Where to start???

***Thanks for your patience..sorry for my absence. It’s been a crazy busy week and I’ve been trying to find ten minutes (who am I kidding, it takes forever for me to gather my thoughts to write these things) to write a post***

So I can’t really even begin to describe the flight TO New York City…

We were delayed. Then delayed. Then delayed. Then delayed. Then delayed.

Then we got on the plane.

Then we got off the plane.

Then we got on a new plane.

Then we were a little delayed… (United, you’re killing me)

After finally taking off I find I have a seatmate (Christina) who has been to visit Helena, MT…rather unwillingly. (Remember we’re FROM MT hence naming our child that)

Apparently the high was like…47*.  Holy freezeyourassoffBatman. It’s September. Whatthehell. She didn’t find that very friendly after 85* NYC.

She was this beautiful amazing personality with a great smile and she told me all about her husband, Lt. Chris Lamendola, the love of her life who she lost in May of 2013. He was a Lieutenant with the New York State court system and a volunteer firefighter/first responder on 9/11. She lost him two years ago to the cancer that ate all of his body…a direct cause of that horrible day.  She is understandably still lost.

Helena was an escape with some friends from NY and 9/11. Unfortunately it was cold and it was Helena. I think if you’re from NYC there’s really not a lot to do in MT and she could have been slightly more entertained. Definitely a city girl.

In that two hour conversation we ended up talking a lot, laughing a lot, and surprisingly crying a lot.

and even…debating

seriously? Trump?

Seriously?  Christina I DARE you to say President Trump with a straight face. I mean really. ::eyeroll::

It started out a normal flight and ended up with a friend. Talking with Christina was a real gift and a pleasure. I hope I was able to provide some comfort on a difficult flight.

~~~

We checked in at our hotel…the fabulous CitizenM that Andrea and I stayed at last year.

The CitizenM is near Times Square but not right smack dab in the center. It’s a little Broadway, a little Times Square. That is an experience in and of itself for sure.

I booked it last minute on Expedia..not my favorite but I was desperate at the last minuteness of it.  It’s a trendy boutique hotel and everything about it is do it yourself high tech which is right up my alley and for sure Sean’s. They do have people at the front to assist you if you need it. I totally recognized one of the girls but ….

well…

I didn’t want to be creepy. I mean…hello…I recognize you from when I was here a year ago. In NYC.

That’s totally creepy.

Anyway…I’ll cover that another time..

~~~

We had a list of things we WANTED to do when we got there…and I think we did every single thing on the list. Possibly the first day.

I’m not positive. I think I lost the list. #shutupImorganized

Were we tired? um..yes.

So let’s see…

Christina suggested Little Italy and said they were having a festival or something. We thought that might be fun if we could work it in but hey…we have a plan.

First was breakfast and I really wanted to go to Jennifer’s Way Bakery. Jennifer Esposito’s bakery is baked goods “made in a GLUTEN-FREE FACILITY, ensuring quality, nutrition and TASTE. For the celiac, the gluten-challenged, and anyone who demands CLEAN SAFE FOOD.”~source

When we got off the subway we found ourselves in the middle of a street fest.We had a mission though. Find Jennifer’s Way. Many blocks later and some interesting art to entertain us…

033_bw

We found it. It was the tiniest little bakery and so sweet. I had the most delicious cupcake and cookie ever (I actually ordered two cookies and a cupcake but she must not have heard me…I figure it never occurred to her someone would actually want to EAT a cupcake and two cookies. She has never met me..clearly) and we walked our little selves over to Tompkin’s Square Park. Sat in the grass and ate deliciousness and figured if we went home right this second we’d be happy. It was the best moment.

IMG_20150919_131235638

And yes…we saw people running in and around the park. I was jealous.

When we got up to head back to the subway…we ended up turning up a different street and oh…here’s a street party/flea market.

037   040

I died. It was so awesome.

064 061 048

 

A little New York pizza, street shopping and some watermelon on a hot day and we were off to our next adventure. Though really…we didn’t need one. It had already been that kind of day.

We went from there to the 9/11 Memorial. We were a little hesitant to visit it. The emotions would definitely be high and we just weren’t sure whether we wanted that or not. Christina had mentioned she didn’t love the memorial for a variety of reasons, one of them was that it felt like another way to make money rather than a place to gather and remember. We went anyway to get an idea.

It was, as expected, really well done and quite beautiful.

078

These were the outside fountains where the buildings stood. There were thousands of people there. Thousands. The museum inside, we didn’t attend that. The line was extensive, the cost was high and it really did feel….kind of not quite right to be there. As we stood there watching everyone taking selfies all around us and it was SO LOUD (the water pouring over the sides created with all the people talking it was just..very loud).

I found it an odd contrast to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC where the signs encourage you to be silent and remember and people actually respect that. I think the water being so loud and the sheer number of attendees keeps the memorial from being…solemn. Neither of us really wanted to go into the museum and really be there  in that world. Maybe next time we’ll be up to it but this time it just didn’t feel right for some reason.

We went from there to Battery Park to see about the Statue of Liberty. The tours had left for the day but we were lucky enough to catch a bomb scare….

093

Three weddings…

128

099   100

241

and some really great street entertainment….

157  153 152

And yes, we saw people running there.

From there we went to The High Line…

IMG_20150919_202845766

This was one of my favorite places. Sean found it on an app he grabbed and it’s so fabulous. It’s a section of the New York Central Railroad that isn’t used anymore so they made it a park. It’s an “aerial greenway and rails-to-trails park”. I was in love. I could live in that park.

Yes, I saw people running there, too

The High Line took us to Grand Central Terminal (Swoon)…

You’ll be happy to know I don’t have those photos. They’re on Sean’s camera.

This is as exciting as looking at people’s vacation slides! You’re probably holding your breath waiting for our next move.

Well I’ll tell you…

We went from Grand Central Terminal to the Empire State Building.

Yep. Just like in the movies…

only…

not.

Talk about no romance at all.

And I don’t mean romantic love, I mean, there’s a certain romance about the Empire State Building that stems from movie themes and it’s history and of course…how people just are drawn to it.

Unfortunately hundreds and hundreds of people wanted to see it and the employees that work there are really clearly OVER people.

But the view. It was pretty fabulous. And the building is a wonder for certain.

 

IMG_20150919_224442 IMG_20150919_223702

We only went to the 86th floor.  We could go to the 102nd but it was another $20 and that seemed kind of ridiculous. Then on the way out they don’t take you down all the way to the bottom. They take you to the 80th floor and you are forced through the gift shop where you wait in another line for another elevator down to the bottom. There is no way out without walking through the gift shop.

See? No romance. Kind of a bummer. I may never watch movies with the Empire State Building in them the same way.

After that we went…

home. Back to the hotel. Can you believe it?

That was a long day.

Oh…somewhere in there we went to Rockefeller Plaza but I couldn’t remember when…probably around lunch time when we first left the hotel. It all started to blend in. It’s strange to see it in the summer with no ice skating. I wasn’t even sure we were in the right place because in the summer it’s a cafe/bar area. Totally different.

 

And yes…there were people running there. 

People were running all over NYC except me. I wasn’t running. But I was still having fun.

The next time I go I want to run.

Don’t worry…we didn’t pack as much into the last two days.

Day one was pretty freakin’ awesome though.

~~~~~

And in case you’ve forgotten:

Run on…

p.s.  I did not proofread this. Good luck to you. If there is a glaring error…comment and I’ll fix it. Otherwise one or both of us will have to adjust. 🙂

8 Comments

Filed under Tess

8 Responses to Where to start???

  1. Michelle

    Oh gosh, next time go to the 9/11 museum. It’s way better than you think. And not at all commercial. I’m beyond bummed you didn’t go. We should lottery into NYC next year and go.
    I totally agree with your new friend on Helena, I hope you told her that she’s not the only one with no love for that desolate iceberg.

    • tess conley

      We were going to go…but I can’t tell you how many people were there. The line was incredibly long. It was crazy ridiculous. We both had spent so much time with Christina, listening and trying to understand her perspective. Then to go there with people sightseeing, selfie taking, Just general crazy noise everywhere. Neither of us had the stomach to process it then. We both figured the next time we go we’ll try and go in. But this was just too much.

      I will always ALWAYS run NYC with you. BEST race ever.
      I did tell her she was not alone! I laughed SO hard when she talked about Helena. She talked about seeing the Sleeping Giant (as she rolled her eyes) and said it had a lot of land there. And if she wanted to see land she could drive to upstate NY. Seriously..she was hilarious.

  2. Awesome! What an exciting trip 🙂 I’m really happy that you took this trip. (And what an amazing story about your seat mate!)

    • tess conley

      We did so much I had to ask Sean what he remembered. It was crazy. And we both are pretty happy we took it. What a great experience. SO glad to be home.

      CRAZY story about Christina. She was a bonus for sure.

  3. Kristen

    So glad you had a good trip! I’ve been to both Helena and NYC and while both are nice to visit, I can’t say I’d want to live in either place. Of course, I was only in Helena briefly on my drive to Yellowstone from Glacier NP but it seemed lovely. I do love NYC and you’ve made me want to go back again! Top of the Rock is also crazy expensive and crowded, but the views… Wow! And I love your pictures!!

    • tess conley

      Though I LOVE Helena, I probably wouldn’t want to live there. There are other places in MT I would live though. But I’d live in NYC pretty cheerfully. I loved it. I’m a city girl for sure. I love San Francisco, too. We wondered if Top of the Rock was as bad as The Empire State Building..good to know. I’m glad we didn’t make ourselves crazy doing that, too. The views were so good though.
      And thanks! I could take a million pictures. My poor husband.

  4. Ria

    Whoa. I’m totally bummed about the non-romantic Empire State building experience. I mean, hello, my favorite movie is An Affair to Remember….

    Love this blog though and it looks like a FABULOUS trip!

    • tess conley

      I agree! I was kind of sad, too. I mean, I expected crowds but there were serious crowds and the building was definitely financially motivated. Bummed me out.

      However…The walk through the neighborhoods to the bakery, eating in Tompkins Square Park and the High Line…wow. That felt like the romance of NYC. Tompkins Square Park had people sunbathing, doing yoga, listening to music, pushing prams, gathering to study…it was such a welcoming place.