Realizing that we are soon to become parents, Matt and I decided to take a little vacation.  We tossed around several locations and finally settled on New York City.  The flights were surprisingly reasonable.  I have always wanted to visit New York.  I’m a city girl, so I imagined that I would love it.  I was right.

On my birthday, we flew to New York.  We had lunch and frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity and spent some time exploring Fifth Avenue and Times Square.  We saw La Cage aux Folles that evening.  Our seats were fantastic.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a live show so close (and it was Broadway!).  Douglas Hodge, who plays Albin in the production, was absolutely wonderful, completely energetic, over-the-top, and still very endearing.  The next morning we visited the Museum of Natural History and Felini’s Basement (fantastic bargains).  The TKTS line was quite long that day, so we opted to just pick a show and buy tickets from the box office.  We ended up seeing The Addams Family.  It was a much larger theater, and our seats weren’t nearly as good.  The show was still entertaining.  I was most impressed by the visuals.  I also loved Kevin Chamberlain (dear Uncle Fester).  The following morning, we hit all the major tourist attractions.  We got up early to miss the lines at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  We had lunch at a cafe in Little Italy and wandered the streets through Chinatown and Soho.  In the afternoon, we visited the Museum of Modern Art and saw a Matisse Exhibit.  MoMA is very cool, and I enjoyed several of the exhibitions there.  In the afternoon, we met my cousin, LaRae, who I haven’t seen since I was about 15 years old.  We met up with her, her husband Wade, and her son Gage in Central Park.  It was so nice to catch up with her.  We finished the day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I loved the bamboo garden on the roof which overlooks Central Park.  LaRae recommended we eat at La Trottoria for dinner which turned out to be amazing.  On our last day, we spent the morning shopping around Rockefeller Center.  We took the subway to Rucker Park in Harlem for the World Basketball Festival.  We watched the French team scrimmage in preparation for the real game against the United States at Madison Square Garden.  Afterwards, we walked through Central Park to the Guggenheim.  The Guggenheim was my absolute favorite of the museums.  It is an architectural wonder to start with, but I loved the exhibits.  My favorite was a group of paintings by an Ethiopian woman.  Matt enjoyed the Kandinsky.  After dinner, we went up the Empire State Building to enjoy the lights at night.

All in all, I loved New York.  I love the busy-ness of it, the creativity.  We seemed to walk past street performers or musicians practically everywhere we went.  I love being able to walk anywhere I want to go.  I love having Whole Foods just down the street.  I love that in one day I can have dim sum, gnocchi, and a hot dog if I wish.  I love hearing all sorts of languages all around me.  I admit that the practicality of living in Manhattan is lacking.  I can hardly imagine climbing on and off the subway with groceries and a baby, and everything is so much more expensive.  Still, I do love it, and I would love to visit again.

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