Thursday, August 19, 2010

Miles' Birthday Trip - Part TWO, NYC

In all my travels to New York City, I have never once gone to a museum.  I always wanted to go to but there was always so much else to do AND being from the DC area, I'm so used to free museums that it has taken me awhile to warm up to the idea of having to pay for the privilege.  This was the trip I was determined to change this trend, and we chose the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  By the time we got ourselves up and moving and fed and into Manhattan it was already noon so we only had 90 minutes as we were meeting Katy at the St. James theatre at 1:30pm.  We were very specific in our desire to see the Picasso exhibit though, so 90 minutes was just enough time.  Needless to say there are rooms and rooms of other stuff there that we would both like to see, but at least we've made a start on NY museums.  The Picasso exhibit was lovely.  He had a huge body of work and worked for many many years, so there was a very broad variety of works to see.  I have to say that I liked his ink portraits of his "bar buddies" that he did when he was 18 better than any of his later works.  They were very detailed and small, about the size of a coaster, which means they would probably fit in my budget better as well.

After Picasso we found our way back to the front of the museum and hailed a taxi to take us to the St. James to meet Katy.  We were about to see Miles and Joseph's first ever Broadway Play!  We chose American Idiot which is based on the Greenday album of the same name.  It was a hard charging show that never slowed down.  We all really enjoyed it and we bought the soundtrack on our way out the door.  It starred John Gallagher Jr. who also starred in Spring Awakening, my all time favorite Broadway show.

It was about 3:45pm at this point and by now our donuts from the morning had worn off and we were all starving.  We had dinner plans for later but decided to grab a snack at Dallas BBQ.  My friend Nicole met us there and we had some yummy vittals.  Miles ordered the hot wings and we were all surprised when full wings came out, not just wing pieces.  It was a huge platter of food, but being a growing teenager he hoovered right through them and is still talking about how good they were.  We all enjoyed our food and catching up with Nicole and Katy.  Nicole had even brought Katy a floaty pen which is Katy's favorite thing!

Our next adventure was unexpected and delightful!  My dad's first cousin Carolyn moved from Miami to NYC many years ago and for the most part we had lost touch with her.  Recently she found me on Facebook and contacted me asking if I was interested in family tree information that she had collected over the years.  Of course I was interested!  I know lots about my mother's family, but very little about my father's so this was very welcome news.  I had met Carolyn at least one other time in my life, when I was five years old she was visiting my grandparents and she taught me to tie my shoes.  I thought she was SO cool.  I let Carolyn know that we were coming to New York and she asked if we would be interested in touring her husband Mitch's music studio.  Mitch is a music producer.  Of course we said YES!  So after our snack we called Carolyn and headed to the studio on 9th Avenue.  Mitch and Carolyn were absolutely adorable and we loved spending time with them.  They greeted us at the elevator outside the studio and welcomed us with open arms.  The walls of the studio were covered with photographs of the celebrities who had recorded there.  His studio has been there for many years.  The building is an Art Deco building from the '20's and the windows even open, which is so unusual in offices these days.  We sat in Mitch's office and enjoyed a view of the Hudson River.

Mitch and Carolyn had made reservations for all of us at their favorite restaurant just up the street, Ralph's.  We still had Nicole with us and though she attempted to back out as she felt it was a family thing, we convinced her to stay with us.  We had a lovely dinner at Ralph's, Joseph declared the fetticine alfredo as the best he'd ever had.  We shared a bottle of wine with our meal and then we all ordered desserts which got shared around the table.  Mitch snuck back to the bar and paid the check when we weren't paying attention, which was super sweet of him.  You would never have guessed that we had all just met, it really felt like we had known each other for years, we really were family.  When we finished eating we decided to walk a little and burn off some of those calories.  Carolyn told us that there was a free concert up the street at Lincoln Center so we headed up there.  Sure enough there was Caribbean music echoing from the buildings and a folks of every age dancing in the aisles!  We even saw a guy who was a dead ringer for Albert Einstein kicking up his heels!  I think the name of the band was Mazza Pucci, but don't hold me to that.

After the concert we asked Mitch and Carolyn if we could see their Manhattan apartment as I had always wanted to see one.  They have such a reputation for being shoe boxes and I wanted to see if the rumors were true.  I have to say that although their apartment was small, it was delightful.  I really loved it, it was plenty of room for two people and the location couldn't be beat!  We can't wait to hang out with Mitch and Carolyn again, we had such a good time!

We left the apartment and walked Katy back to her train and then Nicole and the rest of us walked over to the PATH station to head back to Jersey City.  As usual it was well after midnight before we got back to the rig.  Exhausted we fell into bed and didn't stir until 11am.  We called Nicole as she was interested in seeing this RV park in her town that she had never heard of before.  She walked down to where we were and hung out with us for a while.  She even drove the rig from our parking space to the dump station!  Then she directed us to a local diner that she had recently discovered and I had what may have been the best grilled ham and cheese ever!  We walked down to the waterfront to walk off our breakfast and then we said goodbye to Nicole and set off on the next part of our journey!

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