Posts Tagged ‘Times Square’

Today I, (plus Jess and R & T) braved the crowds and headed to Super Bowl Boulevard in midtown. It was pretty insane. Crowds and crowds of people were waiting on lines to see the Vince Lombardi trophy, kick a field goal, go down a toboggan run and well, you were pretty much going to have to wait in a huge line to do anything. I just wanted to check out the vibe. It was pretty cool. Even though the sidewalks were tough to walk through, most people were pretty easy going and content to just check out the sights. There were fans from both teams sporting their colors and cheering. There did seem to be more Seahawk fans than Broncos… I wonder what the stadium will look like?

I am glad that I took the time to check out this awesome event going on in our city, even if we did have to bribe the kids with M&M’s to have them tolerate walking through another crowd to get a picture 😉 Good luck to both teams tomorrow. Super Bowl mania is officially in NYC and we are loving it!!!














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Today I had to suck it up and brave going to Times Square to go to ToysRUs. R’s birthday is rapidly approaching and there is one thing that she wanted that could ONLY be found at ToysRUs. So, because I am such an amazing mom, I braced myself with caffeine (should have been a shot of tequila), hopped on the subway and headed to Times Square. I was there just before the store opened and was already amazed by how many tourists were out and about. My visit to midtown lasted all of 45 minutes- stealth- in and out, no ferris wheel rides, pics with characters etc. but I did snap a few shots of what Times Square looks like on a summer morning in July. Hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Can’t wait for this movie!

Rotating advertising

Showing some patriotic spirit!

Coffee among the billboards

Updated news stories scrolling…

More love for the Red, White and Blue

Traffic and more traffic- Taxi!

A little Lion King

More Street Views

Standing on line for discount Broadway tickets- whoa, that is a LONG line already!!

Distracted by shiny objects!

Oh, la, la!

Always looking up!

Take a little piece home with you

Lining up to the get the perfect shot 😉

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It is that time of year again- Winter Break. Although, I feel funny even saying that because I really don’t feel like we have even had winter here in NYC. The kids have worn their snow boots twice!! It has definitely been a crazy year for weather! Anyhoo, enough about that. This is the February school break week for the girls. Even though it really hasn’t been that long since the Holiday break, I really feel like everyone needed a little bit of change of pace and scenery. Case in point, on Sunday both girls stayed in their p.j.’s until mid afternoon and were totally content to hang in the apartment watching movies, reading and playing with their toys. They didn’t ask to go out once. They just needed some well deserved down time. I know how they feel.

Ron and the girls snuggling on the couch =)

There is something about February the shortest month, that seems to drag, wear on our patience and generally pull people into a funk. If the crap is going to hit the fan it usually happens in February 😉 So, on that note, it really is nice to have a bit of a breather right smack in the middle. While most New Yorker’s jet off to far away destinations or at least escape the Island, we have decided to enjoy a little staycation in one of the best cities in the world!! Ron is super busy at work right now and I have to admit, I am just enjoying NOT having a schedule to adhere to. I am sure by the end of the week I will be going a bit stir crazy, I am already missing my running group, but right now I am loving the flexibility. I also love exploring this incredible city and finding cool places to take the girls to.

NYC as our playground!!

Yesterday we decided to play tourist. The girls begged me to take them to the Times Square area because they really wanted to go to ToysRUs and American Girl Place. I was a little hesitant since it was a holiday and I did not want to get stuck in crowds and crowds of people. But, I gave in and we had a great day. We started off at the Empire 25 movie theatre on 42nd St. Over a healthy lunch of popcorn we watched the movie “The Secret World of Arrietty”. It was a wonderful movie and I highly recommend it. An enchanting, magical and thoughtful story. Each of us gave it two thumbs up!! After the movie we headed to ToysRUs. The girls had a specific “Barbie” that they were looking for and moved through the crowds like pros. I swear you would think those two had lived here since birth. I am often in awe of their confidence and resilience.

Striking a pose in Times Square

From ToysRUs we headed over to American Girl Place where they were eager to finally spend their gift card that Chantal had given them at Christmas. Again, they manoeuvred through crowds with comfort and ease. Not really sure what I was worried about, maybe MY sanity 😉 We topped the day off with a Magnolia cupcake. Yep, totally touristy and we loved it. Especially the part where it was just a short walk home through Central Park to crash in our warm and cozy apartment.

Today, we enjoyed a leisurely morning, followed by a manicure for the girls (another gift certificate from Christmas) and then a shopping trip to Trader Joe’s. We are getting ready for a friend sleeping over tonight where we will be making chocolate chip pancakes for dinner in celebration of Fat Tuesday.

A little pampering 😉

The finished product

And what does the rest of the week have in store for us? Who knows? I have a few ideas in the back of my head. My good friend Rebecca of Beccarama told me about The Museum of The Moving Image for the Muppet Exhibit, I know the girls would LOVE that. And then when they get home they can review it on the incredible Kidzvuz site (if you have kids/tweens and they haven’t visited this site yet, what are you waiting for??!!) There is also The Bronx Zoo, The Brooklyn Museum and of course, there is a Carlos Cake Boss mug that I have to replace… Really, a NYC staycation has endless possibilities!! We are looking forward to our next adventure. Oh, and February isn’t ALL bad, there is Ron’s birthday and on Friday we will dine in style to celebrate his 40th. By then, I will definitely need a drink or two 😉

*Some other great resources for kids in NYC are: NYCity Mama, Mommy Poppins, Time Out NYC Kids

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Yesterday I ventured into Midtown Manhattan to go to a fantastic blogging presentation “Activision’s Games For Girls Event” and of course, being an early on time person I had plenty of time to spare. I decided to walk around the Times Square area and check out what was going on, on a Tuesday morning. And of course, the city that never sleeps, never disappoints either 😉 Here are some pics. Have a fabulous day!!

My view for my morning coffee and people watching (Out front of 30 Rock)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... They are putting up the lights in the trees already! Two months to go- YIKES!!

Stumbled up the "Thank You Movement" concert in Times Square to thank our Armed Forces, so I...

Stopped to thank a couple of men in uniform 😉

Always look up!

On my way to the event I stopped and said good morning to this handsome dude and the police officer 🙂

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Well, it has a been a few days since I have written a post. I always find the return from vacation and back to reality to be a wee bit hectic and chaotic. On top of that, we also returned to NYC in the middle of a massive heat wave. The temperatures have topped out into the 100’s and that is without the humidex!! Not much fun in the concrete jungle where the sidewalks and pavement absorb the heat and send it sizzling upward. It is essential to find ways to stay cool and keep your cool 😉

We had a lot of fun this past weekend reuniting with good friends visiting from Ottawa and touring around the city, but we had to be a bit more creative than normal so that we would not all dehydrate or become cranky messes- I am talking about ME here :). NYC, is a walking city, a cab or subway will only get you so far and then it is your own two feet that carry you to your destination. In a heat wave it would definitely be preferable to get in and out of an air conditioned car but that isn’t how it works well, unless you have a driver and we don’t. Hmmm, maybe Ron should work on that 😉

Stopping for a drink in Central Park

I have to admit the kids really were troopers and there was very little complaining. On Thursday we walked through Central Park making sure that we stopped at a playground to cool off in the sprinklers and then continued on our journey to all of the important AIR CONDITIONED stops such as FAO Schwarz, American Girl and Lego World. We stayed hydrated with the two hot weather musts- water and ice-cream. We topped the evening off with a picnic of Shake Shack burgers on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History.

Playing the BIG Piano in FAO Schwarz

On Friday, one of the hottest days in history, we played it pretty low key, taking the ferry to Staten Island to check out the lovely Lady Liberty and then returning to the apartment to chill out (literally) and conserve our energy to go and see Mary Poppins that evening. Mary Poppins was a huge hit with everyone as the magic of the show and the charming story, portrayed by talented performers delighted us all.

The girls patiently waiting for "Mary Poppins"

No visit to NYC would be complete without a trip to Times Square. We decided the best plan of action to avoid massive crowds and try not to get too overheated would be to go as early as possible in the morning. So, up we got and headed to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for breakfast. This is a fun spot which will certainly wake you up as the energetic singers belted out numerous tunes while serving. Note: Definitely do NOT go here hungover as it is loud 🙂

One of the singing stars/waiters at Ellen's Stardust Diner

The rest of of the morning we spent visiting all of the favorites- M&M World, the Disney Store and of course Toys R Us, where we even rode the ferris wheel. It was a great weekend enjoying the sites and sounds with wonderful friends.

The kids in Times Square

Stinky and I in Times Square =)

On another note, one of my favorite things about living in NYC is that it is a city where people want to come and visit which means I often have the opportunity to connect with friends even if it is for a quick cup of coffee. Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner and wandering around the ‘hood with a friend from high school. We had not seen each other for 20 years!! Our daughters had a great time together, the husbands bonded over electronics and Colleen and I were able to catch up. A very special treat!

A little MSS Falcon reunion 😉

Our girls becoming fast friends!

Right now, the girls and I are currently on the train on our way home after being upstate for a couple of days. We had some fun escaping the heat and spent some fabulous time swimming and roaming the wide open spaces. Ah, summer, how I love you, even when you are hotter than hell 😉

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On Friday I was very generously given tickets to go and see the controversial revamped broadway show “Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark”.  I was extremely excited to see this newly improved show, in it’s second night in previews. The original show had been plagued with bad luck including accidents, injuries, horrible reviews and technical mishaps. Many New Yorkers, myself included were not going to waste time or money to go and see the show. However, after pulling the show off of the box office for a few weeks and re-doing much of the story and some of the music I have to admit I was extremely curious to go and see the new and improved production. If anything, it would definitely be something to talk about.

So, on Friday evening I headed into Times Square to go and see the show. Since it was a gorgeous evening I made the rookie mistake of getting off the subway one stop early, thinking that it would be a nice night to walk. BIG mistake. Times Square on a beautiful spring Friday night is madness. There are tourists everywhere and groups of people just stopping and staring or taking pictures. I felt like I was a salmon swimming up stream. And all the characters were out- pan handlers, street performers, tour operators, suspicious looking types, the police and even a few famous faces, like this guy:

Maybe he was on the way to the show?? 😉

The madness of Times Square

I eventually weaved my way down to the theatre on 42nd Street and waited for my handsome date to arrive so that we could go on in and catch the show.

My handsome date Eric =)

I am going to be completely honest here. I was expecting to be disappointed. My attitude going in was definitely jaded, I was prepared for the worst. So, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I began to get swept up in the magic of the theatre and after a slow moving start I really started to enjoy the show. By the end of the first act I was in awe of the incredible technical feat that this ambitious musical had taken on. It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. The high flying stunts are breathtaking and the music is edgy and dark. There is a story and it follows the classic Marvel tale that is beloved by soo many. I enjoyed it. In fact I more than enjoyed it. It was a breath of fresh air, something unique and different from the many classical broadway shows of the season. At the end of the show the audience gave it a well deserved standing ovation. The critics want this show to die a painful and expensive death because that news would sell. Personally, I am hoping that this new version with rise above the naysayers and through word of mouth people will come to see this show. It truly is a one of a kind spectacle!

Pre-performance curtain for Spiderman-Turn Off The Dark

It really was a super hero filled weekend because I also saw the movie “Thor” on Saturday night. It was date night and I lost out. I really wanted to see “Bridesmaids” but Ron convinced me that it would be a good movie to see with my girlfriends and therefore we should opt for the action packed adventure- fantasy film. I have to admit that I actually liked “Thor”. It wasn’t the best movie I have ever seen but the story line was good, there was lots of action and plenty of eye candy. Hello Chris Hemsworth !  And, the company wasn’t too bad either 😉

I think I am now good for a little while as far as my Marvel Comic book character fill. It is time for some bubbly and a good laugh with the ladies… who’s in for “Bridesmaids”?

Have a wonderful week… stay dry!

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Yesterday I took part in the wild and crazy adventure of helping to chaperone 25 kindergarten students on the subway to Times Square and the theatre district to see the Theatre Works USA show of the beloved children’s book “Click, Clack, Moo!” (by Doreen Cronin). The energy level was high as our well behaved group of six K classes walked by horrified tourists who surely wondered how actual children lived in Manhattan 😉 (I joke, I joke- sort of) A great time was had by all. Hope you enjoy the pics!!

Goofing off on the subway

Arriving in Times Square

Bright Lights, Big City

Passing "Uncle Bobby's Theatre"- Anything Goes

We have arrived!

The set for "Click, Clack, Moo!"

Waiting to see the show...

Heading back out into the excitement of Times Square

One last bit of a "cool" thing to see before...

saying goodbye to the "drama" and heading uptown =)

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On Monday I was very fortunate to be invited to a Pre- Grand Opening Tour of the brand new Disney Store in Times Square.  On that note, a big THANK YOU to Shawn Turner, Disney Stores North America, Laura Spencer, Disney Parks and Maria Bailey, BSM Media for the invite!! I took A & R out of school a bit early and the three of us jumped on the subway and headed on down to Times Square.  The girls LOVE Times Square and are always excited to walk down Broadway where there is an endless array of things to see.

R & A Getting Ready To Rock Times Square And Disney!

The girls were practically bouncing with anticipation as they raced down Broadway heading to the Disney Store.  They could barely contain their energy. I was trying to keep up with them as we dodged in and out of the crowds of tourists. I wasn’t sure what side of the road it was on, but A and her eagle eyes quickly found the bright lights that we were looking for!

The Disney Billboard Above the Storefront

Before we even entered the store, the girls and I stood out front and watched the giant Disney screen as it played through advertisements for various Disney shows, products and movies such as the upcoming movie Tangled. (A movie that our whole family can’t wait to see!)  We crossed the road and entered the store where we were warmly welcomed by an enthusiastic Disney employee who pointed us in the right direction to find our tour group leader.  We were given head sets for the tour and the girls and I looked around at the first floor while we waited for the tour to start. The girls were totally overwhelmed with the possibilities.  They did not know what to look at first.  As I tried to keep one eye on them and one eye out for the start of the tour I was struck by how busy the store already was, as happy children (and adults) moved from section to section checking out the merchandise.

Our tour started and we made our way up the escalator to the second floor.  We followed the pixie dust trail and explored the many different areas of the store.  Our first stop was the Disney Store Theatre.  I think A could have stayed in this area forever.  She loves her Disney shows and in the theatre you have the opportunity to choose your own movie and t.v. clips as well as songs.  There was an extra special guest waiting in the theatre on Monday.  Both girls were totally starstruck that they got to meet and receive an autograph from Gregg Sulkin star of Wizards of Waverly Place and the new movie, Avalon High. I have to admit, he IS a cutie =)

Gregg Sulkin

We continued on our tour passing the CARS section where you can custom build your own car.  I had to bribe the girls that we would come back and do it at a later date so that we could continue on with the tour.  The tour continued and we soon entered the Princess Castle, R’s favourite part of the new Disney store.  The Princess Castle has every princess outfit, accessory, toy, movie, book and most importantly doll that you could ever want.  There are even TWO magic mirrors in the castle that are triggered by chips in the merchandise, for example, if you wave a magical wand over the mirror it will come alive with a story from whatever princess wand you are holding.  R was totally in awe and could not get enough of this.

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

I have to admit it was a bit hard to follow the tour at times while trying to reign in the girls.  I mean, who can blame them?  I wanted to stop and look at everything too.  I found that I learned more about the new store when the tour was finished and I had the time to look around as the girls happily entertained themselves by discovering all of the wonderful products the store had to offer.  The lucite trees are beautiful as well as the ceiling that includes many of Manhattan’s iconic buildings in the skyline. However, what really impressed me was the Disney staff.  It was just like being at a theme park.  The “cast members” were knowledgeable, helpful, courteous and most importantly were patient with and genuinely seemed to like hanging out with the children.  After all, even though many of us can become jaded by the thought that this is just a mega store selling toys, my girls were definitely caught up in the magic.  Isn’t that really what it is all about?  A place where kids can go and just have fun being kids.  With all of the fun at the Disney Store the kids had definitely worked up an appetite.  We headed over to Carmine’s where we were fed a feast fit for Kings (and princesses).   Thank you for such an amazing dinner!  While tucking in my girls that night I asked them what their favourite part of the store was and both A & R responded “the princess section and the CARS section, oh, and the Tangled section oh, and the theatre oh, and dessert at Carmine’s- does that count?” and on and on… I am guessing it was a magical night indeed 😉

The Beautiful Trees throughout the store

The Princess Castle

R & Bolt

Oh, and by the way, I LOVE the store rules.  Here they are:

1. Watch our for flying fairies.

2. Singing and/or whistling encouraged.

3. Make way for princesses.

4. Giggles are welcome.

5. No scowling allowed.

6. Pirates must stow their swords.

7. Follow your imagination.

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This past week I actually had the opportunity to join Ron on one of his work trips.  This has never happened before as his trips always coincided with the fact that I too, was working.  As luck would have it, Ron was attending a conference in Las Vegas.  I was super psyched. I mean really, what fun things could there possibly be to do in Sin City??!! I was a Las Vegas virgin and was pumped to explore what the hype was all about. After all, my motto IS “It’s Always An Adventure…”

I dragged myself to the airport at the ungodly hour of 5:00 am and boarded the jam packed plane to Viva Las Vegas! Ron’s flight left three hours after mine AND he got to fly business class, but hey who was I to complain? I was going to Vegas. After an uneventful flight (the way I prefer it) and a gorgeous view of the Grand Canyon we arrived in steaming hot Nevada.  I had forgotten how hot the desert heat is, the kind of heat that takes your breath away as you exit the air conditioning.  But then I saw the palm trees and everything was right with the world.  Something about palm trees lowers the blood pressure and reminds you to relax.

Hello Palm Trees!

I mistakenly thought that it would be a good idea to take the shuttle bus to the hotel.  I waited for over 45 minutes in the heat and there was no bus in sight.  The crowd at the stop was getting larger and larger and the mood was getting ugly.  I quickly deduced that when the bus came, if I even had a chance of getting on, I would have to throw down with a nasty old blue hair and since I was on vacation, trying to chill out, I didn’t see that happening ;).  So, at the end of my patience rope, I invited a couple near me to join me in my cab (my treat) since we were both going to the same place.  We had been chatting in line (on line) and they seemed like nice guys. The three of us hopped into a cab New York style and we were soon at our destination, The Paris Hotel. In true pay-it-forward karma Kenny and Jay ended up being Diamond Club members and they were able to have me check in with them at the elite travellers area AND our room was up-graded significantly.  A BIG thank you to Kenny and Jay- we still owe you champagne.

While I waited for Ron, I explored the Paris Hotel. It reminded me of Disney World for adults.  The interior of the hotel was done up like a street scape of Paris; including storefront images, cafes, fake cobblestone streets and even a clear blue starry ceiling. Throughout the hotel and casino french “musique” was piped in.  There was even authentic cigar and cigarette smoking in the casino area, something you definitely have to get used to when you are coming from first, smoke-free Ottawa and then smoke-free New York.  And of course, who could forget, the piece de resistance: The Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower in front of The Paris Hotel, Las Vegas

Ron arrived and we were able to explore the Strip and check out the sights and sounds of Vegas.  There was soo much to look at, the analogy that kept running through my mind was that the Strip of Vegas is very similar to Times Square.  It is a flashy, gawdy area filled with lost tourists, restaurants, shows of all kind, street performers, upscale and discount stores as well as the promise that you really can get anything you want, including if you believe the men on the corner “girls delivered to you in twenty minutes”.  Drinks around the clock, gambling 24/7, washed out performers (hello, Donny & Marie), excess, seedy underground, everything to the extreme. In short, exactly how I expected it to be.  Ron and I had a blast.


Drinks for Two!

Really? Does anyone else find it weird that they don't age???!!!

Ron did have to work which left me with lots of time on my own to explore.  I visited the numerous Casino’s/Resorts along the Strip including The Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Aria, Mandarin OrientalMGM Grand and of course, New York, New York. Both the Mandarin Oriental and The Aria are beautiful new hotels in the new City Centre Complex and have gorgeous amenities.  For old school fun, MGM Grand is huge and has the classic feel of the casino you see in the movies.  MGM Grand also has an incredible social media team.  I jokingly tweeted from MGM that I was lost and that I would gladly take help from a sugar daddy or hot CSI’s. Within the half hour I received a message via twitter  from MGM asking if I had found my way around and if I needed any other further assistance.  Wow, I am still blown away by this!

New York, New York is a similar type of hotel to the Paris, it is done up to look like the streets of Manhattan.  Both The Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace are stunning hotels/casino’s filled with high end shopping and dining.  It is tempting to spend A LOT of money in Vegas 🙂

Caesar's Palace (it always makes me giggle because I think of "The Hangover")

The Mighty MGM Grand

The Aria

The View of The Bellagio from Our Room

New York, New York =)

Some of the highlights of the Vegas trip for me were some very un-Vegas like things.  I enjoyed the down time.  I lounged by the pool. I read my book.  I avoided line ups and crowds of touristy things to do.  I went to the spa at Caesar’s Palace, called Qua.  It was incredible.  I spent the morning there after my massage enjoying the hot/cold tubs, steam room, sauna and lounge.  Basically I took a break and spent some time with me and my husband.  Yes, I enjoyed Las Vegas. But I have to admit, I think what I really enjoyed was a few days alone with myself and Ron, chilling out and remembering how to enjoy my own thoughts and each other’s company. It has been a bit of a stressful time over the last six months and it was nice to just take a breather.  Even if at times it was hot, hot, smoky desert air.  Will I be going back to Vegas anytime soon?  Who knows? What happened in Vegas, helped to restore some of my sanity and for that, everyone is grateful.  Thank you, thank you very much.

I leave you with THE KING.

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