Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The rents in New York City

Somehow we managed to convince my dad to explore the big apple. This would not be such a big deal but for the fact that my mom packs in the fun and my dad likes to keep an even, relaxed pace. This dynamic is no easy task. Yet, we had such an amazing weekend. My mom's best friend since forever, second mom...was along for the ride as well.

They arrived from Oklahoma just after I got off work on Thursday. We went right home to Brooklyn to drop luggage and relax. For dinner, we decided to keep it local and headed up Dekalb to our neighborhood sports bar, Black Swan. I think it was a bit loud for our group, but the food was shockingly good! We usually just go there to watch sports and drink beer.

I took off work on Friday to spend the day with them. We had an awesome breakfast at another local spot - literally across the street from my apartment. After their usual cups of coffee, we set out to the city. First on our list was to check out the red staircase, see about some show tickets, and do a bit of tourist shopping. It was surprisingly fun to peruse the I<3NY gear! My dad also wanted to get an NYPD hat to bring home. He spoke to an officer on the street who told him to check at the precinct office. They told us they don't give out hats anymore, but we met an amazing cop who worked for almost 2 years at ground zero...picking up, protecting, and manning that hallowed ground. You could tell he was such a special soul and we were all really happy to have chatted with him for a few minutes about his experiences. A New Yorker through and through. He also recommended an absolutely spectacular place for us to lunch.

This is the cake we ordered for lunch dessert - that's a thing, right?

Next up we headed to see the Highline. Sonnie really loved it. It was nice to just cruise along and check out the views. Such beautiful architecture and fun urban artwork. A park in the sky - what a great idea.

Afterwards, momma had to pee so we "had" to buy sangria and beer to use the restroom ;)

We caught the sunset from the top of the Met that evening. There was an event going on with some really fun drinks too.

I read something recently about how much of a shame it is to see people in photos taking photos of the same photo. I couldn't disagree more. I love seeing other people in photos! Especially capturing the same view. I think it brings humanity and connection to a photo that would otherwise be of people keeping to their private conversations. Let's join together in our mutual love of iPhone pictures!
Afterwards, we took the bus uptown to see a comedy show and eat at a crazy Chinese/Mexican restaurant. Interesting, to say the least. The comedians were good though! And the show was free due to those fun people hanging out in Times Square. Give up 20-30 minutes to hear a pitch or see a ticket offer, and what do you know? Free tickets to something else and we didn't even buy anything.

On Saturday, we had tickets to see the 9/11 memorial. I am officially defining it as a must-see in New York. Very emotional. I hate to advertise something so horrible as what you should do when you visit an amazing place like New York City, but regardless - the tragedy is part of us now. It's important to understand it fully, and this museum gives every individual the opportunity to do that. Leaving the building, we all felt like we lived it.

For the future -- book tickets ahead of time, eat before you go, and make sure you have 3+ hours. It's really large and once you leave, they do not allow re-entry.

Afterwards, mom, Sonnie, and I headed over to see the Lion King. We picked up deli sandwiches on the way and scarfed them in the theater lobby. That always seems to happen here. Quick food saves the day. I don't know what they put in those damn deli sandwiches but they are always better than you think they'll be! That, and a black and white cookie - can't forget to feed the fam every famous dessert.

The Lion King....oh my donuts, it was incredible. One of my favorite plays ever, and I've seen quite a few in my 28 years. I always knew Disney did it right, but this was my first ever Disney play. Now, I want to buy tickets for Aladdin! We had such an amazing time. It brought me right back to the old days when I had season tickets to the Tulsa PAC every year. I loved those Saturdays at the Olive Garden, then on to the live performance. My family always appreciated the arts, I'm really thankful for that. For being a pretty shitty chain restaurant full of frozen ravioli, Olive Garden will always be my go-to for that dirty little secret dinner on my own. Maybe once a year, I sneak in there and eat way too many break sticks. And I won't hear one negative word about it!

Then we headed to the apartment for some relax time. Came back from the show to find my dad and boyfriend feet up watching TV, of course. We all ended up getting lazy and grabbing New York pizza from our local spot later in the evening. They enjoyed it I think and it was super nice to just hang out together. Our apartment is really much too small for this, but we made it work.

On Sunday we tried to visit the Brooklyn Flea...but we couldn't find it. Oh, New York - you never make it easy, do ya? From there we explored a bit and wandered. I took them to Strand, which is just my favorite, favorite. Plus we got to walk by the Flat Iron - my favorite building. I would love to live in that area. Mom and Sonnie had another play to see, so Dad, me, and the boyfriend tried to find a bar with the games on. That is no easy task in the city. Where are all the football fans?? Hiding out in Brooklyn I suppose. We ended up sitting at an oyster bar in the village for a while, not even ordering oysters. But I don't think the bartender minded. There weren't many people around. After that we went over to a rum house. My dad likes rum :)

Then dad and I got drunk. Oh, the good times. It was so great to catch up with him. We had a lot to talk about. 

I really love New York when the sun sets. On our way to dinner, walking through the theater district.

Once mom and Sonnie finished at their show, they met us to head over to Ellen's Stardust Diner. I friend told me about this place recently and I knew right away it would be perfection to take my family. The staff sings to you! It's like broadway and food put together. Our waitress was truly fantastic too. They did several numbers that we recognized from old plays, and new. Along with a few top 40's hits for the kids and non-theater lovers. Overall, we had an amazing experience. It's my new favorite thing to recommend to anyone visiting the city. 

In the morning I was horribly sad to see them go. Closing the cab door on my mom is never easy. In a perfect world, they would be where I am. I would just carry them around in my pocket, pull them out for a visit on Sundays, or a drive out to wine country. It's hard to be the independent traveler one. It's a common misconception that if you're that kind of kid, you don't love your parents as much as the ones who stay home. It's just not true. My parents support me and want me to live the life of my choosing. I am so so grateful for that.

And there they are! My goofy family. I really love these people. I can't wait to see them again - hopefully early next year. For now, I just keep them in my heart.
xo Ellie