Monday, November 4, 2013

the one about new york

It's not by chance I was in New York on the first day of November--the start of the annual "What I am Thankful for.." daily Facebook posts that people pronounce to their "friends." I like to count my blessings every day, and I am so thankful for my time I had with my Mom in New York. We made so many great memories that I will not soon forget... Here are the top 5:

5. JG Melon. As I was looking to find lunch spots, I ran across this little place that Bobby Flay claimed to have "the best burger in Manhattan." I thought I would give it a try since I love a cheeseburger more than just about anything in the world. After a nightmare subway experience, we made it to 60th. JG is on the corner of 74th and 3rd--so we walked up 14 streets. It took me a couple of times to master the Subway again--Mom didn't like it too much after she saw a homeless schizophrenic lady having a super in-depth conversation with a pole. It was either subway with crazies or on the streets with more horns being blown than she has ever heard. Bobby was was actually so delicious we ate there again on Saturday. Best burger I have ever had in a restaurant, hands down.. When you go, you must go to JG Melon!

4. Top of the Rock. I did this last time I was in New York. For lack of better terms, it was simply breathtaking. It's amazing to see how big Central Park is in comparison to the rest of the city. We had a picture done on the beam...

We also took some at the top. Wouldn't it be cool to be a Rockefeller? I think as far as places in NYC, Rockefeller Center may be my favorite...with the ice skating, the tree at Christmas, home of NBC (the Friends netowork), and a really good J.Crew...I could spend a whole week there. I wanted to stand in line for standby SNL tickets. They told us where to go on Saturday morning at 7 AM. The musical guest was Eminem and the host was Olivia Pope Kerry Washington. While I am a fan on Washington, I am an Eminem SUPER fan. Can you believe that people get to the the line as early as Wednesday night and camp out?? I like Slim Shady, but not that much. One of my lifelong dreams is to attend a taping of SNL.

the Park is amazing in the Fall.

I love my Mama!

pretending to be Blake--his signature finger point on The Voice
3. Magnolia Bakery. Ok, I am not usually a sweets fan. I would rather just eat another burger from JG Melon. I knew about the Bakery from reviews and from friends that have been. To me, a cupcake is a cupcake...Duncan Hines or homemade... I love hummingbird cake--it's like banana nut bread with pineapples and cream cheese frosting--so I ordered that cupcake. OMG, y'all. The flavor of that cupcake is what I imagine will be the taste of everything in Heaven. I have never eaten a cupcake so delicious in my whole life. Ever. This particular location was in Bloomingdales, and of course that was one of the first places I wanted to go, so we ate a cupcake. And they have the little Diet Cokes in real glass bottles that taste almost as good as the cupcakes. We ate at Magnolia Bakery every day, and brought home a dozen cupcakes and about a dozen other sweets--like a brown sugar cookie.. We were far too into our little slices of Heaven to take any pictures, but here is the Hummingbird:

and also, you can have them shipped...LOOK OUT. I will order them for every occasion.

2. Central Park. Let me just say I thought New York was magical at Christmas. It is. But I am a sucker for fall--a real Fall, where the leaves actually change and the temerature doesn't go from 92 to 36 with no days in between. I think other than the Mountains in Telluride, this is the prettiest thing I have ever seen in nature. Literally trees in every color of the rainbow. It's amazing that in a city of hustle and bustle, there is such a serene place in the middle of it all. Funny story--everything I made reference to in Central Park was about Home Alone 2. I am sure Mom thinks I am a freak, but there are movie sites everywhere in NYC--especially Central Park. Here is where Kevin hid in the basket on the horse carriage..

These trees were my favorite...

then there is the scene that is shown in the early seasons of Friends in almost every episode...
and I think this will be my new profile pic...

1. By far the best time we both had was at Motown the Musical. I have seen lots of theater, and this was the best show I have ever seen. The music was absolutely amazing. The actors singing the music were even better than some of the originals, and the kid that played Michael Jackson deserves a Tony every single year, and a grammy for the recording of his Jackson 5 songs. I think this kid was probably 10 years old. I have never seen something come so naturally to someone. He was so good. I give the show 2 thumbs WAY UP! I was hesitant to see a show about old music, but I knew Mom would love it. When they opened the show with "I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go...." it was game on. I even sang a little bit..Not nearly as much as the super enthusiastic lady behind me who knew the words to every song and sang them so loudly I wanted to punch her. But she had a nice voice, so I was OK.

That same night we stopped in Times Square for a photo op...this is probably my favorite picture we took.

Here are more that I love:
I got the Burberry Jacket! This was within hours of our arrival..I had my mind made up that I was getting red......But... They told me the red sold out so quickly and it was no where to be found in the City. Not even in any of the three Burberry stores. But I am happy with the gray... I also got a new cologne by Tom Ford...y'all better stay away unless you are prepared to lick me...It's the same cologne that Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z wear....

the cast of Last Vegas was on the Today Show...and I was too!
If you watched, I was on around 8:30 when Al did the weather...

Natalie Morales is almost as pretty as Central Park...

this is right after was walked with Michael Douglas out of the Studio and in to his car...that was awesome...

Mom and Me at Grand Central Station

Freedom Tower. So moving..

9-11 Memorial/Ground Zero

Us under "THE SURVIVAL TREE" the only tree that survived the attacks...
I will say the Museum is not open yet, but there are lots of previews of it in the form of the book I bought that I cry every single time I read a section...and then there are the videos of the people who lost loved ones. Y'all. It is really great to hear about all the heros...Mom and I watched about 5 minutes of the video and it's a good thing she always has Kleenex in her purse. We both just sobbed. Our time at the 9/11 memorial was too moving to rank in my top 5. When the museum opens next year, I will go back and devote an entire day to it.
Same with Statue of's a given that the majesty of it is not able to be ranked. I can't imagine migrating over and seeing her...I had goosebumps the whole time. Another goose bump moment was St. Patrick's Cathedral..All I could think while standing before the alter was the words of the song "Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place" I was having a moment, so I didn't take any pictures inside...but they wouldn't do it justice. Here is one I found...

Overall, our trip was one I will not soon forget. I love New York. I really do. I loved it when I went with Shea on my 26th Birthday and I really loved it with my Mom.  Some of my favorite one-lines from her were:

"I have heard more horns honking today than I have in my whole life..."
"This is not our hotel..." every time we entered from the other side...
"I guess this is where the saying 'as busy as Grand Central Station' comes from...." 
"That's not that far...we can walk"--her not understanding just how far it is from Battery Park to Central Park
"It's a good thing you know where we are..." every time we went somewhere.
"You think they have Coffeemate French Vanilla?" every morning for coffee...
"Can't we just find a Wendy's and eat a baked Potato?" after we had eaten 'fancy' food all week..

I am Blessed. So Blessed.


  1. That... looks like the most amazing weekend! Beautiful pics!!!

  2. Sounds like a great time. I live close to the city and LOVE Magnolia. I'm usually not a fan of frosting but theirs? Love.

    1. their icing was so good....I don't even like chocolate, but I liked it at Magnolia Bakery! YUM!

  3. Sounds like an awesome trip!! :) I think next time you visit you should run like Phoebe through Central Park....


    1. right?? If I had on my running shoes I would have..haha!

  4. I LOVE NYC this time of year and agree Top of the Rock is the way to go. I'll take it over the Empire State Building any day. Beautiful. Looks like you did the city right, glad you had a good time! And now I want to go :)

    1. well, when you go, I want to go back! I LOVE it.

  5. I love your mom. I think if the pair of us ever traveled together, we would be a hot mess. A lost, baked potato-eating mess.

    1. yes. yes you would...that means I would love you too much!

  6. I'm so glad you both had a great time! I would love to go to NYC with someone that has been there before.

    1. Well--I'm you man! I would go every month if I's so great!

  7. New follower and now I want to go back to NYC from your weekend!! What cologne did you get? I need a good Christmas gift for my husband! Cologne is always on his list!

    1. thanks for the follow! check back today, I am posting my annual Holiday Gift Guide for men!

  8. You're so damn cute, Jake! And I love your new coat- so hipster. ;)

    1. YOU are so damn cute, Holly Stanfield!
      Thanks..I lourve my new coat!

  9. You made me want to return to NYC someday too! This is a great post and it sounds like an amazing trip!!! Great pics too :)

  10. Here is mine!
    Thanks for hosting this!!