Chris and I spent truly fun weekend in NYC. This was our first vacation as a couple since our own honeymoon two years ago (minus the trips we’ve made to other people’s weddings, but those aren’t really vacations when you are in the wedding party).
We took the train, something I’ve never done before, and arrived at 2AM Saturday morning. I always forget that 2AM in NYC on a Friday night is not considered late, and we crawled out of Penn Station onto a sidewalk packed with people and shuffled our way to our hotel. I don’t think I’ve been that tired in a long time, and it is cementing the fact that I am an adult now who usually goes to bed at 10. I feel so damn lame. I chose our hotel for its proximity to the station, and it being relatively centrally located off of 35th between 8th and 9th. The hotel was nice, the bed was comfortable, and it was quiet. I think we spent a grand total of 18 hours in our room, just long enough to sleep for a few hours and get up to get going again.
And go we did. We walked 27 miles this weekend. I think my FitBit thought it had been stolen. There was a mild uptick of an eyebrow as it displayed the words “Wow, that’s a lot of green”. In my head it sounded a little suspicious, like there was an undertone of “Did you sell me or something? You normally don’t walk this much in a few weeks, much less a few days.”
Our friend Steve and his dad, Bob, are both New York City tour guides and graciously offered to show us their city. It is always a good time hanging out with him and his dad, and both are bottomless pits of cool facts and knowledge about NYC. We got to tour the grounds, Church, and Catacombs beneath St. Patrick’s Cathedral in more detail than most people would get (this included getting to peak into the ancient organ in the church which is absolutely breathtaking). Our tour guide, Tommy, was one of Steve’s friends and really does a great tour (If you’re in NYC I highly recommend checking this out. Tommy is a great guy and incredibly knowledgeable: Saint Patrick’s Catacomb Tour) . After our St. Patick’s tour Steve abandoned us to go to work, so we got to hang out and walk with Bob. This was an awesome time, and he took us absolutely EVERYWHERE. Bob is nearing 70, and has a fact bank that can only belong to someone that has lived in and loved NYC for most of their life. Every building, bridge, mural, sculpture, and street has a whole story and history when you walk with Bob, and each is fascinating. I love just listening to him talk.
When Bob was tired he dropped us back off with Steve in Times Square so we could go on a Night Bus Tour with the company Steve works for (Big Bus). Surprise, Surprise, our guide for the night was Tommy! His bus tour is just as awesome as his walking tour, and he pointed out little things all over the city, and especially the “Little ____” streets from Little Tokyo to Little Italy and everything in between. The we drove over the bridge so we could get some awesome shots of the skyline at night. I will absolutely do this again when we go back to the city, because the pictures I go were absolutely amazing.
Sunday we spent the morning by ourselves just kind of wandering the city, checking out some of the cool Japanese books stores, hitting Nintendo, and just generally wandering. We had to get back to the hotel to shower and change in time to get to “Kinky Boots”. This show was the entire reason for this trip. Chris promised to take me for my Birthday (Way back in April) as Brandon Urie (Panic! at the Disco) was headlining until August 6th. I unashamedly adore Panic at the Disco, and seeing him perform is always a treat. It was well worth every penny we paid for our tickets. Brandon and J. Harrison Ghee (In his debut as Lola) were stunning together. The music was good, the costume and set design were stunning, and the show was beautifully written. I think I’ve hooked Chris on Broadway. YAY!
After the show I went on a hunt for flip flops in Times Square. I wore adorable shoes to the show (Think chunky 90’s heeled sandals), but in walking 5 blocks they promptly shredded my feet. Prime Directive was to find some damn shoes so we could enjoy dinner and wander back to the hotel before heading back out with Steve that night to go for drinks. Can I just say that H&M makes incredibly SHITTY sandals? So damn bad. They were barely more comfortable than the damn shoes I wanted to get out of so desperately, but I bought them anyway. Dinner was worth the pain and we hobbled back to the hotel. Now, let me say I am the most unfashionable person on the face of this planet. I just don’t particularly care most of the time, but even I know that wearing sneakers with a pretty skirt is generally not a good look. And I just gave exactly zero shits. We were gonna be walking, and damn it, I wanted to do it comfortably.
Cause we did walk y’all, we walked that night until 230AM when the bar closed. Our buddy introduced us to an incredibly fun NYC past time…..speakeasies. Yes, like the 1920’s relics, there are still a bunch of cool hidden bars in NYC. We got tricked into the first one with our buddy Steve having just got off work he said he was starving and wanted food so he drug us across the city to a Five Guys. Hey man, I’m not the type of girl to deny a guy that had just spent 8.5 hours managing one of the busiest tour companies many buses a meal of delicious Five Guys. I love Five Guys, but come on, I could get that at home. He ate with a huge grin on his face before standing up, throwing out his trash, and telling us to follow him. We did (he could have led us anywhere and we would have gone). He walked past the counter took a sharp turn, and up a flight of stairs. Hot damn, there’s a bar above the Five Guys. A really really nice bar. There are no signs for this place, it’s tiny, and has some of the best drinks I’ve ever had. The bartenders were a treat to watch and we spent a good hour hanging out before Steve ushered us out the door, down the stairs and back onto the street. Annnnnnd we were back to walking.
He was wandering purposefully to Crif’s Hotdogs (which are delicious) and another speakeasy. It was full, so I can’t tell you what it looked like, but with a little googlefoo you can check this place out for yourself. We spent a hot second nomming on Hot Dogs and trying to figure out where to go next. I pointed out that we had passed a BarCade a few blocks up, and that was my vote. It turned out to be a great call. They had a great collection of vintage Arcade Cabinets, including a dual Speed Racer machine, and the drinks were cheap and delicious. We played until they turned off the lights and kicked us out. A great evening. Then we walked back to the hotel, clocking in our 24th mile for the weekend.
Sunday we spent wandering, mostly down to the World Trade Center memorial. It’s lovely, serene, and a fitting tribute to a truly hellish day in our history. I do highly recommend heading into the Oculus near the WTC, just for its stunning architecture. From there we picked up our bags, grabbed lunch and hopped on the train to go home.