Today was a very, VERY exciting day.
A very full day, too. We started off ice skating at the Rockefeller Center- in front of the huge tree and everything! Then we made our way to the 9/11 museum and memorial to learn about the tragic falling of the Twin Towers that still affects America today. Finally, we strolled on down to Broadway to see Chicago at the Ambassador Theater.
So, come along now! Read allllll about it:
Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center
We had bought tickets to go ice skating at the Rockefeller center the previous afternoon and we’re very lucky to get tickets since the rink is actually pretty small and spots fill up fast.
Skating at the Rockefeller Center during Christmastime is iconic. So naturally, the price is pretty steep and tickets are snatched up fast. The price of admission depends on the date and time, so it’s more expensive at night and closer to Christmas, and less expensive in the mornings before Thanksgiving. That’s why we chose the earliest time slot available at 9:10am. You also have to pay for skates so the total cost is about 34$.
That being said, I’d gladly pay every penny to do it all over again.
We waited in line until about 5 minutes before our time started. The iconic Rockefeller Tree is being put together, it’s covered in scaffolding at the moment but you can still see it. It’s probably the biggest pine tree I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen some pretty big ones in the Ozarks.
Once they let us into the building, we got our skates and packed everything into our lockers. You aren’t allowed to have any purses out on the ice with you since it’s a safety hazard, but they do provide lockers with combos at no extra charge.
At 9:10am, everything was perfect. Only a few people were out on the ice with us and so we had plenty of space to get used to things. By things, I mean the sort of rhythm of your footsteps that you need to successfully ice skate.
I feel like winter sports tend to translate to other winter sports fairly well, because the balance techniques I had to learn for skiing actually really helped me with skating, which I don’t have much experience with as a midsoutherner.
The rink is small, but surrounded by the Rockefeller tree, the department store windows decked to the nines for Christmas, and the towering skyscrapers, it felt every bit as thrilling as I’d imagined it.
It’s a thing I’d always read about as a kid bit I can’t believe I’m actually doing it in real life.
As our hour slot went on, more people arrived and it got a little harder to change speeds and avoid crashing into people. Which I saw happen a lot. If your self consciousness is holding you back from ice skating, don’t let it! There were two people in the middle of the rink doing fancy spins but the rest of us fell in that blurry range between amateur and incompetent.
The hour both flew by and felt like it was plenty of time to enjoy skating.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
Next we had to get to our time slot at the 9/11 memorial and museum. That required us to take the subway. Except for one of my sisters and I, it was my family’s first time taking the subway and they did great. We got off right at the World Trade Center, which is huge and shaped like a whale skeleton. It’s actually so big we had trouble finding our way out.
The 9/11 memorial is located exactly where both towers used to be. Each one is a square shaped waterfall that flows into a smaller waterfall. The panels lining the waterfalls have the names of those who lost their lives on 9/11. On each persons birthday, they place roses in the panels, and some are still being decorated by surviving friends and family.
The museum is adjacent to the outdoor monuments. It’s a great one. It’s build on top of what is left of the former World Trade Center and that is a haunting thing to be thinking about when going through.
All around you are spires of warped iron from the collision. To get to the lower levels of the museum, you walk down alongside a set of dilapidated steps called the survivors stairs which led some of the workers to safety.
The museum is first separated by the hours leading up to the attack, the hour by hour progression of the attack itself, and the aftermath of the attack. There is also an entire wing with photos of most (if not all) of the workers, firefighters, and volunteers who died during the attacks. It is a devastating experience. However, I think visiting was very important since there was a lot I didn’t know about the event, such as why the attackers decided to commit this atrocity and the delicate mission to take down Bin Laden after 10 years of efforts.
Most importantly, it documented the lives and experiences of those who were there during the attacks.
It was informative for me, but it brought back difficult memories for my parents since they had lived through this event, so that may be something to keep in mind if you’re planning on visiting.
Dinner in Hell’s Kitchen, aka WTB tries shepherd’s pie
We got dinner at a pub in Hell’s Kitchen which was I was very happy about since I have Irish ancestry and this is the Irish borough (just wait for the Ellis island post!) and it was very nice.
I have been holding out on trying shepherd’s pie because I am scared. Not for a normal reason, for a dumb reason. I just want the first time I have it to be really, really good. And figured, there’s no better place to try than Hell’s Kitchen. So I tried it and it was delicious. Yay for conquering imaginary fears!!
Afterwards, it was time to set out for a new experience- seeing a show on Broadway!
Seeing Chicago on Broadway!
I originally thought that Broadway was just one very famous theater in NYC, which is a very silly little thing to think. Broadway is actually a whole district full of theaters showing the most popular current and classical musicals.
We have tickets for Chicago at the Ambassador Theater and I could not be more excited to get my playbill and see it!
The Ambassador Theater is a smaller and older one, but what I really like is that the seats are all on raised levels instead of just on a sloped floor, so you don’t have to worry about a tall person obstructing your view unless they’re like 7 feet tall.
I wasn’t familiar with the plot beforehand, but Chicago itself was a fun time. Not the best musical performance I’ve ever seen and the plot just doesn’t resonate with me (I kept waiting for something else to happen after Roxie and Velma got out of jail), but everyone was incredibly talented and I felt so lucky to be there and see it. Some real highlights were:
1. The orchestra, phenomenal and frequently interacted with the actors
2. The girl who played Roxie, she is reprising the role and it’s clear she was made for it
3. The set, it’s a sort of a staircase that takes up the whole stage and allows both the actors and orchestra to intermingle.
Boy do I feel like the silliest, luckiest little lady in the world.
I went ice skating at Rockefeller Center, learned some very important U.S. history at the 9/11 museum and memorial, had a great meal at Hell’s Kitchen, and saw my very first Broadway show.
NYC is quite the place.