For Christmas, Mitch and I decided that, instead of getting each other gifts, we would get each other a trip to New York City. It all started when I was thinking of getting him tickets to see his favourite band, American Football. Unfortunately, though they were going on tour, they didn’t have any Canadian dates and the closest city they were playing in was New York. As I have mentioned before, I love New York, so I didn’t have to think too hard about it, I just had to convince Mitch. Luckily, he didn’t take much convincing either. So, in January, we hopped on a Mega Bus over night and made our way to the Big Apple. The ride was as comfortable as it could be, though we had very little sleep, and we arrived in Manhattan early Saturday morning. We started our day with Starbucks and a walk through Manhattan, past monuments like the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall to our hotel.
After looking into AirBnb and Hostels, we had managed to find a Groupon for the Manhattan hotel and found it was worth it for the privacy and the ease of location. Even though check-in wasn’t until later, we were able to freshen up and store our bags at the hotel and head out to see some more of the city. Our first stop was breakfast at the Manhattan Diner, a retro style diner with avocado coloured walls that had a good classic breakfast. After breakfast we wandered our way to central park for a stroll and stumbled upon a wedding taking place in an ornate underpass. It was picturesque.
We strolled through the park and made our way to the Metropolitan Museum but decided not to go in due to lines and time. We then walked back up 5th Avenue where we came upon the building owned by the one and only Donald Trump. This was literally a week after Trump had been inaugurated so needless to say it was intense. The building had high security with armed officers with machine guns guarding the doors and police barricades blocking off streets around the building because Melania was living there at the time. It was disgusting to see how much money was being wasted by her living there and throughout the weekend we saw people with protest signs heading out to rallies and marches against the man who was not their president.
After taking that in, we decided to do some shopping on 5th Ave before walking by the Museum of Modern Art. We were thinking about going into the MoMA but, upon seeing how expensive the admission price was, decided to take a look in the gift shop instead where we bought a retro poster of New York City. We then decided that, if we wanted to last through the concert, we should head back to the hotel to shower and rest.
After we rested we went out and stopped by Radio City Music Hall for some photos and grabbed an early dinner at Shake Shack. The juicy burgers and creamy milk shakes were as tasty as ever. On our way back, we walked through the blinding lights of Time Square, grabbing a six pack from the Walgreens as we headed back to the hotel for a beer before making out way to the concert.
The concert was at Terminal 5, just a short walk away from the hotel. It was a good sized venue that could hold a good crowd while still feeling intimate. American Football was fantastic with their twinkly guitar sounds and they played every song from their two albums. Mitch has loved them since he was a teenager so it was great to be there and experience it with him. In my opinion, they have a pretty mellow sound but that didn’t stop some hard core fans from starting a mosh pit in front of us. After the concert, we wandered our way back grabbing a Shawarma from a street vendor and ate them in bed.
We started the next day with tasty bagels and coffee from Pick-a-Bagel. The place was packed but my bagel with lox and cream cheese was completely worth the wait. We then hopped on the subway and made our way to Brooklyn. We strolled through the streets of short brick houses and mom and pop shops of Manhattan and found a building that, from the outside, looked like a run down factory but the distinct green sign signified it was Brooklyn Brewery. Brooklyn Brewery has fantastic beers, a great beer garden area with picnic tables to sit at, and gives free tours every half hour. We drank a variety of beer before our tour and which was a great way to get a bit of that hipster culture and to hear about local brews.
After our tour and beers we needed some sustenance and found a classic New York style pizza place before heading back to Manhattan. We made it back to the hotel where we packed up our bags before wandering through town some more and finding a diner to hang out at until our bus was to leave for the long journey home. The journey was made longer by a snow storm but we made it through the night back to Toronto.
It was our first time away just the two of us and even though I was exhausted at work on Monday, I would do it all over again.
Until next time,