I did not plan to go alone. The D-Man was less than thrilled with New York City in January, so I invited a girlfriend who had been with me on my first trip. Finding out that one of my favorites, Bette Midler, was ending her Broadway run in “Hello Dolly”, the very weekend I would be in town, I got tickets, found a great hotel room and got ready for a great NYC adventure. I also called a friend who had moved out east a few years back and we arranged to meet for lunch on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the girlfriend who was flying out to meet me got the flu and I got a tearful phone call from her Thursday morning telling me she wouldn’t be able to make it.
Sitting on an extra theater ticket and an extra bed in my hotel room, my east coast friend arranged to come out Friday night to see the show and we moved Saturday lunch to Saturday breakfast.
That still left me alone for most of Saturday and Sunday morning. In a city I loved, but had only visited once and over ten years ago. Even a natural born loner like me was a little hesitant. It was, after all, big, bad New York City!
What was a girl to do?
There are not too many activities that I haven’t done alone. Eating alone? Countless times. Concerts alone? Been there, done that and literally bought a t-shirt or two! Movies? One activity I sometimes prefer going alone to, especially if I don’t know anyone else who wants to see the movie.
I have traveled for both band and work for so many years, that being out and about by myself is almost second nature. Of course growing up an only child certainly hasn’t hurt. But could I handle New York City?
After a great show Friday night, Saturday morning breakfast at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, and a lot of laughter with a friend I hadn’t seen in years, I started my solo NYC time.
It was cold, but I had a pretty warm coat, hat and gloves. I noticed that New Yorkers do not carry big purses when they are walking the street, so I changed out my bulky bag for a much sleeker black one. I wanted to look like a native, partially so I didn’t get robbed, but because I wanted to feel the vibe of really being in the city. New Yorkers also don’t pay much attention to street lights, but by mid-day, I felt like I had lived there for years.
I was staying on Broadway and West 54th, so I decided to walk to Rockefeller Center. I was amazed how easily I found it, not using navigation and not even asking anyone at my hotel. I did decide to do a tourist thing and I headed up to Top of the Rock Observation Deck. It was spectacular and I got to see Central Park from above the skyscrapers.
I spent the rest of the day walking the city. I had some great clam chowder in a restaurant in Times Square. Shopped at THE Macy’s in Herald Square and mostly enjoyed the crisp weather and the energy around me.
I returned to my hotel, a little cold and tired. I went to the lounge and sat in a corner window seat, overlooking the city, having some wine and pizza.
The next morning, before heading to the airport, I had a Greek omelet and bagels at a great little dinner just around the corner from where I was staying. No one looked at me and said, “You aren’t from here, are you?”
I checked Zillow on the ride to the airport and tried to figure out where in my budget I could find 1.2 million for something on West 58th.
Yes, I had enjoyed New York City, all alone. Maybe enjoyed it more being alone.
Just another life surprise.
When I was at The Top of The Rock, I went in the gift shop looking for a souvenir. My eye caught a children’s book they were selling. It was titled “Lisa In New York.”
I bought it immediately and wrote the date in the front cover. Lisa in New York indeed!