I'm usually working most holidays (imagine that). But, I'm spending this Labor Day holiday weekend in New York City with the family. It's always fun spending time with the family, but add the elements of New York City, Times Square, and the Theater District - well, things get a little more interesting.
My facebook and twitter friends have been following along, but here are some random impressions from the past few days from specific places. In addition, I'll post pics soon, but enjoy the commentary below!
Bus Trip: We took a bus instead of flying in. I'm glad that I didn't have to worry about things like parking or getting/to from airport if we had to fly, etc. Even though their website is under construction, 20th Century Tours in NE Ohio did a nice job. Their temporary website is here.
Little Italy: In my previous trips to NYC, I never toured this part of town. Of course, this area of town is made for tourists, but it was fun to walk around. Had lunch at Cafe Napoli which is in the heart of Little Italy. Good food and good people watching from outdoor seating. Also went to Ferrara Bakery and had some great treats!
The Edison Hotel: This hotel is in the heart of the Theater District and just steps from Times Square. Thanks to my sister in law's expertise, we were able to obtain the recently renovated rooms. Kudos to the hotel staff for their great service, hospitality, and professionalism. Well done!
St Patrick Cathedral: I've seen this on television in the past, but was never there in person. The church building is currently under renovation, but what we saw was still beautiful. What's cool here is that they encourage you to follow the church on twitter and to check in on facebook. What other Catholic churches do that? Very few, I would guess.
Hard Rock Cafe NYC: I know people will yell at me for going to this tourist trap, but I enjoy going here. I've been to other locations including Cleveland (Duh), Orlando, and Key West. Always good atmosphere and I always have fun there.
Strawberry Fields Memorial: Part of our bus tour took us around the city. One of the stops was The Dakota Building where John Lennon lived and was assassinated. In addition, we went across the street to the section of Central Park called Strawberry Fields which is a memorial to Lennon. Was weird just walking around that part of the park.
Brazilian Day NYC: September 1, 2013 was designated Brazilian Day in New York City. A big part of 6th Avenue (usually 6 lanes of traffic) was closed off and there was a street fair and festival there. The coolest thing I got to see was an all female drumming group called "Batala NYC." These women rock!
M&M World NYC: Of course, I could not be in Times Square without stopping at the M&M store. I have no idea what it is about my interest/obsession with M&Ms. It's always fun seeing all the different colors that exist only at the retail stores (see pic above).
Kinky Boots: This musical that was part of the travel package. And, I admit that I knew nothing about this show. When I arrived here, I did some research and found out that it had won a lot of awards, and some of my friends have told me that it's a great show. I'm not really into Broadway shows, but this was an entertaining 2 hours. Even for uncultured me, I would recommend this musical to anyone - really.
John's Pizzeria: There has to be hundreds of pizza places in the New York area. My sister-in-law recommended this one, and it didn't disappoint. We heard that the Times Square location we were at was formerly a church, and now it makes great pizza.
Times Square: What else can you say other than it's tourists and people dressed up in everything from the Statue of Liberty to superheros to cartoon characters to everything in between. If you have never been there, going at night time is so much different than going in the daytime. I did my very first instagram post from there. NYC police were everywhere and I felt very safe walking around and making fun of people LOL
9/11 Memorial: This will be the last stop before going home today. Probably warrants an entire post itself. We'll see...