Singers, Carriages, and Protests- Oh my! Part 1- (The Part with the Singers)

So, now that I’ve gotten back from disappearing into oblivion for a solid three months or so… I know that it’s time to *gasp* ACTUALLY post every week like I said I would do! In hind sight, I should have thought that through a little more. Although, how was I to know that some of the craziest months of my life would follow this silly proclamation of a blog schedule? Can’t blame a girl!

But I’m back, my dedicated little readers, and many an adventure has taken place in my time of absence. One day, in particular, sticks out from the rest.

What day am I talking about, you might be wondering? The day I went to none other than the Big Apple itself- New York City! And somehow, somehow, I survived. Oh, I know. I’m sure you’re very proud of me. I am aware I inherit impressive survival skills few people have acquired, no need to remind me!

Well, “excited” was an understatement when it came to describing my feelings for this trip. New York City would be my first ever major travel destination, and considering the fact that I want traveling to be a huge part of my future? This was a pretty big deal for me.

Not to mention, I’d be going with one of my best friends I’ve had since childhood and her equally lovely mom on this particular trip. I mean, that alone makes for a fun time!

After much anticipation, (I think a month’s worth of it), the date arrived and everyone was happy to get this show on the road. We loaded onto a bus at around 3 in the morning, tired and dragging, then drove for a consistent two hours before stopping at a Burger King for breakfast. After breakfast, which served as a great break from the bus, we loaded back on to travel the rest of the way!

The group arrived in New York at around 8 or 9..the details are a bit fuzzy considering I was half asleep from the bus ride. Even so, nothing in the world could have been so fascinating as the first few minutes entering the city. I looked out the window of the bus only to see building upon building reaching their fingertips to the sky. Yeah, yeah. Buildings don’t have fingertips. It’s a metaphor. Go with it.

I couldn’t wait to bounce right out of that bus and go exploring! We exited soon after, gathering in one big group of oblivious tourists on the sidewalk. I look up and the first thing that my eyes wash upon was the tallest and widest skyscraper I’d ever seen in my life. In a way, it was a humbling experience. Ya know that saying “everything’s bigger in Texas”? New York City would have been more accurate.

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The first few hours of the trip we spent merely trying to decode the subway’s very complex (to us) way of going about everyday life. To be someone from a small town walking into a subway…? Well, it’s the feeling of complete and utter stupidity of the world around you. Honestly, not even exaggerating. I just thank God I wasn’t alone, because then lil’ ol’ me would be lost in 2 seconds flat.

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a mural on the Subway I found striking

First stop was the Staten Island Ferry. Cool, right? Yes! It’s 100% cool, everything about it is cool: the waters, the Statue of Liberty, the gigantic boat!…But, just a warning, if you’re anything like I was that day, you’ll feel pretty queezy on what was probably the wimpiest boat ride you’ve ever taken. (Wimpy as in, the boat is going a snail’s pace, so you’d think you wouldn’t feel sick, but you still manage to). And this is coming from a girl that has been PARASAILING before. I am a walking oxymoron.

I don’t know. Perhaps the boat was too large for my liking, or perhaps it was because I ate three big Burger King pancakes in the morning…ahem. With a side of hash browns. BUT, one thing I knew for sure was that I felt queezy. I did, in fact, get to see Lady Liberty, though, so that made up for it for about 4.2 seconds! But sooner than later, the overwhelming Patriotism was squelched by the overwhelming nauseousness. Funny how that works.

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This is the view FROM the Staten Island Ferry. Trust me, I’m not in that little Coast Guard boat bobbing up and down. I couldn’t be that heroic, even if I tried. Plus it doesn’t help that the most skillful type of swimming I can do is the doggie paddle..
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Lady Liberty herself. Oh, look, she’s waving to us in the distance.

 

After the Staten Island Ferry, the three of us were very ready to sit somewhere to relax and eat. We all loaded onto the Subway, once again, in hopes of going to our next destination. Ellen’s Stardust Diner!

That’s not all, though. On the subway, we got to witness a very pleasant surprise. A group of five or six older fellows came from the front of the Subway and started singing oldies in a cool and collected harmony. I’m blown away at all the talent in New York City. I couldn’t get enough of it!

Something else that I have realized is that many of the native New Yorkers seemed to be numb to talent like this. They stare at their phones and pretend that these singers and musicians aren’t there. They missed out on their very own live performance.

Although, we all tend to make that mistake sometimes. We get so used to life and wrapped up in ourselves that we become indifferent to the beauty of every day. We neglect to look at even the little details  of life as a blessing, and in effect, we forget to live in the moment. We forget to appreciate things as they are, and the people around us that make life beautiful.

All said and done, the singers left the subway, and the three of us came to where we’d be eating. Ellen’s Stardust Diner!

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I had never been there till that very day, but now that I know what it’s like- the excitement, the spontaneity, the bustle, I will definitely be going back. That is one place that was very worth the wait.

What’s Ellen’s Stardust Diner? Well, it’s not like a regular ol’ restaurant you might be used to. Here, all their waiters and waitresses are aspiring Broadway actors, meaning they can sing, they can dance, they PERFORM as you’re eating! You literally get Broadway quality entertainment as you eat, which isn’t exactly what I’m used to in my usual form of establishments *ahem* McDonald’s.

So, to describe it a little better, there were two levels of tables and booths to sit at and enjoy the performances. Typically the performance was on the first floor, making it easier for everyone to see the star of the show!

My favorite part out of everything was that our very own waitress ended up performing in the end. And she was good! She circled by our table and took the mic away from her face for a split second to tell us, “Thanks for coming, guys!” Then there she went, continuing on in her awesomeness. You can be sure the coolness factor went up extensively after that..

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Unfortunately, we were only able to eat there for about thirty or forty minutes before hitting the road for the Radio City Music Hall, where we would be seeing the one and only Rockettes perform a Christmas show! (Yes, this was quite a few months ago, I should remind you)…

In addition to all that, we still had to take special precautions on the routes we were taking, since on that day there were Trump protests scheduled. This trip was very soon after the elections, which sparked an uproar in parts of the United States.

We had to walk a ways to get to the Music Hall, which was not that far, though. You see, the interesting thing about New York is that if you ever actually lived there, you would probably be the most fit person ever, just because of the simple fact that you have to walk EVERYWHERE. Wouldn’t be hard to rack up those steps on your trusty ol’ FitBit.

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The Rockettes ended up being phenomenal, as expected. They did more than I could ever do… especially because the most of the dancing I do is when I’m home alone with my music blasting. Ahem. I mean. What were we talking about again??

The most striking thing about it, though, was how very long the show was. I couldn’t imagine being in their shoes, doing show after show like that. It’d probably get old after a while. All the same, it was such a great and unique New York experience. I was amazed at all the glitz and glamour of many of these New York destinations.

Then there was the finale, and the room went to black…


 

Well, after careful inspection, thought, and the suggestion of a viewer, I feel as though it’d be a wise decision to break this already published post (which was admittedly as long as an unabridged Dictionary, sorry not sorry), into a few separate entries of the same series.

Not because of the tip given to me by someone, mind you, although that person did give me the good idea! Truthfully, I had my doubts about the length of the post to begin with, even addressing it at the end of the previously published post. But I know this arrangement will be much better for everyone involved. Me for simple organization- and for you, the kind and gracious reader- to make it more enjoyable reading!

Your trusty (and quite exasperated blogger) signing out,

Hannah