Whoa. This is a sweet week. Let’s start from the very beginning.
Dad came to Charlottesville for the U2 Concert. They delivered, as usual. This was my third U2 show, and my first stadium show. It was AMAZING. Their stage was so cool. They played great stuff… overall it was awesome.
I woke up at 3:45 in the morning to be at the bus at 4:30. We switched buses in DC and got onto the Chinatown to Chinatown bus. I slept most of the way, so it was pretty painless.
We got to New York around 12:45 and walked with all of our luggage to our hotel in the financial district. We stayed in the Hotel Reserve, a nice little hotel on Nassau Street. After we checked in, we left in search of food. On the way, we found a guy selling scarves for $3. That was pretty cool. We found a pizza place about a block away. After we ate, we went exploring. We walked down Fulton Street to Pier 17. We saw the water and the Brooklyn Bridge. We were tired but excited, and it was fun to walk around.
When we got back to the hotel, we had a little bit of time to rest before embarking on our first NY Subway experience to Columbus Circle to meet our critic. It went smoothly, for the most part. When we got there, we had a few minutes to run in to Central Park, climb on some rocks, and take pictures. There was this really sweet playground that we got to run through. It was really neat- I wish we had had more time to spend there.
When our critic got there we got a short tour of Columbus Circle and headed over to the office of Williams and Tchien, the designers of the Folk Art Museum, and got a tour of their office and some background on the building. Then we headed over there and got a tour of the museum. It was really cool. Afterward we headed over to the MoMA next door. I wish I wasn’t asleep on my feet for this museum- but I still got some stuff out of it. There was a Monet exhibit of his water lillies. The paintings each took up an entire wall- it was awesome.
Despite our exhaustion, our group decided to walk the blocks to Times Square and to try to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe. Times Square at night is always amazing. It has so much energy. When we got to Hard Rock we had to wait, but in the end it was worth it. The food was really good and surprisingly inexpensive. Plus, it was a neat restaurant, and we had a good time.
After dinner some of us caught a second wind and decided to take up our critic on his offer to join him on the roof of his hotel with some of his old friends and colleagues. When we got there, there were people getting out of fancy cars wearing suits and cocktail dresses- we were wearing the clothes we drove to New York in. He managed to get us in despite our casual attire. It was crazy upstairs- it was raining a little but the party was still hopping. Turns out there was some fashion show that had gone on earlier. Anyway, we got an amazing view from the roof and we felt really, really cool being at that party. It was definitely an experience.
Our studio got up and grabbed breakfast (and coffee) at Dunkin Donuts near our hotel. Then we hopped on the Subway to Canal Street where we were scheduled to meet our critic for a walking tour of Soho. We passed all of the street vendors with their bags and scarves. Then we headed down Broadway for our walking tour. It was really cool. I loved the cast iron buildings of Soho and all of the cool stores that occupied them. We wound our way back to our site on the corner of Greene and Prince street. There, we took pictures and sketched, and explored the surrounding buildings. Adjacent to the site is the Apple Store, located in an old post office building. Then we went to the Prada Store, just down the street. That was one of my favorite buildings we went into. I got yelled at for taking pictures- but it was worth it.
We broke for lunch and a group of us went to Kelly and Ping’s on Greene Street for some good Thai food. By the time we left, it had started to rain. That was a major bummer. We ducked into the Apple Store, and were dismissed to explore the city as we liked. I had my rain coat, but I bought an umbrella for $5 for good measure. It poured. It was miserable. Our group frantically brainstormed for some indoor activity. Finally, we agreed to head to the Guggenheim to wait out the rain. By the time we got off the subway it had slowed drastically. We went in anyways, but we decided not to pay and go up into the museum. As architecture students, we had really seen the most important part anyway.
By this time I was on my mission. What I mean is that I was deep in my search for Wicked tickets. My most ardent New York desire was to see Wicked on Broadway, and I spent a good portion of Saturday on the phone, trying to find tickets. I had my dad on the phone at home trying to see what the options were on the internet. Let’s just say it was a very frustrating process.
We went sightseeing for the rest of the afternoon, stopping at a church next to the Guggenheim, the lake at Central Park, the steps of the Met, and we even walked through a Czech Republic Independence Day festival. Finally, we got on the subway around 6:00 and went back to our hotel. It was at this time that I finally ordered my Wicked tickets. It took about an hour of calling to get the right tickets (right meaning most affordable) but I did it. I was to pick them up the next day at a restaurant near Times Square.
For dinner that night we went to Pacific Grill at Pier 17. It was pretty being on the water. One of the kids from my studio told the waiter it was my birthday, so I got a free mini cheesecake with chocolate drizzled on the plate, and everyone sang to me. It was fun. There was salsa dancing in another part of the restaurant, so a lot of my studio did that afterward. That was amusing. Then we headed home. At midnight, everyone sang Happy Birthday to me, and I went out with three other kids from my studio. We took the subway to Times Square (during which one of my friends made the announcement to everyone on the subway that it was my 21st birthday, haha) and coincidentally met up with some other kids from school. Times Square has been mostly cut off from vehicle traffic, so we basically got to sit at these tables and chairs in the middle of Times Square at 1:00 in the morning. Observation: a lot of people have their kids out and about sightseeing at 1:00 in them morning. Weird. Anyway, eventually we made our way to a bar (the bouncer told me I was cutting it kind of close. Isn’t that the point?) and my studio friends bought me a drink. It was tons of fun and something I’ll always remember.
SUNDAY (my birthday!)
My friend Julie and I made our way to Soho around 10:30 after grabbing Dunkin Donuts again. We went into this Children’s Art Museum and the Scholastic Store. Both were really cool. Then we met up with two other girls from our studio at the site, and took some more pictures and sketched some more. Then we made our way to Canal Street. Canal Street is really a crazy experience. There are so many people running up to you asking you to buy stuff, the term “hawking their wares” has never been so appropriate. It was fun to look at all the bags, scarves, watches, and perfumes. I bought some perfume (which I have opened and loooove).
The girls I was with were hungry and I was scheduled to pick up my Wicked tickets at 2:00 at Tony Di Napoli restaurant near Times Square. We headed in that direction and my group picked a Belgian restaurant on the same street as Tony Di Napoli. When I went in, the tickets weren’t there. I started to freak a little. I called the ticket company, and the guy remembered who I was and assured me that the tickets would be there soon. I ran back and forth between the two restaurants, in time to order and eat this really good croque monsieur sandwich (basically Belgian grilled cheese). Finally, I got the tickets around 2:20. I clutched them so hard that I had a cramp in my hand after the 8 block walk to the Gershwin Theater. All that was left was to wait for Peggy to get there, and I was set. She arrived about 15 minutes after me, 10 minutes before the show. I bought the soundtrack and the program as a souvenir as we walked in. I started grinning as we sat in our seats and I don’t think I stopped the entire show. It was amazing! Definitely the highlight of my trip. Everything about it was incredible: the set, the music, the cast… I just loved it. Totally worth the sweat, blood, and tears I put into getting the tickets. “Defying Gravity” right before intermission was definitely my favorite part of the show.
After the show, I took the subway to the meatpacking district (all by myself with no issues- I was very proud) and walked a few blocks to the High Line, a park that in on an abandoned elevated railroad track. I wish I would have had more time to spend there, but I got there just in time to be in our studio picture before we all headed to dinner.
We went to dinner at this really cute place called Vento. The food was good and fairly inexpensive. I got sang to (again) and got this really delicious dessert involving caramel ice cream and chocolate mousse. Yum.
After dinner, a group of us went to the Standard Biergarten, a restaurant under the Standard, a hotel on the High Line. It was beautiful. There were long tables with candles on them and these pretty lanterns hanging over them. It was outdoors but the cover of the High Line. One of the guys in our studio noticed a celebrity sitting near us- Michelle Trachtenburg (from Gossip Girl) was sitting right behind us. I don’t watch the show, but it was still pretty funny to have her sitting so close to us.
We had to check out early because we went to a Diller and Scofidio lecture (designers of the High Line). So we packed up everything and dragged it around NYC with us the whole morning. I was so tired by the end. We ate at this cute place called the Sugar Cafe, and departed New York around 1:30. We arrived in DC at 6:00, grabbed dinner at Potbelly, and left for C’Ville around 6:40. We got home around 9:30. My roomies made me a cake and gave me lots of Disney oriented gifs. It was a nice way to arrive home : )
I slept until noon and got my hair cut. That’s about it.
Easily the worst day of this week. I accidently slept through my only class (oops!) and then was at A-School until about 4:00 getting my work together to turn in.
Brian is coming!!! Yay : ) The perfect way to end this lonnnnnngggg post.