The last 2 full days of our trip to NYC were full on. As you may recall I went back to the hotel quite early the night before (but didn’t sleep til late anyways) so I started my 3rd day in the city that never sleeps super early, as in 6am, with only a few hours of sleep. Why? Because I wanted to watch The Today Show to see the people who have been keeping me company in the mornings. That, and also for my 15 seconds of fame. This was one of those days when I am very thankful for staying in such a convenient hotel. Nobody wanted to accompany me to the show so I went by myself and I had to walk in the dark because I had to be at Rockefeller Center before everybody else to get a good spot. I got there around 6:45am. It wasn’t full yet but there were only a few spots left where you can lean on the railings. Being shorter that almost everyone at the set I really did need to be in front. Let me tell you this - the experience of watching the show on TV is completely different to actaully being on the set and wanting to be on TV. When you watch it on TV it seems like so much fun. Of course it’s only fun on the set when they actually get to your corner. You have to know where the hosts stand so you can greet/shake hand/chat/take photos with them at the first instance; otherwise it’s gonna be a long wait. It didn’t take me long to realise that I would be at the set for quite some time. I was at the opposite end of where the hosts first did their recordings and all that. Then they vanished back into the studio; and then come out again each time going to a corner other than mine. Because of that a group of frustrated middle aged ladies left 15 minutes before Jennifer Garner came out. I’m glad that I stayed back – for a further 3 hours. It became less crowded towards the end as the audience has started leaving once they get their screen time and autographs. Although it was getting frustrating towards the middle of the show it ended well. I got to see the hosts (except for Matt Lauer), Jennifer Garner, Deidre Hall and someone else from Days of Our Lives, whom I don’t even know), took some photos, and got on TV. Wow, what a great start to the day.
After being starstruck and all I met up with K and V and we ventured off to the Museum of Natural History. K and I were really excited at first because we thought that this was where they filmed Night at the Museum. We found out some time later that the movie was a scam. All but two of the “history pieces” they featured were nowhere to be found. Only Rexie and Dum Dum were there. Even though we were disappointed in that regard we still had a great time there, me specially. Out of all the museums in New York that I went to the Museum of Natural History has got to be my favourite. The other museums are too artsy fartsy for my uncultured brain to comprehend. But anyway, we spent a good deal of time looking at the frozen animals on display and I even had a free admission to a show about stars held inside a planitarium that gave me nothing but headache. Yeah, 2 things that make me feel sick: non linear spaces and 3D shows. It was an informative show but I found that there was too much information to digest for half an hour.
After all that brain stimulation, we decided it was time to go for a stroll in Central Park. This park has the same feel as Vancouver’s Stanley Park on a smaller scale. We didn’t really spend much time here other than sitting on a park bench eating lunch and going to see the small castle up in the park somewhere.
Much of what’s left in the afternoon was spent in what I’d call a photographer’s heaven. V brought us to B&H Photography and I almost went crazy. I’m not a pro photographer of any sort but I love checking out cameras and their gadgets. If only I had the whole day to spend there. Well, I almost did damage to my credit card but the guy at the counter convinced me that I do not need a new camera no matter how much I wanted to upgrade. He had a point. I left empty handed but we came back the next day because we just couldn’t get enough of cameras. By we I meant me and V. K was rather indifferent but she did buy me a pink/white polaroid camera as an advanced birthday present.
MP met up with us for dinner at Chipotle after her class and us girls had a girls’ night out. V bought us tickets for Colbie Caillait’s show and it was well worth it. I wasn’t a huge fan of hers before the show but I’m beginning to become a convert now. She is such a good performer and a great singer – sounded exactly like the CDs. Now that was a fun and relaxing way to end the night.
Onto the next day…
I woke up earlier than everybody else, as usual, even though we all went to bed at the same time after our midnight trip to the Empire State Building. No lines during midnight. Hurrah!
So onto this day, with my CityPass, I decided to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I know nothing about art and ditto for this museum so I didn’t know beforehand what to expect. My only goal was to use all the ticket passes in my CityPass. Well, it’s safe to say that the Met is a huge ass museum full of art and artifacts that I absolutely do not get. Rather than being an avenue for those who truly understand art and all its glory I think this is one of those many museums that is really just a tourist trap (okay, I’ll admit it. I am one of those tourists). A clear sign of this are the many flags displayed at the info desk indicating which languages the museum tours are offered in. It’s also always so crowded that it becomes less enjoyable because I prefer quiet (really, I prefer dead silent) museums where you can just sit in one of the benches and drift away into fantasyland. Not in New York museums. I quickly rushed through the whole building that is so confusing it’s almost like a maze hoping to have enough time before lunch to visit the Guggenheim (also because of the CityPass). I ended up not going though and strolled around Upper East Side instead then met K and V for lunch at the Shake Shack. This place has the most amazing burgers. The shakes are not so good but the burgers are so tasty I don’t know why people would eat a MacDonald’s burger. Oh right, I do know why. It’s because it’s too pricey for such a small albeit filling burger. I suppose you get what you pay for. The burger bun is way too good too; it’s not the usual white bread bun but is a butter bun, as in it tastes like butter and is yellow in colour. Very similar to Asian bread if you know what I’m talking about.
The next adventure was at the Financial District. We got there very late in the afternoon so it was not busy anymore which is a good thing because you don’t get shoved by rushing business people for walking slowly. K wanted to take a picture with the stock market bull (more like the bull’s testicles for good luck apparently) so we searched for it only to find out it was barricaded. We can still go in and take a picture but there are guards around and there was a line. The jumping photo is now a no-go so we just stood stoically beside the bull and hurried out so other people can go in.
While waiting for MP to finish her class we dropped by some pier to catch a glimpse of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a spectacular view at night with all the lights lit up. The cool breeze from the river that night did not hurt either. V wanted to have dinner at Hagi so we took a much rather expensive cab ride back to Midtown. There were more of us this time so we were able to sample more Hagi food and a pitcher of Sapporo beer. I really cannot stress enough how amazing the food is at Hagi. Twice I’ve been here; twice the amazement.
And so the night ended.
Before any of us knew it, it was time to say goodbye to my love, New York City. But not before squeezing in a trip to the Museum of Modern Art, for me anyway. While the rest of the gang were busy getting pissed the night before, after the dinner, I managed to crash and sleep like a log. My body is really just wired for an earlier bedtime and not being able to withstand alcohol. The rest of the gang were still sleeping when I left to line up for tickets. As with the other museums, I went there because it’s a cliche. All I wanted to see was Van Gogh’s Starry Night but it made me realise that I really like Monet’s works too. Maybe a little more research and preparation beforehand would have me appreciate art more. I have had a bad expeirience with an art class in Uni before so maybe that’s why the museums just do not have that impact on me. But let’s not ruin what’s left of that little impact it has on me by talking about a certain professor; that’s not the memory I’d like to think of before I wave goodbye to New York.