Big Apple Birthday

“One belongs to New York instantly. One belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” – Thomas Wolfe

Today I recovered from celebrating my birthday in New York City. I only took photos with my iPhone, so I didn’t have as many pictures to comb through. What I loved most about this trip, beyond the fact that I got to experience it with my older son, is that I’ve been to New York enough now that I could look past the big, obvious stuff to the little goofy details that are typical to my world view. So my photos from this trip are different from previous adventures here.

This luggage tag on the floor in security at the airport pretty much set the tone.

This funny face in a delivery truck was the first photo I took outside of our hotel when we arrived.

From the hotel, we set right out to get my birthday started!

Locking up this bike worked well.

The bottom window of this building drove me nuts. Why is it off?

Here was our first mission: Dō Cookie Dough Confections. Instead of ice cream or cake, we had scoops of edible cookie dough. Apparently it’s new and unique because this is the line we waited through to get in. About 40 minutes long and across the street. It was like waiting to get into a club. We had to get a pass and be let in by a guy at the door.

But it was so worth it. And guess what? I found out when I got home that the store’s creator/owner is from St. Louis! Who knew?!

But here’s the real reason we headed to New York: Billy Joel played Madison Square Garden on my birthday. This was the 39th straight month in a row he’s sold out the Garden and the 85th time he’s played there. The guy in line behind us has been to all but three of the 39 concerts in the streak. He described Billy Joel as the Garden’s house band.

And there’s a good reason for that.

This was the most fun I’ve had in a loooong time. I can’t remember ever feeling so connected to a crowd before. It was amazing.

Day two brought us to some different parts of town. Times Square was as weird and sensory-overloading as ever. If you look closely, you can see the Naked Cowboy playing to the crowd, per usual. I guess the 25 degree weather didn’t deter him.

This scene cracked me up. Poor Cookie Monster couldn’t play their muppet games.

Speaking of cracking up, this guy playing the guitar on the subway was hysterical. He made up his lyrics as he went along and couldn’t carry a tune to save his life. He made a fortune in tips just by making people laugh.

Our next destination. The last time I took Drew to New York, the 9/11 Memorial was under construction and nothing more than two large holes in the ground.

Next, we walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge to take a look at the skyline. (Did I mention that we put in between 18,000 and 19,000 steps each day we were there?)

We closed out the day with The Lion King on Broadway.

Day three, we really didn’t have any formal plans. We headed to Rockefeller Plaza and wandered around.

And I love that my grown son still wanted to see the Lego Store. This ginormous dragon snaked throughout the place. So impressive.

We strolled down 5th Avenue and headed to Central Park.

We ventured through the park for a while until it was time to head to the airport. I managed to take a few more photos from the cab on the way.

This was installed at a church across the street from our hotel. It struck me as particularly poignant given the condition of our country at present.

And then there was this Zoltar-looking guy emerging from an apartment building. I thought he was random and neat.

Now we’re home and I’m still recovering. It was a quick and packed trip, and I’m exhausted. But what a great way to spend my birthday.

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