We had a really great night sleep and woke up relatively late for us – 9am! The bed was so comfortable, and when we pulled the curtains to see the rain, I almost wanted to crawl back into it. But no, out into the squall we went and up to the American Museum of Natural History, stopping at Starbucks for breakfast somewhere on the way.
We were worried that the queues would be bad in the museum considering it was a miserable day outside, but it wasn’t that bad. We had a really interesting couple of hours wandering around the exhibits, walking down the cosmic pathway (which wasn’t as impressive as it sounds), North American animals, Hall of Biodiversity, Ocean Life, and the Hall of Minerals. Very enjoyable. And also, free WiFi.
We then went downtown to Grand Central Station to try and find some food, taking the D train and jumping on 42nd Street shuttle. Ryan had told me to try the dining concourse at Grand Central, and I of course wanted to see the beautiful station. It was like walking into a film – I stood in bewilderment at the magnitude for a few moments, looking in all the nooks and crannys, before going downstairs to find some food.
Unfortunately, we were out of luck – it was utterly packed. The website boasts “35 dining options” which is no good to us when all 35 were stuffed to the brim with hungry diners. I walked passed Shack Shake with sadness in my heart as we headed out onto 45th Street. The first place we came across – Cosi – was thankfully quiet and I bloody loved it. I had a hummus flatbread and Husband had chicken caesar. It was unexpectedly yummy!
We decided to walk back to the hotel as it was only 15 or so blocks so we walked up Madison Avenue and got absolutely drenched. I could not have felt less like Don Draper if I tried. As soon as we got back into the hotel, I had to jumped in the bath as I was freezing! The bath was amazing and I very nearly fell asleep in it, but managed to drag myself into the bedroom for my nap.
Husband woke me up in enough time to make myself look semi-human, we grabbed an umbrella from reception, and fought our way uptown through the weather. We indulged in our guilty pleasure – a Wendy’s burger – bought another umbrella because one was not enough, and then arrived at the Lincoln Center with enough time to dry off. In almost complete contrast to last night’s hilarity, we decided to spend tonight watching La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know if I would love it or hate it or just be bored by it, but it captivated me right from the start.
I just wasn’t expecting such amazing sets. I didn’t know where to look at any one time, particularly in the second act, because there was so much on stage. The second act had a donkey and a horse on stage!! It was so absolutely magnificent, and only spoiled a little by the people constantly taking selfies and TALKING THROUGH THE WHOLE THING. I’m over it. OK, so I’m not about to go out and buy the soundtrack but I’d definitely see it again.
The other thing that surprised me was that I thought it would be really cultured and sophisticated. Carrie Bradshaw wore an Oscar de la Renta gown when she went, for Christ’s sake. But before we went in, the ushers were yelling at everyone to smush together near the entrance, like we were queuing for a wrestling match or something. And there were people there in jeans and baseball caps. It was a very odd mix of genuine opera aficionados and… uh, uncultured swines.
We hoped the rain had eased off by the time it finished, but alas no. Husband’s umbrella had given up on him, and my shoes had given up on me, so we lazied it up and took the D train back to the hotel. I thought we’d go straight to bed, but the lure of the rain on the window and the lights outside kept us up for ages taking photos. It was like Blade Runner!