January was a pretty exciting month. It started with lots of wedding planning, including a visit to a bridal expo, securing a few vendors, and purchasing my gown. The second weekend brought me to my first of three minibreaks in the first two months of the year. A friend from France that Chris met through work was spending the weekend in New York City and was looking for company. Enter us!
Chris and I go into the city very often. The close proximity makes it not only possible but fairly simple. We’ve done quite a lot- Broadway shows, Central Park, Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, Little Italy, Times Square, Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art… Remy had a few things on his list, so we just followed his lead, starting with a visit to the iconic Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. I attended Sunday mass there just once but have visited many times, and was a bit saddened to see that some of the inside scaffolding is still up. I’m sure it will be stunning when it is complete and I know I’ll come back to see it after that, but for visitors from far away, like Remy, this is the only picture he will have of it.
I immediately set off in search of Saint Patrick’s Breastplate, one of my favorite prayers that I knew was hiding in there somewhere. Then I lit a candle before we continued onward to Rockefeller Center (both of the boys rebuffed my request to stop in at the nearby American Girl Place). We went the long way around the block for photo ops with Radio City and the ice skating rink before dropping Remy off at the stairway to the Top of the Rock observation deck. Unfortunately, Chris and I weren’t able to secure tickets with the same timed entry that Remy had reserved in advance, so we found a table in the lower level mall and enjoyed some very welcome hot soup while waiting.
After Remy finished at the observation deck (he called it one of the most unique views he’d ever seen) he wanted to visit the Museum of Modern Art. Art was never something I cared much about, especially modern art. But we went anyway, and I was extremely surprised- not only to find things I recognized, but to find things I found interesting! Modern art is more than just Jackson Pollock’s splatters on canvas. Did you know that the famed Starry Night picture by Van Gogh was there? I certainly didn’t, but I was happy to see it. I also enjoyed Monet’s water lilies and Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s soup cans. Who knew I could enjoy modern art so much? I still don’t consider myself an art lover, but I’m so glad that Remy had it on his list because otherwise, I don’t think Chris and I ever would have gone there on our own.
We were all hungry after our modern art education so we found a little pizza place and introduced Remy to the art of the standing room only pizza joint. After finishing off a few large slices, we set to work walking it off by wandering around Times Square before heading up Fifth Avenue and around Central Park. Darkness was falling and my face was becoming numb (I actually stopped taking photos because I didn’t want to take my hands out of my pockets) so after our cold walk through the park we jumped into FAO Schwarz to warm up and look around. I hadn’t been in there since I was kid and it really was a neat place. The famous piano from the movie Big is actually a full blown attraction, with a queue and everything. They also have a big area where you can design your own car, plus a huge selection of chocolate and sweets. I definitely could have spent some serious money in there.
At any rate we were getting hungry, so we hopped on the subway and landed in Little Italy for a delicious dinner, complete with pasta and wine. The restaurant we chose, Il Piccolo Bufalo, is a favorite of ours. It is one of the most reasonably priced but still high quality restaurants in the area. For dessert we introduced Remy to our favorite bakery, Ferrara, where he had his first chocolate dipped cannoli. I enjoyed my usual chocolate dacquoise before we said goodbye to Remy. He headed back uptown to his hotel and Chris and I got on the train and headed back across the river. Another successful day in NYC, with some totally new experiences and some of our old favorites!