Saturday 29 June 2013

the theater... better than shoes! Obviously, from a Greek who has drama written in her DNA and who's been known to be a queen of it herself, you would no expect anything different ;)

I miss the theater! The fact is that I live here in the lower lands for almost 13 years now and I must confess that I do not enjoy the idea of a theater play where actors speak Dutch... My knowledge of the language would allow me to follow the plot (even if not completely) but I do not enjoy the sound of the language... so I avoid it...

Yes, I do miss it and I realize how much when I have the opportunity to watch a play... or a musical... or both ;) As expected, my recent trip to New York provided for this too. I was lucky enough to see "Vanya and Sonia and Macha and Spike" on the day that it actually won this year's Tony Award for Best Play and, boy, was it worth it! Amazing, true, heartfelt, memorable performances, a story parts of which deeply touched my heart and... Sigourney Weaver! I have had a crush on her since the last Alien... ;) And all that with discounted last minute tickets!

But that was not all, I also went to see "The book of Mormon", the best musical I have ever seen, opinion that a lot of people share with me apparently given the 7 Tony Awards it has won! That was something!!! The most controversial, caustic, blasphemous even story, which I found most incredibly smart and amusing, the wonderful production with great music and lyrics (those were some lyrics, I tell you...) and dancing and the beautiful voices and performances of the cast, all that made it an unforgetable experience!! And on my birthday on top of it!!

Now, I am not a theater critic, in fact I have a rather limited knowledge of it and my words fail me when it comes to describing this type of experiences but I know what I like when I see it. And if I like it a lot, but really a lot, then I think of it as "better than shoes" and I share it with you. And I strongly recommend it. Like in this case ;)

Thursday 20 June 2013

a walk in the park...

...well, ok, it was a bit more that just a walk... but then again this is so much more than just a park! It is the Central Park! And it is better than shoes!

This feeling of absolute tranquillity and quiet, the zen of being surrounded by skyscrapers but at the same time finding oneself  in the greenest of the sceneries, is just amazing! I have had the same feeling in Tokyo, in the Rikugi-en garden years ago and it felt so good to relive it... and in a much bigger scale if I may say so! After all, this is US of A, everything there is bigger than anywhere else in the world, right? ;)

The park is huge and pretty and in every corner (and mind you, I think I've been in literally every corner... or at least it felt like it after a good total of about 5 hours of walking...) you might discover something interesting... Get a map, it will help you a lot as eventually you will get lost in it, and choose a sunny but not too warm day to spend there.
If you like spots, plenty of space for it and surely a great place to get to see a softball game and try to figure out the rules if you are not an American; if you like to walk and run or even ride your bike, well, by all means the best place to be; if you like calming views over the water, for sure you have them in abundance; if you like to lay on the grass and just feel the sun, just bring a towel and you are ready; if you like the buzz and the people laughing and being in a great mood, go towards the Boathouse (if you like turtles, look for them in the water); if you want to see a real obelisk, there you go; if you ever wanted to take a horse&carriage tour, go ahead; if you like a piece of modern history and memories, go visit the Strawberry Fields, for sure it will warm up your hear to just... "imagine" ;)

There is something for everyone in the Central Park. I loved it and I am convinced my visit there was worth all the blisters I got on my feet! And if you want to have the complete feeling, grab a hamburger or hot-dog from any street vendor and go have your lunch sitting on a bench, or the grass, in the park... better yet, combine it with a visit to any of the museums on both its sides (east and west) and you are in for a very, very pleasant day! But start early, the city never sleeps and neither should you when you are there ;)

Wednesday 19 June 2013

burgers and shakes...

Still a bit jet lagged... Back from New York only for 4 days and I miss it so much I started planning the next trip there already!!!

My second visit has been about 37 times better than the first one! Mainly because it was without the terrible flight to get there and the stress and the quarrels and the allergic reaction which led to the elephant foot (long story...) and the boat ride (nearly the worst 3 hours of my life...),  all things that I prefer to forget when reminiscing my first time in the city that never sleeps. No, this time it was perfect!!! And after almost a week of "better than shoes" experiences, I have so much to share with you and I am thrilled to do so... plus, it has been pointed out to me that I have not blogged for ages... rightfully so ;)

So I will start with the first "better that shoes" thing which I enjoyed there: the "Shake Shack"!!! Now, please do not dismiss it as trivial (yeah, yeah, you went to the States and you had a good hamburger, big deal...) because it is all but that. Details: On my way there and while I was enjoying an amazing flight upgraded very reasonably to the business class, I watched Antony Bourdain's show about a layover in NY where he said that the best burgers are to be found in the "Shake Shack". Now, imagine the coincidence that I get to my hotel and right next door, literally, there it is!

First dinner there. Queue for 15' (starting even outside the shack) and another 10' after ordering already made it hardly a fast food... To get a table there, is a quest but, as for the queue you have to endure because after the ordeal is over and you get your order in front of you and you sink you teeth in that juicy, delicious, succulent burger and you accompany that with fries with melted cheese on top and you wash it all down with a sip of their amazing original lemonade, ohhhhhh heavens!!!! What a burger! The meat is seasoned to perfection, the lettuce crunchy, the tomato juicy and the sauce, really saucy ;)

Obviously this was not the only time I dinned there, needless to say that I did try also the shakes that are divine too and I do admit I had a dose of their nectar even at the airport right before I boarded to come back... Yep, as you suspected, there are countless calories in those babies but NY has so many things to see and do that no worries, they are all nicely burnt while walking around enjoying yourselves ;)