We traveled to New York this Christmas to see Lucas' mom and sister. It was my first time adventuring to the east coast, and to the big city. I had to fly by myself because I was not given the vacation, so I met up with the Magasweran/Gauthier family on December 23rd. We started opening gifts and eating tons of food almost immediately. Lucas, Caroline and I decorated the house in Christmas knick-nacks and put up a little tree with home made ornaments and gold tinsel. We made Christmas log cake together and went to Central Park for Christmas day.
New York was something to be remembered. We visited many of the tourists spots because it was my first time there and I was not formally announced as a New Yorker yet. We strolled through Central Park, took buses and subways around the city, saw the big tree at Rockefeller Center, went to 5th ave. the day after Christmas, saw Tiffany's jewelry store, ate a hot dog from a street vendor, and went to three H & M's in the first two days.
The next days followed with having family time and watching the snow outside melt and the chilly weather freeze the city over. Next, we took a walk to my great grandparent's old house on 114th street. We took a tour around Columbia university first, and then saw the dirt pile that was their first home in America. We also took a look around Riverside Park which was down the street from them. It was gloomy, but beautiful and we hung out with the friendly squirrels and swung on monkey bars.
We got a City Pass, so we started going to the museums. We first headed to the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. We watched a movie about collisions that didn't include the Big Bang and we saw manequin people that represented the many cultures. We also saw enormous dinosaurs and taxidermy animals galore.
The next day we headed out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I got to see the statue for the first time as my ancestors did almost a hundred years ago. At Ellis Island I couldn't find my great Grandparent's names, but we got to see the holding room for the 22 million peole that went through Ellis Island and got to hear of the horrors of the place as well as accomplishments of the people coming in for freedom.
Next we were around Wall Street, the South Street Seaport and Fresh Salt Restaurant (which was really delicious). We then headed out for Hoboken, NJ to see Lucas' friend from Hong Kong University who invented the Hobo Hooka. We got a little tipsy, played some beer pong (won 2 of 2 games) and Lucas had to carry me across state lines (losing my hat in the process), and we proceeded to sleep half the day away.
New Years Eve we woke up to snow falling. It was light, flaky and beautiful. But I was not looking forward to standing in the snow when we headed down to Times Square. We got out of the house after five, and to Times Square around six. There were already thousands of people waiting. We ran with the crowds down 6th ave. to a point where we could stand. We got our place at 50th & 7th Ave. I was the coldest day I had experienced thus far, and we were going to wait in the 14 degree weather for the next six hours! We stood in the saradine can for three hours with my six shirts, two jackets, four pairs of pants and nothing worked. We were not moving, so our bodies got colder. By the time my feet started to almost fall off we got out of our place in the pack. We found a small place to eat and rushed in for food and warmth. We also hoped that they would let us stay in there to see the ball drop- that's what everyone else was thinking. We got a bite to eat and tried to eat slowly, but workers were blowing whistles at people that were not moving after thirty minutes. We headed out in the cold and found the next place on the side street -Applebees. We got in there and took our hour wait with a sigh of relief. We waited around an hour in the three story building where there was a crazy party up top. They finally seated us and we got drinks and watched Times Square on TV in Times Square.
It was now 11:45 and we walked outside to see our luck. The ball was covered up by buildings, but there were about 20 people waiting at the baricades with the cop. He said he would let us all out to see the ball at 11:59. He did, we watched it, yelled happy new year!, had our 2009 first kiss and ran out of there.
The party did not stop after that. We went to the bronx to see the scenyc guys now. We talked and hung out until we saw lights outside the window. Looking down, we saw about 30 cops running around outside. They saw us looking at them and started banging on the door and barged in. They told us that someone had been shot and they thought it was us. They found out it was next door, and it could have been the wanted man I saw on TV that same day.
After the craziness settled down, we hung out and left at day break.
The next day we headed to the Empire State building. It was freezing at night, but we got a great view of the city from 80 stories up. Before that was for the MOMA museum which was crowded because it was the free Friday night.
Our last day out we went back to Times Square after some shopping. It was beautiful and crazy and the essence of New York. We headed home with so much more to do for next time.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="New Years Eve in Times Sqaure (Click on picture for full gallery..)"][/caption]