Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Day on the Upper West Side

As I said in my previous post, we took advantage of the 3-day weekend to do some sightseeing! One of the neighborhoods that we have barely explored since we moved to NYC is the Upper West Side. So MLK day we set off for a full half day on the Upper West Side.

First stop was the much talked about Popover Cafe. I've heard so much about this place and I've wanted to try it for awhile. We kept it simple and each ordered a popover with strawberry preserves and a fruit salad to share. The popovers are sooo good! Light & fluffy and just delicious with jam or without. The atmostphere of the restaurant is incredibly cozy and friendly. We loved it!

Next we headed up to Ulysses S. Grant's tomb. It was designed after Napoleon's tomb in Paris, which we visited back in 2005. I love learning about the President's so I was very excited for this particular part of our day. We were greeted by a very eager National Parks ranger. I would imagine people aren't pouring into Grant's Tomb. We spent the first 30 minutes in conversation with the Ranger. We had lots of questions and he was more than happy to provide us with the answers. Then we read the two bulletins they have set up that provide information on Ulysses S. Grant's childhood, marriage, presidency and the civil war. While off the beaten path a little I would definitely recommend visiting this National Park. It's a quick visit and you learn a bit about history while you're at it. The space is beautiful - it's right along the path along the Hudson and has a big park leading up to it. It's quite magnificent looking and I would image even prettier when not covered in snow.

Then we walked over to Columbia and walked the campus - neither of us had ever been there. Next we headed over to St. John the Divine's - a beautiful unfinished Cathedral. We spent a good 30-40 minutes exploring the cathedral and appreciating the amazing stained glass windows.

Our last stop on our little UWS tour was to head to Tom's Restaurant most notably known as the place the Seinfeld gang frequented. Jon loves Seinfeld so this my little surprise for him. The outside is exactly the same but the inside is very different - they obviously didn't really eat there during the show:) The food however was very good. We both had turkey burgers and they were delish. It was crowded and fast paced but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would return in a heart beat if I ever found myself at West 110th and Broadway!

All in all it was a great day and we thoroughly enjoyed our Upper West Side Adventure!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Whitney

MLK Weekend we took advantage of three consecutive days off to tackle some of the items left on our NYC list of things we still need to do.

Since it was cold outside we decided that an indoor activity wouldn't be a bad idea so we decided to check out The Whitney Museum. Mind you we had tried to go to The Whitney on January 2nd and the line was around the corner (we also tried to go to The Guggenheim on January 2nd and that line was around the corner. Apparently January 2nd is museum day in NYC - note to self for next year!)

We got there right as it was opening. The permanent collection at The Whitney was Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney personal collection of 20th Century American artists and offered it to The MET who didn't want them. She then decided to found her own museum to house her collection.

The top two floors house the permanent collection. There are some beautiful beautiful Ed Hoppers in the collection and overall I enjoyed seeing it. We worked our way downstairs to the Alexander Calder exhibit. Calder is a sculptor who specializes in the use of wire. The whole floor was filled with really cool wire sculptures. My favorite was The Circus (which is part of the permanent collection)! He made an entire circus out of wire & metal and it's on display at the museum. In addition, you can watch this clip of him performing The Circus - it was so funny. It was neat to be standing among all of these people, young, old, New Yorkers and tourists all laughing and smiling as we watched this video. If you'd like to watch the video click here. And enjoy! It was my favorite part of the museum.

The thing I love about some of the smaller museums in New York is that you can have this great experience, see beautiful art, and do it all in 2 hours or less. I love The MET but sometimes it can be overwhelming. We were also fortunate that the visiting exhibits were cool to see.

I would recommend The Whitney - Jon and I really enjoyed our visit.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New York, New York!

So back at the end of 2008 I mentioned that Jon and I would be moving to Hoboken. Little did I know that I was telling you all a fib! Ok, well an unintentional fib. We started looking in Hoboken and since February 1st is such a bizarre time to be renting a place we just weren't finding what we were looking for. Jon went back to our landlord and negotiated our rent down so we're staying in the NYC for another year!

I have to say, when I first moved here I didn't embrace it. I missed Boston, I missed our friends in Boston and running in Boston...well you get the picture. New York to me at that time was just crowded, exhausting, expensive, pushy and too big!

How surprised was I to find that I was sad at the prospect of leaving NYC. When we were talking about our move I found myself saying I'm going to miss the convenience of everything (the museums, the restaurants, the theater, etc, etc). I'm going to miss all of our great New York friends. I'm going to miss our apartment and being able to walk wherever we need to go. And so on, and so on. So how happy was I when we decided to stay? So Happy! Another year and I want to make the most of it!

Here is the list I posted back in 2007 when I started this blog of all the things that Jon & I wanted to do in NYC while we were here. We've been pretty good about getting out and experiencing the city. I've bolded everything we've done and added some new ones. I'll keep you posted on our progress!

1) Go to the top of the Empire State Building
2) Visit Museums (Moma, Frick, Folk Art Museum, the MET, Museum of Natural History, The Museum of the City of New York, Guggenheim, Whitney, Tenement Museum, and the Skyscraper Museum.)
3) See Broadway Shows (Pal Joey, The Drowsy Chaperone, Avenue Q, Cyrano de Bergerac, A Chorus Line, Pygmallion and Jersey Boys. We have tickets in February for South Pacific and tickets in March for Phantom of the Opera.)
4) Explore Central Park (run in CP, rent a row boat in CP, take a walking tour of CP, go ice skating in CP, etc)
5) Visit the Botanical Gardens
6) See the Radio City Music Christmas Show!
7) Watch the balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade get blown up!
8) Hike in the Adirondacks
9) Give my DH the true Jersey Shore experience
10) Take the Circle Line tour
11) Bike around the Island of Manhattan
12) Try to see the David Letterman Show
13) Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
14) Take the Staten Island Ferry
15) Explore all the different neighborhoods of NYC (Brooklyn, Battery Park, UWS, UES, LES, Little Italy, Soho, the Village, Midtown, Hell's Kitchen, etc)
16) Become more involved in Red Sox nation in NYC
17) Take one of those Red Bus Tours through NYC
18) Go to Medieval Times
19) Go to the Bronx Zoo
20) Visit the Cloisters (that's for you Mom!)
21) Go to a Little Italy festival
22) Spend some time exploring and appreciating Grand Central Station
23) Visit the Intrepid
24) Carnegie Hall & Deli
25) Top of the Rock Observation Deck
26) Dare I say, New York City for New Year's Eve....we'll see!
27) Eat at Peter Luger's
28) Walk from the top of Manhattan (Marble Hill) to the tip of Manhattan (Wall Street) via Broadway
29) Ulysses S. Grant's tomb
30) Tour the Wall Street Area (eat at the pub where Washington used to eat, Trinity Church, the bull, etc)
31) Explore Chelsea Market

Also, if anyone has any fun suggestions I'm all ears. So leave a comment!

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Resolution....

Hello Blog World!!!

Well, it's 2009 and I'm back!!! Since it's my first post of 2009 I'm going to talk about those dreadful New Year's Resolutions, I know, I know, but I'm really happy with mine this year so therefore I just have to share it with everyone.

My New Year's Resolution for 2009 is FOLLOW THROUGH. That's it - that's my mantra. I don't have some long drawn out list of things I'd like to accomplish (yeah right that's a lie...) just a two word mantra. FOLLOW THROUGH, FOLLOW THROUGH, FOLLOW THROUGH!

I'm usually pretty good at this but sometimes I get so caught up in everything that I get overwhelmed and I get into this place where if I can't accomplish it and accomplish it perfectly I'm just not going to do it.

So I'm looking at life realistically. I'm not perfect, no one is perfect, and I can't expect myself to accomplish everything and do it perfectly. So my goal with FOLLOW THROUGH is to do just that keep reminding myself to stick to it and FOLLOW THROUGH! It's better to be doing what you want to be doing, living the life you want to be living, and being the person you want to be then letting opportunities pass you by because you're afraid you won't be able to do it perfectly. Just do it and FOLLOW THROUGH.

This is especially important to me in this the year of my 30th birthday (I know gasp! I look so young don't I?) Don't worry I'm not going to freak out - I'm actually excited and ready to embrace 30. I feel like 0-30 is all about learning about life, how to live life, and figuring out who you want to be. I feel like 30-40 you get to become that person you want to be and now is the time to embrace that person! I don't want to miss out on any of this because I didn't FOLLOW THROUGH on becoming who I want to really be.

So that's it - my mantra - FOLLOW THROUGH. One of the things I want to be better about following through on is updating this blog. I miss it, and it's just such a great way to communicate with people. So expect to be reading a lot more about me, my life, my experiences, the books I'm reading, etc!

What are your New Year's Resolutions? And for all my friends turning 30 this year - how are you feeling about it? Are you ready to embrace it or going to continue telling everyone you're 29? :)