Living in the Big Apple

I have dreaded writing about our final day in New York, partly because this last post represents closure... the real end of that magical trip... and partly because I've had a hard time even putting into words just how much I love that city. But, since it's been almost two weeks since spring break started, I guess I'll just power through and try. Here goes...

On Thursday, we left the hotel not long after Blake and Brook checked out and rode back to La Guardia for their flight home. I must admit to feeling a bit bereft without them (and looked over my shoulder for the first two hours we were out, forgetting every time that Brook was not back there.) But it was nice to have an extra day (obviously... no complaints!) and we headed straight for Brooklyn (which turned out to be Jonathan's favorite borough, actually.) Our first stop was (of course, choir nerds) The Brooklyn Tabernacle, which wasn't quite as imposing as I had expected but still cool to walk into... we didn't get to peek in the sanctuary, though, because there was a recording going on! Pretty cool! 

The closest I'll ever come to recording with Brooklyn Tab... =)

We both enjoyed Brooklyn... the area we were in (around Barclay Center, where the Nets play) was nice and clean and not nearly as crowded as many of the other areas, which was a nice change. Jonathan loved seeing Barclay Center and shopping (okay, fine... I loved shopping) and we had a pretty leisurely afternoon.

I really, really, really (x100) wanted to go back to Newsies and we did find tickets but they were a bit more expensive than even my selfish little heart could justify, so I decided to be a good wife asked Jonathan what he wanted to do and he promptly replied, "Well, the Yankees are in town..."

So, off to Yankee Stadium we went! (This was after a long and arduous mixup with our hotel that involved having to switch to one several blocks away and a cab ride where the driver was listening to a radio show that made a man admit to cheating on his wife on the air while she- and apparently everyone else- listened in and our cabbie turned around to see our reactions multiple times while laughing hysterically. That was a treat.) 

Anyway, my twelve-year-old self would have been SO stoked about this (and, let's be honest.... my 25-year-old self was pretty excited too.) I've always been a huge baseball fan and obviously the New York Yankees are classic baseball. So, my excitement was no surprise... HOWEVER, I was not prepared for the kid-in-a-candy-store, euphoric joy of my husband, who all but skipped into the park. (Not really, but he was super pumped.) He wasn't just excited either, he went full-out Yankee fan on me. He refused to let me laugh at him though, and just kept replying, "It's ICONIC!" every time I questioned why we, as Braves fans, needed a souvenir Yankees mug full of hot chocolate. (Well, the hot chocolate was because it was FREEZING.)

Ready to move to Brooklyn and be a Nets fan...

Go Yanks! (If my dad were dead, he'd be rolling over in his grave.)

If there's one thing I miss about living in California (other than Jamba) is garlic fries. And lo and behold, there they were... my first in nine years! Such is the magic of Yankees Stadium, I guess.

That souvenir cup he just HAD to have =)

So, we wandered around the stadium, checked out a bunch of cool exhibits, ate our (heavenly) food, and even got to watch Derek Jeter bat (now that IS iconic, and pretty cool since it's his last season.) We left the game early, partly because we had such a horrifically early flight the next morning and also because the Yankees were getting PASTED by the Angels, but still. We really wanted to go back to Times Square for one last hurrah but it would have added so much more time that we headed back to the hotel like the geriatric tourists we are. (Plus to have put myself back in the same vicinity as the Nederlander would have simply depressed me far too much.)

So, we made it back to the hotel, slept for about four hours, and got back up at a terribly ungodly hour to catch our flight home.

One more Jamba in the Atlanta airport...

It seems like this was kind of an anti-climactic ending for this series of posts, but like I said, I just don't want it to be over. And when I say that I want to live in New York City, I'm dead serious. (Someday... someday!) Since I was a little girl, my family has lived in or near big cities (Seattle, San Jose, San Francisco, and Atlanta) and I've always loved the hustle and bustle (corny phrase, I know) of city life. 

There is so much about New York that I love... the giant buildings, the clash of cultures on every corner (I'm a slave to alliteration), the sheer volume of food choices (seriously, I'm pretty sure I could live in NYC and do nothing but try new restaurants) and the mass of humanity no matter where you go or how late it is. And talk about endless fashion inspiration...granted, some of it is completely terrifying (like the girl I saw in H&M who literally had on just a shirt, not a tunic... no shorts, no skirt, no pants...) but the best of New York style, to me, is that trench coat, heels, sweet-looking bag (Kate Spade?), and a scarf. Those New Yorkers love their scarves (they should... the wind is freezing.) When I'm dreaming, I see myself scurrying through Grand Central Station with a leather tote and a coffee and a hat that I toss into the air Mary Tyler Moore-style. Or I'll finally be a famous writer, bundled up and perched on a bench in Central Park to write as I glean endless inspiration from the gazillions of passers-by. OR I'll just have some minimum-wage job and spend every dime of it on Broadway tickets... but let's not get crazy. 

It's not that I'm discontented with my small-town life (small town mall? Definite discontent.) But then I watch You've Got Mail (or something similar) and I just want an apartment in Manhattan where I can walk to work and buy flowers from the corner market on the way home and sit and read at Starbucks and see a butterfly in the subway and own a charming shop passed down from my mother (okay... obviously I'm hung up on Kathleen Kelly.) But really, to live in a carefully neutral wardrobe entirely from Gap and walk around with, "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City" as the soundtrack of my life... ah. It's a nice dream, anyway.

I can't really describe why I love this place so much. Other people are like, "the germs! the crime! the corruption!" and I'm like, "Um, there's a million great things about this place, starting with the fact that there's a chance I'll run into Jim Caviezel and the cast of Person of Interest." Sold! 

My scarf from Chinatown and TWO Yankees cups... am I a New Yorker yet? (Probably not... too many pastels and not enough black. I'll work on it.)

Sung in Frank Sinatra's voice and with a big-band ending:

These little town blues, are melting away
I'm gonna make a brand new start of it, in old New York 
If I can make it there, I'm gonna make it anywhere 
It's up to you, New York, New York! 

My heart skips a beat at the idea of riding a subway full of strangers (weird? oh well) and I want to experience the thrill of finding an establishment with both a non-terrifying restroom AND an open electrical outlet, or the agony of losing a MetroCard that cost a small fortune (okay, not really) and I want be moved to tears by a Disney musical (well, that's my life, regardless), so my quest to live in the Big Apple starts now. (Or, you can just give me money to go back to Newsies and I'll probably get it all out of my system. Maybe. Probably not.)

Ah, New York City. I'm coming for you.

"For sure? For sure." (That's a Newsies reference that you'll only understand once we see the show together. You'll love it, I promise.)


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