A few weekends ago we went to New York City for what I hope becomes an annual summer trip. Last year we met the Julians there and tried to get tickets to Shakespeare in the Park, but even though we were in line at 5 am we missed it. It was closing weekend and Anne Hathaway though, so it was understandable.
This year Ben and Anna joined us for another try. Ben and I woke up to get in line at 3 am. It actually wasn't a bad way to spend the morning, sleeping in the shade and reading and having Zeb and Anna bring us drinks and treats before we got our tickets at 1.
In case you don't know what I'm talking about, Shakespeare in the Park puts on wonderful performances with a famous cast for FREE! You just have to stand in line to get the tickets. We were 250 in line, with 600 behind us, and we got the last few tickets of the day. But this year, it was Al Pacino playing Shylock in Merchant of Venice, thus the line that started the night before.
When we finally got our tickets we felt like we'd been handed gold because we'd slept so little and sat so hard for them. And they fetch a pretty penny on Craigslist. But selling them didn't even cross our minds, much.
That afternoon we found one of the food carts that I had been excited about, The Jamaican Dutchy. I had the stewed goat and it was wonderful. I knew that the food carts in NYC are world-famous, and they even have competitions for them, so I compiled a list of the top 30 ahead of time and we sought them out when we got hungry.
Then we went to the MoMA because it's free on Friday nights. I'm crazy about modern art in general, but there are a few that I go, 'Really?' I know Ben shared my sentiments, and I didn't ask him but he might have been thinking that about this piece. This looks to me like one of those retro speckled countertops. In all seriousness, though, it's quite pretty. I really had a problem with the blue square. I don't think it evokes any immaterial and boundless utopian views of the world, but maybe that's just me.
It was easily the best performance of any kind that I've ever seen, or hope to see. The dialogue was so completely natural and the whole thing just flowed so beautifully that I couldn't believe when it was over already. The sets were beautiful and sparse and the tone of the whole thing was haunting. Al Pacino blew us away, I got chills over and over. And Alec Baldwin was in the audience with us so I got my star sighting out of the way.
The next day Brian and Mel joined us.
Staten Island Ferry
(Photo of S+Z by Ben)
Remember this scene from last year? I feel a series coming on. Also, I went back to the spot with the graffiti wings from the Val photo last year to try to reproduce it with Anna and they had torn it down and put in an Anthropologie! I've never been so disappointed to see an Anthropologie.
(Photo of Mel+Sarah by Zeb)
The Meatpacking District.
All day subway passes.
The food cart I was most excited about, the one I'd heard the most about, was N.Y. Dosas. A dosa is a crepe made of a lentil and rice or cream of wheat batter and then in this case stuffed with lettuce and veggies and topped with a delectable coconut chutney. It was so good, if a little spicy for my taste. But I'm a wimp about spicy. We ate our dosas with chilled coconut water with big chunks of coconut floating around in it. Perfect.
The dosa cart parks at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.
We did lots of other things like the Met which I liked OK, and Zeb loved because of all the sculptures and ancient armor. He loves those things.
(Photo by Ben)
We ended our trip with a trek through Chinatown to Little Italy for Lombardi's pizza, supposedly the best pizza in New York, thus the world. It is credited as the first pizza place in New York at any rate. It was fantastic, it deserves its reputation.
(Pizza photo by Ben)
Speaking of New York's best, one night we all decided to stay in at the flat we were renting and we ate fancified Mac'nCheese and Brian and Mel bought a cheesecake from Two Little Red Hens Bakery, supposedly the best cheesecake in New York, thus the world. And it was amazing. I was so full but I couldn't stop eating it.
Baby hands on the subway. And cousins.
And that's the last of our fun trips for a while.