Tag Archives: NYC moments

Super-dogging the Natural History Museum

OK, back to our NYC adventures. I think we were up to Thursday of last week? Is that right? Who knows. It’s all kind of a blur now that we’re home anyway. But, let’s say it’s Thursday of last week, the 18th. Slept in again, so late that Kismet’s dog walker, Ray, showed up while we were getting ready to leave the house at 1:00PM.

Mrs. Yeti was mortified (“Urgh, it’s so late, he must think we’re total losers!”) but I, after having the room cleaned around me all week at the Paramount, was a little less mortified. Besides, a 1:00PM start time with a toddler seemed downright early in my book.

Anyway, don’t remember what we ate for breakfast, but, I do know that we had Mr. Softee chocolate shakes for lunch. I’m not usually a fan of soft-serve milkshakes, but, something about Mr. Softee slays me every time. Maybe it’s their cute-ass logo or the fact that their ice cream trucks are EVERYWHERE during the summer. Whatever it is, they taste great, especially for lunch!

We then hiked up Broadway from Columbus Circle to walk around Lincoln Center. We had never been there before, and it was gorgeous, just acres and acres of performance space and groovy, mid-century architecture. Oh, and did I mention that they had posters for upcoming ballets everywhere we looked? Greta was in heaven. Seriously, she was dancing the whole time.

We then wandered across the Lincoln Center campus — seriously, that place is gigantic! — towards the Julliard School’s student bookstore. I know it’s lame, but, ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to go to Julliard. I can’t act, or dance or sing to save my life, but, just knowing that a school like that existed was kind of thrilling to a burgeoning film geek. So, despite the protestations of my wife that we already have way too many, I bought a Julliard coffee mug. Yep, that’s how I roll…

Grabbed some healthy snacks at a farmer’s market nearby — lemme tell ya, big apple apples are truly amazing! — and then hopped back on the subway towards the Natural History Museum. You know, the really famous old museum they always use in movies and stuff? That’s the one. Truth be told, I was kinda dreading the price tag though. Adult tickets are $19 and tickets for children ages 2-12 cost a whopping $10.50. I know, I know, it’s not anywhere near Disneyland prices, but, wow, $50 for a freaking museum? Yikes…

Luckily for us, the museum is free for the last hour and fifteen minutes of the day (who knew?) so, for once, arriving late actually paid off. We had to wait ten minutes till the actual “free time” began, but, hey, what’s ten minutes when you’re saving fifty bucks? Whoo-hoo!

The only downside, of course, was that we had to practically run through the museum — or as my Mom would call it, “super-dogging” — but, hey, did I mention we saved fifty bucks? Anyway, it was awesome, we saw everything we wanted to see and Greta went absolutely crazy for the dinosaur bones. Seriously, I have never seen her so excited in a museum, she was all: “Oh my God, Mommy, look!” and “Wow! Big!” It was hilarious!

So, after closing down the gift shop (which kinda sucked) we hopped back on the subway towards home, where we polished off the bountiful leftovers from our humongous Italian dinner the night before. Oh, we went out for yummy desserts later at the place from “You’ve Got Mail”, Cafe Lalo. Cute and totally yummy, but crazy-crowded.

Good times all around, and man, did we sleep well that night…

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Hotel living…

Sorry for not blogging more, we have been doing and seeing so much here that there has literally not been one moment of downtime. I’m not kidding, I can’t even start start writing a postcard without falling asleep these days…I’m just too beat.

Which brings us to the subject of hotel living. When Mrs. Yeti is working, we always stay at the super cool Paramount Hotel in the theatre district. They have a crazy-attentive staff, very clean and very chic rooms, and the grooviest lobby you ever saw. Seriously, I thought I walked into the bar by accident the first time we arrived. Crazy!

So, the one thing I hate about hotels is how early they clean the rooms. I can’t tell you how many times my sleeping late has left me with an uncleaned room for the day…urgh. And, I know noon is not early by most people’s standards, but, when you’re eating dinner at 3:00AM, it kinda is…

So, our first day there, Greta and I were beat, and so dead to the world that I almost missed the ringing of the hotel phone on my nightstand. You’ll never believe who was calling. Yep, the maid! He said he was calling to see when I was going to wake up so they could clean my room! Huh?! Does that “Do Not Disturb” placard on the door mean nothing to you, sir?

So, I did what any self-respecting SAHD would do…I totally blamed the baby. “Man, she just will not get up this morning. Poor little jet-lagged thing!” then I threw on some clothes, put on my best “I’ve been awake for hours” look and invited the maid in to clean up around us. And guess what? He did it! Two days in a row! Best. Hotel maid service. Ever. He practically changed the sheets with us still in them, the dude was amazing.

In fact, the second day he didn’t even call. He just knocked on the door (again ignoring my “Do Not Disturb” placard!) and then said in a funny voice: “Yoo hoo, is me again! Yo friend from yesterday!” Hilarious! I didn’t even check the peephole to make sure it was him.

And best of all, he loved Greta. He kept talking to her while he cleaned, making her laugh, asking her what movie she was watching today…it was very sweet.

And then, it ended. Our last night there Greta and I had an “incident” during bathtime that spilled buckets of water everywhere…including onto the carpeted area near our bed. Housekeeping came to the rescue with dozens of towels and plastic bags and such, but, let’s just say they were not amused.

So, our last morning there I got another call from the housekeeping staff exactly ten minutes before check out. This time, it was not “my friend” on the line: “You leavin’ on time today?!” the woman asked in a voice that told me the glory days of late clean-up were definitely over. I don’t remember what I told her, but you can bet your ass we outta there at noon.

Ah, well…it was fun while it lasted.

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Dinner at 3:00AM?

Continuing where we left off last time, we were finally on the ground at JFK, three hours later than expected, but we were there and Greta was awesome on the plane, so, yay! We pick up our dripping wet luggage — must have really been coming down when they unloaded it, but, blech! — roll on out to the curb to get in line for a taxi into the city and BLAM…we run straight into the longest line of people I’ve ever seen outside of a prime summer day at Disneyland.

It was hot, humid, late as fuck (excuse my French, but, it was like, 12:30AM when we got in line!) and this line was just not moving. Everyone was tired and ready to just call it a day and sleep at the airport when the most amazing thing happened. This young kid and his parents totally cut in line!

I’m not talking like, cutting off two or three people either, he literally pushed his way into the line at the halfway point while his parents hurried to the curb to catch the cab he was sure to score any minute. It was total insanity! And, lemme tell ya, it charged up that crowd like nobody’s business.

The crazy-tan Jersey Grandma with the cigarette noticed them first: “Oh…no, what is he do-win?” Then the young-hippies-in-love in front of us chimed in: “That…that’s so not cool…look at him!” Then, the spirit of New Yawk lept into me and I yelled out at the kid across the sweaty masses: “COME ON!!” It was hilarious, and a total New York moment and the next thing you know, everyone is line is cracking up at the balls this kid must have to do such a thing. “No shame, I tell you, that kid has no shame!” “Yeah, but, you gotta give him credit, I mean, hello, it worked!” “Urgh, if I had the balls to do that I’d be home by now…”

OMG, it was hysterical and in that instant, Mrs. Yeti and I remembered why we love this place so damn much. The people. We’ve traveled a lot and nobody can keep it as hilariously real as a fucking New Yorker. Seriously, they are the best!

So, an hour later (yep, we waited in that line for an hour!) we get in our cab and head on into the city. By the time we checked in at our hotel and unloaded our crap, it was almost 3:00AM. Mommy was too tired to eat, but, Greta and I were starving, so, she hopped into her stroller and we walked two blocks down to 9th and 46th street to eat at the 24-hour Galaxy Diner.

Every door and window of this joint — located at the edge of the Theatre District in Hell’s Kitchen — was opened, people and traffic were moving by in the rain outside like it was midday, and Greta and were eating a bagel with cream cheese and a Corned Beef Ruben at 3:00AM. Perfection!

I’m sorry, but, you just gotta love a city where no one even looks up when a sweaty fat man pushes a stroller, with a wide-awake toddler in it, past them at that hour. Record rainfall and epic flight delays or not, it really is good to be back in good, old NYC…

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