Pages

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NYC in Movie, TV and Song

Lovely Lady Liberty
This is the fist chance I have had to sit down and reflect on our whirlwind weekend in NYC. One thing I came to realize, seeing most of the famous sights for the first time, is that

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT NEW YORK CITY 
I LEARNED FROM SONGS, MOVIES and TV. 

Sad but true. Let me explain...

We got into The Big Apple around 10am on Thursday and, after stowing our suitcases at The Hotel Empire, we took a brisk 25 minute walk down to Times Square to book a hop-on-hop-off tour of the city. My goal was to find a tour that took us "downtown" to lower Manhattan to see such sites as Chinatown, Little Italy, The Twin Towers/Freedom Tower sight, The Statue of Liberty, among other things. As I've mentioned in the blog before, I've never really gotten to be a tourist in New York as I'm always strapped for time attending one meeting or another.

The perceived New York City of my youth was a gritty one, with Dad's Daily News newspaper, Sesame Street, and All in the Family feeding me images and ideas about life in New York.

As a result of these and other influences, following are the things I thought about as I experienced New York on Thursday and Friday:

  • Lunch at De Gennaro on Mulberry Street in Little Italy made me think of: A combination of Billy Joel's song "Big Man on Mulberry Street," and the movie "Goodfellas"
  • Passing by Bellevue Mental Hospital made me think of:  Manfred Mann's cover of Bruce Springsteen's "For You" ('Cause they're waiting for you at Bellevue; With their oxygen masks; But I could give it all to you now; If only you could ask...)
  • The Staten Island Ferry and ALL OF MANHATTAN made me think of:  Sex and the City. Oh, and Seinfeld.
  • Rockefeller Center made me think of: 30 Rock and SNL
  • Madison Avenue made me think of: MadMen, of course!
Ellis Island
...and many more pop culture references; too many to count!

The absolute highlight of my trip (on my "bucket list") was taking a boat to the Statue of Liberty. Although we didn't actually go to the island, it was close enough for me. I was choked up when I finally saw her, thinking of my Grandfather, Frank, coming with him mom and sister at the turn of the century, how she represented hope for a new a life for him and countless immigrants over the years. A good reminder that there is still room for everyone here.

Next up on the bucket list: Ellis Island. The next time I visit the City I will try to go there. Ironically, Ellis Island reopened the day after we were leaving after being closed for a year as a result of Hurricane Sandy. When I do go there, though, I want to be armed with information about my relatives so that I might make the most of my visit.  I was so surprised how close Ellis Island was to the Statue of Liberty - swimmable, almost.

In addition to great food (Turkish one night, Cuban the next) we saw the broadway show "Big Fish," which is based on one of our favorite family movies (and the book before that). It was wonderful, with magical stage effects, and super, super fun.

We returned home Sunday night, tired, but thankful for such a great trip. The chaos and confusion (and excitement and vibrant energy) of New York is great, but I couldn't wait to get home to my quiet, lovely Fairport and of course my furry baby!

No comments: