Swimmer Girl and I spent seven days (or 168 hours or 10,080 minutes…however you wish to parse it out) exploring as much of New York as we could. We visited the must-see tourist sights and found some places off the beaten path where we tried to blend in with the locals, although I suppose our mannerisms and drawls gave us away. Here’s an abbreviated version of our week, sans pictures.
1. The shopping, from SoHo with all its quirky little stores and shops, all the way uptown where FAO Schwartz still has the keyboard floor, to the delight of all who step on it.
2. The shows. Wicked was wickedly good, but Mamma Mia was Swimmer Girl’s favorite.
3. The food…most of it anyway. Benjamin Steakhouse was amazing, even if we were the only two unaccompanied females dining there and the only two sharing a steak. Tony’s DiNapoli fed us homemade, fresh and wonderful pasta; 5 Napkin’s burgers were worth the late-night trip to the fringes of Hell’s Kitchen.
4. The history. Governor’s Island, Ellis Island, Central Park, Washington Park, South Street Seaport and the World Trade Center memorial each offer a glimpse into various aspects of our country’s unique heritage. The American Museum of Natural History seems as vast as the nation it tries to encapsulate, and the newer BODIES exhibit is fascinating. Wall Street is unabashedly and unapologetically American and the Empire State Building offers a breathtaking view of the city that does not sleep.
1. The blisters. Manhattan is jam-packed with stuff to see and do at every turn, and every square inch in between. Most of it is within walking distance of wherever you are. But make no mistake, it is a HUGE city. Even on feet accustomed to running and walking miles every week and wearing comfortable daytime boots and shoes, my feet had the least amount of fun of any of my body’s members.
2. The crush of humanity. Everywhere you go, you are surrounded by a throng of people, all trying desperately to ignore each other. (Think “Black Friday” shopping crowds, everywhere, every day.) For those of us who are raised with lots of room to roam, a little of that much togetherness goes a long ways.
It breaks my heart to say it, but….Macy’s. Going in, I had such high hopes for the flagship store of my favorite chain. Such a HUGE disappointment. Bigger is NOT better, at least when it comes to their brand-new “World’s Largest Shoe Floor.” We bought….oh, let’s just say “several” (*cough*) pairs of shoes on this trip. But none at Macy’s. Why? Because the service was insufferably bad. I would still love to have a Macy’s right here in Murfreesboro, but they can keep their New York sales force. In the balance, the Clinique counter staff was much more friendly and helpful, so maybe it was an off night on the shoe floor, or maybe it’s something about people who deal with feet that makes them simultaneously snarky and inefficient.
Spending uninterrupted time with my daughter, admiring the ease with which she figured out the subway schedule and negotiated with Chinatown street vendors, and savoring her first bite of the big apple. And being greeted at the airport with a big hug from Mr. Official, and once again sleeping in our own beds.