Wednesday, July 18, 2012
New York Part One
I flew to New York on July 11. Emily flew direct from Nashville and met me at LaGuardia. We checked into our hotel and immediately headed for the TKTS booth in Times Square. By then it was about 3:00 and I desperately needed food, so my first meal in NYC was at the Times Square Sbarro. However, we had dinner at a nice French place later. :) Most of the new shows were already sold out, so we got tickets to Chicago, which neither of us had seen on the stage. Em had assured me that New Yorkers don't dress up for the theater, and it's true. You see most everything there, style-wise. I've seen much fancier crowds at the Orpheum. The play was great - I liked it way better than the movie version! Some things just don't work as movies.
After Chicago we went back to Times Square so I could see it in its glory! It was as bright as day, and I was surprised to see that they leave the New Year's Eve ball and 2012 sign up all year. Apparently that started a few years ago.
Thursday was THE BEST DAY. We started off with a Central Park Bike Tour. They have several tours through the actual park, but I had signed us up for the City Tour, which goes downtown through the heart of the city. Our guide said it was ten miles, but it felt like a LOT more than ten miles! We saw Times Square (again), Herald Square, Madison Square, and Washington Square. And maybe Union Square? I'm not sure.
We rode onto the Brooklyn Bridge, then through Battery Park. We got a great view of the harbor and saw the sculpture that was saved from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. (We never made it to the memorial or the new tower, though.)
After returning our bikes, we were both exhausted and just had lunch at the first sandwich place we (literally) stumbled upon. Then we went back to the hotel to basically start over for the day. :)
Once recovered, we went to Rockefeller Center to check in for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon! Getting tickets was one of the first things I did after booking my flight - you can find info here. The tickets are free and fairly easy to get, although a lot of it is up to chance and scheduling. We went over early to get our line number, giving us a better chance of actually getting in. At 4:30, we lined up by numbers on the second floor of 30 Rock, and NBC pages led us in groups through security and put us in an elevator to the studio. Em and I were seated on the end of a short row (prime spots!). Once everyone was seated, a funny comedian/staff guy came out to warm up the crowd. Then they brought out The Roots (who played a whole mini-set) and Higgins (the announcer). Finally the show started and Jimmy was onstage!! He looks exactly the same in person as on TV - SUPER CUTE. ♥ (I've had a crush on him since 1998.)
The guests were Queen Latifah and Noah Wyle. I had forgotten that Queen and Jimmy were in a movie together a few years ago, but they clearly know each other well and had a blast. Noah Wyle mostly talked about his recent arrest at a political protest. :) The musical guest was a band I'd never heard of (Cloud Nothings).
I DVRed the show and just got around to watching it last night. At the end of the monologue Jimmy came into the audience to give someone a few rows ahead of us his cue cards, and you can see us clearly! This was the best shot I could get on pause. I took a picture of the TV. I'm a little embarrassed that due to my excitement, I was ACTUALLY FLAILING. Oh well, I can't be the first.
I knew from the internet that Jimmy would run up and down the aisles at the end, so I was ready with my hand out, and I got to give him five!! Overall, it was an awesome experience. Em had fun too.
After the show, we felt re-energized and headed down Fifth toward the Empire State Building. On the way we did some window shopping, saw the library, and had sandwiches at Potbelly (Em loved Potbelly when she lived in DC and misses it greatly). The line at the building wasn't too long, and we got to the top right after sunset. The light was perfect and the city looked so beautiful! Despite the number of people up there, it was pretty quiet and peaceful, everyone just enjoying the amazing view. I LOVED it.
It was an awesome ending to an awesome day. More to come!