Monday, June 10, 2013

Madduxes Take Manhattan

Scott's parents, John and Laurie, came to visit us for a few days in May. I sure lucked out in the in-law department. They are so kind and welcoming, not to mention, always up for a good time so I knew their trip would be nothing short of a party. 
One of the first things they wanted to see was Williamsburg in Brooklyn. It's a very hip, artsy part of town. I'm dying to spend more time here. The Brooklyn Flea and Smorgusburg are definitely on our summer list. This was a wild wall we found at a mural shop while exploring. 
Laurie had seen a TV special on the newly renovated Wythe Hotel. It's on the Williamsburg waterfront and was built in 1901 as a factory but was converted into a 70-room hotel. They have a fun rooftop restaurant with some incredible views. I was loving the modern decor and lighting. 

 During their stay, we introduced them to grk, Baked by Melissa, Blue Smoke, and TriBeCa Grill. Some of our neighborhood food favorites. 

I had plans to meet up with them after work one day to see the new Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, but I got stuck on the tracks with some train trouble. Laurie loved it and even John said it was way better than he expected. I'm excited to see this one.  

I did get to meet up with them for dinner that night in Hell's Kitchen. Poor Scott was still at work. We found this hidden Italian treasure called Amarone Restaurant and I'm still dreaming about that tiramisu. I mean, it's a work of art. 
The next day we did something I've wanted to do for quite some time now. We biked the entire island of Manhattan. (Well, the parts that were bike-able that day.) We literally had to wipe the dust off Scott's bike. It has been awhile since anyone used it. We started in Battery Park City on the beautiful Hudson River Park trail. We made our way through Riverside Park on the Upper West Side. 
We hit the brakes when we saw this place. The West 79th St. Boat Basin Cafe - was calling our name for lunch. It's beautiful views of the marina and New Jersey skyline were the cherry on top.  

We were about to make our way toward the George Washington Bridge but had to cut across the island at 125th Street because of construction. We walked through Harlem and it took me back to my internship days when I lived there with a bunch of other BYU kids at the International House close to Columbia University. Cannot believe that was three years ago. Cannot believe Douglas was okay with this. 

A charming street in Harlem filled with beautiful brownstones.
We finally got to the bike trail on the East River and made our way south.

We passed Roosevelt Island and saw the tram that connects it to Manhattan. I still want to ride this one day.  
We rode through the Lower East Side to South Street Seaport and returned our rented bikes just in time before the shop closed. We learned that the city is definitely different on two wheels. You can see so much more of what you miss when taking the subway. And you can do so in a short amount of time. We learned that riding on the sidewalks of NYC is illegal - as one kind elderly woman shouted at us as we rode past, "Don't you care about public safety?" John chuckled. So did I. We learned that the west side of the city has a much more accessible bike trail - the east side's trail stopped for a good portion and we had to  ride on the streets. I'm sure most people can handle that but I struggle and it took some getting used to. It took us about five hours to complete and I want to do it again. John and Laurie were such troopers. I only crashed once and they were quick to come to my rescue. That whole braking concept...

New York City, you are even more beautiful on a bike. Let's make a habit of this. 

John and Laurie, thanks so much for coming and spending time with us. We sure love you guys and miss your faces. I promise on our next ride, I'll be much more prepared. 

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