How did this happen
The long and short of it is that my sister is going to be marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade this year because she is a badass.
I wasn’t originally going to go because of the demands of school and lack of funds to go to NYC. I was originally going to sit and watch it with my grandparents here in Missouri.
But then two days after dropping my family off at the airport, they called and invited the rest of the us out. I have been doing well in school so I could afford to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to support my sister’s incredible performance and experience the magic of New York City during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. Christgiving, if you will.
So here’s how it happened:
I got off the phone with my parents, packed as fast as I humanly could for a week in NYC, drive 4 hours to St. Louis, picked up my youngest sister, and left for the airport at 4am.
Lucky for us, we got through our flight with no issues and were in NYC by 12pm.
Setting out for lunch in Manhattan
Since my family is staying in Times Square, we met there and then set out to find a late lunch. It’s a bit tricky to find anywhere local in the immediate Times Square area, though, so we set off in a random direction to try and find a place. Since we probably looked very confused, a kind woman came up to us and have us a ton of suggestions for good places to eat. She told us she had lived here for 10 years, so her word was good.
That’s the thing! There’s the stereotype about New Yorkers being rude to confused tourists, but as a confused tourist, I’ve only met outgoing, kind people while visiting.
So strange. So happily surprising.
At her suggestion, we tried this Mexican restaurant with some really fantastic pork tacos. What I’ll remember more was the woman who took time out of her busy day to show us where to get a great meal. NYC rocks. Y’all rock.
Walking in Manhattan
After lunch, my family took a nice jaunt thru what was maybe the fashion district? (nice job travel blogger) and admired all of the storefronts that are already decorated for Christmas. The ones full of toys that move around reminds me of a Christmas story. The fashion ones are just weird but I like those too.
Tim Gunn would probably call them “avant-garde”.
There was even a little hole you could look through the see some dandelions. Very artsy indeed.
We walked briefly thru the northwest corner of Central Park. As I wrote about in my first Central Park hike, my favorite part are the huge rocks that you can climb. Between the plane travel and the cold wind, my ears were killing me, though.
As lame as it is, I was happy to head back to the hotel because I needed some time to recover from the hectic travel day before getting into the meat of this trip.
Back to Times Square
Our hotel for this trip is the Marriott Marquis on Times Square, which is thrilling because we can see everything that’s going on down there without walking around in the cold and dodging the people dressed as Elmo.
I don’t know what it is about the people who are dressed up as kiddie characters in Times Square, but they really scare me. Maybe that is bad, but my gut is telling me to avoid them at all costs.
No thank you, Peppa Pig. Excuse me, Cookie Monster.
The rockin’ “Stardusters” at Ellen’s Stardust Diner
My family had previously booked plans, and so my sister and I were on our own for dinner. We decided to checkout Ellen’s Stardust Diner. It’s right on Times Square and features aspiring Broadway performers who sing and dance all around the diner while you enjoy your meal. It had amazing reviews online so we decided it’d be a great dinner spot.
The line to get in at 6pm was VERY long, and we ended up waiting in it for an hour, but that is normal for any sit down restaurant on Times Square, especially during the holidays.
Stardust is an awesome place, because they hire aspiring Broadway singers as staff, and so while eating, you’re getting constant, amazing musical theater and pop performances. The Stardusters work their butts off but they’re getting exposure and extra funding on top of their wages for things like headshots and dance classes that will further their careers.
Once we got a seat, we were allowed to enjoy our food and the singers for over an hour which was an awesome surprise given that I expected to be churned in and out as quickly as possible. As the MC said, it’s like getting a Broadway performance included with your meal. As for the food, it was good diner food but nothing out of this world. I had the french toast with caramel and strawberries which is very sugary and thankfully also very filling.
Much ado about Times Square
After Ellen’s we visited MnM world on Times Square, but apart from getting your MnM soul color read and shopping for multicolored MnMs, there wasn’t a ton to do there.
We also walked around the square a few times to people watch, and then climbed the steps on that bleacher-type of structure in the middle of the square to soak in the lights, the crowds, the smell of halal food, the backflipping street performers, the surplus of scary Micky and Minnie mice, all of it.
It’s so great to be here, and after a full nights sleep, I just know it will get even better.
I think we are going to the Twin Towers memorial, a Broadway show, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and who knows what else! It’s gonna be a great week.
So you’ve gotta keep checking up to read all about it. Or else 😉
Jk only if you dig it 😉 😉