Sunday, December 18, 2011

New York, Day 1

The first time I went to New York with the Suzanne Middle School Challenger Band and Orchestra, I stayed at the Hilton Hotel on Avenue of the Americas. The hotel was teeming with pandemonium caused by the arrival of hundreds of eight-graders. We thought it was highly amusing to pull pranks, like making the elevator stop on each floor of the hotel (keeping in mind that the Hilton New York apparently has 46 floors).

We stayed in a prime location. A short walk around the corner was a concoction of all of the famous New York City attractions, from Times Square to the Rockefeller Center. It's hard to imagine a more perfect part of the city for a casual tourist. The trip culminated with our performance at the famous Carnegie Hall. I was too young at the time to understand the significance and acoustic brilliance of Carnegie Hall. "It's just an old but famous concert hall," I thought as I walked onto the brightly lit stage of the venue.
First time in New York (April 2003)
We visited New York in April 2003, just as winter finished thawing into spring. The weather was almost perfect. This time around, the Boy and I flew into New York in December, when the weather on the east coast is generally 25 degrees colder than weather in southern California.

"I can handle the cold," I tell him, "and I really really hope it snows while we are in Manhattan!"

He raises his eyebrows. "You've obviously never experienced a real winter," he says, "and snow is pretty damn inconvenient."

The dreams of experiencing a "real" winter, possibility of snowfall, and potential to don peacoats and boots quickly overshadowed any concerns of painfully cold weather.
We took off from Los Angeles (LAX) around 1:30pm and arrived the John F. Kennedy International Airport around 10pm that night. The island of Manhattan was still as grand and gorgeous as ever. From our aerial vantage point, the illuminated island was a sharp contrast to Oklahoma - we could only see two lighted points throughout the entire state.
We stayed at the Z Hotel in Long Island City. The hotel is nice if you can get over the fact that it is literally in the middle of nowhere. Even taxis don't frequent the area around the hotel.

The view of the Manhattan skyline from our hotel was decent.
My favorite part of the hotel room - they used Mason jar lights!
I was excited to be back in New York again!

(*** I've recently discovered the joys of Instagram on my iPhone! It's quick and convenient - I don't have to carry around a bulky DSLR. While it takes really nice pictures, the amount of creative control I have over my pictures is slightly lacking. I'll probably get over this phase sometime in the near future and start using my DSLR again. In the meantime, bear with the Instagram photos***)

New York Song of the Day
New York, New York - Frank Sinatra

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