NYC Trip, Part 2 AKA The Sunscreen Games

Before I launch into a recap of the rest of our NYC trip (part 1 can be found here), I thought I’d explain this  post title: Aside from a sort-of reference to that post-apocalyptic trilogy that totally owns, the majority of our trip, or at least from my perspective, was concerned with my sunscreen application.  Most of what we did was walking, and most of the walking was done outside, and because it’s summer and the position of the earth in relation to the sun is — well, you get the science behind it.

Unfortunately, because of my gingery-gingerness, I am a target for some of the more malicious UV rays out there and even five minutes unprotected can mean a sunburn.  But… in the end, it didn’t really matter.  Despite high SPF and numerous re-applications, I still got sunburned.  Whatever.  My ancestors did not have to live at this latitude.  I wasn’t built for this.

The Plight of the Pale aside, we still had an excellent trip.  If you’ll remember from Monday’s post, we went to the 911 memorial, Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market, the South Street Seaport, and the moon (OK, not the last one — I was just making sure you were paying attention — it’s an old trick of my father’s).

On Monday, we started off the day in Chinatown.

Picture from Renaissance-NY.org

Amanda’s boyfriend had told her “You must go to Chinatown!” to which we were like “Um… really?!”  

I mean, aside from a barrage of Chinese characters and numerous cheap (if not perhaps illegal?) merchandise, there’s not a lot to see.  But went we did, and Amanda’s reaction was pretty much like ours.  In fact, she got over the pushy-ness of the shop owners even faster than we did: “WatchesWatchesWatches!  You want a watch?  $10!  For you $10!  No, I’ll make you a deal.  Today only, just for you!  $8!  For you, $8.  See?  Very nice!  Only $8.”  Yeah, she got over that pretty fast.

So we left Chinatown and kept walking until we arrived in adjacent Little Italy (if you’ve ever visited these two nabes, you know they are literally right next to each other, and all of a sudden the Chinese characters vanish and everything’s covered in red, white, and green).

photo from Architessica

I much prefer the vibe in Little Italy to Chinatown, not to mention there’s almost none of the pushy-ness or hocking of wares.  Mostly, Little Italy is just lovely old buildings filled with Italian restaurants and bakeries.  Yum.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), we’d already eaten lunch, otherwise we would have had a hard time choosing a restaurant.

Next, we visited Union Square including the Metronomis art installation, the park, and the 4-story Barnes & Noble.  About that last one: Yeah, that’s not your typical tourist stop, but we’d visited it when Josh’s brother was in town and we were surprisingly fascinated by it in a sort of country bumpkin way.  Kinda.  I can’t explain it, but whatever.  It’s pretty cool.  They have lots of books.

Barnes & Noble @ Union Square

photo from Yelp

We also visited the epic Union Square Greenmarket — well, did.  Josh and Amanda mostly just rested their legs in the park; meanwhile, my love for all open air markets was further reinforced.

After that, Josh had to leave us for his Monday evening acting class (this is what happens when you surprise people and try to change their schedule), so we decided to visit Times Square.  (That place with all of the lights and tourists?  Maybe you’ve heard of it?)

photo from TrekExchange.com

We ogled at the lights, went to Toys ‘R Us (complete with a life-sized robot dinosaur that roars violently every few minutes and a ferris wheel), we played with make-up in Sephora, went to both the M&M’s and Hershey’s store (mostly for the smell of it), and visited the Phantom of Broadway shop.  Yeah, we’re wild and crazy ladies.

Then we swiped our cute little unlimited Metro cards, met back up with Josh, and headed home.  I’m pretty sure we rented the new Muppets movie (with Jason Siegel and Amy Adams), but I slept through most of it so I can’t tell you much about it.  I have the stamina of a senior citizen.

The next day we visited…

THE MET!

(The Metropolitan Museum Of Art)

We’d heard it was big, we’d walked by it before, but no… calling the Met “big” is an understatement.  And we knew we wouldn’t get through the whole museum in one day, but in reality we didn’t even scratch the surface.  We were there for about four hours (they started closing up around 5:15) and we didn’t even get through half of the museum.  Not even 1/4 of it.  NOT EVEN 1/8 of it.  No exaggeration, it was FUGE.

However, what we did get through was amazing, and I snapped a few pics, albeit not your typical touristy pics (by the way, photography is fine in the Met so long as it’s not flash photography).

Josh and Amanda were appreciating the art like one is supposed to in a museum — reading the plaques and history, marveling at the craftsmanship, speculating over the lives of the past owners, et al.  I was basically window shopping.

Here are two vases from the Egyptian exhibition that I thought would look nice on my living room dresser:

Totally my colors.  I’m sure the Met would let me borrow them one day.

And here’s a sword that I fancied:

I think it’d make a really cool curtain rod in my bedroom.

Oh, and here’s an example of something metal that I would not spray paint:

I mean, I’d think about spray painting it… but I wouldn’t.

We also went to the Medieval Art section and I saw this flag with a dragon doing jazz hands:

Fabulous.

One of my favorite observations was this framed Egyptian textile, circa 2 A.D.

That’s a CHEVRON pattern, y’all!

So for all of chevron naysayers out there, see?  A good ol’ chevron is timeless.  And I love it (but those who view this from the website already knew that because of my chevron background).

There were a whole heap of other amazing things, but I didn’t really take a lot of pics (there was even an Egyptian temple that had been relocated to the museum).

One of the best parts about the Met — and definitely the most GPP friendly part — is that it’s “pay what you can.”  Sure, the suggested donation for adults is $25, but if you don’t have that, it’s ok.  It’s paid for by the state, so they’re just wanting some donation.  I’ve even heard of folks giving as little as a penny.  While I don’t really believe in that, I did give them $30 for the three of us, so not the full $75, but still a little respectable somethin’ somethin’ (after all, nothing is free — “paid for by the state” equals taxpayer dollars).

Since we live in NYC, Josh and I have major plans of seeing ALL of the Met over time.  We have a map now, so we can pinpoint what exhibits/rooms we want to check out on a day off and just target those areas, so that we don’t get overwhelmed by it all (which is easy to do). I’ll keep you posted on how it goes…

The next day was the 4th, so we took Amanda to St. Patrick’s Cathedral…

photo from Sunlit Uplands

… the Love sculpture in Manhattan…

photo from city-data.com

…and Rockefeller Center…

But the day was not over yet.  We were part of that crazy mob of people that went to see the Macy’s fireworks over the Hudson.  And it. was. in-SANE.  If Times Square at New Year’s is worse than that (and I’m sure it is) I know that we will probably never participate in that mess.

We entered at 24th St., thinking it wouldn’t be as crowded and crazy as some of the entrances in Midtown, and while I’m sure that’s still true, it was madness nonetheless.  We got there at 7:45 for a show that started at 9:20 and of course, we were not one of the first groups to get there.  We would have arrived earlier, brought a picnic, whatever, but there were no port-a-potties or any public restrooms, and my intense fear over having to go to the bathroom but not having anywhere to go won out and we delayed our arrival.  In my mind, we were all going to be sitting on a lawn while watching the show, but in reality, everyone had to stand on the street facing the Hudson so the police could cram in as many people as possible.  And did I mention that people had the gall to smoke in the crowd?  Now that’s just tacky.  They could have waited.

Ok, but complaints aside, we did have a great time and the show was… well, amazing (perhaps you saw it on national TV?)

Yeah, my camera phone pics are poor representations of the show, but if this goofus picture of Josh says anything…

He wasn’t posing for that pic… this moment just happened organically.

While the fireworks show was spectacular, the whole mass-exodus-of-thousands-of-people-all-trying-to-get-onto-the-same-subway-train thing was pretty horrendous.  But it happened, we finally got home, went to bed, and left the next morning for a seriously long journey back to Atlanta.  Seriously long.

We eventually drove into Atlanta at about 2 a.m., all the while being accompanied by every top 40 and lite mix radio station in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.   (Whoa.  When I type it out like that, it’s a bit overwhelming to think about.  But we did it! — and without a bit of bad weather or car trouble!  Hallelujah!)

I think I’m still recovering.  I actually slept in Friday and Saturday mornings, which is not how I roll… so that’s weird (sleeping in = sleeping after 9:00 a.m.).  And part of the recovery process is getting that darn “so call me, maybe” song out of my head.  Aghhh….

But how about you?  Anyone else ever window shop at the Met? Or any other museum for that matter?  Or delay your arrival to a large event because of a nervous bladder?  Or get a really stupid top 40 song stuck in your head?  Share :)

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