Saturday, October 15, 2011

New York City vs. the Doyles Day 1

Thursday September 29, 2011 11:30pm

Mark and steph enter Jet Blue flight 92 to New York. The seats are refreshingly spacious and the amenities are better than expected. 4 hours later, the two are safely on New York soil, tired but excited! Enter Mindi Winters.

Mindi arrived 2 minutes prior to the Doyles and the two groups met up in the Terminal, just in front of the restrooms, where Mark takes a nose blowing break. Mindi and steph hug and quickly catch up whilst waiting for Mark. Off to the City at 5:45am!
Taxi service is available and efficient and the three are off to the Crowne Plaza on Times Square in no time. Omar gave us eating tips and a little history on the Twin Towers rebuilding project. He grew up in New York his whole life - don't eat anything unless it's in the West Village area... especially PIZZA!

Crown Plaza checked in our baggage and sent us on our way. 6:30am. The three of us wandered Times Square in search of something to do, that is when we spotted the Police officers standing on the corner. Mark amused himself by making jokes with the locals, "you guys probably love the publicity and come out here to get your pictures taken... I bet you're not even on duty..." New York officers do not take kindly to that kind of talk and he waved his coffee at Mark and retorted something to the effect of "We work hard, I'm ON duty!" We smoothed things over by asking his opinion on breakfast. He sent us down and to the left, Cranberries is the name. 

We loved ordering among the "regulars" as the cook called them all by name and gave them their "usual" then looked at us like, "who are you?!" but did allow us to order! We took our tinfoil wrapped egg sandwiches and $5 drinks to a set of red metal table and chairs on Times Square and people watched for awhile. Mark was shooting pictures of everything in sight for his class documentary, I think he had 100 pictures before breakfast.

While strolling Broadway, we noticed a hub-bub of folks gathering in the median in front of Good Morning America. We needed to be apart of that crowd, all the while Mark is yelling "I'm walkin' heyah", in his best New York accent, to every taxi that passed. We weaseled our way in among the fans and pretended we cared who walked past us. Mark made it onto the big screen, while Mindi and I were ushered into the staging area amongst the camera crew. We were living on the edge.("what not to wear" HOST).

While pointing out something interesting, Mindi was accosted by a New York man , decked out in suit and fancy shoes - speed-walking full speed ahead. He back-hand karate chopped her outreached hand, sending her iphone flying and leaving both of us speechless as he continued on his way without even a second glance. The memory still makes me laugh loudly.

Enough time had passed that New York began to look alive.  We joined others in line for the Empire State Building view.  Mark struck up a conversation with two ladies from Belgium, in French, and enjoyed every second (just like his dad) - steph smiled and piped in a few words here and there, but mostly just stood back and listened (I LOVE FRENCH).  The lines weaved all around, but there weren't enough people to fill them, unlike Shrek we walked in and out, in and out... to the front.  Mark flirted with the workers and got us on a less crowded elevator because it is his first time to New York.  Gusting winds kept the clouds away, allowing us a gorgeous view of the city.  The 12 story buildings look tiny and the 18 story buildings look like "cottages".  New York is SO BIG, it is difficult to describe or imagine.  Mark eeked his way to the front of every side and captured the city on film... digital film.   People of every language and body type fought their way to the best photoshoot areas, pointing, gabbering, and shooting pictures (just like us).   I'm super done with the jersey mini-skirt/dress things - ughh!

Hunger expedited our plans to head down from the view.  Mark had his heart set on Lombardi's Pizza, so steph Googled the address and the three were on our way to Spring Street (via the Subway).  Upon exiting the Subway, we spotted a postal worker.  He was a typical New Yorker, to us.  We ask him how to get to Blott Street and he threw down the bag of mail (literally hailed it to the ground with a crunch) and, with a heavy accent, proceeded to point in all directions while talking outloud.  All the while, steph is Googling the address again.  35 Spring Street.  "Oh" he says, "that'll be that way... all the way down" pointing in the opposite direction he was sending us a few moments prior.  We were on 191 Spring Street, so ALL THE WAY DOWN was right!  We passed several shops, one in particular made us laugh (all weekend). Rice to Riches, a rice pudding shop. The window was covered in quotes. "Dad spelled backwards is dad, mom spelled backwards is mom, and brother spelled backwards is rehtorb" ha ha ha! Mark is a rehtorb! (I'm laughing even as I write this!) ha ha ha!!

Exhausted and quite warm, we finally arrived at Lombardi's Pizza.  It looks like it is set up to house people in line all the way down the street.  We were lucky to have to only wait a few moments before we were seated.  Mark and Mindi laughed about the restrooms, the toilet touches the wall on three sides and the door touched your knees when you sat - space saving I suppose.  We ordered the in-house pizza, the Margarita Pizza with half pepperoni.  The pizza was the size of a small town, and it tainted Mark's idea of a regular pizza for the rest of the trip.  We ate every piece - YUM!  Mark preferred no crust and steph preferred more crusts - our plates looked silly next to each other, because you couldn't make more pizza slices out of our left overs.  Delicious.

We made it back to Times Square in time to purchase tickets for some shows.  Mindi and Mark took our coupon to buy tickets to The Addam's Family for Friday night, while steph waited in line for discount tickets.  The scalpers were out announcing tickets to sold out shows, like Wicked, for over $100.  We decided not to go.  Guys tried to talk us into a comedy club after trying to get us tickets to the Yankees Playoff Game 1 and to Wicked.  Both were expensive and he wasn't really cheaper, so we skipped his deals.  He did try to sell us on the Book of Mormon show.  He said it was by far the best show on Broadway!  It has won several awards and everyone does rave about it.  We told him we were Mormon's and probably wouldn't enjoy it.  "Its about faith in the end, it promotes faith... sure it pokes fun at you Mormon's but its all in fun and it promotes faith, which is what its all about..." after his rave reviews I almost felt like I had to see it!  Everyone around tried to sell us the Book of Mormon show, we resisted.

Our hotel room opened up around 2:- HOORAY!  We were feeling gross and a bit tired.  We checked in, got our luggage, took naps/showers and waited for Andy's arrival from Newark.  He arrived around 5pm.  We lounged around watching t.v. and getting ready for the evening.  We chose to eat at ROXYs, a recommendation from cousin Jenn.  We were seated after passing a glass window of giant patisseries.  We split some orders - Mark and Andy split a Reuben Sandwich and a plate of fries, while and steph split a Turkey/cranberry sandwich Mindi and mashed potatoes.  It is a good thing we split our meals because they filled the entire table.   I would agree with Jenn, the food is delicious and I would recommend it to others!  Plus it was less than a block from our hotel and our play.  We had plenty of time to eat, walk around, and head down one more block to The Addam's Family (with Brooke Sheilds).

We took photos in the lobby, in our seats, of the theatre, and then the ushers scolded us for taking pictures.  The production was great.  We laughed throughout for each character!  They all had their own sense of comedy and it made for an entertaining show.  Pugsley was a curiously bizarre little boy, Wednesday had an amazing voice, Lurch was SO BIG and quietly funny, the grandma was out of her mind hilarious and caused a few of the actors to break their stoic cold facials ("I peed.").  The only let down was the boyfriend - he was not strong at all so when he and Wednesday sang duets, we only heard Wednesday's voice.  (You'd think, out of all the people trying to be famous there would be one boy strong enough to hold his own on stage).  We loved the show!  Our seats were dead center in the balcony.  The drunks to our left were a bit handsy, but other than that they were perfect seats.

We stayed a few minutes after, just soaking in the feeling of a Broadway show.  As we exited the theatre we were acosted by rain.  Not Utah rain, mind you, but down pouring never up letting New York rain.  Our little group hopped from one dry area to another before arriving 3 blocks down to our hotel.  Steph wanted chocolate and snacks, so she convinced everyone to venture out into the rain once more, but not until AFTER we watched BYU squeak past Utah State - whew.  Steph had a mini-travel umbrella, but that was about it.  Andy did eventually purchase a large $10 umbrella off a street vender.  Steph's unfailing ability to misunderstand directions, even with a GPS guide, lead them away from any kind of convenience store... and civilization.  We saw Radio City Music Hall and took rain pictures of each of us.  A garbage truck drove by, almost hitting Mark, and he yelled "HEY I'M WALKIN' HERE!" The truck kept going but one guy hit the top of the truck in retaliation.  On our tour back to the hotel, we happened upon a small store - HOORAY!  We bought some water, pretzels, chocolate, and $3.00 candybars! WOW!  We were cold and stopped in a Starbucks for some hot chocolate and cider.  We were addicted for the rest of the trip (thank goodness there is a starbucks on every corner!).  We were soaked, but still very happy!

BY FARS:  BYU wins, Mindi's phone chop by New Yorker, Chatting with LOU, Lombardi's great pizza (but no re-fills), 2 midget cops, Addams Family! - especially Wednesday's voice - hilarious grandma - Pugley's voice and mannerisms, Good Morning America (GMA) - Mark's face on TV, Mark documenting everything, Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate or Carmel Cider (Starbucks), GMA letting Mindi and steph in the restricted camera crew area, Mark offending the first New Yorkers we talk to (the cops), "The Cranberry"breakfast - YUM, Empire State Building's view, the postman throwing mail to the ground (useless and lost), the subway, walking the streets of New York (even in the rain), jackpot grocery store, Mark blowing his nose :)

Quotes:  The infamous: "HEY I'M WALIN' HERE!" - Mark
"Am I in that?!" - Andy says while looking at a picture of himself
"THIS IS AMERICA!" - Andy's response to the fact we have no wi-fi in our room
"We've got to somehow eliminate that noise tomorrow..." - Mindi in reference to Mark's nose blowing
"...Or its a giant woodpecker going after wood and concrete..." - Mark in reference to construction
"dad, mom, rehtorb..." HA HA HA