For the 2016-17 season, Chris played in the American League for the Binghamton Senators. While the city of Binghamton was pretty in autumn because it is surrounded by hills of trees, there wasn’t so much to do in the winter. Lucky for us, Chris got some extra days off before Christmas so we decided to take the three hour drive to New York City. It has always been a dream of mine to see the city while it was decorated for Christmas, and Chris had just never even seen the plain city. Our decision was made and we headed off to the Big Apple.
Please note, while I have gone to NYC a few times in my life, I am in no way calling myself an expert of the city. Rather, a classic tourist who wants to do touristy things upon each time I go. But here are some of the cool things we were able to do in a short amount of time.
We first had to find a place to park our car – at the time Chris was driving a Mazda CX5 and we felt so out of place not just being inside a taxi. Frick, driving into the city from New Jersey was the scariest experience ever – and I’m a crazy Buffalo driver myself. Anyway, the hotel we stayed at, The Pod 51 NYC, provided a discount for overnight parking at a garage nearby. So, we pulled into the garage that only allowed you to drive it one way, they put our car on an elevator to take it to another floor and we walked right on out.
Now, the first thing on our mind at that point was pizza. Several years back, my aunt and uncle took me and my cousin Brittany to NYC as a high school graduation gift and on that trip they exposed me to two very important things: Shake Shack and Johns of Bleecker Street Pizza. I am linking Johns to its website because, c’mon, it’s New York City and there about a billion pizzas named after a guy named John. This Bleecker Street John though, has the best New York style pizza, hands down.
As for Shake Shack, all I can say is it is my all time favorite fast-food burger. The original Shake Shack is found in Madison Square Park and it has outdoor seating. This place was our first stop and a little cold air didn’t stop us from eating outside. Now there are several locations around New York City and around the country and world (we went to one in London!). I had to go back to NYC for work training that April and I shamelessly ate at the Shake Shack near the bus stop, by myself, people watching and I had never been happier in my life.
It’s Christmas in the city and we don’t even know where to begin.
We started off with walking down 5th Avenue to see all the Christmas window displays. It was pretty cool.
We then walked towards Union Square to check out their Christmas Market. I really enjoyed this one because it really did remind me of the European markets I had gone to during my time abroad. They even had authentic Belgium Waffles! Wow I am talking a lot about food.
Ok, Times Square, obviously. You are one-hundred percent bound to get wrapped up in some kind of street performance of a bunch of guys dancing and doing flips over each other. You are also bound to get stuck laughing your head off and the characters like Mickey, Elmo and Spider Man take their heads off when they are getting too hot in their costumes all while trying to take money from anyone who snaps a picture. Gotta love it.
Last but not least, Rockefeller Center. In hopes of running into Tina Fey, we made it through the crowds to see the iconic NYC Christmas tree all lit up. When we walked over to see over the ice rink, we saw a man finishing up his proposal. The tree is as cool as it seems and worth the hype you gave yourself all those years.
Chris and I realized that almost every single Christmas movie takes place in New York City so it obviously is the place to be. I’m glad we were able to do that at the time, especially considering we will be abroad for a couple more Christmas’ in the future and won’t be able to see NYC during the holiday season. We had so much fun spending time together on this little getaway.