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NYC, Back, and Out Again – Part One

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HOLY CANNOLI! I’ve had the craziest two weeks and I’ve barely got my brain on, but it’s time for some epic summer adventures around here!

In case you weren’t stalking me on Instagram (you should be), I’ve been traveling since June 6th! I spent about 6 days in NYC and now, I’m spending the next 8 weeks in Fryeburg, ME! Yes, I’m up in the remote mountains of Maine. I’ve never been out this far east, but it was definitely an adventure.

Let’s do a little recap.

NEW YORK CITY!

Traveling In: After a crazy flight situation, I finally got on a direct flight into Newark. It’s a suburb of the city and I’d never flown into that airport before. Yet, even though that airport is like the farthest from my accommodations, it wasn’t a horrible experience. The signage was pretty clear from Newark Airport to the Air Train to Penn Station to the MTA. It was a last minute change in my travel plans, but it all went really well. Southwest displayed some excellent customer service when I discovered that my flight out of Indy was going to be late and I would miss my connecting flight. I called and they moved me to the next direct flight for no charge and I was on the ground a little bit sooner.

Day 1: After a failed rush attempt for Come From Away and using some of my super-awesome ticket lottery skills, I won tickets to Six Degrees of Separation for David and I. This is a play that I’ve loved for years and I’m super glad that I got to catch this production. This show had Allison Janney in the female lead and I love her. The staging was very abstract (like the art that appears throughout the show) and I appreciated the way the play explores the connections between people.

Lots of exploration around the West Village happened too! We explored a multitude of coffee shops, unintentionally, but I love coffee. We visited a really sweet store that sells coffee beans and even grinds them for you in store, customized to the type of coffee machine you use! French press, drip coffee, and so on – they’ll prep the beans however you prefer! Porto Rico Importing Co. is a hot spot for us coffee junkies!  You better believe that I bought a bag of ground beans – Mexicali Creme. I’m so excited to try it soon!

 

We also made sure to visit some cute shops and parks, because it’s what you do in NYC. We tried a “new to us” restaurant, Jack’s Wife Freda, and it was super quaint. A little storefront stop that opens out onto the sidewalk.

We saw Sweeney Todd at the Barrow Street Theatre where I found myself an arm’s reach away from Stephen Sondheim without even realizing it. But when I did, I was so verklempt that I couldn’t even form words and I was far too close to take a discreet photo. I literally could have reached out and touched him. I was seeing a show with the real man himself. I was misting and I’m still shocked that sheer luck brought us to the theatre on the same night. I was really astounded by this particular production because they turned the theatre into a pie shop with tables and food. Not every seat got a pie, but it’s no matter. You got a closeup view of the action because the cast was using every table, scooting audience members over on the benches, and the immersive environment really added to the story. Not to mention that Carolee Carmello and Norm Lewis were in the two leading roles. Phenomenal. Easily one of my favorite NYC theatre experiences.


Day 2: This was a day of so many firsts! We got tickets to a live taping of The View! It was totally free, but we just had to be online at a certain time to get the tickets. We had to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to get in line to get into the studio and there was lots of sit, wait, get up, move, wait again, and so on. However, it’s a fun hour! It’s even more fun when you get a giveaway! During commercials, the audience could ask the hosts questions and they’d tell funny stories and such during the breaks. We got a free year of streaming Showtime as the giveaway for our show. While nearby, we decided to head up to Cilantro for lunch, where they have lunchtime specials on margaritas – so that was totally a-ok with me.

Afterward, we were going to attempt to check out the Guggenheim (it was $1 admission day), but 800 other people were attempting the same. Once we saw that line, we decided to switch it up. Thanks to Groupon, we found an awesome deal for tickets to the Museum of American Finance in the Financial District. It’s a little museum, but I’m such a museum geek that I don’t even care! I love them all. This museum was really cool in that you could learn about the stock market, banking, currency, and investing. My personal finance nerd alert was ringing very high in there. We also made a pitstop at this really cute gift & balloon store called Balloon Saloon. Super cheesy and super hilarious with all of the inflatables they had hanging around.

After dinner with one of our other friends, we went to Miss Saigon. This was a really great experience. The leading lady, Eva Noblezada, has such an incredible voice for a young woman. I also loved the set and transitions in this show because they really added to the story and weren’t just posts for people to stand on. Then, another first, we got to go BACKSTAGE after the show. We got to stand in a little-barricaded area on the stage so we could see some of the set pieces and costumes that hung out in the wings. We got to go down into the orchestra pit, percussion room, and wardrobe village. Definitely a nice way to wrap up a long day of running around the city.

Day 3: After a super long day the day before, we slept in. That said, David lives super close to Rue La Rue Cafe – the Golden Girls themed cafe & restaurant. It was an awesome tribute and haven for fans of the show. There were costumes, photos, awards, themed foods, and the show plays on a TV in the restaurant. A nice stop for those of us who LOVE the show. Thanks to Facebook, I found out that there was a FREE exhibit of costumes from Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, so I insisted we trek down to see it. The display was on the 17th floor of a new Public Hotel and that hotel was incredible. Seriously. Fancy light displays in hallways and escalators, beautiful scenic views, and incredible bathrooms. I’d totally stay in this hotel if I needed a room in NYC. The exhibit had some quotes that talked about the basis for the costumes and it was cool to see some of them a little more closely. After that, we went on a little bus ride to check out a particular exhibit called The New York Earth Room that sounded intriguing, plus it was free. I’m laughing at this now because this is literally a giant room of dirt. Wall to wall dirt in a musty room. I will say that it’s pretty cool to just have a giant room of dirt in busy NYC, but it was really just a room of dirt. After that, we passed a Citipups and I can never stop myself from going in because those pups are so darn cute! I played with the sweetest little French Bulldog puppy for probably 45 minutes. I would have brought him home with me. Seriously. It was really hard to put him back, but he was such a treat.

My God. SO. CUTE. SO. SWEET.

Dinner and show were particularly festive on this night! We went to Chelsea Market for a little while to kill some time before our dinner reservation and I made sure to head to the bookstore – I always look at the planners (I bought a cute Cartoons from The New Yorker 2018 Weekly Planner) and explore all the books. I also got You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I’ve been wanting to read it, so now I have it to read this summer. We had a beverage on the rooftop of STK and a great dinner in their dining room downstairs. I definitely suggest checking it out! If you go, ask for David’s section and say that Kelsee sent you. He’ll like that and you’ll have a great experience. We ordered an abundance of food to be shared between 5 people, but what you see below is the view from the roof, some of our seafood appetizers, my entree, and a bunch of our shared side items. Basically, there was a lot of food.

View from the STK Rooftop
Seafood Platter
Crab cake!

After dinner, we got to check out Groundhog Day: The Musical. Yes, it’s based on the movie of the same name. Best part: we sat front row. I caught snow on my lap many times and I thought I was going to catch some costume pieces more than once. The show has a score by Tim Minchin and it’s a unique experience. I definitely would recommend this show to a non-theatre person if they are trying to find a show. It’s quirky, romantic, funny, keeps your spirits up, and you’ll smile at the end. I’ll also give a shoutout to all the super fast switcheroos that the lead (Andy Karl) pulls off! One second, he’s here and the next, there. Impressed.

Read more about my trip in Part Two – coming soon!

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