Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Bronx is up and the Battery's down...

...the people ride in a hole in the ground....
New York, New York! It's a wonderful town!

Sorry, but Gene Kelly always creeps into my brain when I think about New York City. (You know... "On the Town?" No? You haven't seen it? You weren't raised on movie musicals???)

Anyway... what a grand trip it was. Since my mom's only been there once, for a day, in 1983, I felt like we needed to do some of the typically touristy things. Empire State Building. Staten Island Ferry. Ground Zero (where I again welled up. what a dork). Cocktails in the Trump Bar in the Trump Tower. Window-shopping on Fifth Avenue. Times Square. Lincoln Center. The Time Warner Center. St. Patrick's Cathedral. Rockefeller Center... though after my mom said, "Is that it?" when we saw the big Christmas tree, I felt like we needed to swing by after dark one day, when it looks more impressive. Problem is, I chose to do that on Christmas Eve, when every other tourist in the five boroughs was there. It was the single biggest clusterfuck I've ever been in. And then we saw the crowd on Fifth Avenue. Holy crap. We managed to dodge that one, though.

Some of the other sites we saw:

We took the Yankee Stadium tour, which was very cool. This is the view from the press box. And I felt like a good daughter when my mom said she thought she'd never get to see Yankee Stadium in person.

I'll refrain from commenting on the jock straps we saw hanging in the Yankee locker room.

Central Park, Christmas Day. There were tons of people in the park that day, swarming the Wollman Rink and waiting in long lines for those horse-drawn carriage rides. Made me extra glad I'd skated on the OTHER rink in the park, the day before.

In fact, if you're not interested in celebrating Christmas, New York is the place to be. There was so much going on, so many businesses open, it felt like any other day of the year.

More Central Park. Me attempting to be arty with the camera. What a spectacular park. I ended up spending a lot of time there through the week.

When we rode the Staten Island Ferry, we noticed the Coast Guard escort. Check out those big guns on both ends of the boat. Do you think they provided an armed escort before 9/11?

We strolled across the Brooklyn Bridge on a gray day. So weird to be walking above all that traffic, but also a really cool walk.

My Mom's a big "Law and Order" fan so I insisted on making her pose in front of one of the many courthouses we passed on one long walk. She hates having her picture taken. Can you tell?

We also ran the gauntlet in Chinatown so I could buy more pashminas and knockoff purses (I have new bags from "Dolce and Gabbana" and "Prada"). At one point, I'd gotten so carried away with the pashminas that I had to stop and ask my mom to take inventory (she was being my sherpa) so I didn't end up with multiples in the same color. They're only 5 bucks! How can you not buy several??

We walked and walked and walked until our feet nearly fell off, but that's the thing about New York. You can just walk in any direction and see something interesting. I also think it's the first vacation I've taken in years during which I lost weight, because of all the walking and the countless subway stairs. It certainly wasn't for lack of eating or drinking...

I got a chance to eat in a couple of the New York restaurants that have gluten-free menus (as pointed out by the Gluten-Free Girl several months ago), and I can't tell you how great it was to have entire menus to choose from, without having to analyze and ask questions. I think it's interesting that NYC has several such places, and San Francisco, which is such a big foodie town, has none that I know of.

I even had PIZZA, made by someone else, for the first time in 2 1/2 years. AND BEER. Omigod, beer! Anheuser-Busch has just started making a gluten-free beer, and I sucked down three (yes, THREE... not four!) of them in one sitting. I also dragged my mom and friend John on a long walk to the Lower East Side to a bakery that makes gluten-free treats. Really good ones, that taste and feel homemade. So yummy. I bought a bunch of things hoping to make them last the rest of my trip and maybe even bring some home and I ALMOST left them on the airplane! The HORROR.

We found many fun pubs (and many cute bartenders) and one very odd theme bar on a rainy night in the Village. Yes, I had many cocktails but none better than the mojitos they make in a small Chilean restaurant in the theatre district called Pomaire. My friend Cindy found this place on our last trip to NYC (during which I ate there twice) and it didn't disappoint this time. Those mojitos are to die for. Oh, the food's really great too, and so is the atmosphere. Edited to add: I've been nudged to mention this amazing rum (liqueur, really) we had after dinner. It's this stuff called "43." I was first introduced to it at a party a few years ago, but have never seen it in a bar or restaurant, so that was reason enough to order it. It's soooooo damned good, all warm and vanilla-y and yummy. The walk back to the hotel was interesting, though, as I couldn't feel my feet. Which wasn't a bad thing at that point. But this is what happens when you have cocktails before dinner and mojitos and then some 43. Whee! Good times.

As I was driving across the Bay Bridge on my way home from the Oakland airport, for the first time ever, my lovely city actually looked small to me. It IS a pretty small city, and after six days in THE big city, it looked so quaint to me. How odd. Not that that's a bad thing. I'm just saying.

I still harbor fantasies about living in New York. For now, though, I'll just plan another trip. I think I'm going to take a long weekend in June, to celebrate my birthday, and take in a bunch of shows. I really do heart New York.

At 31 December, 2006 21:16, Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

oh goody. more purses.

and nothing dorky at all about welling up at Ground Zero. makes you human.

happy new years!


At 31 December, 2006 22:30, Blogger terry said...

yay, purses! i've even used both of my new bags since i've been home. so they were good purchases.

happy new year to you too, pirate.

At 01 January, 2007 06:20, Blogger The Savage said...

I'm glad you had a great trip.. I still don't believe New York City really exists but eh,... I don't believe Vegas really exists and I have been there...

Happy New Year, doll

At 01 January, 2007 08:15, Blogger SignGurl said...

Oh what fun you had! I'm so glad you got to enjoy all of that with your mom.

Happy New Year, Terry!

At 01 January, 2007 10:01, Blogger Jeannette said...

Thanks for the great story. How exciting that you got to order from a menu without having to think about every little tiny ingrediant. Joe would LOVE to do that. I read him your blog while his was making Pamela's Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix. Joe calls this celiac disease...silly ass disease.

Thanks also for the heads up on "43". We'll start looking for that ASAP.

What the heck is a pashminas? I now am a fan of those purses. They are BIG here in Texas.

At 01 January, 2007 10:42, Blogger terry said...

savage, it does seem a little unreal. and happy new year to you too!

signgurl, thank you... and happy new year!

jeannette... silly ass disease. that's perfect! it certainly feels silly when you have to explain to people why you're ordering a burger without the bun...but you still want fries. and it was SO freeing not to have to worry about those menus. very, very cool.

i think you'll like the 43. it's a little spicy but mostly warm and sweet.

pashminas are those long scarves/shawls made of wool and cashmere. i might have to post a few more pics, and maybe i'll add those...

At 01 January, 2007 14:14, Blogger JMai said...

New York, it's my kinda town. I don't know that Gene Kelly song but it is a freaky, fantastic place.

Want a yummy hint? Brew up a fresh pot of coffee and add a shot of Licor 43. Divine.

At 01 January, 2007 18:55, Blogger Blondie said...

It sounds like so much fun--and you did SO much! Wow. I probably would've needed a 3 day nap after a vacation like that. And purses--they are my vice. I LOVE PURSES. Yeah for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 01 January, 2007 20:23, Blogger terry said...

ooh, jmai, i'll bet the 43 is amazing in coffee. i need to go buy some of the stuff now...

blondie, i DO need a 3-day nap! i've pretty much spent the past two days on the couch. and i've become a purse freak too in recent chinatown is great fun for me!

At 02 January, 2007 08:35, Blogger Natalia said...

It makes me nostalgic and I start missing the city. I am so glad I got to live there when I did.

Thanks for the memories. And happy 2007!


At 02 January, 2007 14:56, Blogger cadbury_vw said...

i sure am glad you had a good time. i'll bet your mom's favourite picture becomes that courthouse one

it's always good to push people who hate pictures to take a few

i know that as i have gathered up the bits of my existence this year pictures are important to me

yay for the gluten-free restaurants and care-free eating!!! (i have become much more conscious of such things now that i am dating Smitten)

i look forward to seeing new york in detail myself some day

best wishes in the new year

At 02 January, 2007 16:15, Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

My husband went to NYC last spring and couldn't believe how much walking they did. He never walks that much at home. He'd drive to the fridge if he could fit the car into the house.

Happy New Year!

At 02 January, 2007 20:14, Blogger terry said...

nat, i'm envious. what an amazing city.

cad, that pic's more for me than for her, but you make an excellent point.

and yes, carefree eating is fun. and so... carefree!

heidi, it's funny... i do a fair amount of walking here... but not like in new york. i always forget that a new york city block is longer than most sf blocks... or at least, the blocks in my 'hood...!

At 02 January, 2007 20:24, Blogger the shrewness said...

im glad you had fun in my neck of the woods. i have some NYC stories to share too, but mine do not include purse and scarves shopping! :)

At 03 January, 2007 18:00, Blogger Laura said...

aaah that sounds too wonderful,
your mom is adorable by the way!
i want to go there for JUST the knock offs.
shopping addict much?


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