Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sex and the City

Not really. Last week I had visitors. My cousin Samantha and her friend Steffy came to visit me in NY after they had visited my family in Miami and gone to Key West and the Bahamas (you see - this traveling thing actually does run in the family). The only people that visit me sort of regularly are my mom and my friend Camille who comes up for business. How exciting to be able to show these two around one of my favorite cities!

I picked them up at JFK, we had dinner in Brooklyn at Picket Fences, which is in my neighborhood and is really delicious. Their mac and cheese is awesome. Anyway after dinner I packed these two into my car and drove them into Manhattan. I have some pretty strong opinions on how people should see NY and I consider a night time drive through the city essential. How else do you begin to take in the twinkling lights, the bridges, the billboards, the shock and riot of color, sound and light that is Times Square?

So we drove over the Brooklyn Bridge with great views of lower Manhattan, up the west side, down through Times Square (that really hit them!), through the Village, up the FDR, back down through Times Square again (for the pictures) and back over the Brooklyn Bridge and home. But not before they could experience the difficulty of finding legal street parking in Brooklyn at 1am. Ha ha ha.

The next day, with spectacular weather, we went to Rockefeller Center. The top of Rockefeller Center is 70 stories above Manhattan, with amazing views of Central Park and the Empire State Building. No lines and no waiting. Bonus.

We visited St. Patrick's Cathedral on 5th Avenue, which is as beautiful as any cathedral in Europe. Funny enough I have lived here for 8 years and never been to either the top of Rockefeller Center or St. Patricks.

We hopped on the subway and went to Gray's Papaya on the Upper West Side for hot dogs that my sister insisted they try. So for something like $3.50 you get the recession special - 2 hot dogs and a drink. I have to say they are really good. I have actually been here before but generally after a night out. We sat in the little park on 72nd and Broadway, watched the city walk by and took it all in. I think one of the really important things to do when in a city, be it your own or one you are visiting, is sitting on a bench in the sun. Somehow I think you get a better feel of the place, you just have to sit, be still, observe and get the energy of the place. Now that I think about it I think I have been doing this for a really long time. Funny that I just notice this.

After chilling out a bit we headed back on the 1 train and hopped on the Staten Island Ferry, the best and cheapest way to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and lower Manhattan. Why is is the best? It's free! Imagine, something that's still free in NYC! So after the trip on the ferry it was time to get back on the 1, we went to Central Park, took a carriage ride through the park - again something I have never done, and it was really nice. After taking some pictures with our cranky horse, we walked up to Lincoln Center and had dinner at Rosa Mexicana. For sure one of the best restaurants in the city. We drank pomegranate margaritas, Samantha made guacamole table side with our waiter overseeing, we ate too much, tried to get through the pitcher of sangria and headed out again. But destined for home we were not.

I ask, where in the world can you go shopping at 11:30pm? Times Square of course. So we headed to the Quicksilver store, the girls did some shopping and we finally made our way home.

The next day we headed back to Manhattan. The girls were not much for seeing museums but the weather was not so great, I thought well, I could take the to the Museum of Sex. (Yes this is where the Sex and the City part comes in.) Again another place I have never been - so first we see the exhibit on Sex in Design - plenty of interesting objects and art on display, for cultural purposes of course. Next comes the "film" exhibit. Well, that was interesting. Everything from "educational" films to soft core, hard core and celebrity films on display. Kind of a weird place, a few suspect characters standing around just sort of watching the films very intently. It was sort of shocking and funny all at the same time.

We decided to go get some lunch and headed to Coffee Shop in Union Square. Models and quasi celebrities abound, we ate a delicious lunch, went shopping again in the claustrophobic atmosphere of Times Square. We caught our breath in Bryant Park with a coffee and made our way back home. Initially I had big plans to take them to a fancy dinner and then out to a bar or lounge but I think we were all so tired out that we opted to stay in, order a NY pizza and watch a movie.

The following day, I got the girls some bagels (I had to make sure that they ate the NY classics!) and they packed. We went for lunch at the super fantastic A Farm on Adderly, where we intrigued the bar man and the patrons with our Swiss German. We finished up, packed up and made our way back to JFK for their flight to Zurich.


Carmen said...


Christina said...

ouch what?

Christina said...

ok just for the record, Carmen's insisting to go to Grey's Papaya was WELL worth it. They are delicious and 5 million times better than a dirty water dog!