Before we knew Dane and Micki's exact itinerary, we knew David Crowder Band was on The 7 Tour, their last ever. Ian promised me, after seeing DCB while on his internship in LA, someday he would take me to their show. For lack of future options, that someday became October 29, 2011.
The day after Dane and Micki left, we caught a 6:30 a.m. Bolt Bus to NYC. By the time we disembarked on 34th Street, the predicted precipitation had started to fall. We bundled up and walked in the direction of the High Line, since travel always involves landscape architecture sightseeing.
We trudged through the increasing downpour until we arrived at the stairs to the High Line. Already cold and wet, we remembered how much windier it is 30 feet above street level. And while I was wearing waterproof L.L. Bean boots and a poncho, Ian was drenched. One block and one photo in, and Ian gave up.
We walked back to Macy's in search of gloves and/or a poncho for Ian. It was crowded, and we were wearing giant dripping backpacks. They directed us to the 7th floor, via crowded elevators. We didn't find ponchos, but were starving and decided to patronize the penthouse McDonald's. We were desperate.
After scanning for several minutes, we spotted an open table. A man sitting nearby said to Ian, "Nice haircut!" Surprised, he thanked the man, who responded, "I have to shave it every three days" and then talked at people the next table over. Ian suggested I sit at the table by myself, next to the crazy man, and watch all our stuff while he ordered food. I decided we were not that desperate.
Several recommendations and elevator rides later, we were back on the first floor, exactly where we started, only to be informed they did not have ponchos or gloves cheaper than $60. Defeated by the weather and Macy's, we left in search of a warm meal. Contrary to advertising, shopping at Macy's over the holidays is less magical and more panic-attack-in-the-middle-of-the-aisle-and-cry-like-a-baby.
Thankfully, we found a warm pizza joint with an open table and after a chocolate croissant and an Instagram session, the day was looking much better. We hopped on the subway to our hotel, blow-dried/ironed our wet clothing, and watched the first half (the good half) of the K-State/OU game from under a toasty pile of blankets.
At halftime, we braved the weather and headed to Irving Plaza. And John Mark McMillan, Christ August, Gungor (with a beatboxing cellist), and David Crowder Band more than made up for the miserable weather.
The night culminated with a multi-artist performance of "How He Loves" and a DCB encore that included a guitar-melting rendition of Carol of the Bells.
The next morning was cold, but the sun was shining and we had 9:15 a.m. tickets to the 9/11 Memorial.
The park is open to the public, but until construction around the site is completed, access is limited and you must reserve a free pass online (these go quickly so don't wait). The memorial is completely worth the extra effort. The pools are stunning, and I appreciate how they arranged the victims' names based on their relationships to each other (with input from friends and family). The survivors tree was saved after the attacks and nursed back to health. The tree returned to the site only to be uprooted again by the hurricane this summer, but it continues to live up to its name.
After exploring the park and visitors center, we continued our landscape tour with Teardrop Park and a few trips down the giant slide.
We headed back to the hotel to check out, and enjoyed brunch at Felix, celebrating Halloween with a Prohibition theme. All of the wait staff was decked out in twenties garb and champagne corks periodically landed under our table as the bartender mixed mimosas. (The cork popping happens whether or not they're dolled up like a speakeasy, but helped sell the theme.)
We tried once again to visit the High Line, but were foiled, this time by icy conditions that kept the park closed (I'll blame that on our overly litigious society).
We moved on to Plan B: Brooklyn Bridge Park.
A waterfront park in Brooklyn replacing abandoned piers, parking lots, and storage buildings, it's a beautiful open space with a great view to Manhattan and Lady Liberty. We wandered around and Ian took site photos until we couldn't walk anymore.
Exhausted but satisfied, we took the Metro back to 34th Street and the Bolt Bus stop, procured Chipotle for dinner (to make Brett proud), and headed back to Boston.
Because of crazy amounts of traffic at 10 p.m. (really, Connecticut?) we arrived too late to catch the T. Fortunately, we hailed a "sit-down" comedian for a taxi driver, who knows every U.S. president in chronological order, as well as countless other Boston tidbits and jokes. And he was a good driver, too. They do exist!
We came away from the trip with a to-do list: Look into comfortable waterproof shoes for Ian. Buy some of the music from The 7 Tour. Revisit the High Line when an unseasonably early snow/rain storm is not ravaging the streets of NYC. Third time's a charm, right?