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Tuesday, April 15, 2008


there was an apartment in nyc
and janky was its name-o
and janky was its name-o!

okay, so i'd talked to the vacation rental lady the day before, to get the exact address of the apartment we were staying at, and to make arrangements to pay and pick up keys. she was a total bitch, and with the mixup about the availability after we'd already booked and paypal'd a $300 deposit, i was already really skeptical of this whole thing. we were required to pay the balance in cash, plus a $100 security deposit - to the cleaning lady.


and then i had to go back and forth with her on the deposit - i told her i wanted it back as soon as we checked out and she said that no one was checking in that day, so no one would be going to the apartment till the next day. make sense? yeah, i didn't think so either. she said "just leave the keys on the table and i'll paypal you the deposit the next day." okay, whatever.

and she was weirdly insistent that we arrive on time to check in. she said "please be on time" probably about a dozen times throughout the conversation. i was really regretting the whole thing already.

so on monday, we got up nice and early to grab some breakfast and do some sightseeing before getting to the apartment at 12:30. after stopping at starbucks, we decided to walk over there first to be sure we knew where it was. luckily, it was really easy to find, tucked away on 47th next to a deli and behind the theater where "legally blonde" was playing.

we decided to walk over to rockefeller center to see if we could catch a glimpse of the "today show" - but we were too late. ha!

rockefeller center is ginormous. sheesh. and we watched the zamboni on the skating rink for a while. there were lots of skaters posed and ready to pounce on that lovely ice, and the kid and i told the hub that we wanted to go skating at some point. i'm no ice skater, but i couldn't resist the opportunity!

we walked through the nbc store and took note of the studio tour information, for when MIL arrived. she has endless patience and i figured she might get a kick out of going on it with me and the kid.

the kid saw a sign for the american girl store as we walked along (man, i love when she just goes back to being a kid), but it was almost time to head back to check in, so we headed back towards times square. and of course, we'd walked a little too fast, so we killed some time at the m&m store:

i also took a picture of the giant hershey's store across the street, but resisted the urge to go in:

ha! the restraint i displayed is remarkable, i tell you.

and then it was time to meet the cleaning lady and view our accommodations for the next three nights. after the lovely (albeit tiny) hotel we'd been calling home for two nights, i was a little sad, but also a little excited knowing that the apartment would be a lot roomier. not to mention, MIL was flying in that evening and there was no way we'd be able to squeeze into that room with the two twin beds - it was tiny enough as it was.

that excitement disappeared as soon as we walked in. these pictures don't do the jankiness of the joint justice, but it's all i've got. it was just so...bleh.

the hub and the kid's faces were comical. the kid whispered "mom, this place is yucky!" and the hub just gave me that special "are you kidding me with this shit?" look. i knew i was going to get quite an earful when we left.

and as we walked back up 49th to the american girl store, they didn't disappoint.

"can't we just stay at the hotel we're already at?"
"i don't want to stay there, it's so gross and depressing!"
"it might have been a bargain, but we sure got what we paid for."

and on and on and on, until i wanted to duck into the nearest duane reade's and find some fucking earplugs. finally we got to the store and it stopped as the kid wandered through the store and the hub and the bean found a comfy spot to relax.

i totally cracked up at the doll salon, and the thought of american girl personal shoppers.
as we wandered around, we found other american girl-related things, like the doll hospital, the american girl theatre, a photo studio, and a cafe. we glanced at the menu before going back downstairs to join the bean and the hub.

and we were quite surprised when he suggested that we have lunch there. i giggled incessantly in my head at the thought of him sitting up there amongst all those females and flowers and pink, and was pleased to hear that they could accommodate us. normally, the place is packed and reservations are a must, but i guess a monday at lunchtime isn't too hectic.

as we sat down, the hostess said to the kid "do you have your doll with you?" and then she looked at her a bit more closely and said "i'm guessing...no. but we have loaners! would you like one?"

they had LOANER DOLLS. comedy. but the kid perked up, gave me a big ass cheesy grin, and followed the hostess to the rack of dolls, sitting in little black and white striped chairs. she came back with one that looked similar to hers at home, and beamed as the hostess clipped the little doll chair next to her.

the cafe was adorable - all black and white and hot pink, with polka dots and flowers everywhere. each table had a white tablecloth and napkins, and the napkin rings were little hair elastics with hot pink flowers attached to them. plus, there was a little box in the middle that contained slips of paper that conversation-starting questions on them, like "do you think that girls get treated differently than boys?" haha! as i giggled at the questions, the kid grabbed two "napkin rings" and disappeared into the restroom, and came back looking like this:

our server dropped off a plate of warm cinnamon buns and took our drink orders - pink lemonade for me and the kid, of course. and the bean decided to check out the menu.

when our drinks came, so did this:

yum! cheese, veggies, pretzel bread, and little chicken salad "boats."

funny, all three of us were in the mood for a french dip sandwich - which arrived with some salad and sweet potato fries. i learned that i only like my fries made from regular old potatoes - no gourmet sweet potatoes for me.

the hub shared the lemon from his iced tea with the bean. i guess it's a little bit evil that we give her little tastes of this kind of shit, but man oh man, the faces she makes are just so. damn. funny.

we each got a cute little dessert tray, with a frosted flower sugar cookie, a heart-shaped slice of angel food cake, and a flowerpot of chocolate mousse. as you can see, i'm the only mousse-eater in our family.

on our way out, i took a picture of the rack of loaner dolls, and the hub decided to play "where's waldo?" with the bean.

we decided to head over to 5th avenue and do some window shopping. the kid walked through the giant abercrombie store, and i eyed the storefronts of tiffany and saks. i also snickered at trump tower (that man just LOVES to see his name on all sorts of shit), and at a road sign that i always assumed was just one of those jokes you find in gift shops.

we just kept on walking until we found ourselves at the plaza. the kid wanted to see inside, so we trooped up the stairs and found ourselves under some of the most gorgeous chandeliers ever.

and then we saw all of the horse-drawn carriages lined up in front of central park. the hub stayed behind with the stroller while the kid, the bean and i clambered up into one, sat back, and covered our legs with the blanket.

the hub had decided to walk up to the AOL/time warner building during our 20-minute carriage ride, so when we got back we walked up to columbus circle to meet him. the kid was so grossed out at this statue with the golden wiener that i HAD to take a picture of it, if for no other reason than to hear her go "ewwwwwwwwww, mom!"

so while all this was going on, i was hoping that the two of them would've forgotten all about the apartment and how icky it was. but no - apparently, the hub took advantage of our absence and pulled up hotels.com on his PDA to see what else was available. now, mind you, we'd already paid for the vacation rental in full. we were stuck, or so i thought.


we swung into the nearest internet cafe and checked out our options - and it turned out that we had quite a few. what killed me was that the hub had given me a budget to stick to for this trip (for hotel and airfare, anyway) and i had made it a point to stick to it, dammit! hell, if i'd have known he was going to blow it off, we could've booked into one hotel for the entire duration of our stay. i should've known better. he always pulls this shit.

we ended up booking a room with two double beds at the empire hotel - which was conveniently a block away from where we were. but we still needed to go back to times square to get our luggage. a quick glance at the clock told us that MIL was going to be there pretty soon, so we headed over to the new hotel to check in.

and a lovely hotel it was! the kid loved all the animal prints everywhere.

the room itself was still very tiny - in fact, i'm pretty sure it was even smaller than the millennium broadway - but it was really cool, with the plush bedding, tiger-striped chair, plasma tv, and very cool shower.

and because i'd forgotten to post pictures of the first hotel:

we were just laying around relaxing when the hub and MIL arrived. as always, she was in a cheerful mood and was looking forward to having some fun in the big city. she hadn't been to new york since she was younger than the kid, so she was excited to see how things had changed. and, of course, by this time, we were all hungry, so we headed out to grab dinner at stage deli, which the hub and i had discovered during our first trip to NYC back in '03.

as we walked along 7th in search of dinner, we passed carnegie deli, which is supposed to be as good/better than stage deli.

the sandwiches at stage deli are crazy-ginormous, so we decided to order two and split them amongst the four of us. the first one was a lovely combo of corned beef and pastrami, piled high between three slices of bread, plus some swiss cheese. i can't remember the name of it, but the other one we ordered was the dolly parton - "twin rolls of corned beef and pastrami." ha!

i ordered a chocolate egg cream. the hub and the kid were grossed out by it, but it was yummy. i couldn't get them to understand that it didn't actually HAVE any eggs in it. whatever - more for me!

and then we decided to, um, share the pickle with the bean. again, we're so mean - we cackled and giggled at the faces she made as folks at neighboring tables all breathed "awwwww...."

and as you can see, she ended up liking it! she kept coming back for more and eventually just grabbed it and munched as we ate and chatted.

by the time we walked back to the hotel, we were exhausted. and the bed was oh, so comfy. i'm getting sleepy again just thinking about it.


  1. aw man! Such a bummer about the apartment! And I assume you lost your money. That totally blows. But at least you didn't stay there. That would have blown harder. Ha!

  2. I am having so much fun reading about your trip! Makes me miss NY!

  3. I don't know what to say about the whole American Girl bit. I love the bean's facial expressions though :) too funny.

  4. ok, couple things: i totally have the samantha doll from childhood, too! the bean's facial expressions--we used to do that to my niece all the time. i miss those faces.


    Carnegie Deli Monkey Who Actually Loves Langer's More Than Both Delis

  6. oh man, i can't believe you guys ate at the american girls cafe. jim always bitches about how annoying it is that the cafe at the grove took over one of the prime upstairs dining spots in the whole place. bitter, party of 1.

    can you use this experience to remind the hub next time your told to plan a vacay with X number of dollars?

  7. The Stage is FAR superior to Carnegie's. Carnegie's used to be pretty good, but then it developed a "reputation" and since they were bringing in so much business on name alone, they didn't feel the need to put as much into the food.

    And I'm kinda surprised the Rockefeller's rink was still open - was the one in Central Park still there too?

  8. awesome recap. no comment on the dolls. they scare me, even if this nerd read a lot of the books.

    bean's faces are so cute.

  9. The American Girl Dolls things is creepy but such a smart enterprise. They are making some serious scratch off of all that.

    Yay for great food! Now I want pastrami like you wouldn't believe.


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