About a year ago we signed up to be part of a group leaving from here in Northern VA to spend a few days in New York City during the Christmas season. We made payments throughout the year, and then boarded the bus and left on Tuesday morning, December 4th.
We had a great time!
We arrived at the Edison Hotel near Times Square about 3 p.m. After settling into our room, we walked a couple of blocks to Times Square. I have to say, Times Square is crazy!! I can't imagine being there on New Year's Eve. However, the Church's presence is there, also, and among all the many, many other billboards, the Church has a beautiful digital billboard about the true meaning of Christmas. (Christmas is Worship; Christmas is Family; Christmas is Love; Christmas is Service; Christmas is Jesus Christ — with a different image for each phrase.)
We left Times Square and explored for a few blocks and that's when we discovered the most wonderful store! It's called An American Craftsman. Everything in the store is handmade by a variety of artists. They have all kinds of things - blown glass items, hand-crafted furniture, miniature hand-carved wooden scenes, fabulous pottery — every kind of beautiful thing. I couldn't afford to buy anything but we went back to the store another day, too, just to look around. It's a fabulous place!
That first night our group walked to dinner at Hurley's Irish Pub, then we all went to the Imperial Theatre to see "Nice Work (If You Can Get It)" The star was Matthew Broderick. Bob and I thought the rest of the cast were stronger players than he was, but it was a fun show, and Estelle Parsons had a small role near the end of the play. Really enjoyed the music and choreography - especially the human conveyor belt and the "I'm So Delishious" number. It was great fun!
Wednesday morning we went by bus to Macy's where we enjoyed a nice breakfast buffet and a brief fashion show. Then we shopped. Bob and I also went outside to look at some of the store windows. My favorite windows were at Anthropologie. They were gorgeous!! Every one was a winter wonderland.
From there, our bus took us to Rockefeller Plaza and we took a tour of NBC Studios. At one point during the tour they asked for two volunteers to be filmed doing a news and weather segment. I volunteered to do the news and had a lot of fun doing it. It was my first time to read from a teleprompter, and, I thought it went pretty well. Afterward, though, they told us our show was cancelled — before it even aired! My hopes of a new career in broadcast journalism were dashed. And they didn't even provide hair and make-up services!
After our tour we went to the Top of the Rock, an observation deck on the 69th and 70th floors of Rockefeller Center, and were able to photograph some beautiful views of NYC. On the way to the elevator we got this shot (below) of Radio City Music Hall, across the street.
And, here's a pic from the top — of Central Park, and surrounds. . .
Of course, on the ground, Rockefeller Plaza, itself, is beautiful, all decked out for Christmas.
Just across the ice rink from 30 Rock, is the Lego Store! They have a giant serpent — made of Legos, of course — that winds his way across the ceiling, throughout the store. And, in one of the store windows, there's a Lego scale model of the plaza. Very cool!
Since we didn't eat lunch, Bob and I opted for an early dinner (around 4:30 p.m.) at the Carnegie Deli. The deli we wanted to go to (The Stage Deli) closed a couple of weeks before we got there, so that was disappointing. But, the Carnegie came highly recommended, so we tried it out. Instead of bringing chips, or rolls, before the meal, they offer pickles!
Seating is pretty tight in the deli and right after I took this picture, a couple from Nova Scotia sat down next to us. They were there celebrating the wife's birthday, and had tickets to see "Evita" starring Ricky Martin, that evening.
We ordered some cheesecake to take with us to the hotel, so we could eat it after we got back from seeing "Jersey Boys" at the August Wilson Theater. I have been wanting to see "Jersey Boys" for a few years, now, and am angry that we fell victim to a change in ruling by the FCC. This used to be a clean show, but, with the ruling change, they changed the script, and now there is an almost constant barrage of the worst profanity, ever. The music was wonderful. But the show was ruined because the script was so full of obscenities. Very, very disappointing!! (And, since this kind of foul language is now considered part of the common vernacular, they don't even have to warn you ahead of time that it's part of the content.)
Thursday, our final day in the city, we had tickets for the 11 a.m. matinee of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Show. It did not disappoint!!!
The two organists, one on each side of the stage, performed Christmas music before the show. And, the show included lots of great routines, including some with Santa, some favorites from years past, and a few new ones. The backdrops of most of the sets are digital and are fabulously done. This year, they even had two different 3-D segments.
Loved the classic March of the Toy Soldiers.In another routine, they were on a sightseeing bus, and, with the way the bus rotated and moved, and the change of digital scenes behind them, it really looked like they were traveling through different parts of Manhattan!
The finale was a wonderful Nativity scene, and, the show ended with everyone singing "Joy to the World." They even had a number of live animals on stage, including a camel, a donkey, and several sheep.
Although we've seen the Rockettes many times on TV, (and I saw them live many years ago — a brief show — in the spring-time, before a movie) I'm really glad we had the opportunity to see this Christmas show live.
After the show, and, an hour or so delay because someone on our bus got lost, we headed back to Virginia. We enjoyed not having to do all the driving for this trip, and we met some nice people on the bus. Yet, as much as I enjoy traveling and seeing new things, it's always good to be home and to sleep in my own bed. :-)