New York City Weekend – August 2018

I was lucky enough to win a chance to buy tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, but we didn’t have much time to spend away from work, so we made an extended weekend out of it, with Billy Joel in Madison Square Garden, Frozen on Broadway, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Wall Street, One World Trade Center and Times Square!

NYC Thursday – Billy Joel!

23 August 2018

Missed upgrades by THAT much! On our way across the country for a mini-vacation!

Only one last business class seat so Glen gave it to me! 😘 No sleep last night so I hope I can get some now…

Happy Birthday to Glen with bucket list item achieved…Billy Joel live! Fantastic concert of favorites, with an Aretha tribute by a backup singer/sax player/auxiliary percussionist woman after my own heart, an operatic guitarist, and surprise encore guest Bryan Adams! I knew Billy could play and I love his harmonies, but his keyboard skills blew me away! So glad they cut to the keyboard cam so often, and the piano turned so everyone in the sold-out stadium could see him! He truly is the Piano Man!

We chose our hotel as a short walk to Madison Square Garden since we were concerned about flight timing, airport transit into the city, checking into our hotel, then getting to the Billy Joel show on time. We found Mustang Harry’s nearby because of their cool sign, sitting in the back so our ringing ears could recover, and noticing which songs in their Billy Joel playlist were actually performed live tonight. We enjoyed my first Manhattan in Manhattan (only a bright red cherry, not proper luxardo cherry, but otherwise fine), smoky mac & cheese, and shepherds pie that all hit the spot, then back to our hotel before midnight.

NYC Friday – Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Wall Street, and FROZEN!

24 August 2018

First time on the New York Subway today from Penn Station down to Battery Park! Very glad for good air conditioning on the trains since it was a hot day today!

We got on our cruise to Liberty Island early on Friday so we were already at the Statue of Liberty before our reservation time! Glad we got the last pedestal reservation of the entire weekend just 11 days ago, but wish we knew earlier that crown access up the stairs through the statue often fills up 6 months in advance. Glen realized that if you forget your sunglasses, you must buy silly Lady Liberty ones on the boat! haha…We still had a gorgeous view of the harbor, Ellis Island, Jersey City, Brooklyn & Manhattan from just under Lady Liberty’s feet, we could look up into the internal structure of the statue, and the museum was fascinating, even though so many items were away being refurbished in advance of the new museum opening next year. Loved seeing the old 1916 window-style torch up close!

Ellis Island is a combination ticket with Liberty Island since the ferries make a round trip loop, but as long as you leave the second island in your loop before the last ferry of the day, there is no restriction how long you can stay on either island. The museum was fascinating, inspiring, and heartbreaking, especially separating families due to illness or other refusals to entry, with some staying in the Ellis Island hospital for a couple years of treatment before they could leave. We thought we could try looking up some of our ancestors, but you had to reserve 30 minutes of computer time for $7 for the same access as via the internet for free, so since we didn’t know for sure if we could find any results, we decided we could try at home. I did register for the digital certificate of visitation though!

After returning to Battery Park via the ferry, we walked a couple blocks into the Financial District, where there was a total mob around the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues. I waited patiently in line for a photo with the bull while others kept shoving their way in front of me, so I didn’t bother with trying for a photo with the Fearless Girl. I didn’t realize they will be moving both statues to another location nearer to the New York Stock Exchange building by the end of 2018, so glad we got our chance to see them here. I climbed up the steps to get the Wall St street sign in front of the NYSE building down the street, then we headed back on the subway to our hotel to clean up & get ready for our evening show!

(Wall Street Charging Bull & Fearless Girl: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fearless_Girl )

Friday night was my birthday present…seeing Frozen on Broadway from center orchestra row F! 😀 I wore my teal bridesmaid jewelry embellished with a tiny Elsa charm and my flowy strapless dress that is Elsa’s summer dress colors, and Glen obliged me by wearing teal too. I wanted to see the costumes & effects up close, but we were so close I couldn’t actually take a photo of the entire “carved wood” proscenium from my seat…wow! They specifically said we could take photos during the curtain call and when the show wasn’t actually onstage so I did. I enjoyed the show and several of the new songs, and the performances were excellent even though we saw alternates for Anna & Elsa, but Glen & I agreed that we thought the special effects were better in the Disneyland version in Anaheim. They unsurprisingly changed events around so that Let It Go was the Act I finale, and they used it again as the very final song, which worked well. There were other plot & character changes that were driven by being a stage production instead of animation, and those were fine. I won’t give away any actual spoilers, but probably my favorite part was the Act II opener, a giant song & dance number led by Wandering Oaken about a certain Danish word, and I was dying of laughter the entire song! I think it’ll be worth buying the soundtrack just for that song, and it will probably be worth seeing the show on it’s nationwide tour just to see that again! heehee…We enjoyed two tasty special cocktails in souvenir Frozen sippy cups, I did buy two shirts and a souvenir program, and Ticketmaster had a special collectible ornament that we had bought with our tickets, but I restrained from purchasing anything more. 😉 Look at the snowflake logo closely since it is extremely clever use of negative vs positive space!

We had a late lunch waiting for the ferry at Ellis Island, but by 10:30pm after Frozen we were hungry, so we found Sardi’s a couple doors away from the theatre. We were almost the first post-show people in there but it filled up more as we were served. Their Manhattan didn’t have a luxardo cherry either, but the food was good, and the caricatures of stars lining the walls were fun to see. We finally got back to our hotel around 12:30am, and we were both so tired from our busy day, we fell into bed!

NYC Saturday – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway!

25 August 2018

Saturday was the original reason for our NYC trip… multiple Tony-winning play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! I bought the screenplay in hardback at the midnight release so I knew the story and was looking forward to seeing how the heck they would do these effects live on stage! I tried to buy tickets for the original London show, but that was an online mess with at least 60,000 people ahead of me, so needless to say I didn’t get any. After the Broadway opening was announced, last October Ticketmaster allowed fans to sign up for a chance at a ticket code, then only people with valid codes would be able to purchase tickets during a specific hour window. Several HP friends & I signed up for codes, but I was the only one I knew who received one! Buying tickets in my hour window was smooth, I chose August with decent seats to see both parts on a Saturday, and I bought 6 tickets since that was the maximum I could buy. Before that day was over, Melanie claimed 2, and Kim had claimed the other 2…so appropriate since Melanie & I bonded over Harry Potter in 2003, and I’ve known Kim online since the 2005 PotterParties days of The Leaky Cauldron fan website but had never yet met her in person!

Ready for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! Kim & I both enjoy hard ciders, and one of my favorite brands she hasn’t been able to find for sale near her, so I brought a bottle with me. We we were afraid it would be confiscated at the theatre, so Glen & I walked to her hotel first, which was the first time I saw her in person, with a big smile & great hug! 😀 In another 10 minutes we were across Times Square at the theatre, where Melanie & Mac were already inside, and we met Kim’s friend Deanna. We were glad we were plenty early since we had a cocktail in a souvenir glass, checked out merchandise, and were amazed how even the carpets and walls had been changed to be specific to this show! Not sure you can see how teal-green the Slytherin room was… 😉

By the time we left the theatre, we had a little over 90 minutes to find some food before Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 2, and Kim had found this cute place called Lillie’s Victorian near Times Square, so it seemed perfect for our Wizarding World day! I think everyone had fish & chips except Glen & me, service at the bar was quick & tasty, then we walked back just in time for the next security line back into the Lyric Theatre…

After our early dinner we walked back to get in the security line into the Lyric Theatre…where almost all the merchandise had changed and the stage was set for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 2 to begin! Even though we were sitting down most of the day, watching 5 hours of entertainment was surprisingly tiring! All the posters and signs are still asking everyone to “KeepTheSecrets” and we could see why. Glen explained it as watching an elaborate live magic show with a plot, and I was glad to see how they did the live practical effects that I read in the script, which is completely different than digital effects for movie magic. We will say there are several effects that seem to require long-term physical alterations to the theatre outside of the stage areas, so this may not go on tour as much as have a longer run in certain cities like San Francisco, Melbourne & Hamburg announced so far…so if you do have a chance to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway before June, you might want to!

HarryPotterThePlay.com

NYC Sunday – 9/11 Memorial & One World Trade Center

26 August 2018

Sunday morning we checked out, held our luggage at the hotel, and got on the subway to One World Trade Center. It is amazing that the new 1776-ft-tall building is almost twice as tall as anything around it, but as you get close, you cannot even find it when surrounded by the concrete jungle until you reach the open memorial area. Not only were there lines to get into the 9/11 museum, but we were afraid even if we did get in, we wouldn’t have enough time do to the museum proper justice. I did see the 2002 memorial exhibit at the Smithsonian which was difficult enough to see only one year later. We walked around both reflecting pool fountains where the twin tower buildings used to be, noting how much thought was behind the memorial details, like deeply carved names so years of weather and human touch could not diminish them. It was hard on both of us to read so many names on the memorials, seeing the white roses placed by hand each day to remember birthdays, and when I would see a name with “…and her unborn child” I couldn’t keep from crying.

We headed next for the One World Trade Center Observatory since we figured we could rush through that if necessary and didn’t know how long the lines would be. We got lucky asking at the little ticket information umbrella since she was offering discount cards for the priority line only $8 more than standard ticket when it was usually $25 more! We took that option, bypassing the lines, and getting up the elevator with cool historical time-lapse video “view” on all 4 walls. Since they started so far back in history, collapsing over 500 years into a couple minutes, the original World Trade Center twin towers were built in a flash and only there a few seconds before they dissolved into nothing. In the waiting area, there was another well-done New York montage video, with Glen & me looking behind us to check out the projector setup, of course! For $15 extra you can rent a tablet you can point at the view that had augmented reality overlays with clickable stories about some landmarks and buildings…but the wacky Jenga building must have been built since the app, since it’s not even on the tablet as under construction…I was sure curious about that one! We enjoyed a drink at the bar enjoying the view while splitting a really tasty Reuben sandwich & identifying all the “observation” equipment from antique to modern decorating the bar area.

NYC Sunday – Halloween Adventure & Gothic Renaissance

26 August 2018

Thanks to ScarrryJerry of MyScaryHalloween.com for the tip to check out Halloween Adventure / New York Costumes on our weekend trip to NYC! They do have a website newyorkcostumes.com but the store is definitely worth a look if you’re nearby. :)

Halloween Adventure / New York Costumes is 2 floors chock full of #costumes, #costumeaccessories, #makeup, #wigs, #HalloweenProps, and #HalloweenDecor year-round! Thanks to @scarrryjerry for the heads up so we could check out the store yesterday during our quick weekend trip to #NYC !
#HalloweenStyle #HalloweenDecor #Halloween2018 #HalloweenShopping #WebmistressOfTheDark #EerieElegance #newyorkcostumes #newyorkcostumestore #halloweenadventure #hanyc @ New York Costumes / Halloween Adventure

The Webmistress of the Dark & Ghoulish Glen could have spent a lot more time inside Gothic Renaissance in NYC, but we left intentionally before we were tempted too much! We are trying to restrict ourselves to known themes or foundation pieces that will fit over time, since we’ve already splurged a lot this year, but we sure left with a lot of ideas!

Gothic Renaissance is the sister store with a huge gargoyle in front, next to Halloween Adventure / New York Costumes. Gothic Renaissance is a smaller shop, but true to its name filled with authentic-style and fantasy-style #corsets, #ruffles, #brocades, #leatherarmor, #chainmail, #studdedleather, #lace of all colors, #vintagestylejewelry, #gothjewelry, #gothaccessories, #featherheaddresses, #boots & #shoes of all kinds, and more! Ghoulish Glen & I were both tempted by many items when we checked out the store on Sunday during our quick weekend trip to #NYC, but we definitely left with lots of ideas for future #cosplay! The store is worth a look if you are ever nearby, and this Sunday there was a summer street market for several blocks on the same street including some yummy snacks.
#HalloweenStyle #HalloweenDecor #Halloween2018 #HalloweenShopping #WebmistressOfTheDark #EerieElegance #newyorkcostumes #newyorkcostumestore #halloweenadventure #hanyc #costumes #costumeaccessories #blacklace #gothstyle #corsetstyle #victoriana #victorianstyle #gothicrenaissancenyc @ Gothic Renaissance

NYC Sunday – last look at NYC then home again…

26 August 2018

On our way back to the hotel to get our luggage, we saw Times Square again, the Empire State Building, and the lions in front of the library as seen in Ghostbusters, plus we found a summer street fair that covered a couple blocks! We didn’t see all of it, but Glen had a bratwurst with sauerkraut, plus a spicy grilled corncob, I had rolled ice cream, then we got our luggage from our hotel directly across from a castle-fortress-style NYPD station & headed to the airport via an hour-long car ride…glad we arrived in plenty of time for our flight, including some dinner at the airport! The tiny Statue of Liberty started my desktop travel collection ages ago, and now a mini One World Trade Center stands beside her, amongst 23 years of global souvenirs.