As expected, the New York trip was delightful. In retrospect, I'm rather astonished at how much stuff we crammed into 4.5 days. We met with friends, saw two movies and an off-Broadway show, got some neat stuff, ate some fine vittles, did some touristy stuff and even managed to just chill out and enjoy each other's company. Jason and I hadn't really travelled together before (a day trip to Busch Gardens was the closest we had come), so it was nice to see that our compatibility extends to travel as well. Of course, we were pretty happy to come home and see the cats, too. Especially when we found that they hadn't pooped on our bed as we had feared. Yeaaaa!
Friday morning, I joined J in the city and we did some shopping, which yielded something for both of us to wear to my cousin's wedding and some stunning clothes for him. We finished the day with an early dinner at a Japanese place two doors down from our hotel, and were asleep by 10 p.m. Don't judge.
Saturday began with a pilgrimage to the Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side and a stroll through Chinatown (with a detour through the no-mans'-land south of there). Afterwards, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and had lunch at Grimaldi's Pizzeria. If you're ever in or near Brooklyn, I highly recommend their pizza. It's incredible. We took the subway back to Manhattan and walked through Greenwich Village for a while before joining my friends Mary Ann and Nathaniel for a showing of The Queen (which I'll probably review this weekend for HoleCity) and a lovely dinner. Thanks to Mary Ann and Nathaniel for a wonderful evening!
On Sunday, we did some book/DVD shopping and hung out in Tompkins Square Park, watching the dog park. I was captivated (I captivate easily; you know this) by the sight of a black squirrel. I didn't know New York had those! I knew they were all over Washington, DC, but I didn't know the little mink-looking buggers had gotten so far north. We enjoyed a late lunch with J's friend Andrew, who is a delight. After walking through the south end of Central Park looking for the zoo (no dice), we finished the day with a viewing of The Departed, followed by a search for a restaurant on the Upper East Side open past 10 p.m. on a Sunday.
Monday, we went back to the Lower East Side, hoping to hit the Doughnut Plant again, but as I just now found out from their Web site, they aren't open Mondays. Foo! After a non-life-changing-doughnut-centric breakfast, we did something I meant to do during the month or so I spent living on the Lower East Side: we visited the Tenement Museum. The tour we took focused on two immigrant families who lived in the building at 97 Orchard Street; one during the financial panic of the 1870s and one during the Great Depression. The living conditions, especially during the mid-to-late nineteenth century, were mind-blowingly harsh. It's a testament to the determination of all the families who lived in that area and time (7,000 families in that 20-unit building alone during a 75-year period) that they stuck it out.
After a delightful lunch at Joe's Shanghai (get the soup dumplings!!), we walked north and west, back through Chinatown and the Village. [I should note that on Saturday, we wedged ourselves into the mob at the Max Brenner chocolate shop off of Union Square, where I got a cup of hot chocolate that was thicker than some cake frosting I've made. Very decadent stuff!] We decided to see if we could get tickets to Evil Dead: The Musical for our last night in New York, and we were in luck!
The seats we got (half off!) were in the third row, orchestra section -- what's that? Yes, I said "Evil Dead: The Musical." Yes, they made a musical out of the Evil Dead movies, and it's fantastic. It's goofy, campy fun, with quarts of fake blood splashing onto the first few rows (the theater provided cheap ponchos, but J and I bought our own in preparation) and a great Bruce Campbell impersonation from the star, Ryan Ward. My favorite song was probably "What the Fuck Was That?!" although the mournful "Bit-Part Demon" was nice, too. An excellent time at the theater, and a reminder that we need to re-watch Evil Dead 2 one of these days.
Tuesday, we erred on the side of caution and allowed ourselves plenty of time to check out and get to the airport. As great as our trip was, it was nice to get home, remind our walnut-sized-brain-having cats who we were, check the house for damage (none spotted so far!) and watch some TiFauxed TV before sprawling on a bed that would never have fit in our budget hotel room. It's good to travel, it's good to be home -- it's all good when I'm with my sweetie.