I mentioned in my last post that I had family in New Jersey when I was growing up. I found the above photo of my sister and me in New York City with my Dad during one of our visits. Maybe Mom is behind the camera, or maybe it's my uncle Frank. In any case, we apparently dressed up for the day, even Dad got in on the color scheme. :)
After two long days in the city, I was ready to take a break. Steven, of course, headed into Manhattan early. He had more photos to take. Meanwhile, I lazed around until noon or so and then I headed into town to visit a restaurant supply store.
Obviously I don't have the room to buy tons of dishes, so I'm picky about what I do get. The Manhattan Restaurant Supply store was tiny but, wow, it was packed floor to ceiling with all kinds of neat stuff. It was also crowded so I didn't stay long. I headed toward the Eataly market where I met up with Steven.
We had dinner plans with Steven’s friends Erik and Nancy. Erik and Steven were bandmates back in the day and hadn't seen each other in years. We met at a bar called the Grey Mare where we had drinks before heading down the street for dinner.
As it turns out, Nancy is the director of the Fox Business News show Varney & Co. She invited us to the Fox studios the following Monday to sit in on a show. We immediately accepted!
In spite of our late Friday night out on the town, we were up and out early-ish on Saturday to meet up with my high school friend Jennifer. She is a marketing manager for The Durst Organization and with that title comes access to some of the most fabulous buildings in all of Manhattan.
After a leisurely brunch we headed up to the roof of Jennifer’s apartment and then on to nearby One World Trade Center, which is co-owned by The Durst Organization. Jennifer took us up to the 64th floor which, as you can imagine, has stunning views in all directions. After that we made our way to midtown to Jennifer's office at One Bryant Place and, by coincidence, also on the 64th floor. From there we saw a breathtaking view of the Chrysler Building and beyond. I have never worked in an office building with views like this but, if I did, I wonder how I would get anything done!
After a lovely happy hour atop the Knickerbocker Hotel overlooking Times Square, we rode the subway together until we reached our stop, then said our goodbyes to my lovely and generous friend. I am so happy to have reconnected with her and I hope our paths cross again soon!
We headed toward the ferry that would take us across the bay to Jersey City but first we made a stop in a second location of Eataly's. I know, I seem slight obsessed with this place, but I was on the hunt for a specific type of pasta bowl! Even though they didn't have them at the Eataly's I had already visited - twice - I thought they might have them in this other location. Turns out, they did! Score!
When we got home and unwrapped my new bowls, I realized they are gigantic, like, 12 inches across and do not fit in our cabinets in Scoopy. Oh well! I'm gonna have to figure out where to put them because I love them so much.
Sunday, April 30th was World Pinhole Photography Day. Who knew, right? Well, Steven knew, obviously. He's obsessed with pinhole photography, so off he went into Manhattan to take his masterpiece. I stayed home. When he returned, we took a drive to Liberty State Park. It's a great park for biking, which we promised ourselves we'd do before we left town.
Since it was a drizzly kind of day, we decided to drive to Ikea in Elizabeth, NJ to see if we could find Steven's print. We have not seen it in an actual store in person so we thought that would be fun. On the way, I suggested he look up online to make sure they had it in stock. We had just passed the point of no return on the Jersey Turnpike when he read the store was out of stock. Damn. It took us forever to get turned around and through a massive traffic jam to finally reach home! Oh well, we'll keep trying to find it. By the way, as I write this, Ikea has sold 16,000 copies of Steven's photo of the Superstition Mountains. Nice, huh?
With one last day to spend in the Big Apple, we got up before sunrise to head into the city and arrive at the Fox Business News studios to meet up with Nancy. She gave us a brief tour of the place and introduced us around before splitting us up. For the first hour of Varney & Co. I was on the set, literally five feet behind one of the cameras. Steven was in the control room with Nancy, where he was given a headset to listen in on the chatter.
Since we don't watch Fox at all, we were not familiar with the hosts and analysts - Stuart Varney, Andrew P. Napolitano, Ashley Webster and Elizabeth MacDonald - but politics aside, they were amazing to watch. When they go off the air, there is a lot of banter which is fun but they are also absolute pros at what they do. It was really fascinating.
Around 10 o'clock, Nancy sent Steven to the set and I went into the control booth. The show is three hours long but she only directs the first two hours. Like her hosts, Nancy is also a pro at what she does and we were really excited to be there with her. She took us around to see more of the massive studio complex before we said our goodbyes. What a great day!
We celebrated the end of our fabulous week in New York City with a walk in Central Park and a delicious lunch before heading home to prepare for an early departure the following morning.
After a couple of hours rest, we forced ourselves to go rent bikes as we had promised each other. Jersey City has fabulous views of Manhattan and we wanted to ride around Liberty Park and see them. The Citi Bike system is great but it does have a little bit of a learning curve. We soon figured it out and made our way down to the park. As the sun set, we headed further around the water’s edge and enjoyed the absolutely amazing views of the New York skyline. We were sooo glad we made the effort!
We had such a great time and we thoroughly exhausted ourselves, but how can you not when you visit the most exciting city in the world?
NEXT UP: Amish Country