Saturday morning, we had BIG PLANS involving brunch on a boat. We took the train down to Chelsea, and walked the mile or so to the piers. (Why doesn’t the subway go any nearer? It’s kind of strange.)
We checked in for our boat cruise with Classic Harbor Lines, where we were sailing on the Yacht Manhattan. Apparently you can only take small boats on a circumnavigation of Manhattan, because some of the bridges are so low.
We grabbed some brunch and our complimentary champagne and headed out onto the deck. We were leaving Chelsea Piers, and heading south on the Hudson River.
We sailed past the Battery, and on toward Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
That line around the Statue of Liberty doesn’t look that fun! Having been to Liberty Island before, I was very happy just passing on our boat.
We turned around past the Statue of Liberty and headed up the other side of Manhattan on the East River. The sun came out in time to light up the Brooklyn Bridge.
This photo is called “The Gang Goes to New York.” I love it. (That’s Wendy, Matt – my husband, of course, Amelia – Wendy’s wife, and Jumi.)
We passed under the series of famous bridges on the East River, enjoying further brunch and some Brooklyn Brewery beers along the way. The weather was perfect.
Near the north end of Manhattan, the river starts to narrow quite a bit. We took the west channel on the East River, and then followed the Harlem River further north. It started to look like there was actual wilderness on the island of Manhattan, which was surprising.
I really liked this little boathouse, and apparently that’s the Cloister in the distance.
Bally is a worthy seaman.
Those Columbia kids are showoffs.
We reached the confluence (or the division?) of the Harlem and Hudson Rivers under the Spuyton-Duyvil Bridge. (Best name ever?) There was a tiny rotating train bridge just past it. The Hudson River is huge at this point… it almost looks like a lake.
Any day Matt’s on a boat is his favorite day. We try to do that as often as possible.
The boat headed back down the Hudson and docked back at Chelsea Piers. The tour was about 3 hours in total, and I would surely recommend it. We considered just stowing away so we could go again.
Instead we had to disembark, so we walked over toward the north end of the High Line. Did I mention that the weather was perfect?
I think my favorite part of the High Line was that it was enclosed in so much greenery. You had hardly any sense of being in a huge city. Or above it.
I was a little surprised that there weren’t many businesses with entrances right off the High Line. Living in Minneapolis, I’m used to all the stores and restaurants that open onto the skyway. From what I could tell, you had to go back down to street level to get into businesses
There were viewing platforms in a few spots. The idea of sitting and watching traffic seems pretty entertaining. (How much does that street look like Chicago?)
The end of the High Line (for now – it’s being extended) is at Chelsea Market. We’d passed it on the way to the boat, and I knew I had to go back there. A few of us stopped to get popsicles on the High Line, and then we headed down to street level.
Chelsea Market was amazing. We stopped into an Italian market, an Asian market, got excellent coffee at a coffeeshop, bought bitters and a bunch of treats at another shop, and gawked at produce you cannot get in the Midwest (fresh dates?!?). I wanted to shop there much longer, but everyone else seemed to have moved on. I met them outside, and we headed to the subway.
We rode to Soho, and emerged into ridiculous midday traffic. We stopped into a Japanese market, and I ended up buying art from a guy selling caricatures of art dealers made with fabric and paint on the street. Then we headed to Purl Soho, the super-famous yarn store that Jumi had reminded me was there. I spent too much money there, but at least I didn’t have to have things shipped back home like she did!
While waiting for her to finish up, Matt and I went across the street to the Kate Spade store. Shockingly, I did not emerge with a purse.
It was then time for a snack and a beverage, so Matt led us to Miss Lily’s, a Jamaican restaurant/record store/radio station/juice bar on Houston. We walked in, and it was like being in Jamaica, only indoors. (One of the owners also runs the Rockhouse in Negril, which is incredible.)
We grabbed seats at the bar, and ordered rum punch. They didn’t have a full liquor license, so it was made with sake, but it tasted exactly like rum punch. A couple of us got meals, and I got an order of festival. (Fun fact: festival is named festival because the guy who invented it thought it was really nice, and wanted to name it after something else nice. Like a festival! No, I’m serious.) Matt and I were beyond thrilled with the whole place.
The rest of our crew decided to head back to the hotel for a siesta, so we made plans to meet up there before the show. Matt and I stayed at Miss Lily’s for another drink, and then crossed the street over to Pegu Club, timing it so we arrived just as it opened. We had a schedule to keep, after all.
We were the first ones there, in the bar that’s up a flight of stairs and so calming that it was very easy to forget the bustle outside. We grabbed seats at the bar and ordered cocktails from the very formal bartender. He became friendlier after another round, and we got some advice from him on the places where bartenders like to hang out in Manhattan. If only we had time to visit all of them!
Then it was time to head out for the show. We hurried to the subway and rode back to Times Square. We walked to the hotel and changed our grungy clothes for fancy ones, then headed down to the mezzanine to meet with the rest of the group, since they were enjoying mezzanine happy hour. From there we only had to walk two doors down to the Belasco Theatre. It was time for Hedwig and the Angry Inch!!
There was a huge crowd pushing into the lobby. We went upstairs, and got in the bar line to get drinks. Two cocktails (in plastic sippy cups) and a bottle of water? $30!
We got to our seats in the second row of the center balcony (thanks, American Express presale!), and the lights went down shortly thereafter. And then Neil Patrick Harris was onstage as Hedwig, and it was AMAZING. Even better than I’d hoped for. I knew all the words, and I wanted it to go on forever. (There was another show that night. I could’ve stayed.)
I think I left the show glowing. Oh, and I picked up the best souvenir ever: the Hedwig makeup towel!
We stopped back at the hotel quickly, and decided to meet back up again across the street at a place that had intrigued us since the first moment we saw it (i.e. the moment we left the hotel the first night): Jimmy’s Corner. First, because it looked super-shady and potentially divey, and second, because it was in the middle of the block and not on the corner at all.
Jimmy’s Corner did not disappoint. It’s a very narrow room, with a long bar and a small elevated room in the back. The bar was full, so I led Matt and Jumi toward the back. I got to the stairs and looked up to find a whole pack of bros sitting back there, so I elected to grab a spot along the wall instead. Nobody needs to be dealing with Times Square bros sober, after all.
We made friends with the people sitting at the bar in front of us, who were doing Fireball shots. One of the guys explained that the owner was Jimmy Glen, a storied boxing trainer. There were pictures of him with basically every famous boxer all over the bar, and also one of Michael Jackson making fists like he could possibly punch someone. That explained the ‘Corner’ part of the name, too.
(That’s one of our pals being really excited to photobomb.)
Here’s blurry Michael Jackson:
The drinks were Wisconsin-strong, and the place was raucous and entertaining. Wendy and Amelia arrived, and when a man came up to chat up Jumi and I (he mis-heard her name as Julie and she didn’t correct him) way too enthusiastically, we decided it was time to move on.
We headed west through Times Square (ugh) and down a few more blocks to Marseille for dinner. Since it was 10:15, a table for five wasn’t a problem. Their food was pretty good, though not spectacular. We ate, had a couple cocktails, and then it was time to move on. Wendy and Amelia headed home for the night, and Jumi and Matt and I walked further west to a recommended beer bar nearby called the Pony. (Which meant Ginuwine was stuck in my head for hours.)
The beer selection was indeed really good, but the crowd was bro-ey. That’s pretty unsurprising for beer bars, though. We had to stand for a while, and then got seats at the bar when some people headed out. We had a couple rounds there, and then it was 1am and time to head back and sleep.