Photography by Brianne Lee

Photography by Brianne Lee

Serendipity At Its Finest

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 6

Day 6 was a long, but ever so eventful! To kick off the morning, we took a longer than usual subway ride to the very bottom of Manhattan. From there, we had our eyes set on one thing, the magnificent bridge that stood towering before us. The Brooklyn Bridge to be exact.
 Our cameras came out without delay, and we embarked on the journey across the East River.


After successfully making it across without getting hit by bikers, who showed no mercy to the walkers, we made our way to Brooklyn Bridge Park; a water front area just off the bridge offering stunning views of Manhattan, Lady Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge itself.

 We stopped in the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and treated ourselves to a scoop of their homemade ice cream.
You can probably guess what flavor I picked. Did you guess chocolate? Right you are! 
It tasted so delightful after our long walk in the summers’ heat.

One of my favorite things I discovered on the bridge and then again at the park, was the number of locks attached to the railings. I did a little research afterwards and found that couples attach these locks, actually called “Love Locks”, and throw the key into the East River so it cannot be reopened, symbolizing everlasting love.
 (Being the cheesy, romantic I am, my heart melted when I read that!)

 From the Brooklyn Bridge Park, we walked to the nearest subway (running into a film crew along the way, shooting scenes for something!), and made our way to Fort Green, where we spent the next hour checking out a local flea market. 

Not having anything planned for our evening, we decided to try our luck with Brooklyn’s TKTS booth; where they offer discounted tickets to a number of Broadway musicals. After chatting with a local guy from Brooklyn, who regularly attends musicals, about which show we should attend, we decided on Nice Work If You Can Get It
Little did we know that with the help of this local, we would end up meeting a New York icon. (But more on that later!)

Hungry and craving bagels, we headed back to Williamsburg once more. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw the streets closed off for an event called Williamsburg Walks. Real grass had been placed all along the streets, allowing people to hang out, play games and watch artists at work. We grabbed a bagel and a window seat at Bagelsmith and had fun watching all the happenings outside.


After bidding farewell to Brooklyn, we headed to Broadway. Nice Work If You Can Get It is a musical filled comedy and catchy jazz numbers. It's set in New York during the 1920’s, and features Matthew Broderick and Jessie Mueller as leads.

 We were both surprised at what good seats we managed to get from the TKTS booth. (Left side, floor seats, about half way back!) What Meg and I didn’t realize when we bought the tickets, was the fact that it was the shows’ closing night! This meant the audience was filled with important producers, writers, composers and family members of the cast.
 More importantly, this meant a very distinguished actress was probably in the theatre somewhere, 
considering her husband was the lead.

As the lights went down and curtains rose,
 I pushed the hope of seeing this person out of my mind and settled back to enjoy the show!

During intermission, Meg and I were walking back to our seats, when I heard a familiar voice behind me. 
I stopped in my tracks, turned around and there she was. 
Sarah Jessica Parker. Thee Sarah Jessica Parker! 

“I’m dreaming, I must be dreaming,” I thought as I pinched myself. 
I grabbed Meghan, “Look, there she is!” I stammered with excitement. 
Not sure of what to do, we inched our way back to our seats. 
“I have to go talk to her Meg. I can’t just let this opportunity go! She’s right there!” 

Meg looked a little uncertain. We had previously learned that in New York, seeing celebrities is supposed to be no big deal. Actors and actresses are respected and not bombarded with screaming fans asking for their autograph. 

Regardless, “I’m going over there!” I declared. 
“What are you going to say?” Meg replied.
 “I’m just going to introduce myself!” I said. 

And that’s exactly what I did. I grabbed Meghan, and marched right up to her, introduced myself, 
stating I was a big fan of hers and that her shows and movies were a few of the things that inspired me to come to
New York City.

 “Thank you, thank you so much!” Sarah responded sweetly, “It’s great to meet you!”  
Lights began to go down, signaling the start of the show.
 Touching my arm lightly, she smiled and told us to “have a great trip girls!”

 It’s safe to say I had trouble concentrating the second half of the show. I was completely star stuck. 
She was so soft-spoken, humble and dressed very elegantly.
After the show, we left still in disbelief that that actually happened. Meghan was practically skipping down the street!
The fact that we had gotten tickets for the show just hours before it began, 
and then met one of the most iconic New Yorkers of our time, still blows my mind. 
Serendipity was definitely on our side that night. 

"I’ve never been a millionaire, but I know I’d be just darling at it."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 5

We began the morning of day 5 in the Upper East Side. Our first stop was the well-known, cylindrically white shaped building known as the Guggenheim Museum. Known for its' wide ramp inside, which spirals up to the top, you are able to stop at whatever exhibits strike your fancy along the way. Unfortunately, due to the installation of a new exhibit, we were unable to experience this section of the museum. Regardless, we made our way through the open portions of the museum, admiring the modern and contemporary artwork that occupied its’ walls.

Back outside, we started walking down Madison Ave. Along the way, we happened upon a lovely looking place by the name of Laduree, which sold macaroons. (Surprise, surprise!) Meg and I each bought two, one coffee, one chocolate. 
They were oh so yummy!

Just one street over from Madison is 5th Ave.
 As we began our trek down the famed avenue, I couldn’t help but think of a quote I once found, 
“I’ve never been a millionaire, but I know I’d be just darling at it."
 I’ve always had a love affair with brand name lines such as Chanel, Versace, and Tory Burch;
 so walking down a street where these stores appeared one after another was like living a dream. 
Alas, window-shopping was all my college student budget could afford. Nonetheless, I was a happy camper!

Private terrace at Kate Spade.
Stopping in a couple stores that caught our eyes, we were treated like royalty. 
At Kate Spade, a man who looked like a bodyguard, wearing a suit and sunglasses, greeted and opened the door for us. 
And at Tiffany’s, we had our own personal elevator button pusher!

To escape the heat and rest our feet for a while, we popped in Trump Tower, located right next to Tiffany’s. 
(I now understand why Trump named his daughter Tiffany!) 
Floor to ceiling granite marble, a waterfall, Starbucks, shops and restaurants, Trump Tower has it all. 
“How do you think Trump gets to work?” I questioned.
 “Probably a private helicopter that lands on the roof,” we decided. 
Turns out he actually does have a helicopter! However, I have yet to find out if there's a landing on the roof for it.

Around 3:30, we headed to the second museum of the day. On friday evenings between 4 and 8, the Museum of Modern Art offers free entrance to the public. This was wonderful news considering regular admission price is $25!
We spent the rest of our evening roaming around the MoMA's massive six floor building.

The painting shown above is Pablo Picasso's Girl before a mirror.

The MoMA is home to art pieces done by some of the worlds most famous artists.
 Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera just to name a few.

Pablo Picasso's famed Starry Night.

I loved the layout of this museum. It provided a calm and easy-going experience of modern art. 
With so much to see, the floors seamlessly guide its' visitors throughout the building, allowing you to see everything. 
A personal favorite of mine was the photography exhibit (shown below).

After seeing as much as we possibly could, Meg and I decided to head back to the apartment.
On the way, we picked up a few items from a nearby grocery store and made ourselves a dinner of pasta, veggies and bread from the bakery!

Brooklyn, Bagels and Gatsby

Day 4

In our effort to live like locals, as well as save a little money, we whipped ourselves up a breakfast of scrambled eggs before heading out. Our destination for day 4 ... Brooklyn! 
A friend of my dads', Rich, is a freelance illustrator/animator who lives in Williamsburg. He was kind enough to take time off his busy schedule to show us around. We met him at his apartment and were able to see where he lives and works. 

Skyline view of Manhattan from the rooftop of Rich's place.

From Rich's apartment, he took us around Williamsburg showing us his favorite coffee shops, restaurants, and offering us insightful tips for our time in NYC. I loved hearing him talk about his work, experiences, and day-to-day happenings in the city. You could see how passionate he is about his work and for New York itself.

Before parting ways, Rich gave us a couple more pointers, as well as recommendations for lunch. A little place in Williamsburg, called Bagelsmith, provided us with a taste of our first New York bagel.
 I had a delectable cinnamon raison bagel with a heaping amount of strawberry cream cheese.
As much as I love the bagels from Bruegger's or Boppa's, Bagelsmith definitely took it to the next level!

Meg and I found a bench outside and ate our bagels while doing some people watching. We determined Williamsburg must be where all the “hipsters” live. Hipsters meaning; younger (20’s), trendy (think Converse, thick rimmed Ray Ban glasses, skinny jeans, and large headphones), and not to mention looking effortlessly cool while riding a bike with a basket on the front. Before heading to Manhattan, we wandered around Brooklyn a bit more, stopping in little boutiques along the way.

Back on the island, we explored the Flatiron and Union Square district (both relatively close to each other). The atmosphere was bustling with excitement. And best of all, fewer tourists! I discovered that if I ever moved to New York City, these areas would be great contenders of places to live. From the Flatiron Building and four-story Barnes and Noble, to the variety of people, shops, and restaurants, I could definitely see myself there! 

We took a coffee break at Stumptown Coffee, where we enjoyed mochas and lattes topped with coffee art,
 conversations with locals, and more people watching through the front window.

Mocha from Stumptown Coffee.

Pondering over what to do for the evening, we decided to catch a movie considering the forecast was rain. 
Back on the subway we went, returning to Times Square. 
Once we located the movie theatre, we knew there was only one movie perfect enough for us to see while in New York. 
It was magnificent, dazzling and enchanting. (Kind of like Times Square!)
I felt transported to the 1920's era in New York. 
I highly recommend it! But of course read the book first. :)

How the movie portrayed Times Square in the 20's.

After the movie, we unfortunately had a long walk home in the rain and only 1 umbrella. 
Hot showers were first order of business, then sleep to get us refreshed for day 5!

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