Diversions aren’t always entirely unplanned. In this case, we included a diversion in the middle of a day trip to New York City.
Greg had been to the Big Apple a number of times, as had I, but we had never been together. When Greg’s cousin got a job as the wardrobe supervisor for an off-Broadway production, Disenchanted!, we knew we could catch a show AND do a little sightseeing. With the day trip planned, we hopped aboard Amtrak before dawn and arrived at New York’s Penn Station just before 10. A little advance research had us headed for the right subway line for a quick trip “uptown.” We snagged our tickets from the kiosk and walked into the station just as our train pulled in.
It was shopping time! Greg took me into Tiffany’s to peruse the glittering gems before we headed to one of the world’s largest toy stores, FAO Schwartz.
Even though I’d been to the city, I’d never been to Central Park. When I mentioned it to Greg he declared a diversion. We strolled onto one of the paths in the direction of the ice skating rink just as it started to snow. What a magical surprise!
The skaters spun and glided while we sipped hot cocoa and shared a classic hot dog from a street vendor. Then it was time to leave the peaceful surroundings of the park for more hustle and bustle. As we strolled the aisles of Crate and Barrel we had a celebrity sighting: Ellen Burstyn was also doing a little shopping. There was time for even more shopping as we made our way to lunch.
The restaurant we had hoped to visit was closed, so we ended up at The Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. What a delight! Our waiter suggested two different kinds of oysters to try: one sweet, one salty. Eating one right after the other clearly shows how oysters from different regions have distinct flavors! We shared Nantucket Bay Scallops that were perfectly prepared in a garlic sauce. A strawberry shortcake on the dessert menu caught our eye and dazzled our palates with basil whipped cream and coconut shortcake. We marveled at our luck to stumble upon this foodie delight when our original plan went awry.
From there it was off to the matinee. Disenchanted! is a rip-roaring, gut busting laugh fest that had us singing along and nearly rolling in the aisle for an hour and a half. The performers were stunning, telling a lesson about personal strength poignantly and hysterically. The Theater at St. Clements is a small-enough venue that the ad-lib interaction with the audience made the show even better! When the final curtain fell, we met up with Greg’s cousin for a Thai-French fusion dinner and followed her recommendation to stroll a few blocks away to The Little Pie Company for dessert.
In a word, DELICIOUS!
The valuable lesson here is follow the advice of locals for those little hidden gems!
The sun had set and the time for our return train trip was fast approaching, so we made our way, via Times Square, back to Penn Station for the late ride home. It was a long, fun, magical day … complete with a diversion.