Jared Ning


NYC 2014


It doesn’t take much to get me or Stephanie to go to NYC. This time our excuse was purely Broadway. Our friend from grade school, Justin, had tickets to see a show. 2 weeks later, my sister was going on an RV trip to the Grand Canyon and the National Park area, and we were invited. So our plan was to spend some time in NYC, then venture out to nearby Boston where I had never been before, and then make our way to meet my sister.

Empire State Building

Stephanie took the picture with my phone because her phone battery died trying to record a celebrity sighting (will explain below).

The Broadway tickets were for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Hedwig was an off-Broadway musical first, and then became a movie. It was being revived, but with Neil Patrick Harris as the lead. Tickets were hard to come by, and Justin only had 2. As usual, the show had a limited number of tickets left for cancellations for about $25. We stood in line pessimistically, and not surprisingly, the tickets were snatched up in about 5 minutes. I even looked online for single seats. Nada. So while Justin and Stephanie watched Hedwig, I went to see Godzilla in IMAX for $20.


After the show, we met up at the restaurant next door along with Justin’s uncle who just happened to be in town for business. After dinner, Stephanie decided to drag me back to the theater and wait for the cast of Hedwig to trickle out for the night. We waited in line much longer than for the cancellation tickets, but we got to see what we came to see. The creator/director/original Hedwig made an appearance, but few people recognized him. I was actually surprised I recognized him having only seen the movie once. The crowd was really there to see NPH. He eventually showed up and we checked off our traditional NYC celebrity citing.

Before the show, we walked along the High Line, an abandoned elevated train line recently remodeled into kind of a park. So from the busy streets, you go up one level, and you’re in a modern walkway above the traffic with food vendors. And they’re not done. This fall, they will continue to expand in their final phase.

Determined to make the most out of our Broadway side trip, we decided this would be the trip we were dead set on seeing Book of Mormon. Stephanie had been wanting to see it for a really long time. We even tried to see it in London when we were there. But tickets are all but sold out months in advance. Usually the only seats available cost $450 apiece. But this time we were determined to see the show. The only seats at a reasonable price we could find were single seats, 2 rows apart. Better than nothing. So, after countless trips to cities that had the show, we finally saw it.

I’ve been to NYC many times, but never to Coney Island. Coney Island is such a classic east coast shore complete with rides and boardwalk. And being summer, there were lots of people, a stark contrast from the pier in Wales we visited the previous year. And of course, great people watching.

We also went to the new 9/11 Memorial and museum that had just opened. The museum is well done. It reminded me a lot of the Oklahoma City bombing memorial. The memorial itself (the 2 pools where the twin towers used to be) is really moving. I had a mixed first impression. It felt really depressing to me. But I suppose it’s not meant to be exactly uplifting.

We still had more than a week until we had to meet Felice, and we didn’t want to spend the whole time in Boston proper. So we decided to spend some time in Martha’s Vineyard.