Vacation, Week One – New York

The first week of our layoff has been busier than I thought it would be! I had planned on spending the first week in New York City, seeing friends, and running errands. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any affordable hotels in the city so I ended up staying out in Fishkill, where we were housed last week for West Point, and renting a car for the week so that I could commute into New York City when I needed to. It is about a 65-mile drive, and really gorgeous this time of year, so I didn’t really mind. I figured between going into the city, I could get some relaxation in here in Fishkill.

Patty and David

Patty and David

The first day off was spent in Rhinebeck at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival! After saying goodbye to a very tired Ryan for the week (he was heading home to Green Bay), I met up with Patty and her husband David for a day of yarn shopping, good eats and of course, the Leaping Llama contest! We packed a lot into the day – in fact I didn’t take many photos at all because we were trying to get so much in. I left with some great loot – 4 skeins of Brooks Farm Fourplay, 3 skeins of Brooks Farm Solo, and 2 skeins of heavyweight Socks that Rock. Where I am going to put all this yarn, I have no idea!

At Rhinebeck

At Rhinebeck

On Monday I did some shopping at Woodbury Commons, an enormous outlet mall not far from West Point. All the big labels have shops there – I did sort of a speed through of the shops, but did walk away with a few things, including a new pair of Kate Spade sunglasses – yes!

Tuesday I got my highlights done and hibernated a little – it was rainy and gusty outside. Wednesday was my first trip into New York City for the week. I met up with Patty at the Container Store. She was shopping for shelves and caddies to hold all the needles that were to be sold at the new Lion Brand Studio, where Patty is the studio coordinator (sorry Patty if you are reading this, I don’t know your exact title). After we finished shopping, I went over to the studio with her to check it out. It is a really cool space – big and bright with an exposed brick wall, and shelves and shelves of yarn. Lion Brand yarn will be sold there, and all kinds of yarny-related events will take place there, such as classes and book-readings and such. I think it is going to be really awesome. The studio opens in November, so if you are a knitter and in New York, go check it out!

After that, Patty and I went to lunch and hung out for a bit. After we parted ways, I did a bit of shopping downtown in Soho, and then headed uptown to see “Billy Elliott”. What a great show! The story is so good, and I was really impressed with the staging and choreography. And I cannot say enough good things about all the child actors, especially the kid playing Billy. AMAZING. Definitely check this show out if you had the chance. Billy’s passion for dance and the reasons why he loves to dance reminded me of how and why I fell in love with doing theater. It was a really really nice reminder.

Thursday ended up being my one relaxing day of the week – I hung out with Tallulah and caught up on my TV shows. The new season of “Friday Night Lights” is soooo good!

Friday morning was my immigration appointment. It was quick and painless. I should have my new permanent card within 90 days. That afternoon I ran some errands and then hung out in the park for a while. I miss Central Park a lot. It is my favorite thing about New York City. It is just a really magical place.

That evening I met up with Brian, who was the first assistant on “Spamalot” when I first joined the tour, for dinner. I miss Brian so much! It was great hanging out with him and catching up.

On Saturday it was back to the city one last time. I stopped by my storage unit to drop off a box and change the locks on my units (a set of keys were in my stolen purse). After that, I met up with Kathryn Clark, an old friend from ACT, for a beer and some snacks. Kathryn and I moved to New York around the same time. She used to be in casting and worked for a big agent and for Warner Brothers TV when she was in New York. Two years ago she decided to change careers and moved to Arizona to go to grad school to study psychology. Now she is back in New York and working towards her credentials by doing group therapy with convicted sexual offenders. Talk about a 180 degree change in careers! It was so great to see her – she is one of my favorite people, and it was so nice going through the growing pains of moving to New York with her. I’m glad we were able to reconnect.

After leaving Kathryn, I went and met up with my friend Richard for dinner. Richard is also a stage manager and currently working on “Spring Awakening”. We’ve done a couple of shows together – “Twelfth Night” in Central Park and also “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”. I love working with Richard, and it was great hanging out with him and catching up. He has been such a great sounding board in the years since we first met and I really treasure our friendship.

I saw one more show before leaving NYC – “In the Heights”, which won the Tony for Best Musical last year. How strange to walk into the theater and see the corner where I lived for three years recreated as a set onstage! There it was  – 181 and Fort Washington! The show was energetic and fun and original, and I had a great time. It made me really homesick for Washington Heights!

Now I am back in Fishkill, and earlier picked Ryan up from the airport. Tomorrow we drive to a farmhouse that we rented in the Berkshires, to spend the week relaxing before heading back to work in Ottawa. I can’t wait to chill out and knit and read and watch movies and go on some hikes. Look for photos to come in my Flickr photostream!

It was so nice getting a chance to spend some time “back home” in New York City this week. I miss it.

Wishing you all a lovely week!

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One thought on “Vacation, Week One – New York

  1. I am glad you are enjoy a nice restful break. I love your new hat! I would like one in winter white…christmas is coming you know….lol
    Your pictures just get better and better Francesca.
    miss ya buddy
    Fran

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