My mom was my guest for the trip this time since she had never been to New York City before. After going there two other times in the past year, I was able to be somewhat of a tour guide for her, showing her the way around and what was coming up in this or that direction. In some cases, I told her which classic Hollywood legends performed at one theatre or another. I learned that info from the Playbill website after my trip to the Theatre District a year ago back in March 2011, wanting to find out about the old buildings I had seen.
We were dropped off just across the street from the Majestic Theatre, where we’d be seeing the 2 p.m. performance of “Phantom of the Opera.” With a little bit of time beforehand, we decided to walk around and find somewhere to eat and just look around.
For lunch, we ate small pizzas at the Cake Boss Cafe in the Discovery Times Square museum. The walls were decorated with various shows such as “Deadliest Catch” (which I love, by the way) as well as “Cake Boss” and images of gourmet desserts. The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit was running at the time, but we didn’t think we’d really have time to check it out and walk around the city before “Phantom” started. The Discovery Times Square museum is one of many attractions in NYC that make me wish I lived there. So many exhibits have gone through it which I wanted to see but missed because of not being able to make it up to the city. So, at this point the Discovery Times Square museum website has info on another upcoming exhibit: the Terra Cotta Warriors. I’d love to see that and it might just be the first of those exhibits I see there because we’ve got an extra “Phantom” ticket through Broadway Box; reason to go back soon!
Then we walked up Shubert Alley toward 45th Street, stopped in some theatre and NYC souvenir gift shops. There are so many of these shops with great items, I couldn’t decide which ones I wanted to look around in.
We saw a TV / movie star on 45th street while standing outside the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Even my mom recognized his face, although we couldn’t immediately place what we had seen him in and didn’t know his name. Later, I thought I saw two other famous people elsewhere in the Theatre District. Or at least they looked very much like two particular male celebrities, one from the music world and another from the movies. One of those celebs or celeb look-alikes was seen while we were crossing 8th Avenue; the other was during one time as we walked under the Marriott Marquis hotel’s breezeway from 45th to 46th Street.
It was getting to be close to showtime, so we began to head back to the Majestic Theatre. We had tickets for seats almost all the way up to the top row of the top section. The show was wonderful, full of elaborate details and I can’t wait to go back to see it again. If you haven’t seen it, definitely go see “Phantom of the Opera” whenever you can. After leaving the theatre, I caught a glimpse of a guy in the street wearing a “Phantom” half mask. We walked across the street to a store called “Theatre Circle,” which had a great collection of Broadway production souvenirs.
Then we walked through the Marriott’s breezeway again, this time to head up to Times Square. Midway through, a young woman approached me to ask if I would take a picture of her with her friends in front of an “Evita” sign. So I took two photos of them as they stood huddled close together for the shot. After that, my mom and I headed to M&M World and eventually bought a bag of the famous candies in peanut butter flavor and in a mix of red, pink and white. Another bag we bought had assorted colored peanut M&Ms; the two bags cost a surprising amount, but it’s not an everyday visit, so why not? After leaving M&M World, someone dressed as Spider-man walked past me and I said, “Spider-man!” Spider-man turned around and pointed my way with both hands, as if to say, “Hey!”
Ready for dinner, we thought we’d check out the Shake Shack which was so crowded and the line of people went out to the sidewalk. I heard about it being a favorite place to eat at in the city beforehand. Besides, I figured maybe we could try the Shake Shack next time around. So we decided on sodas & quick bite to eat from a street vendor, eating on the go and reminding me of “Crocodile Dundee,” when he’s introduced to some of the city’s hot dogs.
After that, we just hung around on 44th Street near the St. James Theatre and walked a little ways down past Shubert Alley. We found a little bagel shop and bought a couple different flavored ones for the bus ride home. I took more photos, one of a big classic convertible outside of Bowlmor Lanes bowling alley. A lot of people were taking each others’ photos next to or in front of the car, which belonged to Bowlmor.
Then we continued to head back to the St. James where the bus would be picking us up. It was a pretty good day in NYC again, this time just my mom and I exploring without following anyone from the rest of our tour bus group. This was also going to be my last NYC trip with campus as I would be graduating less than two months later. Check out my Flickr photos I have of NYC up to this point.
I found this Budget Travel article on free things to do in NYC, which will come in handy next time I go there.