So I went to New York for the weekend. This is the second year in a row that I have spent Thanksgiving Weekend in NYC, and since it’s only the second Thanksgiving weekend of my life that I have spent in America, that’s 100% of my Thanksgiving weekends spend in NYC, Haha.
I had this crazy idea to catch the 11:59pm bus to New York on Thursday evening, after Thanksgiving dinner, as to ‘maximize’ time in New York – so instead of catching an 8am bus and arriving at midday, we arrived at 4am, and had a full day in NYC. Right? Sounded good (on the proviso that we got 4 hours sleep on the bus), but we caught the Megabus, which (unbeknownst to us before we boarded) has green lights that kind of remind me of the blue lights to stop drug injecting in public toilets (Australians will know what I’m talking about…) and made it impossible to sleep. I even went as far as taking the insane sounding suggestion of my favourite at home, and turned my hoodie around, so that the hood covered my face – making it slightly difficult to breathe, and a little bit darker, but still, nothing. I think I got maybe an hours sleep, if you could actually call squeezing your eyes tight and willing yourself to sleep, sleep.
So anyways, we arrived on a street corner in NYC at 4:19am. It was dark, coldish (about 4 degrees C), but being New York, there were people around. We were all pretty delirious, and found a deli and got some random breakfast (I got fruit, Maria got yoghurt and Christina got a turkey wrap… haha). We attempted some “Black Friday” shopping (which, in a way, is equivalent to the Boxing Day sales in Australia) but Old Navy was too crowded and it was too hard with our luggage, and in the end we decided to catch the subway to our hotel in Queens, where we arrived just before 6am.
At 6am, I had serious doubts that I was going to make it through the day. The way I was feeling, I actually had serious doubts that I would make it back into the city that day. I was SO exhausted that it wasn’t funny. We got to the hotel, and took full advantage of the couches in the hotel lobby, where we sat/lay for 45 minutes. The receptionist told us to help ourselves to the free continental breakfast, so we dragged ourselves down to the little breakfast room, watched some news, ate some free mini pastries and toast, used the bathroom, freshened up, and then about 8am finally decided that we had enough energy to traipse into the city.
One of the things I love about New York City is that is actually does “never sleep”, like its nickname says. No matter what time – whether it be 4am, 8am, 8pm or midnight – there is always something open, somewhere to eat, something going on. We’d already been awake for 24 hours, so it didn’t really feel like 8:30, but at one point while we were in the Levi’s store trying on jeans (they had 40% off everything, just until 10am) I looked at my watch and thought ‘How bizarre is this, trying on jeans at 8:30am!’
After killing time by doing some shopping, and having some much needed down time in a Starbucks, with hot chocolates, we headed to the Wicked lotto (haha, you were just waiting for it, weren’t you!!) and Maria won, and I was lucky enough to go with her. Amazingly, we managed to get the 2 centre seats in the front row. Maria had never seen Wicked before, so I was excited for her, and also excited to see a new Elphaba (Jackie Burns) and Glinda (Chandra Lee Schwartz).
The show was great, and it had been exactly 6 months since I last saw it in Adelaide. I was very (very, VERY) tired, and had to ply myself with jellybeans to sugar-rush myself awake, but really enjoyed it, and Maria thought it was great!
We met up with Christina afterwards, and decided to head back to the hotel – we were all SO tired, and also really hungry, so we stopped by a diner next to our hotel, ate omelettes, and then headed back to the hotel. Forrest Gump was on TV, and after showering and getting into bed, one by one everyone fell asleep and at 10:30 when I realized everyone else was asleep, I turned the TV off and joined them!
Saturday morning, after 10 hours of much needed sleep, I woke up, and decided to get everyone up so that they didn’t spend all day in bed. I had grand ideas of going to Broadway to get rush tickets for Sister Act, so we caught the subway in, and joined the pretty long line. We managed to get tickets, and then did a little more shopping before hitting up Book of Mormon lotto, where we failed to win (in a crowd of 400, I’m not surprised, but one of the girls I met at Wicked lotto in Australia was there, and she won!). We headed over to Wicked lotto, to meet up with Maria, and then decided to enter the Godspell lotto (which is next door to Wicked). We had seen it the night before, after we saw the Wicked mattinee, but were far too tired to even contemplate seeing an evening show, so skipped it. The great thing about Godspell is that the shows start half an hour later than the bigger shows like Wicked and Book of Mormon, so their lotto is half an hour later. There were a bunch of people there, and I was doubtful that we would win, but Christina won, and then a few tickets later I won, and then Maria won!! Maria didn’t really want to go, so Christina and I got tickets, and then we all headed to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for lunch. Unfortunately the service did not live up to what I received when I was last there in October 2010, and I wouldn’t be as inclined to recommend people go there after this visit.
Godspell was amazing, and I’m actually going to write another blog about it, because it was so good and I don’t want to gloss over it here! So stay tuned for that!
After Godspell Christina and I got some fruit salad for ‘dinner’, wandered around Times Square, walked down to Herald Square and then back up Broadway. We met up at the theatre for Sister Act, and went in. And that’s 3 hours of my life I’ll never get back. The performers were good, and they had great voices, but unfortunately my expectations after seeing the movies were a lot higher, even though I knew the songs would not be the same. There were only a couple of high energy songs, with a lot of slow, ‘boring’ songs sung by the Mother Superior, and after Wicked and Godspell, Sister Act had a high bar to reach, and unfortunately it failed to do that for me.
Saturday night was one of those nights that I will remember for a long time – overtiredness led to all sorts of funny, silly and not-so-funny jokes, that had us all giggling, laughing and cackling hysterically in our beds until 1:30am. Fun times.
Sunday morning it was hard to get out of bed, due to our late night, but we had to be checked out by 11am, and back at the hotel at 1:45pm to pick up our luggage and catch our bus, so we got up, got ready, went in and did some last minute shopping, went to Abercrombie, purely to get a photo with the shirtless models (haha), took a cab to Grand Central station to bring home a dozen bagels to my host mom, and then went back to the hotel. We checked out our second Aeropostale of the weekend (the official American uniform of our ‘group’ and got some (more) cheap hoodies – my favourite item of clothing!!
New York City is one of those places that I can keep going back to. I never imagined that I would be able to see 3 Broadway shows for under $100 in one weekend. Although we didn’t really venture out of the Times Square/Broadway area, other than to go back and forth between there and our hotel, I had a great weekend.
And then we caught the bus home. And that, my friends, will also have a blog entry of it’s own. “What?” you ask. “A blog entry about a bus ride? Are you crazy?”
Just you wait and see!