Friday, December 30, 2011

Playing Tourists

We all know that I love NYC more than any place else on Earth. It truly is the center of the universe. As Mr. John Lennon said, "If I was living in Roman times, I'd live in Rome and today the United States is the Roman Empire and New York is Rome itself." So while I was home for 7 days, Linda and I managed to spend a large amount of time together. The biggest adventure day of all of our time together came in the form of us pretending we were tourists in the middle of a Christmastime Manhattan.

While we were in transit, we spent some time watching subway trains go by and were the audience of an impromptu piano recital by a little Asian boy that couldn't have been much older than 5 years old.

We landed at Rockefeller Center for our first stop where we stopped to see the tree. Naturally, I dragged her into Michael Kors to look at purses and shoes - because that's definitely at the top of my priority list. Unfortunately, she forced me into the Lego store next. We did manage to stop and look at the skaters on the Rockefeller rink. She thought it was cute and sweet; I was waiting for someone to fall down.

We roamed around midtown Manhattan and walked up 5th Avenue. I have to say that in this highly talked about global economic downturn, EVERY store was packed with shoppers and we're not talking about Walmart here. We went into Saks 5th Avenue, and Tiffany's while looking through the windows of Cartier, Fendi, Gucci, Bergdorf Goodman, etc... you get the point.

While Linda was enthralled with designers and sparkly things, I had one thing on my mind - a dirty water dog.

The highlight of the trip for the both of us was clearly...

No... it wasn't PP Burger (which my brother insists is called POP Burger, but I disagree). The highlight was FAO Schwarz. TOYS!!! It's two floors of every toy imaginable, most of which you can play with. Of course, the giant candy section didn't hurt either. 

My personal favorite was where you can make legitimate customized Jim Henson Muppets. 

(Linda and I, just kidding. That's a Muppet.)

At $99 each, we skipped the personalized Muppets (we also weren't sure how Louie would feel about it). So to make ourselves feel better, and by ourselves I mean me, I decided to live out a childhood dream.

(Major Tom to ground control)

Linda felt this was more my speed.

(I can't say I totally disagree)

But as disgustingly cute as we are, we settled on being one of the most iconic couples ever created.

From there we stumbled on a whole section of puppets and I was in heaven. First was the goofy dragon who did little more than stick his tongue at her. Then came the knight who attempted to tell the queen he slew the dragon, but for some reason, the queen just stared at him (you'll have to ask her puppeteer what happened there. I won't mention any names as to who is responsible for her silence... but it's Linda).

Finally, we met a chef. Initially, he was French, but as it turns out, I know very few French words that apply to food other than souffle and croissant. So he became Italian. We had a riveting conversation about pizza, sausage and the process of sealing wine bottles - apparently it has something to do with cork soaking (say it quickly, not out loud if people are around). The puppet show went on for nearly an hour as I spoke to every stranger that came within a small proximity to us. At one point I refused to answer a lady as myself and instead made her discuss with the puppet only. As the lines between the adult me and puppet blurred, it was time to go. Plus an adorable 5 year old girl used the knight to slay the chef when all he did was ask her if she liked pizza.

Me and Alfredo "Al" Dente

No trip to midtown Manhattan (for a guy like me) would be complete without a trip to the tech geek Mecca. Directly outside FAO Schwarz was one of Mr. Steve's greatest achievements - the 5th Avenue Apple store.

There was nothing I needed to buy and I know everything about everything the sell and the crowds were out of control so we didn't stay long. Check out the video to see the iOverload that place was.

And that was the end of the NYC Tourist excursion except for taking our time walking back to 33rd and 6th Avenue, rather than taking the subway. We saw everything again on the way down and peeked at Bryant Park and Herald Square before returning home. Oh, and that dirty water dog had run its course so we got a hot, salty pretzel on the way to cap off the experience.

Excursion #2 was another huge success and lots of fun. 

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