I’ve been back from vacation for almost an entire week and boy, do I miss it! I think I mentioned that I had to work while on this trip, but I still wanted to get a full day’s worth of sightseeing in, so I got up at 2 or 3 am every single day. I was exhausted, but I got my work done and still did so many things on my list.
Here’s what I was up to:
Went to Chinatown
Chinatown was on my list for my last trip to New York, which was my first time in the city. I was too tired to make it, so this time, it was my first stop! I really wanted to eat at Nom Wah Tea Parlor, which is the oldest Tea Parlor in the city. It took me FOREVER to find it, but I was so happy to see it!
I had a bowl of the chef’s soup, which is dumpling soup — my first time having anything like this. I also got a crab claw, which was huge and deep fried and delicious. Afterward, I kept an eye out for any good little dessert shops on my way to the subway and found a place that had all sorts of things. I was so excited to see bean paste sesame balls the size of softballs for $1.50 — major score!
Saw ‘Waitress’ on Broadway
I didn’t really know much about the storyline before buying my ticket for the show, but someone in the city recommended it to me when I was in town in December. I figure you honestly can’t go wrong with a broadway show. The line for ticket holder wrapped around the corner, so I was already very curious!
When I got into the theatre, I was so giddy to see all of the diner-esque decor, the merchandise, and there were even people dressed up as retro waitresses carrying trays of wine and pie! I ordered a soda at the bar and it came in a souvenir cup and I also got a lil apple pie in a mason jar!
The show itself was SO, SO good. I haven’t seen many broadway plays, but this one might be my favorite so far. I related to it on so many levels — I laughed, I cried, I loved it! Since I’ve gotten home, I checked out the movie from the library 🙂
Waited in line for ‘The Daily Show’
I watched for tickets for “The Daily Show” for months prior to my trip and they finally became available about six weeks out. Even then, all of the guaranteed tickets were sold out, so I got a non-guaranteed ticket. Basically, this means you have to wait in line and whoever doesn’t show up in the guaranteed line makes more room for those of us in the other line.
There wasn’t a ton of information about this online, but I found a few blurbs about people saying they started lining up around 2:30 pm (taping starts around 6 pm) and they were able to get in.
I didn’t want to risk it, so I went to the area around 9 am and just sort of stuck around ALL day. I found a bodega and had an egg on a roll (yum!), walked a few blocks for cold brew coffee, and did a little sightseeing on Broadway, checking back where the line would be all day. Around 2:15 I saw someone in line and I raced over.
The people in front of me were from Austria and the people behind me were from New Mexico. I had the BEST time just standing, talking and getting to know them and we DID make it into the show — about 60 people from the non-guaranteed line made it in. And we ended up in the front row.
Honestly, I was freaking out when we got on set. I have watched this show every night since Trump was elected and it’s the only “news” I can stand. It was so much fun, and I went to dinner with my friends from the line afterward. It was an all day event, but totally worth it!
Visited the NYU campus and Brasserie Les Halles
NYU wasn’t on my list, but the library I wanted to see was under construction. So, I kicked off my morning with some delicious coffee and French pastries at the Dominique Ansel Bakery. Then, I walked all the way down Spring Street to get to NYU — it was beautiful! I stopped at Washington Square Park and was so pleasantly surprised.
Afterward, I made the trek to Park Avenue to see Brasserie Les Halles, where Anthony Bourdain reigned as chef. It has been closed for years, but has since served as a place to honor his memory. Even after hobbling all the way there, most of the building was covered in boards. However, I’m still glad I got to see it.
Saw John Mayer at Madison Square Garden
The entire reason I came to New York was for this! This was my birthday present to myself and I was so excited. I was able to walk from my hotel to Madison Square Garden and I got there in plenty of time to get a sweatshirt (which I’ve been wearing ever since), a Pepsi, and settle into my seat.
John Mayer was the opening act and the main act, plus he did an encore. It was nearly THREE HOURS of John Mayer and it was pretty awesome. John Mayer’s setlist for night one at Madison Square Garden was: Belief, Love on the Weekend, Who Says, I Don’t Trust Myself, In The Blood, Waiting on the World to Change, Whiskey Whiskey Whiskey, Changing, Edge of Desire, Emoji of a Wave, In Your Atmosphere, Free Falling, Helpless, Something Like Olivia, Still Feel Like Your Man, If I Ever Get Around to Living, Slow Dancing in a Burning Room, Age of Worry, Why Georgia, Dear Marie, Gravity and New Light.
It was a night I’ll never forget.
Walked through Central Park and Strawberry Fields
I got to see a small corner of Central Park (near The Plaza Hotel and the Central Park Zoo) during my last trip, but I know it’s a huge place and there’s much more to see. So, I grabbed a few donuts from the Doughnuttery in the Plaza and took a walk through the park to Strawberry Fields — a designated quiet zone to honor John Lennon.
I’m not entirely sure what all the hype is about here, but that’s the thing I love about travel: you can see all of the things people rave about or possibly hate and you get to decide for yourself. Walking through Central Park was special on its own.
Spent an afternoon in Bryant Park
By the time I got to this part of my trip, I was exhausted and I really just wanted a place where I could relax. I even packed a little blanket for this exact moment. Bryant Park is so pretty and low-key, with a great view of the skyscrapers. I grabbed an olive and Brie sandwich, an iced tea and a scoop of chocolate ice cream and just spent HOURS on my little blanket in the park.
It was a Friday afternoon and as it neared 6pm, more and more people arrived with blankets and wine to listen to some live music — a band from New Orleans! It was the perfect summer Friday.
Honestly, the last time I went to New York, I left really ready to come back to Texas. I consider Texas my home, and I love it here, and sometimes when I travel, I feel like I’m just learning how much I love living in Austin — which isn’t a bad lesson to learn.
But this time felt different. I wasn’t so ready to come home. I truly had such a fun time in the city and I could see why so many people dream of living there, even though the stakes are undoubtedly so high.
I’m not packing my bags or changing my address anytime soon, but my trip definitely reminded me of dreams I’ve had for a very long time. Dreams I’ve likely stuffed inside of myself out of fear or simply laziness. In the scramble of getting clients and making money, I’ve definitely lost my focus. I needed this trip to hopefully guide me back on the path of purpose, and I am so grateful for that.
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