In my last post, I talked about a few of the toys I saw while walking the exhibit hall of Blogger Bash’s Sweet Suite. This post will concentrate on the other fun things I did while I was in the Big Apple. In most past trips, I haven’t had any down time to explore anything other than Time Square. Blogger Bash, though, was very thin on programming, so I found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands. Instead of just hanging out in my hotel room and watching Netflix, I decided to go out and explore a bit more of the city, as well as take in some of New York Cities charms.
I arrived on a Tuesday afternoon and checked into my hotel, the Yotel. The Yotel is a great place to stay if you are traveling alone or don’t mind sharing tight quarters with your companion. It’s known for having cabin sized rooms, convertible couch/beds, tons of outlets to plug in and an open floor plan. One of my favorite parts of staying at the Yotel is their rain shower. Rain showers are amazing! Another thing that I love about the Yotel is their baggage robot. It’s huge and so cool to watch as it takes your baggage and stows it away, in case you are early for check in.
After I got myself situated, I decided to walk over to the Theater District, in the hopes of nabbing some affordable tickets to the Broadway version of Anastasia. I got the most affordable tickets they had (which weren’t very affordable, to be honest) and then headed across the street to Sardi’s.
Sardi’s is known for having celebrity caricatures on the wall. The restaurant has been around since 1927 and has seen its fair share of exciting customers. I’m not going to lie, it was a little uncomfortable dining alone there, but the ambiance helped to lighten that a bit. (Dining alone at a sit in restaurant where the waiters are dressed up in fancy suits is awkward.) The food was only okay, in my opinion, but I went there mostly so I could say I did. Plus, I was hungry!
After lunch, I wandered around Time Square for a bit. Time Square is always hopping. Even in the dead of winter, it’s filled with people. July was no different. It’s an assault on the eyes, but is 100% worth seeing in person at least once. Signs left and right, crowds everywhere, big gimmicky stores to shop through, it’s a cool sight. One huge downside of Time Square, though, is that it lacks toy stores. They used to have a massive FAO Schwartz and Toys R Us. Both of those are now gone.
They also used to have a Nintendo Store (which was called the Pokemon Center when I first visited NYC), too, as well as a Virgin Megastore. Alas, all the fun stores are closed. They do have an amazing Disney Store, though. If they ever want to get rid of their Disney Animator display, I’ll take it!
That evening, I ended up seeing Anastasia, the new Broadway musical. It was really entertaining. For those who don’t know, the animated musical (1997) was actually a remake of the original live action Anastasia (1956) starring Yul Brynner.
The story follows Anya, an orphan with no memory of her past, as she, along with two good-hearted con artists, travel to Paris to meet with the Dowager Empress in hopes that she’ll recognize Anya as her grandchild, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. The Broadway musical is a good mash-up of the original live action film and the animated feature. The songs, new additions and old classics, were fantastic. Those actors can sing! If you’re in New York City and are looking for a good musical, consider Anastasia!
The next day, Wednesday, was Blogger Bash day. I had a lot of down time between Babypalooza and Sweet Suite. The actual convention was at the Chelsea Piers, which also acts as a sports center with an ice skating rink, gymnastics gym and a bowling alley. I expected it to be more of a building, with seating area’s away from the sun, but it literally was a row of piers.
That made my plan of just waiting around the convention center not so much fun. I loitered around the Pier for a while, but got bored and eventually found the High Line. The High Line is an elevated train track that was decommissioned and made into a garden pathway. It was pretty cool.
My final full day in New York City, Thursday, was supposed to consist of the Moms and Dads Expo attached to Blogger Bash at 11AM. There were some YouTube events planned outside the show, too, but, alas, I wasn’t cool enough to make the guest list; So, I had all morning to myself.
By 9:40AM, I had eaten breakfast and was sitting on the red stairs in Time Square, just people watching. Instead of sitting in the hotel room, I decided to mosey on over to the Moms and Dads venue. When I got there, I was still an hour early. The venue was about a block or two away from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Admission was a little much at $33, but it turned out to be totally worth it. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum was so cool, allowing you to walk through the amazing Aircraft Carrier Intrepid. The inside is not for the claustrophobic. There were also planes of all shapes and sizes on display.
The main attraction for me turned out to be seeing the Prototype Enterprise. The space shuttle was massive and it was amazing to be in the same room with it. I highly recommend checking this place out if you are in the city.
Full disclosure, I ended up skipping the Moms and Dads Expo. Instead, I signed up for one of those ‘Pay What You Want’ walking tours by Free Tours by Foot. The Tour guides are kind of like Avon reps. You pay to be a tour guide and then keep whatever tips you receive in thanks for giving the tour. My tour guide, Dan, was awesome!
I elected to take the SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown 2 hour walking tour. I had never been to those areas and preferred to explore them with someone who knew the area. Dan was a great tour guide. He showed us the historical streets of SoHo, which were saved from destruction due to the buildings being built with cast iron. SoHo has the greatest collection of cast iron structures in the world, according to Wikipedia. Even the cobblestone streets were preserved! The streets look very similar to how they did all the way back to 1910 or earlier and they stand out among the streets that have been updated. Some of the architecture I saw could only be described as beautiful!
We also journeyed through Little Italy, which was kind of a sad place. It was filled with tacky decorations and ‘I Love New York’ stores. Only two places really stood the test of time in the area, the cheese shop Alleva and bakery Ferrara NYC. They’ve been locally owned since 1892! How amazing is that?
Chinatown was much more authentic than Little Italy. Dan said the way you can tell if you’re in a neighborhood with true culture is if the stores that surround you would allow you to get all your basic necessities (groceries, drug store stuff, clothing, etc); one you could survive in without leaving. Little Italy wouldn’t have allowed one to do that, but Chinatown totally would. It was filled with a variety of shops, most with characters on their signs, as opposed to English. It definitely had culture to it. We ended our tour in a park that, if you didn’t know you were in New York City, you’d swear you were in China. Chinese singers were serenading a crowd of children and elderly in park benches. Older gentlemen were playing Checker like games with crowds around them. It was really surreal.
At Sweet Suite, I forgot to mention, they had amazing air brush artists on hand. I have forgotten their company name, but they did amazing work. I asked for a dream catcher and received this beautifully air brushed masterpiece! It rubbed off on day 3, but if I were to ever get a real tattoo, this would be what I’d get! (Which, by the way, will never happen! Temporary for me, please!)
So, my friends, that’s pretty much it! I’m pretty proud of myself for doing so many of these things while on my own! (As my mother, Barbee0913, can attest, I tend to hide out in my hotel room when traveling unless I’m with a companion!) To see all my photos, check out my Flickr album!
Have you done any traveling recently? What’s your favorite thing to do/place to visit while in New York City? Let me know in the comment area!
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Shows
This post first appeared on Confessions Of A Doll Collectors Daughter | Doll Reviews, News, And Fun!!, please read the originial post: here