Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New York City, Day 1 6/28/2008

As I reported earlier, this weekend the Berman siblings hit the New York City! We came from Upstate NY, Jersey and Virginia and met at Sofitel Hotel (oh the luxury: orchids in the lobby, super plush carpet, bathtub and shower in the room: the room was bigger than my apartment!). Anna and I shared a King-sized bed and Misha got a roll-away bed, which he thought was reason enough for him not to pay for the hotel. Right.

Oh, wait, I need to write about my first experience taking a bus to NYC: I never want to do it again! Yes, it's only $35 round trip, but it took 5.5 hours: that's like flying to Seattle direct! They showed Ike & Tina Turner movie, then played some music, and stopped twice for food/bathroom breaks, but it was exhausting! And I could not really read, or pay attention to anything. By the time I got off the bus, all I wanted was to hop in a cab and be at the hotel 2 hours ago!

By the time I got to the hotel it was 2:30 and we decided to head out in search of Ray's pizza: something Misha wanted to do. But it was very tempting to just stay in the hotel and lay in the bed and watch TV. We found Ray's Pizza, had our little lunch there and waited for the rain to stop (warning: there will be quite a bit of talk about rain in this post!!!).

We then walked toward Central Park, stopping in a few fancy men's stores because Misha was looking for a shirt, but at $75/shirt, decided not to buy. Central Park was lovely as always: green, filled with people and ice-cream vendors: of course I had to have one (after all, we were burning a lot of calories by walking).

this is a picture of me and Misha in Central Park

On the way back to the hotel we found these funny statues/sculptures of Hello Kitty: and for some reason they were crying (fountain!?)

After changing, we headed out to meet Jenny and Chris for dinner at Pia Maya. When we got out of the Subway, we were hit by the rain! Of course Misha did not have an umbrella, but even with an umbrella, Anna and I were soaked. And I know sometimes I exaggerate, but I really mean soaked. The lining of my pants was sticking to me and my top was soaked, and Misha's T-shirt looked like he just washed it in a sink and then put it on without drying it.

But most of the worries were forgotten because it was great seeing Jenny and Chris again and the food was good too: Mexican!

After dinner, Anna, Misha and I headed to Blue Note jazz club. The place reminded me of DC Improv because you are sitting at communal tables with strangers, get your drinks/food and then enjoy the entertainment. We were sitting next to 3 Israelis (LOVE listening to Hebrew), who kept us entertained the entire night. Unfortunately, they were gay. Oh well.

I did not really feel like drinking, and ordered creme brulee, but they were out. Sigh. Instead I had a flourless chocolate cake: pretty darn good, and shared half with Misha. Anna was drinking wine. The jazz was fun, but I was ready to go after 30 minutes (obviously I stayed the entire time). I need to say, though, that the musicians were incredibly talented and clearly enjoyed what they were doing. There was also a woman singer and she reminded me of when I was little and pretended to sing in a made up language :)

After the Jazz, we walked from 3rd street all the way to our hotel on 44th street! We stopped by at an ethnic/organic store and I bought a jar of tahini. Also stopped at a few street vendors to get food :) Love NYC! We also passed by these cool windows of Macy's department store.

Back to the hotel. Sleep!

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