This year, thanks to the persuasion and generous hosting of my friend Sarah (@sarahbgoldberg), the Sis and I headed to chilly New York City at the end of February to see a musical about my long-time history crush Alexander Hamilton (which, oh my god, I couldn't have even wished for such a thing even in my wildest dreams because c'mon, what?!).
Lots of other geeky things (many unplanned) ensued because NYC is bursting with early U.S. History and you know, culture. So this was probably the nerdiest trip ever - yes, even more so than going abroad to see Shakespeare & Harry Potter in England.
*Image-heavy post ahead*
DAY 1: Jet-setting, Arrival, and Freezing
Traveling in geek chic style VERY early in the morning. That bear transforms into a neck pillow.
There was snow everywhere, and it was COLD - like for realz cold, not Southern Californian standard of coldness. In the taxi, we heard on the radio this was "one of the coldest Februaries on record" in NYC. But Sarah's apartment was warm, comfy, and adorably decorated, and she treated us to a scrumptious cheese and hummus platter. Dinner at a nearby chicken place was delicious!
DAY 2: Museum-ing & Sleep No More
Central Park was a veritable winter wonderland and there were puppies in coats, and we found a snowman-Venus di Milo!
Our first stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Art (a favorite!). This visit was mostly so the Sis could finally see the famous Leutze painting Washington Crossing the Delaware. The last 2 times we were in NYC, the painting hadn't been on display much to her disappointment. This time? SUCCESS!
Since we were in the American Wing, we also saw other REALLY COOL paintings that we recognized from seeing them in multiple US History books growing up. Example: almost every famous portrait of George Washington! We had to take a few selfies with them. Why? Last year in both London and Paris, we kept unexpectedly finding our 1st president - and so, we took selfies with him (top left collage is from last year's trip). It's a thing now, and we kind of see him as our travel guardian. (Besides, GW was a cool dude.)
We also visited the portrait of Hamilton I discovered on my last Met visit, so obviously, I had to take a picture.
The other highlight of the Met was we also saw a number of Van Goghs thanks to a kind museum attendant who noticed the Sister's Starry Night leggings and pointed us to the paintings the Met had. The actual The Starry Night painting is at the Museum of Modern Art - our next stop!
We lucked out at the MOMA because a nice guy (also headed that way) let us buy guest tickets with his membership! Yay discounted tickets! And then we saw Van Gogh's The Starry Night and it was all kinds of great.
I discovered another Henri Rousseau work. I love his wide-eyed jungle cats, and I've been fond of his work since I saw his Surprised! (or Tropical Storm) painting in London (I own the blackmilk jacket that has that painting printed on it).
Modern art is not really my jam, but it's always neat to see. And it's fun to take pictures with.
For dinner, we had freaking delicious chicken over rice from the Halal Guys food stand (you have to go to the ones outside the MOMA). The un-iced/un-fridged bottle of soda we bought with our meal tasted like it'd been in the fridge, it was that cold outside. After that, we made a failed attempt at trying to buy gloves (because we'd forgotten ours at Sarah's apt) but gave up and headed over to the so-called McKittrick Hotel for our Sleep No More adventure with Sarah.
Sleep No More is this creepy cool immersive theater experience. You go inside the McKittick Hotel, wear masks, keep silent throughout, and explore the various levels and rooms. You can open drawers, rifle through boxes, and read notes and letters. Meanwhile, there's a cast of actors more or less retelling (mostly silently) the story of Macbeth.
It is really cool, and we spent like 3 hours in there. We were lucky the Sister's boss suggested it, and then a couple of my friends recommended it as well. No pictures allowed inside, but you can check out the site (linked above).
Lastly, I'd like to mention here that Sarah was ridiculously brave. Sleep No More was creepy but also sometimes kind of terrifying, but Sarah intrepidly led us through some of the scariest settings!
DAY 3: Shopping, Bite Beauty Lip Lab, Meeting up with SuperSpaceChick
First part of the day was spent shopping in SoHo. Then we met Sarah at the Bite Beauty Lip Lab for our appointment at 4pm. Funnily enough, we spotted the Insurgent "Shatter Reality" experience thing on our way there.
If you love lipstick, the Lip Lab is a neat experience because you sit with a Lip Lab Artist and tell them what kind of shade you want. Then, they mix colors and have you try shades until you're satisfied. You can choose the finish and the scent too! Custom lipsticks, very fun.
Sarah took us to La Churreria for some of the best churros + hot chocolate we've ever had before we headed to the always-glorious Strand Bookstore to meet Kristin (SuperSpaceChick).
As I mentioned previously, Kristin is just as nice in person as she is online. It's always kind of scary but fun to meet online friends IRL, so I'm glad we were able to meet up during my short trip. The Strand was the perfect place, and I found Kristin in the stacks with a literal armful of books. We chatted about books, her unbelievably lovely shelves, our feelings about Olicity (she's against (for reasons I agree with!) & I'm kinda for because I'm a sucker for their dynamic but seriously Oliver, get it together!!), and random intersections of fandom.
Afterwards, the Sister and I had dinner and dessert at Momofuku Ssam. So goooood.
That's it for now since this is getting majorly image-heavy!
Tune in for the DAY 4 and 5 recap in Nerd Trip 2015 PART 2 on Thursday! Things are about to get extremely nerdy because the bulk of my US History fangirling is about to happen. :D