In my family, we like to play a conversation game at the dinner table. It’s called “Highlights and Lowlights,” and it plays out just like it sounds: we each take turns sharing the highs and lows of our day. The game is great because it’s simple, it’s structured, and it’s a chance to hear and be heard.
My recent trip to NYC with my daughter Bird lends itself to Highlights and Lowlights: we had a healthy dose of both. If I had to use one word to describe the trip, it would be intense, but of course NYC is an intense place, so I was expecting nothing less.
Here is a list of our highlights:
- Four free nights in an upgraded room at the Andaz Fifth Avenue was pretty great. Bird kept asking, “Are we VIP’s?” They definitely gave us the VIP treatment. (For those who are wondering how we pulled this off for free, you can read all about it here, here, and here).
- Wicked. We scored fantastic seats, and it was an amazing show. I’m not much of a musical fan, but I was completely blown away.
- A gourmet pasta dinner at Scarpetta, where we shared the braised short ribs and the black farfalle with lobster and basil bread crumbs. (Of course I also had a couple of glasses of perfectly chilled pink wine). Mwa! Delicious! Also, the service was flawless and the atmosphere was iconic NYC.
- Finding the perfect fragrance at Aedes de Venustas. (I wrote about this yesterday). I love this gorgeous jewel box of a boutique. Not only does the shop look exquisite, but the owners really know what they are doing and are willing to spend as much time as it takes to help their customers.
- Dinner with friends at Ippudo. This was totally worth the wait. A few tips: if you get in line at 4:30 pm, you will be seated at 5 pm when they first open for dinner. Otherwise, you may have to wait for upwards of a couple of hours, because they do not take reservations. Also, if you go with a group of 5-6 people, you will be seated at a booth, which is infinitely preferable to being out in the middle of the restaurant. Last, order the pork buns. Trust me.
- Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and getting chocolate chip cookies from Jacques Torres. Fun and yum.
- Drinking in the less popular exhibits at the Met. We walked through stunning rooms in the American Art wing that were completely deserted. We felt privileged and special, plus we could really see and consider all of the pieces. Highly recommend.
And now for the lowlights of our trip:
- Taking the Staten Island Ferry to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. Ugh! This took forever. The ferry was jam-packed. Once we were on, we were trapped – we had to go through with it. At the end of the experience, we both agreed that we just wanted our two hours back.
- SoHo on Friday afternoon. Do not attempt this. Even for a black-belt shopper like myself, this was some kind of an advanced ninja move that I haven’t learned yet.
- Century 21 on a Saturday afternoon. OMG. Still traumatized.
- Having to make a round trip from the city to JFK so that I could verify to Turkish Airlines that I had purchased tickets for my brother and his family to fly to Africa. This is a very long story, which I will tell you soon. Suffice it to say that it was stressful, expensive, and frustrating.
- Taking the airporter bus from the city to Newark to catch our return flight home. One of the top five worst bus rides of my life. This is saying a lot, considering that I was once on a bus that caused Josh to forever test positive for TB. I might write about the Newark bus ride, but I’m not sure if I have it in me to relive the experience.
- The Egypt wing of the Met. Hot and humid and filled with sweaty, loud people.
Have you noticed that we had more highlights than lowlights? We totally did. It was a really great trip, packed with memorable moments both great and terrible.
Real life, baby. Keepin’ it real.