Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New York: Concrete Jungles, Where Dreams Are Made Of

...Except if your dream is to see David Letterman's show. 

I'm still not over my collosal disappointment at having been denied tickets to David Letterman twice now.  Denied once in 2000 and once in 2010.  So, so, so very disappointed.

Luckily, that was the low point of our child-free trip to New York.  Thanks to our wonderful friends, Shauna and Nicki and Christy and my amazingly capable parents, we were able to have the time of our lives.  We did so much in our >5 days, I don't even know where to start.  So I'll just start at the beginning.  (I'm not sorry if this bores you.)
  • Wednesday evening drop the kids off with Nicki.
  • Take a red-eye flight to NYC.
  • Refuse sleep because we're so excited.  And because the plane had amazing free music and TV choices.  And because we were too busy eating candy.
  • Arrive in NYC at around 6:45 AM, about 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
  • Take a ridiculousy overpriced taxi from the airport to our hotel, right next door to the World Trade Center site.
  • Realize the hotel is totally sold out and won't have any rooms available for us until later that afternoon once all the guests wake up, check out, and the staff gets the rooms cleaned.
  • Kiss our plans of a shower and nap goodbye and change our clothes and brush our teeth in the lobby bathroom.  Leave our luggage with the front desk.
  • Set out for our day on the town well before 9:00 AM.
  • Buy our subway pass.  First stop:  Time's Square. 
  • Wander over to a bakery and share an amazing bagel outside.
  • Laugh at all our friends in Oregon and Utah who are dealing with rain/snow.  Because we'll be "dealing" with weather in the 70-80's all week.
  • Walk across the street to Rockefeller Center.  
 Rockefeller Center with NBC buildings in the background.
  • At 10:45 start counting down the minutes until 11:00 when we plan to each start calling for David Letterman tickets. 
  • At 11:00 on the dot, we each start calling repeatedly hoping we'll get through since we weren't chosen in the online lottery I'd submitted weeks before.
  • G re-dials over 100 times and finally gets through.  We are standby tickets #48 and #49.  If we weren't on vacation and feeling super footloose and fancy-free, I would have been in a super bad mood the rest of the day because honestly, how could we be so unlucky!
  • We wander around and consider going to the Museum of Television.  But when we realize we'd be sitting around watching TV we decide we'd probably fall asleep because major fatique was starting to set in at this point.
  • We go to the Musuem of Modern Art instead.  Wow!  I love it and only regret that we were too tired to stay longer.  We spend a few hours there, stopping every 30 minutes or so to sit down, re-group and get our mojo back.  My all-time favorite class and professor in college was Humanities 101 with Dr. Marshall.  He was an inspiring man and taught me to love art and music.  I took his class my very first semester at BYU (15 years ago!) and I can still remember several of his lectures, especially the time he dressed up in an Elizabethan costume during our study of Hamlet, the time he told us he reads 6 books at a time, spending 10 minutes on each before bed, and the time he told us one of his life's wishes was to own a Jackson Pollack original and hang it in his living room.  I never understood that because Pollack's splatter paintings seemed so odd.  But his sincere love of modern art has stuck with me all these years and now after seeing some of those art pieces in person, yep, I get it now.  The 2-dimensional glossy prints do NOT do Pollack or Matisse or Mondrian or Jasper Johns justice, that's for sure.  The detail and the thick paint and the color choices and the patterns were impressive.  I never had realized that Mondrian's art actually looks like wood.  You'd never know that from the print.  So cool!  Of course we also thoroughly enjoyed Van Gogh's Starry Night, and all the Picasso (Well I did.  G said he was burned out on Picasso by the end.)  We did not, however, enjoy the live nude models performing "art" up on the 6th floor.  Yikes!  Or the lady who's been sitting in the atrium for the past 2 months staring at MOMA patrons.  Apparently that's art too.  I wonder what Dr. Marshall would have thought about that. 
G studying Mondrian.  This is paint on a canvas, but it looks like it's carved and painted wood. 

This Pollack painting is SO impressive in real life.  This is the one Dr. Marshall wanted to own.  Now I can see why!
  • Next we walk over to David Letterman's studios, have a quick bite at Ray's Pizza, say a prayer that 49 people wouldn't show up for the taping, then get in the standby line.  Unfortunatley, it is the last taping before a 2-week break and the weather is spectacular.  So we are out of luck.  Pretty much everyone with real tickets shows up.
  • Disappointed, we walk down to Time's Square and get in line for discounted Broadway tickets.  And this is where our realization comes that we'd be spending A LOT of time in line on this vacation.  After 90 minutes, we finally walk away with tickets to the American Idiot show, featuring Greenday's music.  
  • Meanwhile we see two fellows again that we had seen 8 hours earlier making out right in front of us at Rockefeller.  This time they were making out in Time's Square.  I had to take a picture just because really, what are the chances of seeing them twice?
Waaaay too much PDA.  Lucky for you, not right at the moment I snapped the picture.
  • We had a short amount of time to spare, so we take the subway down to our hotel, get checked in, change our clothes, and head back up to Time's Square for our show.
After our Broadway show
  • We enjoy the show!  It gets out relatively early (around 9:45) and since we are delirious with no sleep, we decide the night is still young.
  • We stop at world-famous Junior's for appetizers and their strawberry shortcake cheesecake.  Wow...  I mean what a brilliant invention to combine two of my favorite things. It is so fun to sit outside and eat and enjoy the lights and sounds of NYC.  Perhaps the best part is the waiter bringing us some extremely crunchy dill pickles and beets and coleslaw to try.  I loved pickles before NYC and now that I'm home I can't get my salivary glands to stop thinking about those pickles.
  • Once we are done, we head back to the hotel.  Lights out sometime after midnight.  I've never fallen asleep so quickly in all my life.  Talk about a rewarding all-nighter!


Emma said...

Sounds fun. Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip!

StrykerLOVE said...

nice - sounds better then our trip last month already probably because you don't have 3 kids walking behind you whining -"I'm tired, I'm hungry, I want to go home" NYC is all about people watching and walking I found out that kids don't really like either of those things!!

Myndi said...

At least you got to see American Idiot. Was it good? I cannot tell you the effect of reading about crunchy dill pickles had on my pregnant appetite. I'm going to have to go to the store to get some just to stop thinking about them now!

Krissy said...

FUN! So glad you had a good time!

R said...

Great blog; can't wait for more! And what a coincidence - I was just looking at a Junior's cheesecake cookbook today! Jealous to the max!

Jordan said...

Super jealous! Start saving your money to go to Aussie!!!

JLJ said...

I've never been to NY. I know, crazy. It's not that I'm not not interested, it just has never happened. But your descriptions were just about as good as being there myself. I also enjoyed your memories of Dr. Marshall. I loved that class too! I still have and listen to my 'classics for lovers' cds.