Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NYC :: part ii

Wait wait wait wait wait!  Before you go to close this from the startling (and very legitimate) fear of being overwhelmed with more pictures than your brain can handle--let me promise you, this second part of the trip/my postings on it are not quite as let-me-throw-everything-in-your-face and much more here-let's-take-a-break-and-relax.  Promise.

So I mentioned in the first part of little series about our New York City trip that there was literally a Starbucks on every corner.  There was.  It was fabulous.  Our first day there we stopped mid-morning after walking in the completely wrong direction and having to turn around.  We felt like we needed a refresher.

This was some of our only chill time, and it was definitely one of the best parts of the trip.  We just talked and laughed and tweeted and snapped photos and sipped our coffee and felt so cool that we were in a Starbucks in New York.

Our second day there couldn't be without Starbucks, of course, but we didn't get it until the end of the day.  Right before heading to--can you guess?--Newsies.  (Don't ask.  I'm having a hard enough time not talking about this yet.  It's coming; be patient.)

So anyway.  The official start of day number two.  We got up bright and early once again, and set off to catch a ride on the Stanton Island ferry.  There is of course a ferry to/around Ellis Island, but it was expensive and since the Stanton one was close and free, that is what we opted for.

After my battery dying on me the day before, I was much more careful to preserve it during the day.  However, on the ferry I was taking photos and all of a sudden Bert told me that my memory card is full.  Oh no.  Cue mini-spazz-out moment for Jenn, after which I went through and deleted unneeded photos and everything ended up just fine, thank goodness.

I made Caitlin my model for more interesting detail shots, and we spied the Brooklyn Bridge.  We didn't land at all--just rode there and straight back.  I made sure to sing "NYC" from the musical Annie while in NYC--bucket list item and all, you know.

Even though we didn't take the Ellis Island ferry, we rode right by, and thus we got to see the Statue of Liberty.  It looked...small.  But it was so cool to actually be there and see in person such a trademark of our country.

Straight off the ferry, we attempted to navigate the subway (this was always fun and exciting since we were never quite sure if we were right).  We landed successfully in Chinatown.  Guys, I love Chinatown.  I've been to several other Chinatowns...well, at least the one in Chicago, and I didn't like it at all.  I can only take so much of it.  But I loved New York's Chinatown.  It was so bustling and bright and full of people calling out, "For you, beautiful girl, I will give you special price!"  Special prices for things that were already so wonderfully cheap.  (I'm stingy, if you couldn't tell.)

All four of us loved it and could have stayed there for hours, perusing through the little shops and stands.  I got myself a beautiful pocketwatch necklace (something I've been wanting for ages, but it's never as cheap as in Chinatown!) and Cass and I bought a few little things for our siblings.  And of course we got Chinese food--we went to a few different places and split meals.  Wontons and dumplings, baby.

We hung out in Chinatown for the better part of the day.  We got to sit for awhile and watch a soccer game going on, and we briefly walked through Little Italy, which was darling but...expensive.

Our friend Marilee, who we stayed with in the city, recommended that we go to this bookstore called Strand, home to 18 miles of books.  So we stopped in and wondered around.  It was beautiful.

Cassie and Caitlin stayed a good while looking at books in French.  I just searched for anything with a pretty cover, of course.  I found most beautiful old little French novel and wanted to snatch it right up, but contented myself with smelling the old books and taking pictures and buying moleskines.

After that we headed to the Nederlander Theatre, where Newsies was playing so crazy soon (also, we walked right by the Majestic Theatre where Phantom of the Opera was playing--aahh!).  You see, Cassie and I have loved Newsies from ages past, but Caitlin and Chris (poor them), were not longtime die-hard fans like us, and they didn't want to spend the money.  However, two hours before the show, the remaining tickets are raffled off for much cheaper than you could buy them otherwise, in order to just get rid of them.  We all went and entered our names, and mine was called, so I (while being incredibly excited that they'd get to see it with us) went and claimed tickets for Chris and Caitlin.  We were so happy it worked out.

After we got their tickets, we had a little time to kill, so we hit up another Starbucks.  I had a massive headache at that point and really just wanted to get back to Marilee's apartment so we could change and I could get painkiller.  Which we did, and my headache was (oh so thankfully) gone during the show.  (Also--told you we did a lot of crazy picture-snapping.)

We changed and were running a wee bit late, so we took a taxi (!) to the theatre.  And we were on Broadway.  Broadway!  This was such a major bucket-list-fulfilling night.  I was excited beyond words.  You all know what a musical theatre nut I am.  I was ecstatic.

So we got there, and stood in line to be seated, and sat down (all of us were spread throughout the theatre, not next to each other...that's just how it worked), and watched in raptures, and met up excitedly at intermission, and sat down again, and watched in raptures again, and met up at the end again, and I for one was very, very happy.

I don't know if you've seen Newsies, but here's the thing.  It's an old musical that stars a teenage Christian Bale and a bunch of nobodies, and it was a huge flop when it came out.  I have always loved it, and have been saying for years that they need to put it on Broadway.  When they adapted a stage version last year and it made it to Broadway this spring, my life was made.  It was like a dream come true.  I feel like I had waited my whole life for this to happen.  Thus why I just had to get to New York to see it.

It was beautiful, hearing those songs I've loved sung well (because let's face it--though I love the movie, no one was very musically talented), and the dancing and everything was just so much fun!  There were cheesy moments, there were things changed and added, but I loved it.  Absolutely.

And afterwards.  The whole cast came out and signed our playbills!  Oh my word.  We tried not to fangirl too much.  Crutchie, or Andrew Keenan-Bolger (this first photo below), was just adorable--I've watched so many of his cast video blogs, and Cassie and I got to tell him so.  And.  AND.  The three of us girls got a photo with Jeremy Jordan--the lead in the show who plays Jack!  It was such an exciting night, you have no idea.

Afterwards we went to Chipotle, and gaped over what a bucket-list-fulfilling night it had been.  Seeing a show on Broadway?  Newsies?  An original cast?  Going to NYC at all?  Yeah.  I feel so blessed.

And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.  We went back to the apartment, exhausted and so happy, got up bright and early the next morning, drove the long way home (but oh, these people are the best to roadtrip with), and hung out telling stories and remembering our favorite moments.  It was so short when it comes down to it--so crazy and intense--but it was so wonderful too.  Such an insane and incredible weekend that I'll never forget.