August 23, 2013

NYC: part I

I went on a quick trip to New York City this week to see a show.  

I'm sure you want to hear all about it, right?  

Well, here you go.  

Part #1:

On this trip to the city, we (my roommate and I) took a chance and decided to take the bus.  It was $30 roundtrip.  You can't even pay all the tolls with $30, not to mention gas and parking.  Needless to say, it was a good choice.  3.5 hours and we were through the Lincoln Tunnel and in the heart of the city.  Awesome.  

There were a few things I wanted to do in the city on this trip.  One of them happened about 2 seconds after I stepped off the bus steps.  Literally.  Two seconds.  

I've been reading Love, Taza for years now.  It's one of my all time favorite blogs.  I knew that the chances were pretty much .07% of me seeing her in the city.  However, I looked up from stepping off the bus and saw her zipping by me, pushing her two adorable kids in the stroller.  I instantly recognized them and kinda freaked out a bit.  She was walking quickly through the mass of people, but I did about 3 double takes and knew without a doubt it was them.  
If I wasn't so surprised, maybe I would have had the guts to say hi.  But what do you say to someone that has no idea who you are, but you follow their blog and know lots about them?  Do you call their children by name or is that creepy?  Is it okay to ask them for a photo because you feel like you are meeting a celebrity? Is that weird?  Oh, well.  I didn't have time to settle all these things in my head before they were across the busy street and we were headed in the opposite direction.  I took it as a sign that this was going to be a great trip full of epic moments.  
It was.

On this trip, I used the HopStop app constantly.  It's kinda like Google Maps.  You put in the address of where you are (or where you want to start) and then the address (or place) where you want to end up.  Then you can use a bunch of different options to get there like walking, cab, subway/rail, bus, etc.  It also gives you the smartest route if you want to use it.  We used it to find out how long it would take us to walk and then about how much it would cost to take the subway. Good maps and easy to follow.  Really liked it.  It's available for lots of cities too.

We decided to pick up the tickets for the show we were going to see while we were relatively close to the theater district.  Plus, it was nice to walk after being on the bus for hours.  

**Side note:  we only took backpacks since we were only there for one night.  Perfect decision.  No luggage to cart around the city.

(my roommate said I had to have a photo next to the crazy large photo of Zachary Levi that was at the theater)

The theater was easy to find and we got our tickets and realized that the show started an hour than we thought it was going to.  Epic moment #2.  If we had waited and picked up our tickets later, we could have missed the show.  I don't even want to think about it.  But instead, God was smiling on us and epic moments just kept coming. 

After tucking the tickets away for safe keeping, we headed out to find our hotel.  It was a longer walk that we knew we would do later, but at the moment, it was nice to stretch our legs and see the city.  
We stayed stayed at the Pod 51 Hotel.  Really liked it.  One of my favorites that I've ever stayed at in the city.  It had personality and wasn't cold and institutional like most budget hotels.  Our room had a bunk bed with a sink. We chose a room with a shared bathroom, which meant we used the bathrooms in the hallway.  In our room, there was a sign with a light next to each numbered bathroom.  When that room was in use, we could see the light illuminated.  Super easy.  And the bathrooms were ridiculously clean.  Each bath"room" had a toilet, shower (with rain shower head!) and sink.  Small, but manageable.  And after our tiny cottage bathroom, it felt normal to us.  No big deal at all.  I would do it again. 

There was also an adorable little lobby area with a bar/restaurant.  The furniture was modern style with bright colors and metals and wood.  Charming and inviting.  There was a long table with a strip down the center with outlets running along it.  Perfect for charging phones and computers.  We used it a few times and got drinks too.  We also played a game of backgammon since there were several board games out for guests to use.  
There was also a rooftop terrace, which we checked out, but didn't use during the day because it was too hot while we were there.  I do wish it was open later than 10pm because it would have been a beautiful view of the city at night.  
The only complaint I had was that our room was on the hallway (thank you, which meant it was noisy at night.  Bathroom doors, room doors and elevator door slamming all night.  The door to our room wasn't soundproof at all.  If I stayed there again, I would request a room down the hallway away from the bustle of the everyone.  Other than that, it was a fantastic deal in a clean, fun hotel.  And it was 4 blocks of Rockefeller.  Score. 

One of the partners for the show we were seeing was Uber.  They are a car service.  If you signed up for them for the first time and used a code they have, you could get a free ride (up to $20) to the theater.  We took advantage of that and got a ride in a fancy black car all the way to the theater that evening for free!  The only draw back was that the traffic was bad and it took our car about 30 minutes to get to us.  That meant we had to change our dinner plans and just grab something quick to eat before the show began.  But it was nice to ride in style and step out of a quintessential New York black car at a Broadway show.  For free.  

Next: Part II - The Show....

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