A police horse walking the street
My husband and I traveled to NYC for a college basketball game (Go Cats!). He’s been to the city several times, but this was my first trip. It has been an…experience…to say the least. It’s definitely made me miss my Old Kentucky home!
I grew up in the Chicago area, so I have been in big cities before. But this is just crazy. Crowded, hectic, and a bit overwhelming — and that’s just trying to find a good spot for lunch! Good food is easy to find, though (but perhaps expensive). We’ve walked all over Manhattan; while I can walk multiple xc courses multiple times, I am no match for walking the streets all day. My feet are killing me; my husband’s socks are bloody from blisters. And yet, limping is still faster than most cab rides. We’ve seen most of the sights, just to say we did– the Empire State Building, Times Square, and Central Park.
A carriage horse wearing his rain sheet outside Central Park
The basketball game was fabulous (we won, of course) but our favorite part of the trip was seeing the War Horse production at the Lincoln Center theater. It was simply amazing. I know everyone’s getting excited for the Steven Spielberg movie, but that can’t compare to the play. The big star of the show is the puppets — yes, I said puppets. They are works of art, and incredibly lifelike. I’m not sure how the animators are able to choreograph their movements so well, but you forget they aren’t real animals. The puppeteers control every detail, down to twitching the ears, tossing the tail, breathing, and all sorts of horsey noises (and they don’t sound stupid!). The play was almost three hours long, but we were completely immersed in the action and time just flew by. My husband is definitely not into Broadway shows, but this play wowed us both. It’s a Must See if you are able.
It has been interesting seeing all sorts of people and cultures combined in one place, easily coexisting together. Our hotel room is on the 25th floor, overlooking the corner of 42nd Street and 10th Avenue. It’s fun to people watch, and see the city lights at night. But we both really miss the agricultural lifestyle– living and working on the farm really spoils you when it comes to open space, green grass, clean air, and solitude. These people who live in the city, I don’t know how they do it! But clearly this is a place to be, and many enjoy it. It’s neat thinking of the history in this city, and how many parts of it haven’t changed. There isn’t a huge personal feel (unlike the South, where there’s no such thing as a stranger!), but there is a noticeable acceptance and tolerance for anyone, no matter how “unique.”
We closed our trip with an excellent dinner at the Maze, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. I’m still not entirely sure (and definitely can’t pronounce!) what we ate, but it was divine. After many episodes of Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, we had to see what the fuss was about; and we figured we owed ourselves a fine dining experience. Five courses of yummyness, culminating in an unusual but very satisfying dessert, our checkbook was lighter but our bellies were happy. I wish our feet felt the same!
So New York, it’s been a nice time but I can’t wait to be home…where people’s Hunter wellies actually get muddy, and aren’t worn as an accessory. Where “equestrian” isn’t a fashion style, but a lifestyle. I’ve got the t-shirt, a Madison Square Garden souvenir cup, and a case of culture shock. Thanks for the memories, the food, and the blisters…New York City is truly one of a kind.