beth and kit’s excellent adventure (then shawarma after)

Last week I had the honor of hosting my college bud Kit on her first ever trip to New York City! Which meant doing one of my favorite things: taking a week off work and playing tourist.

As soon as Kit’s plane touched down Wednesday it was ago on the tourist attractions, starting with an oldie but a goodie, Coney Island.

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Which is freezing in mid-March, by the way.

The next few days saw us in a Brooklyn bagel shop, the High Line, Central Park, and walking the Manhattan Bridge.

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“I don’t know what it is but I want to try it.”

And it isn’t a Kit and Beth get-together without some sort of reference to the Avengers, which is why getting some shawarma was high on our list. Shawarma, by the way, is freaking delicious. (Our next goal is to travel to Budapest together so we can say to one another, “You and I remember Budapest very differently.” Yes, we are nerds.)

Although there were a few repeat sites for me, we did also slip in some attractions that I hadn’t been to yet, such as the Museum of Sex, Top of the Rock, Museum of Modern Art, the Met, Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square (home of the singing waitstaff), the National Museum of the American Indian, and Battery Park. Oh, and we saw a little theater production called Chicago. Have you heard of it?

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The last couple days of Kit’s trip were a wind-down, and included us mostly wandering around different neighborhoods, including my own. And we saw Zootopia. Which has nothing to do with New York, but it was a fantastic movie.

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You can also read about our adventures on Kit’s blog!

the will & grace tour

Anyone who knows has met me knows that Will & Grace is my favorite TV show, ever. So how convenient that I should happen to live where the show is set. (No, that’s not the reason I moved to New York…well, not the only reason.)

I decided that while I was living here, it might be cool to see some of the places that were used in exterior shots on the show. So I hopped on the F train (or as Grace Adler calls it, “the effing train!”), and started out by going downtown to see the Puck Building, aka Grace’s office.

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Then to the Upper East Side for a peek at Karen Walker’s mansion:

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Back down to Midtown East to the Palace Hotel, where Karen lives for a while:

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And another train west to the UBS building, aka Will Truman’s office:

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And last but not least, I headed uptown to the Upper West Side to the apartment building where Will, Grace, and Jack live:

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(This may all seem really geeky, but I’m going to be so excited next time I’m watching Will & Grace and can say “I was there!!”)

dumbo, chinatown, and the bridge in between

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I originally had the idea to walk the Manhattan Bridge so that I could get some good shots of the Brooklyn Bridge (which I’ve already walked twice). When I found out it connected two neighborhoods I had been meaning to explore, I decided to make a day of it.

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I started out in Brooklyn, walking around DUMBO (that’s Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass–those New Yorkers love their acronyms), before heading up to the bridge for the main attraction.

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Once I touched down in Manhattan, I took a quick stroll around Chinatown…

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…before ending my day with some apple bacon pizza and a rose lemonade (my new favorite beverage that isn’t coffee).

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prospect park

Last weekend I rolled into Prospect Park with the intention of exploring the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, only to find out that admission was $12!! I’ve only been to one other botanic garden before (here), but does anyone else find it odd that it wasn’t free? I guess that’s New York for you.

So, determined not to waste the commute, I strolled through the park instead. Less exotic but just as enjoyable.

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pics post: manhattanhenge

Manhattanhenge was actually over a month ago, and the reason I didn’t post about it right away is that my photos of the actual big moment were quite disappointing. But I still got some shots I liked while I was waiting on 34th Street. So here’s Midtown in all its sunset-y glory:

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sprinkles cupcake atm

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When I heard there was a cupcake vending machine in New York City, I knew I had to check it out. (No, that’s not the reason I moved here…well, not the main reason.) I actually located the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM by accident while wandering on the East Side one day, so I returned shortly thereafter.

All you do is choose your cupcake flavor on the screen on the left, swipe your card and a box with your cupcake in it magically appears behind the small door on the right. I’ll be honest; the cupcake itself was good (I went with classic vanilla), but I’m not sure it was worth the $4.25 that it cost. I guess you’re mostly paying for the unique experience.

tourist for a week: union square

On the last full day of my dad’s visit, we eventually ended up in Union Square, where we stopped for refreshments at Argo Tea and Whole Foods before settling down in a grassy patch to relax for a moment.

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Another ESB photo to add to the collection.

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Several of the buildings in the area have water towers on top; I spotted these two with quirky exteriors.

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And that’s it! A couple days later I was back at work, back to being a commuter instead of a tourist.

tourist for a week: riverside park

This is the day we walked the entire 50-block length (yes, fifty–five zero) of Riverside Park, also known as the park where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meet at the end of You’ve Got Mail.

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For some reason I had it in my head that they meet in front of a fountain. Turns out it’s actually in front of the 91st Street Garden (and Riverside Park doesn’t even have a fountain), which we managed to miss. Oh well, perhaps I’ll just have to take another trip out there someday.

We did still find some great views of the Hudson River, some memorials and the Upper West Side.

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tourist for a week: coney island

The day before Memorial Day, my dad and I took the incredibly short train ride from my house to Coney Island. Tip: if you’re going to go to Coney Island on a Sunday, go first thing in the morning; there’s people but it’s not too crowded. By the time the boardwalk started to fill up with crowds in the afternoon, we were already on our way out.

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We strolled the length of the boardwalk, then went onto the beach before doubling back. I dipped my toes in the water and it was freezing. Which wasn’t stopping some people from swimming (without wetsuits!). Now that’s dedication.

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The Wonder Wheel is the Empire State Building of Brooklyn; you can’t have too many pictures.

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The trip was topped off with one of the best ice cream cones I’ve ever had. (If you ever find yourself in Brooklyn, head to Coney Island Cones; the ice cream is homemade and so good!)

Still more touristy goodness to come!

tourist for a week: central park and yankee stadium

The same day my dad and I walked The High Line we also went uptown and ended up visiting another public park. A little spot called Central Park–perhaps you’ve heard of it?

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We started close to the northern end and wandered down to 72nd Street. We came back the next day to finish the walk from 72nd to the southern end of the park.

Oh, and this was happening.

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Another day we took the train up to the Bronx to take a peek at Yankee Stadium.

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Turns out the Empire State Building is visible even from the south Bronx.

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You’d think it was really tall or something.

Stay tuned for Coney Island and yet another park!

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