NY & CT East Coast Fun

Nalan & Clare in Grand Central Station Clare in Grand Central Station Grand Central Terminal

“Cause everyone’s your friend in New York City
and everything looks beautiful when you’re young and pretty
The streets are paved with diamonds and there’s just so much to see
but the best thing about New York City is you and me” Cub (more recently covered by TMBG)

One of my dearest friends, Nalan, moved to Connecticut 4 years ago and I have been vowing to visit. When my birthday rolled around, Dennis gave me the best present possible-a plane ticket to see her!

Nalan's Flat - Daytime View Nalan & her pretty apartment Nalan's Nightly View

We did so very much in New York City over the course of a long weekend. In addition to the shows, most excellent food, and numerous city landmarks, I stayed up till late late late catching up with her. IT was a NICE weekend, as I have missed her immensely.

Clare at the NYC Public Library Macy's takes up an entire block! We saw Rent !!!

On Saturday, we rode the train to Grand Central, and walked past the NYC Public Library (HUGE!) making our way to the Broadway show Rent. The musical was very good, all the actors were quite talented. The subject matter was pretty serious though, so it was a little tough to swallow since we were both in such high spirits.

We had dinner reservations (it seems everywhere in NYC requires reservations!), for 5pm at a very nice and comfy Turkish restaurant. We met up with a friend of Nalan’s and the three of us enjoyed a lively conversation, discussing economics & banking industries. She had purchased tickets for us to see the Whirling Dirvishes, in celebration of the 800 anniversary of the birth of Rumi (a very celebrated Turkish spirtualist & poet). So before long, we were briskly walking to the local town hall, for the show.

A Whirling Dirvish

As Nalan explains to me, the Whirling Dirvishes practice a form of religion, which is more like a way of living. Mainly to help people in times of need, and go out of their way for other humans. Treating all people with the same respect and loving compassion. She said they have day jobs, and it is something they choose to do out of a general love of humanity. There is a belief that the world spins, as do atoms, and that the energy of the world can be channeled and then distributed out to the populous through this whirling prayer devotion. When I was watching them on stage, it was hypnotizing, and the music was enriching and enchanting. I’m so happy I got to see the performance, it’s something very unique to Turkish culture!

Nalan & Clare in front of Rockefeller Center Climbergirl at Rockefeller Center Rockefeller Center Cafe - where the ice skating rink is in winter!

After the performance, we said goodbye to her friend, and then we walked around NYC some more. We walked by Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. What a full day we had!

Radio Music City Hall - Neato!

On Sunday, we started off with a brunch at another Turkish hotspot, “The Turkish Kitchen”. It was a buffet style, and I ate an entire plate of Turkish desserts-yum! After a nice brunch, we headed over to Central Park. The walk felt nice, as the weather was dry with a slight breeze.

NYC Police Officers Band - Marching for Gay Pride NYC Fire Department supports Gay & Lesbian Movement NYC Fire Truck

On the way over to CP, we got caught up in the Gay Pride Parade. IT was HUGE. People were handing out rainbow colored ribbons, flyers, and buttons. The streets were completely blocked off. We cheered some of the organizations who participated, such as Planned Parenthood, the Gay Firefighters & NYPD who marched. It takes a lot of courage to march in the parade, we thought! Of course, there were a whole group of hecklers shouting such things as, “You’re dirty” and “You are embracing Satan”. Nalan & I thought the negativity was just not cool.

Nearly Naked Dudes on Floats...Climbergirl smiles! Clare & Nalan Groovin on a Sunday Afternoon Central Park in Summer - A pleasant day!

At Central Park, we took a nice break. We found an open park bench and drank some water, it was quite warm and we sat in the shade. It was fun to people watch, and we both agreed it was the perfect day to be at the park.

Of course, I couldn’t spend a weekend in NYC without doing some shopping on 5th Avenue! So, we stopped in H&M, a german clothing company and I bought some cute items of clothing. Fun!

Later on in the day, we had Off-Broadway tickets to see “In The Heights”. It was much more uplifting and fun than Rent. It was cleverly written, and even had rapping-which was very entertaining.

Dinner at Ruby Foo's - Tasty!

It was dinner time, and we were hungry. So we caught a cab for 10 blocks and landed at Ruby Foo’s where we dined on Lettuce Wraps, Gyoza, and a fantastic selection of desserts. When dessert came, we were excited to dig into the sweets. Just look at all that sugar & fat-YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!!

Souveniers!

We didn’t want to miss our train back to Stamford, so we took a taxi to Grand Central. In the train on the way back, we posed with our new T-shirts. I couldn’t believe the weekend had gone by so fast. It was a whirlwind, and I was sad to be leaving Nalan already. We both made a pact to not let it go another 4 years before we visited, and she dropped me off at the Airport in the early morning hours on Monday. I was praying the traffic would hold out until after she got back to Stamford…

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