A Big Apple Excursion

Last week, my friend Steph and I got to go on a business trip to NYC. A few eventful things happened just on the way there:

  1. Flight delays. Always a good time.
  2. Delicious airport food. I didn't think that was possible, but Cosi pulled through for us. Look for it next time you're in Terminal B in Logan airport, and make sure to get the personal pizza.
  3. I managed to get motion sick and for the first time in my life I threw up on a plane, but not until after we landed. Gross. At least I now know that air sickness bags work.
  4. I paid $4.00 for a pack of gum in the airport after we got there, which led to a new appreciation for the "mall prices guaranteed" signs that I saw in Boston's airport. However, I've also now essentially boycotted buying things in airports, so I will never test their guarantee.

We took a taxi to get from JFK to the hotel. Our driver was particularly friendly and gave us all sorts of tips for getting the best taxi deals in the city, and since he was so outgoing I decided to ask him what his strangest passengers had been like. Turns out, he'd driven Maria Sharpova in his cab, and he'd also had someone offer to pay for a ride with... favors. He dropped that particular passenger off at the police station.

Eventually we made it to the hotel, and between the delays and the air sickness, I was never so happy to see the 15th floor of the Holiday Inn.

 Taken about five seconds before I crawled in and fell asleep immediately.

Taken about five seconds before I crawled in and fell asleep immediately.

 And of course, there's always time for a hotel bathroom mirror selfie.

And of course, there's always time for a hotel bathroom mirror selfie.

The next day, fully recovered on my part, we headed to the school for training. They were fairly easy going, so we finished at 4:00 and had all evening to roam the city. Since I've only been to NYC once (!), Steph was our navigator for the day. She'd already proved herself by mastering the map to get us to the school in the morning. 

 NYC. Conquered.

NYC. Conquered.

We headed back to the hotel briefly to get changed, and then we found the nearest metro station to avoid paying exorbitant taxi fees. As it turns out, you can cover quite a lot of ground in five hours, especially if you know where to start! We hit up Times Square and immediately got sucked into a conversation with a guy advertising a comedy show that night:

Guy: Where are you going this evening?

Steph: Uhhh... just touring around... we're from Boston!

Jillian: (points camera at tall buildings to avoid conversation)

Guy: Well, you should come to our comedy club! It's totally safe. Just come, have a couple drinks (you have to have at least two). And seriously, so safe. It's full of comedians and gay guys. I'm gay so I'm allowed to say that.

Us: Umm... we'll consider it...

Guy: I'm never going to see you again, am I?

Us: (awkward shuffling away)

 Evidence that I tried to take pictures to avoid talking to the comedian club solicitor.

Evidence that I tried to take pictures to avoid talking to the comedian club solicitor.

After we weaved our way through the thousands of tourists taking pictures of Times Square (as well as a few street performers, several of whom were wearing only body paint), we found a good Italian restaurant for dinner. It was delicious. After that, we moved on to Bryant Park, which included a view of the top of the Empire State Building and the entire New York Public Library.

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We didn't stop there! We headed back to the metro and took it further out to Battery Park, where we could see the Statue of Liberty.

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 Complete with cranes and other construction equipment.

Complete with cranes and other construction equipment.

The park was strangely deserted, so we just took a few pictures and then scuttled away for fear of being alone in a dark park in the middle of a huge city. Perhaps not our best work.

We'd been walking for quite a while at that point, so we decided that our final destination would be the new 9/11 memorial, with a brief stop at the charging bull statue on the way.

 Some nice people took our photo with my super legit iPhone 4 camera. I'm sure you can't tell the difference in photo quality.

Some nice people took our photo with my super legit iPhone 4 camera. I'm sure you can't tell the difference in photo quality.

The memorial was a good last stop, but a sobering one. The structure itself was magnificent, but simultaneously achingly sad. Whoever designed it captured the perfect sentiment. For those of us that remember the event but who lived a very safe distance away, it hammered home that this wasn't just something that we watched on TV, but rather something that cost hundreds of lives and left scars on survivors that are still there today.

 The 9/11 Memorial. Names are listed around the sides of the fountain, which is built on the space left by one of the towers.

The 9/11 Memorial. Names are listed around the sides of the fountain, which is built on the space left by one of the towers.

On that note, we headed back to the hotel to prepare for day 2.

Day 2 was much less eventful. We trained, then got right on to the metro back to the airport. Flying through JFK always means delays, so we passed the time with a People magazine (guilty pleasure confession over here!) and eventually made it back to Boston and our respective homes by midnight.

Until next time, New York!

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