Four Italian Women and a Dude (Part Uno)

I have to give props to my friend, Jon. He spent a weekend in New York City with four Italian women and survived to tell the tale.

A few months back Jon and his wife, Julie, invited anyone who wanted to join them to come along on their anniversary weekend trip to NYC. Well, you don’t have to ask me twice. A weekend in the big city with friends I don’t see often enough, and I get to ride the train there (yes, I know, I might need a support group for train addicts) … I’m in!

On Thursday, I took the midnight train goin’ anywhere… I mean the 5pm train goin’ to New York. I arrived at Penn Station at about 1am, grabbed a taxi, and headed up to my friend Steph’s place to crash (she moved to NYC after finishing at UVA, hurrah!).

Friday morning Steph headed uptown to work and I headed downtown to meet up with Jon, Julie, and Mel (all good friends from back in the day at Clemson) at Grand Central. We grabbed some breakfast and then made our way down to the 9/11 Memorial. It was a sobering way to start the day, but I’m glad we got to see it. They’ve done a beautiful job creating a tribute to the memory of all who were lost. There’s nothing we could build that would fully capture the tragedy of that day, but the two reflecting pools set into the footprints of the original twin towers symbolize the loss we experienced and the gaping holes that were left behind.

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I love the flag hanging on the construction scaffolding.

After leaving the Memorial we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. It had been a drizzly morning, but at this point the skies opened up and the day became beautiful. We had pizza at Grimaldi’s under the bridge… the place is a Brooklyn institution, and it lived up to its reputation… and then walked back across to Manhattan. We made our way to Chinatown and Little Italy, stopped in at Ferrara Bakery for some pastries, and then wandered around the neighborhoods for a little while.

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Anniversary weekend desserts at Ferrara’s – SCORE!

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I always get the cannoli. Doesn’t get any better.

Eventually we found Eataly, a gigantic Italian Store in the Flatiron District right next to Madison Square Park. Being the Italian women that we all are, we went crazy. The place is amazing, and we were all very sad that we couldn’t buy out the store and take everything home with us to start cooking.

Later that evening we went uptown and met up with Steph at the August Wilson Theater… because we had tickets to see Jersey Boys!!! It was fantastic! The musical tells the tale of Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons, with all of their greatest hits mixed in. I can see why it won a Tony Award for Best Musical. It was an amazing performance and we all had a blast!

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Check out the next post for the second half of our great weekend

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