The Mechanic and I spent the Thanksgiving weekend in New York – and New Jersey and upstate a bit in the Hudson Valley. And we didn’t do any biking, and I didn’t do ANY shopping! And we had a blast.
We took the Tripper Bus up to NYC on Thanksgiving morning, then spent the rest of the day with one of my best friends and her neighbor friends for an Orphans’ Thanksgiving (a “family” of friends is sometimes the best) in West New York, NJ. The Mechanic had never been to this part of the New York metro area before, so he got to experience jitney buses through the Lincoln Tunnel twice a day on top of getting to see a bit of a New York “suburb” (I lived in Washington Heights for ten years, the almost very top of Manhattan, and my friend in NJ arguably lives closer to Times Square than I did – so I consider her ‘hood a suburb of NYC).
The day after Thanksgiving was amazingly warm and gorgeous, so it was the perfect day to drag The Mechanic around Manhattan to see the holiday decorations. The balmy 66*F weather made the wintery decor seem a bit out of touch, but I love it all regardless. As do the holiday tourists.
We wandered through Central Park a bit, admiring the fall colors and marveling at the masses of people enjoying a perfect day. We’d had coffee in the morning with a former German professor of mine, and she recommended the MoMA’s Picasso Sculpture exhibit, so we decided to go. Somehow we managed to arrive as the Uniqlo-sponsored free tickets were being handed out, woot! While we waited for our Picasso timed entry time, we wandered through some other floors, admiring the masters.
The Picasso exhibit was mind-blowing – somehow, Picasso’s work seemed to take life better than his paintings. We marveled at how wonderful his sculptures were, and it gave us both a new appreciation for his art. If you ever get a chance to see this exhibit, I encourage it! We ended our day with another art form to challenge our thinking – we went to the Broadway show “Allegiance,” starring George Takei and Lea Salonga. Inspired by George Takei’s own experience as a child in WWII Japanese internment camps, the story makes you sympathize with each side of the struggle one family goes to after they are imprisoned for the crime of being Japanese-American. Although Takei offered some light comic relief in the show, the topic is serious and timely, and The Mechanic and I are glad we saw it, and hope it does well.
The next day was a bit colder and more overcast, and the two of us plus my friend escaped the city with an hour long train ride north, up the Hudson River, to the picturesque town of Cold Spring, NY. Cold Spring was an occasional out of town destination when I lived in NYC, easily accessible by Metro North train, and just what we all needed – some nature, a small village Main Street, and a tasty lunch. Although it was Shop Small Saturday, we looked but didn’t buy in the many antique stores that line Main Street.
Our peaceful afternoon gave way to revelry in the Meatpacking District, as a large group of us descended upon Sugar Factory to celebrate my friend’s <significant age> birthday. We picked this place purely for the ginormous goblet drinks, and they did not disappoint. Actually, I’d say the 60-ounce drinks over-delivered! We didn’t realize that they all came with dry ice, and all eight of us madly tried to video the fun as the waitress poured our drinks over ice- and candy-filled goblets. !!!!! The menu was insane, but we were all too full to try the extreme sundaes after our meal. Note to self: don’t go for the food, only go for the drinks and the desserts! But there I was, in the middle of shopping mecca, on Black Friday, doing everything BUT shopping! I did run into M&J Trimming to buy buttons, and grabbed four yards of some reflective trim, but that’s all I bought! Oh, and sewing machine needs. What was wrong with me?!?!
Nor did The Mechanic and I ride Citibikes while we were there, which we had planned on doing. We did spot the new designs of the bikes, however, and really admired the double kickstand and sleek, integrated, and robust fenders. We did, however, walk over 26,000 steps on Friday and 22,000 on Saturday, so I can’t say that we felt lazy and didn’t get any exercise!
So even though I didn’t do two of my most favorite things in the world (shopping and riding bikes, obviously), The Mechanic and I did one of our other favorite things in the world – explore. Where would we be without travel?! Challenging ourselves, learning and experiencing new things – I am thankful that we are able to do this as often as we can. It was a wonderful weekend.
But I am going to need to plan a fabric shopping trip next spring. I can’t always go to New York and not shop!