I Love New York City Weekends!
Mom and I decided to meet in New York City for Easter this year. I go to NYC often, but rarely do the momsy tourist things. I took the skeevy Chinatown bus up ($20 roundtrip). Its true; its loud, kind of creepy, can be smelly, but so is Greyhound. The train takes longer, and Amtrak ranges from $112 to $250 roundtrip (I could fly to California for that!) The Chinatown bus is the lesser of the evils. And it drops you off on the Lower East Side, rather than Times Square/Port Authority. Sometimes it picks up people in random parking lots in Jersey, which is kind of creepy, but I like to pretend its "adventurous." My mom found a cheap room ($175/night) at the hotel chain La Quinta through her travel agent. Its on 32nd between 5th and 6th avenues, not my favorite area, but close to Penn Station where my mother was coming in. The room was average, although I'm convinced its haunted. And the A/C wasn't on yet. Its in Little Korea, so there are alot of neat Asian bakeries and cafes nearby. Just don't try the "sweet potato" cake. It tasted like heavy cream. La Quinta does have a giant plus- a really cute roofdeck bar with a great view of The Empire State Building and the best French Martinis (and a steal at $8/each) I've ever had!
I've always wanted to take a boat tour around Manhattan, and of course it rains the day I finally do. We booked our tickets online at www.nywaterway.com and saved $5 ($20/person online as opposed to $25 in) The tour lasts 90 minutes, which is a little long, and includes free tea/coffee/hot chocolate, but there isn't any food available for purchase. They also ask for a tip at the end, which I found kind of odd.
The views were really great, informative history, and they take you close to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Its sad and interesting to see the empty space in the skyline where the World Trade Towers once stood. After the tour, which lets off at 38th St and 12 Ave, we walked over to Spice (199 8th Ave, New York 10011Btwn 19th & 20th St ) for their cheap lunch. For around $7 you get a free appetizer (shrimp fritters, dumplings, various salads) and a Thai entree (pad thai, garlic sautee, basil sautee) with chicken, beef or tofu. Fast service and delicious.
Broadway shows have never really appealed to me, but I read that Alan Cumming and Cyndi Lauper were starring in Threepenny Opera, so I had to check it out. Luckily, it was in previews which are cheaper, so we got tickets for $55. The seats were far up, but it was at Studio 54 which isn't very big anyway. And now, I am in love with Alan Cumming. Sigh.
I love New York for the architecture (which is free by the way!) I showed my mom the Chelsea Hotel, which she hadn't heard of until I name dropped The Sex Pistols.I found a not so apparent Neckface tag. I even found a Calder "stabile" and some great examples of Art Noveau. We stopped infront of the library and over to the back of the famous St. Patrick's Cathedral on 5th Avenue. (the 6th Avenue side intriques me with its contrast to the more modern sky scrapers.) Then I investigated the New York I love- the creepy artsy New York. I found this bizarre house in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The guy has bottles of prune juice with the labels torn off "decorating" his lawn- probably 30-40 bottles. And lots of odd dog pictures and dog food. Nearby I found the BEST garbage ever- someone had spray painted a pair of winter moon boots then THREW THEM OUT! That should be my next tip- spray painting winter boots into fabulousnessYou already know how I love New York, but what I love about it is really true for all ages. just wandering around, coffee in hand, taking in the street art, architecture, the history...there's nothing like it.