A Tiny adventure in the Big Apple, Part II

A reading from the diary of Bad Beth. Amen.

Saturday, December 2nd

BadBeth: We took the PATH train into World Trade Center. Walked to Battery Park and from the piers of Battery Park, we saw how beautiful Jersey City is… from a distance. From Battery Park, we took a cab into Chinatown where we had dim sum at Mandarin Court. After lunch, we walked around and did some window shopping at some of the stalls in Chinatown. We then wandered into Little Italy where a Christmas parade was starting at Canal Street. The parade was led by a band of boy scouts playing Christmas songs, followed by the parade’s Grand Marshall, Joe Piscopo! We then wandered the streets of lower Manhattan before we headed midtown to catch a movie. We needed to kill some time before we met up with my friends for dinner, so it had to be a short flick, and at that time the shortest flick was, “The Fountain.” Fell asleep through most of the movie, and the parts I did see, I wish I hadn’t. By the time we got out of the movie, none of us were feeling very well. So we called off dinner plans, went home and rested our poor, wearied feet.

Tinyhands: As you might see from our pictures, all the “scars” at WTC are gone and it now looks like any other construction site. (The way politicians constantly invoke 9/11, you’d think Ground Zero was still smouldering.) The Boy Scout band was comprised of glockenspiel & drum. We walked a HELL of a long way that day, so it’s no wonder we had headaches. But this is one reason I came to NYC- to see for myself how big it is. We both slept through that movie, and what little of it I did see I didn’t understand.

Sunday, December 3rd

BB: Drove to Meg and Mike’s town and had lunch at San Maroo, a Korean barbecue place. After a very heavy lunch, we went back to M&M’s place and played some wiicked Wii games. When we got tired, TH and I drove around some of the nicer places in Jersey and made our final stop in Hoboken for dinner at Arthur’s steakhouse. Hmm…..steaks.

TH: The drive through northern New Jersey was nice and, strangely, reminded me of Central Lousiana. I enjoyed the afternoon with her family and they have a very nice home. Beth drove me up to Englewood Cliffs where there’s a very nice view but it was too cold to stay long. The steakhouse in Hoboken was cute, with red checkered tablecloths and a stamped-tin ceiling. That’s where I remember hearing the Vince Guaraldi Christmas music.

Monday, December 4th

BB: Took the train into the city and headed for the Museum of Modern Art. Had lunch at one of the less expensive cafes, and when we were done at the Museum we walked towards Rockefeller center. Took pictures of the tree, attended a church service at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, then oohed and ahhed at the impressive “light show” at Saks Fifth Avenue. Had dinner at one of the many Irish pubs near Times Square.

TH: The MoMA is impressive and even if you don’t know anything about art, you’re sure to see something famous in almost every room. Honestly, the tree at Rockefeller didn’t look that big, but because of the crowds we didn’t even try to get up close.

Tuesday, December 5th

BB: Met up with my big sister, Meg at the United Nations, where we had lunch at the “Secretariat.” Meg got us passes for the UN tour. After the tour, we walked along 42nd street to Grand Central and saw the Christmas light show they had going there too. We walked a little bit more till we got to Bryant park where we had some hot cider and hot Belgian waffles. Then, we hailed a cab, who tried to drive up the curb and literally drop us off at Lincoln Center. We saw The Nutcracker ballet, and I tried, as best I could, to keep Tinyhands awake. After the ballet, we walked to the Russian Tea Room where we had a reservation for two. They made us wait 20 minutes, but they seated us close to Mr. Big, who sang Happy Birthday to me the whole time he was on the phone. Food was wonderful, the chocolate cake was divine and the company, loveable. Best. Birthday. Ever.

TH: The UN tour was kinda neat, but I would have liked to have seen more of the “treasures” donated by member countries. Like the Vatican, they could fill their own museum. Highlight of the walk for me was stopping in both the Chrysler building and Grand Central Terminal. I have a minor in Architecture, so I get off on that stuff. Beth neglected to mention the Nutella in which her waffle was covered. Unfortunately I had another headache, which is why I closed my eyes and nodded off a tiny bit during the ballet.

Wednesday, December 6th

BB: Went to the Museum of Natural History in the morning. Had lunch at their cafeteria, listened to Robert Redford narrate cosmic collisions at the Hayden Planetarium. Had mojitos and skirt steak at Café Frida a few blocks from the Museum.

TH: The AMNH is very interesting. Compared to the HMNS it’s very old-fashioned. A lot of diorama displays of stuffed animals. It’s easy to imagine them coming to life, as in the upcoming movie. Got my first walk through Central Park. Beth was nervous because it was dark, but ninjas aren’t afraid of anything.

Thursday, December 7th

BB: Saw how the poor, huddled masses yearning to be free made it to Ellis island. You Americans – by sheer dumb luck, you were born onto American soil….bah! I shouldn’t get into it….way too touchy.Took care of some office schtuff – I almost made it an entire week without hearing from my coworkers.We want to thank Bank of America for letting Tinyhands and I skate for free at Wollman Rink in Central Park that night. It’s been on my “Things to do before I die” list – to ice skate at Central park. And I have to say, I need to go back and try again cause falling on my ass three times, I don’t think, constitutes what you folks might call, “ice skating.”

TH: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are a lot more impressive than I originally gave them credit. I wouldn’t go so far as to say “emotional” (especially since my family, to my knowledge, never came through EI) but I’m glad we made the trip. Also, there were a bunch of WWII-era (and older) planes flying around the Statue. We think it was some sort of commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day. As for the ice skating, you’ve heard the expression that white men can’t jump? Well, Filipino girls can’t skate. 😉

Friday, December 8th

BB: Walking around New York city with a windchill of ONE degree (Fahrenheit) – not a good idea. Serving alcohol to people in a museum where priceless pieces of history and art are on display – not a good idea. Going by a restaurant’s first name (Mo’s Caribbean, which turned out to be MEXICAN food – who’d have thunk?) – not a good idea.

TH: Friday morning was so cold that, as we struggled down the 4 blocks from the nearest subway stop to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was very nearly a “I can’t go on… save yourself” situation. The Met is HUGE, at least as big as the Louvre, which is ginormous. If you go, plan on spending all day and for God’s sake wear comfortable shoes. I’m just sayin.

Saturday, December 9th

BB: Walked all over the southern part of Central park, from Wollman rink, through The Ramble, ended up at the Boathouse where we had a very fancy brunch with a view of the Lake, walked on over to Belvedere Castle then back down to pay our respects (albeit a day late) to the late, great John Lennon at Strawberry Fields on 72nd St. Walked some more to the holiday fair near Columbus Circle where I bought myself a very nice jade bracelet, then had coffee at Borders bookstore. Took the subway uptown to Times Square and did some souvenir shopping for The Family von Tinyhands. Got back to Jersey and had dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant in Edgewater – Matsushima. Best. Apple Martini. Ever!

TH: I think, but cannot confirm, that Central Park was designed for couples to stroll and hold hands. It’s that good. Second trip to Times Square was just as impressive and overwhelming. Although Manhattan is the “center” of New York, if I had my way I’d live at the top of the hill in Edgewater, which has a million-dollar view.

Sunday, December 10th

BB: Slept in late, for once. Drove to Central Jersey, where I work, had a buffet lunch at Bombay and vegged out for the rest of the afternoon. Took Tinyhands to the airport and the rest of that you already know about.All in all, this was the most exhausting vacation/birthday I’ve ever had. But also, the most memorable.

TH: We crammed an awful lot into those 9.5 days. That’s my fault, since I have a vacation disability that doesn’t allow me to sit still. Nevertheless, I loved every minute of it, despite the chafing. New York, and even New Jersey were very much as I expected: The good bits look just like the good bits I’ve seen on TV, and the bad bits look just like the bad bits I’ve seen on TV. I could see myself living there, someday. If only I could figure out how to afford it all.

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~ by Binibining Beth on December 22, 2006.

4 Responses to “A Tiny adventure in the Big Apple, Part II”

  1. Not sure exactly what’s touchy for you, Beth, but: If you (and TH perhaps) have kids, by dumb luck, they’d be born citizens too. I do my best to empathize with those today going through what my E. European immigrant grandparents did.

    Sounds like you two had a great trip.

  2. *snort* Chafing. Tee hee hee.

  3. Michael- I’ve been trying to convince her to write more about this, but it’s very a emotional subject. As one of the dumb lucky ones, I had no idea how much more difficult the process is than it looks.

    Janette- It was for a good cause though 😉

  4. Sounds absolutely divine. I need to try that Central Park thing… I just need a man to do it with.

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