Highlights of a Day in NY

  • My flight arriving on time
  • Early check-in at the hotel
  • A beautiful sunny day in the 50s (in December!), perfect for walking around the city
  • A delicious NY diner breakfast of French Toast, eggs, bacon and sausage
  • Walking along the waterfront and seeing the Statue of Liberty in the distance
  • Hanging out with the Charging Bull on Wall Street, wreath around its neck
  • Honoring the memories of friends who died in the attacks of 9/11
  • Watching skaters at Rockefeller Center

And then…..

Visiting the New York Stock Exchange! I’m on the Board of Directors of Girls in Tech, and in honor of our 10th anniversary, we had been invited to ring the closing bell of the NYSE. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, and the few expectations I did have were blown away. The folks at the NYSE were so incredibly gracious and welcoming. They shared the history of the stock exchange, took us on a tour of the building, and encouraged us to enjoy ourselves during the closing bell ceremony. I was shocked that anyone would need encouragement. We were on the floor (and then overlooking it) of the New York Stock Exchange! I was struck by how quiet it was. My impressions of the NYSE are mostly from movies in the 80s, where people yelled as trades were made. The floor had a calm air to it and people were friendly as we walked by. On the podium, we could see the floor in its entirety. We watched, expectantly, as the large digital clock counted to 3:59:45, the signal to ring the closing bell. We clapped and woo hoo-ed and high-fived as the bell was rung. It was a celebration – the end of yet another successful day.

 

Broadway is Magical

At the TKTS discount ticket booth:

“How do the seats for How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying look?”
“Two seats, back two rows, left. Eh.”
“What about On a Clear Day You Can See Forever?”
“Obstructed view. Wouldn’t take them.”
Memphis?”
“Only one seat left.”
Rock of Ages?”
“One seat.”

We looked at each other. “We’ll take the two seats to How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.” Rachel made a comment about being too close to the stage; I interpreted the dealer’s comment as being at the rear of the theatre. We looked at the tickets. She was right. Row B. When we took our seats, I thought, “Wow. We’re close. Really close. Six feet from the stage close.” Close enough that when the actors came on stage, we could see their mic wiring. And how much they sweated. And, once or twice, could make eye contact.

The story was campy. A throwback to 1960’s corporate culture. A story where a window washer follows the advice of a book (How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying) and climbs up the corporate ladder, getting both the girl and the corner office. A time when men hired secretaries on the basis on their looks, nepotism was the norm, and a woman’s ensemble included gloves and a matching pillbox hat.

It took me but just a moment to get past the fact that Harry Potter was the main character. Okay, not Harry Potter, but Daniel Radcliffe, best known as the actor who plays Harry Potter in the movie series. The songs had me seat dancing and singing along. And laughing. Where else but on Broadway do you get a full-blown number about the psychological benefits of the coffee break? Or reasons why your secretary is not a toy? Or dreams of waiting for your future husband, the successful businessman, and having the opportunity to keep his meal warm?

After the final curtain call and standing ovation, Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette appeared on stage, announcing cast members would be taking donations for the non-profit Broadway Cares after the show. “I’m auctioning this bow tie (he took his bow tie off), with the results going to Broadway Cares. Who would like to start the bidding?” The first bidder bid $50 and the bids quickly escalated into the hundreds. And then the thousands. Radcliffe threw in a back stage meeting with the himself and Larroquette. The price rose several hundreds of dollars. The final bid was $3,500. Radcliffe paused. “Would anyone match that bid, for the bow tie that I wore during the first act?” Silence. Then a woman’s voice from the fourth row clearly offered, “Thirty five hundred dollars.” Two bow ties, five minutes, seven thousand dollars for charity.

Rachel and I looked at each other. Best night ever at the theater.

New York, New York

I love traveling. I love exploring new places. I love seeing new sights.

When a friend recently asked me if I would like to go to NY with her for an “all tourist, all the time” weekend, I didn’t even have to think. Why, yes, I would love to.

We talked about things we wanted to do for the weekend. When I looked at the list, I realized it was aggressive. Would we really be able to do all the things we wanted to? Had we over planned? This, I realized, was a job for a spreadsheet.

I created a Google docs spreadsheet. I created one hour time slots for the three days that we’re in NY. I tentatively filled in what we wanted to do, places to see, restaurants to eat at, museums to peruse.

And we’ve been slotting, and rearranging, and making reservations since. I don’t really believe we’ll stick to our schedule. It is ambitious, after all. However, I am beyond excited for our trip. No matter what happens, we are going to have a good time.