A couple weeks ago, we got a message from our friends back in Erie. They were planning a five-day visit to New York and wanted to spend some time with us if we were free. Their visit coincided almost perfectly with my parents’ visit, so we were able to offer them our spare bedroom for a few nights.
For the first few days, Ivan and I both had to work, so Elicia and Jeff were on their own as far as exploring the city and seeing the sights. They visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, checked out Times Square and saw a Broadway show.
On Friday, the day before my parents were arriving for their planned visit, I took a vacation day and spent it in Manhattan with Elicia and Jeff.
First we went to the Ghostbusters Fire Station in Lower Manhattan. Though I have seen the Ghostbusters movie (or are there multiple?), it has been quite a few years and I didn’t have the nostalgic euphoria that true fans may experience. Nonetheless, it was on the list of sights and, I have to admit, the Ghostbusters sign hanging on the wall next to the fire truck was pretty cool.
From there, we wound our way to Chinatown and Little Italy. I’d like to say that we were accosted by no less than a half-dozen little Chinese women to come buy their Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Rolex, Coach, etcetera, but that’s probably an understatement. Apparently the three of us have a very wealthy tourist look about us.
We made it to Central Park and Rockefeller Center, walked through Tiffany’s and finally ended up in the Village where we met Ivan for dinner at The Olive Tree restaurant. The restaurant is located just above the Comedy Cellar, a location I was drawn to immediately, being a big fan of the comedian Louis C.K.’s FX Network show “Louie.” The Comedy Cellar is the locale of most of Louis’ standup in the show.
After dinner, we placed ourselves on the reserve list for unreserved seats downstairs for that evening’s show. Many tables were available, but we were pretty far down the list and just missed the last chance to get a table for four. We called it a night and headed home, saying goodbye to Elicia and Jeff.
We’re so happy to have been able to have our friends visit. It was a nice change to our routine to be able to show people around and even take in some new sights of our own! Plus it was a pleasant surprise and gave us a little reminder of everyone we left back in Pensylvania.
The very next day, my parents rolled in, having survived the aggressive drivers of Brooklyn. They got in too late for us to do much other than have a meal out and go for a little stroll around the neighborhood.
Sunday morning, we took the subway to Manhattan and spent a few hours in the Museum of Natural History. Afterward, we grabbed some food truck nosh and meandered through Central Park, stopping to admire a ballerina and then a little girl dressed as Batman.
We met Ivan and headed to Times Square and Rockefeller Center again, before making our way back to the Village. We had dinner at The Olive Tree again. This time, though, Ivan headed outside early to snag our spot for an open table for that evening’s comedy show. Success! We got in and watched four comedians before calling it a night and heading home.
The next morning, though, we had reservations for a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
We were on the top deck as we approached the Statue. Unfortunately, so were about a bajillion other tourists, so a clear shot of the Statue from a five-and-a-half foot girl with a hot coffee in one hand and a five-pound SLR in the other, feet spread to accommodate for the rocking boat, was almost impossible. But not quite…
After we docked, we climbed to the pedestal of the Statue, which is to say that we reached the top of the pedestal that the Statue is actually standing on. It consisted of a two-foot wide path around the perimeter of the Statue’s base with a shoulder-height parapet on one side and a wall on the other. Oh! And a bajillion tourists clogging the pathway.
The pedestal wasn’t all that interesting. So we checked out the museum, the three gift shops, the paths around the island (complete with fabulous views of Manhattan), and headed back onto the Ferry to scoot on over to Ellis Island.
Now, I’ve been on a small number of boats in my life. In fact, just a year ago I spent a full day on a catamaran in the Caribbean Sea with a handful of friends. The rocking waves don’t bother me. Not in the least. Actually, I think it doesn’t bother me enough. I seem to adapt. Rapidly. Because when we got to Ellis Island, I am without a doubt that that island was bobbing around in the water. Everywhere I walked, I had a slight tilt to my gate to compensate for the water movement.
The next day and entirely too soon, my parents left.
But the company was refreshing and we had a wonderful time!