greatly enjoying your report! You are a writer!!
kansasmom is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is the best trip report in eons and eons of Fodors' USA reports.

Thank you, marigross.

Next time I go to NYC, I will keep some of these things in mind.

My ex-'s favorite saying since about 1985 has always been "the paralysis of analysis"- usually applied to any academic or non-business person in hearing, LOL!

I can't wait for the summations.
JJ5 is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 03:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,871
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let's just say after reading the latest of the wonderfully titled and presented trip report.....I feel like you did at the sushi bar.

I have very fond memories of mrlou skating in the rain at Rock Center. He never knew he could get hockey skates so entertained crowds in the rain as he surfed the ice in figure skates falling at every turn while beaming up at me-----splash!!!! "Who's that guy beaming big smiles and ruining his cashmere jacket/" My man! Priceless. People watching is so much fun there!

Thank you for lighting my day with your memories intermingled with mine.

Fripp? Havent' been! Yet!!!!


gyppielou is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,029
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
great report! I, too, went in a complete circle the first time I tried to cross the park from west to east....
skatedancer is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I made the same wrong turn in the park but enjoyed it..
tchoiniere is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 09:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,790
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Half Day Six: Sniffling at Macy’s

After packing and checking out we handed our bags to the concierge to hold until the afternoon. We had one last breakfast at Saffee’s and headed out for our last spin around the city.

I had heard about the Macy’s Flower Show and wanted to check it out. After a bit of wandering around the building we finally found what appeared to be the principal exhibit in the cosmetics floor. Just as we were coming down the elevator my eyes start tearing up and itching. DD starts making noises on her throat. I start sneezing. DD wheezes a bit.

Hummmm….If A= flowers = pollen and B = cosmetics floor = aggressive sales ladies that spray perfume on innocent bystanders. Then A+B = Full Blown Allergy Attack! Do I have any antihistamines on my bag? Nooooo…. Ok then there is no alternative but to RETREAT!!!! Double pace.

From what I saw I thought it was kind of disappointing. I’m not sure what I was expecting but just not what was there. There were a LOT of flowers but only two creative arrangements. It looked more And there were a lot of people. They even had a tour! So with both of us definitely sniffling and sneezing, we do a quick round-to-floor tour and within five minutes we were out the door.

As we step out we gratefully breath in the car-polluted but non-allergenic New York air and thankfully the symptoms quickly subside. Country girls DD and myself, we are not!

Our wandering ways take us to Grand Central Station, I love the little food market and wanted to do a quick browse. All the things which looked appealing to me were not particularly portable (i.e. stinky cheese, beautiful halibut fillets, etc.). I had planned to stop by the Whole Foods store next to the hotel to pick a few items before leaving so we did not get anything except a little fruit tart.

The next stop was the Apple store. Such a modern entrance (Louvre Pyiramid-ish) led to a rather plain store. Boy, I guess that was I was being a tough audience that day! We browsed for a while but no purchases were made.

We then headed to the Time Warner building to get a few kitchen gadgets from Williams-Sonoma (no stores in Puerto Rico). Three different-sized microplanes later, we went down to Whole Foods. This was the second time we had attempted to shop in this store. The crowds were just overwhelming. They even had employees with big signs stating ‘The end of the line is HERE’ to try to control the customer flow. Too much for me, I really did not ‘need’ the stuff I wanted. Poor DH did not get any food goodies from this trip.

I might have said before in Fodor’s that I’m a bit OCD about getting to the airport on time. I was trying to relax and not hurry for our 6:00PM flight. I guess that most guests that stay in the hotel arrive by cab or limo and the concierge was looking very skeptically at me when I told him we were training it back to Newark airport. This naturally triggered my over-reaction and decided not to find lunch in the vicinity and instead head straight to the airport.

This leaving-in-the-afternoon-so-we-can-use-the- morning strategy just does not work for me! I spend the entire day looking at the watch. I find myself evaluating every possible activity to see if it has the possibility of delaying the departure time and trying to convince myself that I don’t really need to be at the airport three hours before for a domestic flight.

Bottom line: we picked up our bags at the concierge by 1:00, were at the airport by 2:00 and past security by 2:30. With 3 ½ hours to kill in Terminal C. We had so-so burgers (consider that praise for airport food) at the Garden Diner and milk shakes and settled to wait for our return flight.

Couple hours later we were back in warm and humid San Juan were we found DH happily waiting to take us back home where we continue to live happily ever after


#5: The Guggenheim – I think that the gunpowder art did.

#4: The dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum

#3: 6 Columbus Circle Hotel – the retro-chic coolness did it for her.

#2: Watching the skaters at the Rockefeller Center rink

#1: Going to see her first Broadway shows


#5- #1: Watching DD discover this little corner of our big world


I looked ten thousand times at my finances before deciding to take this trip. My pals in the Lounge know that we have had big expenses with a rental property this year and DD insisted in changing high schools, also at a significant expense. I knew that I could not ‘responsibly’ afford the trip to Italy and going to NYC made me dabble into my mid-range savings. I almost did not do it and it would have been a HUGE mistake not to.

DD had a few ‘bumps’ over the last eight months. We had time to talk about some of the crucial issues and being away from our daily scenario helped tremendously. We both were relaxed enough to let conversations go unhurriedly wherever they went.

So what if I went a bit over my target budget. Its not like I’m bankrupting myself. I don’t know if I will ever again have 5 days of DD’s undivided attention. Hopefully she will keep growing up and her life will get complicated with serious boyfriends, school, work and eventually kids of her own. These days spent while she is still ‘my baby’ I will treasure forever.

I can only encourage other parents that are debating if they should take a trip with their teen, to pack the bags and GO.

I have nothing else to add except that seeing DD taking her first bite of the big Apple has assured me that –given enough time and desire- she has everything within her that she needs to eat through the entire fruit bowl!

Happy travels and thanks for letting me share my story,

marigross is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,050
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Awww, Mari, what a sweet writeup! You have me sniffling, too.
Anonymous is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,674
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bravo! This is one of the best trip reports I've ever read!
lizziea06 is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,342
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very nice trip report. I am glad you had such a good time and quality time with your daughter. Brava!
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,871
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have the same problem with that food specialty store in Grande Central!!! So I just look at the products available and gain weight!

Such a wonderful read and inciteful.

gyppielou is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2008, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 21,985
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for sharing your trip. What a fantastic trip report!
kureiff is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -