As soon as our driver, Hugh, picked us up at the airport, I felt like Cinderella on the way to the ball. Hugh drives Melissa Gorga and other celebrities all the time, yet he made us feel like royalty.
He carried our bags to his pristine black Escalade. As we approached the car, I felt as though I was walking toward our black Suburban. I always wondered what the big attraction was with the Cadillac version over the Chevrolet. Both have pretty much the same frame, so I just didn’t get it. Until I sat in the Escalade. Aaah, luxury. Well, just the fact that it was 12 years newer than our Suburban and didn’t have French fries all over the floor would have been enough. But it also had all the bells and whistles. Plus opera music playing. I felt so sophisticated.
I don’t know why New Yorkers have the reputation of being rude. Hugh was one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, as were most of the people we encountered. He gave us a newcomers’ guide to New York during our ride to the hotel. We didn’t get lost once during the trip, thanks to Hugh’s tips.
We checked in at the Time Hotel and, again, got a taste of how it feels to be a celebrity. When we gave them our names, the hotel clerk exclaimed “Oh, you are the contest winner!” We were told we had two care packages waiting for us at the concierge desk. When we entered our room, there was a message on our phone from Voli welcoming us to New York and inviting us to go relax in the hotel cocktail lounge since our tab was prepaid for anything we wished to have. We weren’t ready to start drinking vodka that early in the afternoon, so decided to go sight-seeing first.
The Time Hotel is (appropriately) located right in the Times Square area. We took a stroll around to admire the grandeur.
Everything was so impressively huge. Except the iconic “ball drop.” I will never again look at it the same on New Year’s Eve. That tiny little thing above “2013” is it? I’m not sure what I expected, but I know it wasn’t that.
We didn’t realize the coincidence, but our next 3 stops were Roxy’s Deli, Hard Rock Café and Rockefeller Plaza! I guess we were anticipating a “rocky” time.
We stopped for a late lunch at Roxy’s. I must say after the hype about New York food, this was the one place that did not impress me. We didn’t want to eat too much because we were looking forward to pigging out at Lombardi’s for dinner so we just ordered a couple of appetizers. Perhaps if we had ordered the $25 deli sandwich (apparently they are expensive, but huge. You can share…for an extra $7!), we would have enjoyed it more. The appetizers were just “eh.” Cool atmosphere though.
In the mirror’s reflection, you will notice the walls were covered with caricatures of celebrities.
Maybe the caricatures contributed to my disappointment. It reminded me of the “I Love Lucy” episode where she ate at the Brown Derby, which also had caricatures of the rich and famous. But the celebs often ate at the Brown Derby and Lucy saw stars sitting at the tables next to her. The only famous thing I saw at Roxy’s was the New York Cheesecake.
Oh well, if I had someone to gawk at, they probably would have ended up with a pie in the face also. Or, more likely, a cheesecake in the face. (I’m sure all the young’uns reading this right now have no idea what I’m talking about…You can watch the full I Love Lucy episode here. I had forgotten how much I LOVE that show.)
Hard Rock Café was in fact full of fame and fortune. Mostly in the form of rock star’s guitars. This place got a thumbs up. Lots of them.
Taking a photo by the sign seemed to be the thing to do. Everyone was doing it. So we did also. Good thing everyone wasn’t jumping off the Brooklyn bridge. This post is getting long and I’m out of time right now so I think my journey may need a “NYC Part 2B – Hey Waiter, There’s A Tree In My Drink.” Watch for it later today!
Next stop, fabulous Rockefeller Plaza…with a few detours along the way…
(For the NYC details you may have missed, click here.)