Shadow's First NYC Trip Report

Nov 3rd, 2006, 11:00 PM
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Shadow's First NYC Trip Report

I am so bummed that my long awaited and much anticipated first trip to NYC, etc. is over!! We had a great time, we LOVE NYC and my mission was accomplished... My trip was not the usual NYC trip...my trip was more about connecting with family....both my parents came from Ireland (my mother lives there now) and my father's sisters all emmigrated to NY. So, I was encouraged by al the cousins to come and learn more about them....I am the last cousin to come...I have been a bit mysterious to them!

We left Burbank for NYC on Jet Blue on Friday morning 10/20 arriving on time into JFK. We were picked up by my cousin and taken to his home on Long Island. We had our very first NY Pizza and it really was great!! We stayed up talking and I got to see photo's of this side of my family that I had never seen...we stayed up pretty late talking and enjoying each others company.It was a great start to our NY vacation.

On Saturday we had our first taste of NY Bagels!! Wow, they really ARE good!! They really are different from what we can get here in my little desert town! Yum!!! Love that their are little bagel places that make the bagels that morning!! Hey, my town does not have even 1 bakery!! (besides those in stores....bleech).

We got a late start but headed off to Sagamore (Teddy Roosevelt's Summer home) and missed the later tour time but we were all just happy to be together and we walked all around the area down to the beach and saw Long Island Sound.
After going back to their home on Long Island and getting ready we headed to Queens
to meet with some of my other cousins...there were 16 of us in all. There was one cousin who I had never met, some I had not seen in 30 years and a few I had only met briefly this year in CA. I was the star of the evening and what a fun evening it was...some brought old pictures of the original family members (our parents). My husband videoed everyone introducing themselves and who was their parent, etc. This dinner was at Abbreciamento's (spelling is prob. off a bit) Italian Restaurant. The food was wonderful...I just had a spaghetti dish and it was delicious but honestly, I hardly got to eat much...the evening was all about connecting with all these cousins. Everyone enjoyed their meals...some of the cousins come here alot and its a great place.
From there, another cousin took us to his home (we brought all our luggage) in CT....first time there too! Beautiful!! Wow...for this desert girl it was a feast for the eyes.....we had a lovely day with them on Sunday just catching up and learning more about each other. The cousin that I had just met the night before came over with his wife and we all enjoyed the day. Food wise: since they go to Ireland often they served some of my favorite Irish foods: brown bread, Irish salmon, lots of good Irish tea!

NYC
On Monday, my cousin drove us into Mid-town Manhattan....The Big Apple...here we come!!
We checed into our hotel The Comfort Inn-Mid town and I had a big surprise. Since we were invited to stay in Ct. for Sunday night I had cancelled the room....but, the man who took the cancellation DID NOT cancel the room....(I hate it when folks don't do their job) and I know, I know I was dumb not to get a cancellation number....it was not offered and I forgot!!! Expensive lesson!

Other than that the Comfort Inn (Midtown) was great!! Our room was big enough...no problem with the size for us.....clean!! The bathroom was spotless! The little continental breakfast got us going in the morning and we also used the coffee pot in the room. We would stay here again...we also met a cousin at the pub (O'Brien's) across the street so that is convenient.

We're off to see the city...we first did head by bus to visit yet another cousin (who is a nursing nun) where she works at the Mary Manning Walsh Home on the UES....she sat us down in the little Cafe there and ordered us food....we could not pay to save our souls!! She also gave me a scarf to wear since it was a bit cool (esp. for this CA girl), and a book she had read-she is hysterical...she said it had a part that was a bit "hot" and did not want to give it to another nun!!) isn't she cute?
She also gave us both Metro cards, and would have given us her shoes if we had wanted!!! I don't think I've ever met anyone as caring and happy and fun as her (and, she's mostly deaf!)...she is a jewel in our family.

Next: the Empire State Building. We just could not come to NYC w/o doing this. It did take about an hour from start to finish to get up there....we did not get up there until around 3:00 in the afternoon...the lines are shorter in the afternoon I think.
It was cold!!! Great views and we are glad we did it....overall, with the cooler weather it was a bit harder for me to endure staying out at that height.....
On to Rockefeller Center....we had a hot dog from a vendor on the way and we were not impressed with it....however I hear that Grey's Papaya is much better (next time!!).
We got to see the ice skating at Rock Center and we did the Top of the Rock...at about Dusk so that was great....funny, because of time and plans we ended up doing ESB and Top of the Rock back to back!! My husband loves doing these types of things and taking lots of pictures so it works for us. TOR is much faster, only a few people ahead of us in line. Great views as well and seeing the ESB was great and Central Park.

I don't know what I am doing wrong but when we got to our restaurant for dinner (Docks) they did not have my reservation!! However, the reservation was for 9:00 and they had tables available. My dh loves seafood and I chose this rest. for their Mon. night Clam bake (Ok, I had lobster!!). Lobster was fabulous!! Really good....also came with salad, some clams, bread, great corn on the cob, dessert and coffee....$41.

We walked back to our hotel....it was a beautiful but brisk night....we had LOVED our very first day/night in NYC!!
Shadow


Shadow is offline  
Nov 4th, 2006, 02:53 AM
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Shadow

I just returned from visiting my elderly mum who lives in England and can certainly connect to you with your mum living in Ireland. These visits are no longer easy as her age has caught up with her.

I am so glad that your relatives in NYC gave you such a warm welcome. I love NYC and have a son and daughter-in-law who live there so try to visit often.

Looking forward to the remainder of your report. Thanks for sharing.

Sandy

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Nov 4th, 2006, 03:02 AM
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emd
 
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Sahdow, how nice to wake up and read this report. I have been wondering how you rtrip to see all those cousins went.

And I think you are the first one here to ever to the ESB and TOR back to back. From now on when soemoen posts and wants to know how they compare, you will be able to answer them in a very unique way, having done both of them on the same day.

Have you been to Ireland? My husband has cousings there and he took my son last summer to visit them. The trip was a life highlight for him, and now I wish I had gone with them. They loved the food, scenery, and of course, like you, meeting the relatives.

That is awful about your reservation not being cancelled at the Comfort Inn. Something if fishy there, because I think if you just didn't show up the first night, they would have completely cancelled your reservation for the whole stay.

I know you were terribly excited about this trip and I am glad it was so good. So I am dying to hear the rest of your report. Did you make it to the Fire Museum w/your firefighter relative?

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Nov 4th, 2006, 03:03 AM
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sorry about the typos - I need coffee.
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Nov 4th, 2006, 04:28 AM
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Loving the report Shadow. Looking forward to the next installment.
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Nov 5th, 2006, 10:51 PM
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Tue. morning we left the hotel around 6:45 and walked up to 7th street and stood in the street and hailed our first cab! We were off to the Regis and Kelly show!! Very fun!! I had sent in for tickets in Aug....We could have met Regis or Kelly if we had been sitting closer to the floor....they both seemed very nice and willing to shake hands and take pictures...
After the taping we left to meet my cousin at Penn Station (he was coming in from Long Island). We all then took the subway to Wall Street where he explained the area and some of his experiences there. We went to Trinity Church as well....beautiful.
WE walked over to the WTC site. My cousin was a Fire Captain and was one of the first down in the WTC for the bombing in 1993...he was sent down with a young engineer and they were both speechless. He was retired and out of state in 2001...he spent months going to funerals. He told us about what it would have looked like and about many of the firemen he knew. He said one reason he wanted to be a fireman was the quality of the individuals who became firemen...

Also nearby is something that many people may not know about but we thought was done very well. Just about across the street from the Embassy Suites (down town) there is a Memorial to the Irish Famine...its an area with grass and rock walls and names of Irish counties on the rocks...its done very well..its remarkable how much like the grass in Ireland it does look like!! (I've been 10 times, I know!).
On to China Town.....its a real China Town that is for sure!! Great!! We had lunch at a place called Peking Palace....great food....lots of msg...I developed an MSG type headache!! ha ha....it was gone by the time we went to Little Italy! Cousin said that Little Italy is shrinking...many of the children are not staying around keeping the restaurants going....but he felt that some of the restaurants that had been there since the early 1900's made some good food....so, maybe next trip. I poked in 2 of the delis and I can tell you thatthey are not like that in the CA desert!! Well, we don't even have a deli anyway!!! The kind in stores don't count!!
I would have loved to have had more time...but, men don't dawdle!! I would have dawdled a bit....shopped a bit too....so, I'll have to get down there by myself some day!!
Cab to Greenwhich Village West to visit my cousin's bother.....yet another cousin!!
CUTE Co-op that is small, small but adorable!!! Worth lots of $$$$ but tiny, tiny!! But, the Village.....loved it!! Again, did not get to really meander around much but would love to another trip....we headed off to Sevilla for a Paella dinner....yum!! Great little neighborhood restaurant.....we were passing by Magnolia Bakery and I bought us all cupcakes....it was on my list of places I wanted to try (I am a cupcake junkie!!) My cousin and his wife said they were not very good...but, I just had to try....yep, they were right....the frosting had no zing...kinda bland....but, sitting out across the street in a park (?) at 10:30 pm with family eating cupcakes in the brisk Fall weather in Greenwich Village West......FANTASTIC!!!
We got the bus to go back to our hotel....tomorrow, West Point, Brewster and Stamford, Ct.....
Fall into bed tird but happy.....I love NY!!
(oh yeah, my cousin's wife bought me a T shirt that says "I (shamrock) NY"...LOVE IT!!!!!
Shadow
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Nov 6th, 2006, 08:06 PM
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Wed. morning....my trip is going way too fast!! I'm loving NYC and don't want the time to fly so fast!!
We head down to the breakfast room for some cereal with a banana and coffee...there were also bagels, toast, waffles and muffins if we had wanted.
It was nice to start the day with something quick to eat w/o having to walk to it or look for it....

One of (the many, huh?) cousins picked us up for our day trip to West Point, etc. The drive to West Point was beautiful...we stopped near Perkins Cove (Perkins Drive) to see the Fall Foliage...gorgeous!!!

We took the 1 hour tour of West Point and also went into the museum. Very intresting. Beautiful area too.....of course, full of traditions. My husband and cousin were a little disappointed that they did not get to be up close to some of the statues that wanted to see such as MacArthur and Eisenhower....maybe you can see them on the 2 hour tour??
On to Brewster, NY where this cousin grew up...cute town.....I was impressed with how everyone decorates their house for Halloween (or Harvest).....I saw that on Long Island as well....house after house after house...all decorated....some folks REALLY got into the spirit of things with Big Decorations....so, in Brewster we saw houses with "Bates Motel" in the window, lawns covered with head stones, lots of "scary stuff".....(you don't see that here in the desert where I live....maybe one house in several hundred would but that is it). I kept having them stop the car so I could take pictures! We got to see the actual house that he grew up in....its a very rural area...seems like a nice place to grew up!!
Then, on to where he lives now...Stamford, CT..also very nice....close to the water so more my cup of tea....yeah, I only live in the desert because I have to (DH job).....Stamford is great...close enough to the city and on the water but not too big....I would love that..the winters would be too cold for this CA girl though!!
We picked up my cousins wife (she is a real sweetie) and headed back to the city where we had a lovely dinner at an Irish Pub...Kennedy's....we had the lamb stew...and, I can tell you that they have the BEST Irish Soda Bread I've ever had!!! YUM!!! Could not get enough of it!! Love that you can actually get Irish Soda Bread in a restaurant!! I can't make it that good!! Several of my cousins go to Kennedy's for evenings out.
What a lovely day....this is the cousin who I had just met on Sat. night for the first time.....we had a lot in common (besides our parents being siblings) and talked non-stop. A great relative/relationship has begun!!
Shadow
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Nov 7th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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Just re-read my post and sorry for the typos...I really can spell..just not at night when I type these things.....
Shadow
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Nov 7th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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Shadow - What an interesting extended family you have. You are blessed.

Shadow's First NYC trip report certainly stands out. Looking forward to more.

Do you plan on a return visit to NYC.

Sandy
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Nov 7th, 2006, 09:26 PM
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SandyBrit...thanks! I am really thrilled about my NY cousins!! I have 2 sisters..one is great the other..not so much!! So, having these cousins and really just now getting to know them is making up for a lot that I have missed.

I can't wait to get back....trying to figure how and when.....
Shadow
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Nov 27th, 2006, 11:15 PM
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Gosh, I've been so busy with Thanksgiving (and my kitchen is being remodeled) that I have not had time to continue...sorry!!
On Thursday 2 of my cousins and one of their wives and dh and myself went to the Met Museum. Now, we are not really museum people. But, my cousins are!! And, they said its just one of NY's treasures. Also, they had arranged a special time with an employee there who took care of us....he met us at the door, took our coats, and we did not have to pay to get in. He took us to the employee cafeteria for lunch and we got his 25% off employee discount in the museum store. The Met really is an amazing place and it has great artwork, etc....its also a beautiful place. Glad we went, but its still not my cup of tea!! It was ok, we had a nice time, I learned more about appreciating paintings, etc. However, I was glad to get to the evening and to a nice dinner and Broadway show!!
We had dinner at Joe Allens...I had the meatloaf....good, not great. Dinner was fine, they got us in and out in time for The Producers. One of my great cousins got us the tickets, front row, stage left....great seats!!! We were on the aisle with lots of leg room-love that! I had heard that NY theaters are smaller than LA theaters and it was true. The Producers was ok, not our favorite but we were happy to be seeing a Broadway show!
Afterwards we went to Juniors for a piece of that famous cheesecake-yum!!
We were seated in a little alcove part of the restaurant and a lady, and 3 men come in and sit across from us. I said to dh "that looks like Marie Osmand", hubby says "its probaby not"....he's one of those that never believes you are seeing a celebrity...don't know WHAT will do it because in LA we've seen Bob Hope, Jacqueline Smith (twice for me), Cindy Crawford, and several others I can't remember now...anyway, 2 of the men with her looked like Donny and possibly a brother.....when we left I took one more look and hey, it HAD to be Donny....asked a server and he said "yes, Donnie comes in here alot"....said to DH "SEE!!!" lol....
Back to hotel tired and filled with cheesecake!!
Only 2 more days left!!! boo hoo!!
Shadow
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Nov 27th, 2006, 11:40 PM
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On Friday morning just the two of us took the subway and made our way to the Staten Island Ferry.....it was fun and a great way to see The Statue of Liberty. We stopped and took pictures at Wall Street (and the Bull) and had a quick lunch at Au Bon Pain....soup and coffee I think.....we were in a hurry to meet up with the cousins at our hotel. By the way, on the way to the Staten Island ferry on the subway, we took out our map and just like I'd heard about, the man sitting next to us asked us where we were going and helped us with the correct subway!! Thank you NYers!!!
We met up and were off walking to 5th Avenue!! We went to St. Patrick's Cathedral (gorgeous) and into the Trump Towers ("you'r fired!!") and into Louis Vitton (just to look!)....they had lots of stories to tell us of several places. They also told me to come some year and join them walking with the Co. Roscommon folks in the St. Patrick's Parade...what a hoot that would be!! (our parents came from Co. Roscommon).
Then, on to Central Park. My cousin knows a lot of the history of CP...told me about Olmsteand Vaux (not sure of spelling)and the thoughts of building CP...we could not belive how big it was....and we only saw a part of it!! We stopped and bought hot nuts in the park and shared them....we stopped and took lots of pictures.....what a beautiful place....my cousin said Olmstead and Vaux always wanted you to have 2 choices on paths....to not be in a hurry in the park, to be "out of the city" while in the city....great ideas.
We walked past The Boat House (looked great) and were going to have a drink at Tavern on the Green but our original plan was to do that at The Rainbow Room so we passed.
I had on tennis shoes for the walking but we all had on nice jackets....cold weather jackets, not "dressy" jackets though. We thought they would be nice enough for just a drink....I was going to change my shoes....at the last minute we thought we'd try to just get in but where you gather at the elevator that takes you up, the bouncers/? would not let us up....it was OK, with all the walking I was not about to not wear tennis shoes and by that time did not feel like going to get the shoes...etc...so, do know that you must be pretty dressy to get up to the Rainbow Room. Like I said, I normally would not even have tried but with being tired we did and we were OK with being denied. No problem. On to PJ Clarke's (a pub restaurant) but it was jamming!! So, we ended up at another pub/restaurant (sorry, don't remember the name) and had a nice dinner and a fun evening together. It started to rain by the time we came out of the restaurant....NY was already crying that we would be leaving on Sunday!!
We had checked out of the hotel that morning and we went back to Long Island with my cousin for two more nights.
Shadow
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Nov 30th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Friday night there in Long Island was windy! We woke up to some rain and lots of wind. My cousins wife made their traditional weekend breakfast of FRESH Kaiser rolls with eggs (a sandwhich) and coffee...YUM!!
Then we were off to our Pilgramage to Brooklyn where most of my NY cousins grew up (execept the one who grew up in Brewster).
What a different way of life it was there. My cousin has extremely fond memories of growing up there just a block from Prospect Park. He has actually written stories about it...growing up in an apt. but always referring to it as "the house", the street games, having Prospect Park almost as your back yard. He told us that Prospect Park was designed by the same folks as Central Park (Olmstead and Vaux) but they liked Prospect Park better. He also said it was meant to be a place where the rich and middle class would mingle...it was also not meant to be a place of ballparks, etc.
He LOVES Prospect Park.
We drove down Flatbush Ave. to a place I had heard about from my dad....and again, he had very fond memories of going there with him family as a child and later as a young adult...Rockaway Beach. It was quite the Irish Enclave in those years. It was a little slice of history and putting some pieces together for me of my family history..of a time before my time but belonged to my father. I only wish I could have made this trip while he was still alive....oh, the conversations we'll have in heaven some day.....
My last night in NY and what we are calling "everyone's must do Finale" to a trip to NY....next....
Shadow
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Nov 30th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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I'm so glad you got to see more of New York than just the city. Rockaway was always called "The Irish Riviera"! Isn't Prospect Park beautiful? Did they happen to take you to Farrell's for a beer? If not, ask your cousin about it.

Where was Abbreciamento's? I used to go to a restaurant by that name that was fantastic. It's closed and I'm wondering if it's possibly the same owners in a different location.
Dohlice is offline  
Dec 1st, 2006, 02:44 PM
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Dohlice....yes, my trip was really more of getting to know these cousins and learn about their lives than anything...but we did manage to see a bit of the city too....so much more to see!
We did not go to Farrell's so I'll have to ask about it!!
Prospect Park is beautiful...so different than our little plain parks here in the CA desert!!
Abbraciemento's is in Queens....is there a Rego Park? I think its there...I think its been there for a while but not sure how long...it was very good but honestly I was so busy "visiting" my cousins I did not pay as much attention to the food as usual, but, my cousins all love the place and some eat their regularly. That night everyone said their dinners were very good!
Shadow
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Dec 2nd, 2006, 04:40 AM
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emd
 
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I am not sure if I am going to NYC for wk btwn Christmas and New Yrs or not, but if I go then I think we would perhpas go going to Prospect Park for fireworks at midnight.

http://www.prospectpark.org/event/ma...arget=firework
emd is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2006, 08:01 PM
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What a fun report. I envy you your large family and it must have been so much fun to be taken care of by all the cousins!
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Jan 6th, 2007, 01:13 AM
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I almost forgot to finish my report!!!
Our last night 2 of my cousins and their wives, my dh and myself had an AMAZING dinner at The River Cafe...right under the Brooklyn Bridge...one cousin called in the reservation a few weeks before and could only get a 9:00 seating!!! That tells you its popular!! Now, I have heard that some folks on Chowhouds do not give it good reviews but for the life of me I could not find a THING wrong with the place...the service was PERFECT.....absolutely PERFECT...every morsel was AMAZING....YUM YUM YUM!!!!
We all decided that the River Cafe is a MUST LAST NIGHT's FINALE dinner for anyone visiting NYC.....and, the views, OMG....Romantic??? OMG YES!!! I can't wait to go back!!!
The next morning we stopped at a bagle place on the way to the airport....we were so sad to leave NYC, and all my cousins....we had finally made the trip, and met everyone and really cemented some relationships!! We left plenty more to do for the next trip and I won't wait as long to get there!!

We were very pleased with flying Jet Blue from Burbank-JFK and back...very convenient and great flights....
NYC: I'll be back!!!
Shadow
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Jan 6th, 2007, 01:50 AM
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emd
 
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Shadow, your enthusiasm is infectious. Now I really want to go to River Cafe on my next trip. Thanks for the ending.
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Jan 6th, 2007, 08:33 PM
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emd-thanks!! The River Cafe is very upscale, dressy and has the best views!!! Its not cheap but worth every penny!! The service is outstanding!
You've just gotta love it!!

Thanks for reading my report!! And, I don't think I have ever answered your question about going to Ireland....yes, I've been 10 times!! LOVE IT there!!!

Shadow
Shadow
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