The Rest of NYC – December 2016

While I didn’t leave my last post on a cliffhanger, there was more time in NYC to write about that I never got around to. At least, not until now, when I’ve just returned from my latest trip (my annual pilgrimage to Los Angeles for Gallifrey One) and realized I hadn’t completed that post. Now I feel compelled to do so before I blog about the new trip!

There actually isn’t a whole lot to say about the rest of our time in NYC as much of it was spent soaking in the local sights, though there were a few notable callouts. After discovering the day before that we couldn’t do the NBC Studio Tour, we decided to do something else Scott had never done before – visit the Top of the Rock. I had done it on the solo NYC trip I did in 2012, but as long as the weather is nice (for the views), it’s somewhere I’ll happily visit again. You get such great views of the city from the top! You could argue this is the best place to get views of NYC, since the Empire State Building is part of those views (and it obviously isn’t when you’re standing on the top of that building). Fun fact – do you know the actual name of this building? As of 2015, it’s the Comcast Building and was previously the GE Building and the RCA building before that (that was its original name when it was built), but of course everyone knows it as 30 Rock. The tickets are pretty reasonably priced at $34 and you can add various upgrades and extras on top of that price, like a “keepsake photo”, a combo ticket with MoMA, the ability to do two visits in 24 hours (so you can see the views both during the day and at night), etc. Since we visited during the day, I would be interested in seeing what the views are like at night, so that upgrade may be worth it at some point in the future (or, since we’ve already been during the day, we could just buy a standard ticket and visit in the evening).

As we were walking around the neighborhoods near our apartment, we came across an artist selling his watercolors. They were well-done and all focused on various streets and buildings around the city and Scott found two of specific areas of the West Village that he loves, so we bought them. They were $35 each, which felt very reasonable, and they look great framed in our dining room today. The artist’s name is Kazua Morimoto and you can learn more about him and see his work on his website. If you see him selling his paintings when you’re out and about in NYC, stop and check them out!

Last time we were in NYC, we caught up with a friend of mine from Omaha and this time, we caught up with a friend of Scott’s who he used to work with, but has since moved to New Jersey. He and his girlfriend were lots of fun to chat with and we enjoyed our meal at the White Horse Tavern, the second-oldest continually-run tavern in NYC. Pretty cool, eh? We actually weren’t even going to go there, but our first choice (The Spotted Pig) had a two-hour wait and no one was interested in that! We spotted the White Horse as we were walking around looking for other options and I’m glad we did. The food isn’t anything fancy (think bar food – that’s pretty much what you get), but it’s tasty and decently-priced, especially for this city. They do only accept cash though, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to go there.

We also got to see another of Scott’s friends who actually lives here in the Twin Cities, but happened to be in NYC at the same time we were. Our plan was to meet up for a drink, but SantaCon made that a bit difficult as many bars were overflowing with people in Santa costumes. As someone who doesn’t love crowded bars, the prospect of wading through a sea of red just to get into a bar wasn’t exciting, but we just needed to hunt around a bit to find a place that either wasn’t yet full of Santas or just wasn’t participating in SantaCon (some had signs that made it clear they weren’t looking for crowds of Santas to descend upon them). Luckily, that place ended up being The Stonewall Inn, which I’d never visited before! It has an important place in LGBT history, so I’m really glad we got to visit. We didn’t spend a ton of time there, but there’s always time for a drink, so I’m sure we’ll return the next time we’re in NYC.

Random assortment of photos to follow…now!

Great weather for exploring the West Village.

I loved seeing all the stoops decorated for Christmas!

Outside Radio City Music Hall before heading up to the Top of the Rock.

A quick selife with the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

Sunny views of the winter-brown Central Park.

More views of the city and park.

Empire state of mind.

Pictures on a street corner.

I loved this Christmas tree!

The bust of Thomas Moore in Central Park.

Gapstow Bridge in Central Park.

“Guests of the New Celebrity Ding Dang Dong stay at the world-renowned Plaza Hotel, New York’s most exciting hotel.”

The Cubbyhole, our local bar when we’re in NYC.

Sant Ambroeus, a restaurant we haven’t visited, but hopefully will get to on a future visit.

Another festive front stoop.

The two prints we bought from Kazua Morimoto.

Outside the Stonewall Inn.

Oh, and one more thing. We may or may not have (read – we definitely did) go see Mariah’s concert a second time the night before we went home. We just happened to check ticket prices on the Friday night (for the Saturday show) and found a great deal for really good seats, so we figured, why not! Being a big MC fan, I had no problem with this idea and it was nice to have the time to be more focused on the show without feeling the need to get as many pictures. Of course, I did still take a few pictures – only a few though!

A nice shot of the Beacon before the show started.

The new seats weren’t second-row, but they were dead center and still really great.

A nice glow in this photo.

Singing her heart out!

With the big choir.

A fantastic intro for Joy to the World. Her voice was more on point this night!

A snippet of Christmas Time is in the Air Again.

Another big finale!

Being a bit further back from the stage actually made some of the pictures seem better as I could more easily get the whole stage in the shots.

And with that, we ended our (latest) trip to NYC. It was a blast and certainly more Christmasy-feeling, thanks to actual winter(ish) temps. With this being our second Christmas-time trip to the Big Apple, it certainly feels like we’ve established a trend. Long may it continue!

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About thejeffelston

Based in St. Paul, MN and love to blog about travel. Comment, follow, and join me on my journey!