Hot Dogs, the United Nations, and Sumo Dancers

Over the last few weeks we’ve sought out some very typical New York experiences, and we’ve discovered some that we never would have expected. The hard part is remembering them all! While the pictures help to tell the story, I’ll attempt to summarize the highlights of our last few weeks in the Big Apple.

Each day we add one more thing to the list of new experiences, with a few days off here and there to recuperate. In the last few weeks we have seen two more Broadway shows courtesy of the lottery system. We saw Kinky Boots and On Your Feet, both for less than $40 per ticket. Kinky Boots is the Tony-award winning musical featuring music from Cyndi Lauper. On Your Feet presents the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan and features their latin songs. We loved both shows and are now holding out to win the lottery for Hamilton. We’ve been entering the Hamilton lottery almost every day but have yet to win the coveted $10 tickets. You can be sure we’ll let you know if that miracle happens.

One day we took the train out to Coney Island to see the beach and have a legendary Nathan’s Famous hot dog.

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Nathan’s hotdog

It was a cool day so the boardwalk and beach were not crowded, and we were able to check it out without the summertime hoards. After having a dog right where they have the annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest, we decided that the $1.50 Costco hot dogs are way better than Nathan’s! Still, it was fun to see the amusements at historic Luna Park and have a beer at Ruby’s on the beach.

One evening we participated in the New York $1 Slice Pizza Party, a benefit for the non-profit Slice Out Hunger. Crazy as it sounds, we stood in line for several hours with hundreds of other New Yorkers for the opportunity to buy $1 slice pizza from some of the city’s best pizzerias. We met new friends and walked away with 20 slices of the city’s best pizza, which kept us fed for a week. Living here for three months allows us the opportunity to participate in unique events and we’re trying to take in as many as possible.

A few years ago when we were in Geneva, Switzerland we toured the United Nations facility there. Since the UN is headquartered here in New York, we figured we should tour it and compare. You’ll see in the pictures that we were able to go into the General Assembly and Security Council chambers.

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Steve at the UN General Assembly

Since both of these international bodies have been active lately (Paris Agreement on climate change and peace-keeping missions in Haiti and Sudan), it was humbling to see where the important work takes place.

Steve is continuing to train for the New York Marathon, which is just three weeks away. You’ll be able to watch it on ESPN on November 6. The entire city is gearing up for the big event which will include nearly 60,000 runners from across the globe. We are seeing television advertisements that include marathon running tips, and the subways are plastered with posters hyping the event. As part of his preparation, Steve ran the Rock and Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon last weekend. I am still struggling with plantar fasciitis and sat that race out.

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Columbus Day parade on Fifth Avenue

Early this week we took in the annual Columbus Day parade on Fifth Avenue. This enormous celebration of Italian heritage features bands, floats, and a ton of politicians. We saw Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, and Senator Chuck Schumer. There were even groups from Italy who participated in the parade and Italian media who covered the event.

On Wednesday evenings the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem hosts Amateur Night. The American Idol-like talent show has produced some incredible acts. In fact, Ella Fitzgerald was the first winner in 1934. We were lucky to be able to snag third row tickets to this week’s competition. The singers were really incredible but the audience favorite was a dancing sumo wrestlers from Japan. We’ve got video if you really want to see it! We preceded the show with dinner at Sylvia’s which is the classic soul food restaurant in Harlem. 1.1476556141.soul-food-at-sylvia-s-in-harlemWhile founder Sylvia Wood passed away in 2013, her legacy continues with live R&B music and classic southern cooking.

In the past few weeks we’ve attended the filming of a few more television shows. At Live with Kelly we saw Ben Affleck who was promoting his new film The Accountant. Fred Savage was the guest co-host. What amazed us most was how unscripted the show was. There’s only one take and what you see on TV is exactly how it goes during the filming. Kelly Ripa really knows how to carry a show. Then, while we hadn’t planned on returning to Good Morning America, we heard they were interviewing Jon Bon Jovi. We figured, “what the heck.” The bad news is that the Bon Jovi interview was pre-taped, so we didn’t get to see him. Instead we saw animal expert Jack Hanna, along with baby snow leopards, a lesser anteater, a sloth, and a penguin. The highlight, however, was that everyone in the audience was given a ticket to an “intimate album launch party” with Bon Jovi at the Barrymore Theater. It appears it was worth the effort to get down there at 6AM and stand in the cold for 90 minutes. We are hoping the email with the concert tickets shows up early this week. The show is scheduled for next Thursday.1.1476556141.good-morning-america

Finally, in between these events and excursions we are finding time to just enjoy the city. Some days we just pick a park and sit. We watch the people, read our books, and enjoy the wonderful Fall weather. The leaves are just beginning to change and the temperatures are expected to be in the 70s this week. We’ve got more adventures planned and will fill you in the next time around.

We love all of your comments and questions and are honored to share this incredible experience with you!

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