Gotham.So I’m sure you all know NYC.  It stands for New York City.  Duh, but I had to say it because im sure there is SOMEBODY out there in this vast world who will read my blog and not know what NYC stands for.  I’m sure of it… and shame you, you who is reading this.  But anyway, today I would like to share with you my latest adventure to NYC, but I guess its actually pretty generic, and this time it’s actually rather tourist-y.  That’s what I hate about it sometimes, sometimes you just wanna go to NYC and live like a local.

I knew I was gunna have a long day ahead of me, so I went to bed at 9:30, after setting my alarm for 3:45 and pushing my clock time back an hour from Daylights Saving Time.  9:30, wow, can you believe that?  Lately I never get to bed until atleast after midnight, and usually around 2am.  Impressive!  But probably for that very reason, I woke up shortly after, at 11pm, and couldn’t fall asleep again until 1am.  Therefore, I overslept my alarm and didn’t wake up until 4:45, which was when I was supposed to leave my  house to drive into Macungie to pick up my partner in crime Alysia.  I even wanted to have filled up my car with gas before getting her.  And on top of that, I was sure to tell her not to be late, and to remember to set her clock forward and that I would be prompt.  Go figure, right?  Well, I woke up, gave her a ring and told her Id be a few minutes late, took the freakin’ quickest shower in my life (under five minutes!!!! impossible but real!), got dressed and ran out the door.  Got Alysia, got gas, and then we were off to spend the day in the greatest city in the world.

Drove I-78 into New Jersey, then hopped on US 1/9 over the Pulaski Skyway (an incredible and impressive sky-bridge made of cantilever truss-bridges built in 1932!) and down into Jersey City, New Jersey; parked at Journal Square and took the PATH Train from JSQ to the World Trade Center.  We got into the city at around 7-ish I guess, on a Sunday, and boy were we scared we were in the wrong city–there were absolutely no people in the city!  That I have never seen.  Our first human contact of the day was after walking past a Starbucks, we heard some feet chasing down the sidewalk to catch up with us.  We turned around and were “pleasantly” greeted by a guy whispering: COACH, COACH! PRADA! GUCCI! Now, I realize this is nothing out of the ordinary, but at 7am on a Sunday when noone was awake on the sidewalks…and we were not even close yet to Canal Street…

As it turned out, the City that never sleeps, was in fact, sleeping.

We then came to the conclusion that nothing would be open at this time, besides Duane Reades and Starbucks, so we decided to just enjoy the nice weather and walk around, in the general direction towards Times Square.  Since we really didn’t have a plan of what we wanted to do, we decided to try our luck and wait in the line at the TKTS booth up there in Times Square and try to score a deal on a last-minute, day-of Broadway show; but this doesnt open until 11 on Sundays so we were in no rush.  We walked all the way up from WTC to Union Square-just at 14th and Broadway–(the whole way windowshopping) when we decided we were just gunna hop on the subway the rest of the way… $7.50 for a 24-hour subway pass! Not too shabby.

We got to Times Square pretty quick as you can imagine, so we still had lots of time to kill… so we walked to the TKTS booth to scope out where we would have to go, then walked around more until we found somewhere to eat, and we ended up eating at the Europas Cafe up there just beyond Times Square, $5-something for a customized omelet, toast and potatoes.   Then we just killed time and got to the TKTS booth a little early.  The line was already gettin’ pretty long and we didn’t wanna risk it so we hopped on the line, and we got there at about 40 minutes-to-11.  But we got to the windows already at around 11:10, so the wait wasn’t too bad.  We went there with our hopes of seeing Avenue Q but when we got up to the windows, there was, to our dismay, only one seat left.  I should have been the ass-type and just taken it and left Alysia to fend for herself, because I really wanted to see it… but we decided on 50% tickets to the Little Mermaid, but only because im a true gentleman and a nice friend.  Plus, a broadway is a broadway, and anything will beat Mamma Mia!… Which the Little Mermaid surely did.

CHINATOWN ANTICS

So we got our tickets, and then we headed to Canal Street, so Alysia could get some shopping out of her blood.  And I also needed new sunglasses.  For those of you who DON’T know, Canal Street is the central hub of NYC’s Chinatown, home to the world’s best supply of counterfeit purses and bags etc.  We had heard of people being taken into back rooms, where the REAL fakes are (uh, i thnk thats a contradicting oxymoron!! haha) but last time we were together in the city, we attempted being guided to a back room but everyone (meaning the inhabitants of Chinatown, to be politically correct), was on their toes and keeping everything much more on the down low.

Today, we were going to finally get taken back.  Within seconds of getting above ground from the subway station, we were approached by a short lady carrying one Coach clutch.  She mentioned it to us, and told us to follow.  The whole time, she refused to engage in small-talk, and her eyes were constantly darting around looking for whatever may get in her way of leading us to the treasure chest of counterfeits.  Then she disappeared and we were handed off to another lady, and after something shouted in Chinese she handed us off to a guy who reached in a can on a shelf and pulled out a key, unlocking a basement door.  He ushered us in the door and down the creaky blue wooden steps, and at this point I secretly took out my camera, and pressed the film button, secretly recording all of this!! I even remembered to cover up the green light my camera makes when recording video! Clever, I know :D.  We went down a brightly-lit corrirdor and he grabbed another key to open another door, leading to another hallway.

Here, he took out a key and opened up one of the wooden panels on the wall, leading to a small closet, and on the wall hung a vast amount of purses and bags!  Gucci, Vuitton, Armani, Prada, Coach, you name it.  Now, to the untrained eye, they look like the real-deal.  Well, I have an untrained eye, therefore I’m nto sure if they were counterfeit, or just stolen.  My guess would be counterfeit?  After Alysia expressed the lack of interest, we just said thanks and found our way out at a quick pace, I mean, who really knows what he could’ve done to us down there in that dark dingy room!  But it was an adventure nonetheless, and one we were looking for.  On the way out of the basement, I recorded more video, and as we were leaving the store to go back out to the street, one of the lookouts caught me with my camera, yelled something in chinese to the man from the basement, pointed at me, and that’s when I snapped to Alysia that we gotta get movin’.  We darted out of the store and quick jumped inside the doors of a small little boutique next door.  Whew!

We did some shopping, got taken to some more back rooms, these ones were just hidden behind a wall of purses on the upstairs level, nothing drastic.  Alysia bought lots of jewelry, and I never did find a pair of sunglasses which I liked.  All I bought was some knock-off Acqua di Gio Armani cologne, which may have left a stain on my shirt!  Have to investigate into that one…


(Sorry my camera points a lot at your rear, Alysia, but I was trying to do it in secrecy!!)

Cowboys in NYC?

After some more shopping, well, lots of shopping, we hopped on the subway , direction:  5th avenue.  We hopped on the yellow NQRW train, but hopped on the wrong train, which stopped at 57th and 7th Ave. I mean, no biggie, it was just two blocks over to 5th Avenue, so we could’ve techincally waited till a N, R, or W train rolled in behind us, but we took advantage of the 65° weather and walked the rest of the way.  We had just enough time to do a little shopping and then we hurried down to 46th and west to B’way, to our show.  Now, as we were crossing B’way in that section of Times Square, we caught glimpse of a crowd with cameras.  Tourists, cameras, and shouting all mean one thing:  something other than a stationary landmark.  So we walked by on our way down 46th to the theatre, and low and behold we were wrong, it WAS a landmark.  This one, just happened to be a moving landmark–the Naked Cowboy.  Out of all the times I’ve ever been to Manhattan, I’ve never stumbled across him, but this time we did!  As we were in a hurry, because our show started at 3 and it was already 2:45, we only had enough time to snap some shots and hurry on our way.  But nevertheless, it was cool to see him.

THE SHOW

Now, The Little Mermaid.  As I said, it was much better than Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia only had one main set, just a big thing which rotated, but the Little Mermaids set was actually really well designed and just modern.  I don’t really wanna ruin the surprise for any of you who might happen to see this show, but what was really cool was the use of those Heely shoes that kids can buy.  They’re like normal sneakers, only with a wheel built into the the heel of the shoes, so when you step back on your heels and raise your toes, you can roll.  Most of the performers wore these, I mean, it wasn’t obvious they were those, because they were designed to match the costume, some of them were even built into high-heels, but it was something I haven’t seen out of the three Broadway shows I have seen.  Though I really had my hopes set on Avenue Q, I would still recommend the Little Mermaid, despite all the screaming kids in the audience.  And waiting inline at the TKTS booth is definitely worth it, because most of the shows were selling tickets for 50% off.  And our seats were actually the best seats I’ve ever had in a Broadway, row V on the right side of the left section of seats, on the floor.  Great seats, in fact.

It was also nice, that the show we got tickets for was a 2pm Sunday matinee, so we were out by a little after 5pm.  We decided to take the PATH train again, from WTC instead of any of the other stops, because from the WTC out, its a straight shot for Journal Square, whereas if you take the other route you have A) more stops, and B) you have to , on a Sunday, take a pitstop in Hoboken NJ, thus making the ride a few minutes longer.  So, we wanted to finish enjoying the nice weather and we just walked down B’way a little further, found another H&M and Alysia wanted to go back in and get this one shirt, so we stopped there, stopped in a shoe store, she got some kicks, then we walked to Penn Station and took the Subway down to WTC, hopped on the PATH paying $1.75 for the trip and went back to NJ.  Got our car, drove home.  Met my parents at Perkins, ate a late dinner at around 8:30, dropped Alysia off at home, and that was that.  And what ‘that’ was, was another great day in the City of Right Angles. The Big Apple.  Empire City.  Gotham.  Neuva York.  Call it what you will.

PICTURES

Now to the tourist-y documentation:

Here I would like to make a promise, that NYC will be on my list of places to live.  I know everyone says this, but not that many people make it a reality (despite the HUGGGE population in NYC :P) But its such a great place, and setting aside all the charm that most people know, you know, Times Square, Wall Street, WTC, the Empire State Building, Broadway shows, etc etc, NYC is actually really rich in history.  I’ll make a post sometime about things that a lot of people do not know about New York City.  I think, after living in Germany for a few years, I would like to take a year or so off and work and live in Manhattan.  I mean, i will have had a 3 year internship in the hotel industry behind me already, and I think that would look good on a resume, so I’m sure I could possibly look into working at a hotel in the chain that I interned at, right?  But more of that to come later.

Before I close, I must add, that thanks to Scouting NY, I’ve learned to take a closer look at NYC, and everytime I go into the city, I now also look for those hidden treasures in NYC.  I will also make some later posts about personal tips I can offer those NYC-goers that I’ve learned over the trips.

and I also appologize for making such a long post 😀

Till next time,

Zac

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