If you’ve ready my California recap, then you know I am a HUGE fan of the ABC comedy, Modern Family. That’s why I was so bummed out for months back in 2016 when I found out that Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett) was doing a one-man Broadway show for only a limited time in New York City during the summer of 2016. The fact this was all happening a year after I was seeing the film set of Modern Family, I was having major feels and, thus, major jealousy. I already was following him on Snapchat and Twitter-so many teasers! He always did daily behind-the-scenes of the show on Snapchat and Twitter was lowing up with people raving about the production. Oh, another teaser? Fans were posting Twitter pictures of themselves with Jesse and his Snaps were full of post-show fan meet and greets. I. Could. Not. Believe It. and I wasn’t a part of any of it, I was taking a summer class for grad school and the price of an NYC/Broadway ticket was too much for my wallet to even want to think about. How amazing would it be? A year after seeing the show’s set I get to see one of the main characters in MY first Broadway show (not including off-broadway in NC). It was too perfectly aligned in my mind, but I was starting to accept my fate that this trip would never happen. But, as my story in life always goes: once I begin to hit a point of accepting things I want won’t happen, determination hits and there is no way I am giving up until I KNOW I exhausted all of my options. In this case, I hadn’t.
Yes, a weekend trip to New York City and seeing a Broadway play was going to be costly, but doing the math and one of the most costly parts of that was the housing. Airbnb wasn’t any better deal. Seriously, around the Broadway area it’s basically the same price per-night as a hotel and most of them you still had to share a space with the owner. Not thanks. So, I decided to take the bold move and contact a family friend whose home in the City I had stayed in before-around 15 years earlier. This person had bought the Long Island, NY beach house from my family a few years ago and since the purchase had let my family come stay during the summer for a week for free-the house belonged to my mom’s side of the family, she grew up during summers of her childhood there. It was a summer childhood memory of mine too. Anyway, my mom contacted her for me and it turned out that the family was going to be out of town and staying at the Island the weekend Erik and I wanted to come. No problem to them still! We were welcomed to stay at their City house and have it all to ourselves for the whole weekend…..FREE OF CHARGE. Now THAT was an expense off our minds! I couldn’t believe it, my hope came true and we were just 3 weeks away from our trip and the play. Plans had to be made and booked fast, and fast we did. Luckily for us, during Father’s Day dinner with Erik’s dad, we found out that he and Erik’s stepmom would be in the City that same weekend and they invited us out to dinner the night we weren’t seeing the play. Another expense taken care of, how could I not believe in fate for this trip?!?
The trip started off leaving Charlotte with an early flight, putting us in La Guardia airport around 9am-counting airport traffic, taxis and getting to the Manhattan house, we were finally settled in by 11am. Our flight attendant was a gem. He could tell how much Erik needed a drink (he hates flying) so he comped him an extra wine and set him up with his own make-shift wine cooler. Skip ahead, we were so tired and yet so hungry when we arrived and the one thing Erik wanted on this trip was traditional New York pizza. We took a stroll a few blocks from the house, Don Giovanni Ristorante, and ohhhh man was the pizza so colorful and tasty! Though we were still exhausted from the early flight, we decided that doing one more thing before heading back early for a nap before dinner and the show could be a good idea. And Central Park was perfect for a light stroll for the tired. By the way, can I mention how amazing this house was. It was 4-5 blocks from times square and was the cutest little 2-story brownstone with. a. backyard. YES! In NYC? YES. The most perfect thing was a wine market on the corner of the block so Erik and I could buy a bottle (or two) and end our days, well Saturday, in bliss-Grace Wine and Spirits. Can’t stress enough how much this couple loves wine.
Anyhoo, we got Starbucks for the cab ride back to the house and of course traffic got in the way and Erik’s panic attacks were coming in from the big city. Needless to say we got back in time for a 45min. nap and with all the outside noise we aren’t used to, it was pretty much slim to none-well for me at least, I tried, but I knew Erik wanted the sleep more and I’m the one out of the two known to power through so after tossing and turning I decided to let him continue sleeping while I jumped in the shower to get ready first. We got on our Broadway best and headed to dinner before the play at Times Square’s Cafe Un Deux Trois. Next stop: Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s one-man show, Fully Committed at the Lyceum Theatre! It was so hysterical and he pulled off all 40 characters himself with awe. It was such a pleasure and honor to have his be my first on-broadway play and it will always be an experience to cherish, this post is making me sentimental! Because of his Snaps, I was determined to find the back of the building where fans were able to meet him. Erik and I came upon it and luckily for us we weren’t that far behind in line. 45mins. later and out comes Jesse! Erik and I each got individual pictures with him and even a group selfie, which he had to correct Erik’s hand posture for better lighting and then we both got our own playbills autographed by him. A night to remember! Still being in shock, we got a pedicab to take us to a lounge down the block from the house for a nightcap, 44 & X (name: 44th and 10th street corner location).
Because of my natural alarm clock, I was up yet still tired at 9am, but couldn’t sleep. So, while letting Erik do so, I hopped on his iPad and did some digging on what to do for the day before meeting his family for dinner. Hmmm, we’ve already done the view from Empire State, so why not try a view from Top of the Rock-with lunch at the bottom before-and then head over to fill Erik’s history brain with Ellis Island. That day carried over our exhaustion from Friday and my stomach was feeling it, so before lunch at Rockefeller Center we stopped off at a local juice bar to get myself refreshed and started on the right foot. You all will soon find out that I can sniff out a fresh-pressed juice bar wherever I travel. Erik’s tiredness could only be solved through a hearty meal so before Top of the Rock, we ate brunch at Rock Center Cafe where I enjoyed my pressed juice, a bellini and greek yogurt parfait.
After that, a very long search for the subway entrance, a short subway ride due to track construction, and then an Uber to the piers, we finally made it to the docks for the Ellis Island ferry. RIP OFF. We had such little time in the City that we didn’t properly do our research. We got to the correct pier and after paying $60 each found out that the last ferry had already left and there were no refunds because the “tickets” we bought were actually vouchers for a place in line and not actually a ferry ticket and, thus, were not refundable. Our first rip-off in the City, but we both kind of knew that may of happened at some point in the trip. Luckily, this became a blessing in disguise. Since we still had time on our hands we decided to relax and head back to take a stroll through the outdoor farmers market we passed through on our way to the docks. Turns out this huge outdoor market was in Battery Park and it could not have been more pleasant, a great way to end our frustrating, tiresome day. This park, being down in the Wall Street district made us feel like we were not in the city, so different from Central and the Times Square area. The streets and building seemed nicer and cleaner, less noisy-to us-and Battery Park on the waterfront with the Statue of Liberty view was pure bliss. We definitely knew this was a neighborhood to stay in the next time we visit. Battery Park’s farmers market was so cool: so many booths from food to crafts and LOTS of free samples. We had our fill of various hard apple ciders, bitters, organic/vegan candy, horseradish flavors and more! It was such a great way to relax and end our super rushed weekend. I highly recommend this if you ever go on a Saturday. (Purse: Kate Spade | Top and Pants: Free People )
We actually had some time to spare when we got back to the house so we went down the block for some wine and came back to relax in the backyard (again, A BACKYARD) where the birds were chirping and the outside city noises were far, but not too far, from us. It was so hard to believe that we were still a few blocks from Times Square. Later on, we met up with Erik’s dad and stepmom, who took us out to Quality Italian-amazing place to eat! We all indulged in great food and too much wine, got back around midnight and had to leave our packing and house cleaning for the morning…..before our 9:45am flight eek! You’ll recognize my Urban Outfitters kimono from my Titanic post. Let’s just say that was the first and last time I learned my lesson on drinking the night before a plane ride.
All in all, it was around a total of 45hrs in the Big Apple and the experience was unlike any other. We were tired, had headaches, panic attacks, sore from so much walking and basically felt like dazed zombies the whole trip. And it was worth every penny and every sleepless moment. It was a whirlwind, but we packed in as much of NYC in less than 3 days and if I do say, I am proud of ourselves. Sometimes the most rushed, exhausting, spontaneous trips can turn out to be the most memorable. This one was and will be cherished forever. *For all other fashion credits from this post visit my Instagram*