Wednesday, July 13, 2022

New York City Adventure - Day 7

Our time in New York is quickly coming to a close. I took J to the airport this morning so he could catch his flight home and immediately turn around and start another family trip. For the rest of us, this would be our last full day in the Big Apple.

We took the kids and headed to Times Square for a massive treat. Despite that fact that I've been there a number of times and crowds aren't my thing, even I can appreciate the spectacle that is Times Square. We took the kids to the M&M store, the highlight of which was finding clean bathrooms on the top floor. And then we headed over to Broadway.

As we walked adjacent to the theater showing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child the kids opined that they so wanted to see this show. As it happened, that was our destination and we were merely walking along the building to get into line. The kids were beyond excited when they realized this was our destination.

We ultimately got situated in our distant, balcony seats. Fortunately, I asked the usher if there were boosters the kids could sit on and the answer was yes. As more patrons filed in, we worried that our view would be too obstructed to see anything. When the house lights finally went down and the play began, the kids were immediately enraptured by the show. Any worries of not being able to see melted away.

For 3 and half hours(!) the kids didn't make a peep as they were fully entertained by the show. Even Shira and Myself who know little of the Harry Potter universe found it enjoyable. The tickets to see the show were quite pricey, but by all measures, they were worth it. The show was a home run.

The kids loved everything about the show, from the characters that were introduced to all the inside jokes only Harry Potter fans could appreciate. But, like say a Pixar movie, there was plenty of humor to keep clueless adults like Shira and Myself entertained.

I was most impressed by the stage effects the show made use of. What was especially delightful was how they interwove simple 'effects' (say, actors dressed in all black helping make a scene work) to mind bending 'magic' that left me wondering: how did they do that? This interplay is unique to a stage production (versus say, a movie or TV show where all the effects are seamless) and really drove home the value of seeing a Broadway production.

At 3 1/2 hours, the scope of the story is fairly large, but ultimately covers mainly wholesome and worthwhile topics. The usual themes are there: friendship, fitting in and finding yourself. The topics do touch on death and hint at sexual orientation, but those were way over the kids heads. They just loved seeing their favorite characters doing what they do best and glossed over any heavy themes.

After the show, we made our way to our favorite store in the area: Muji. Muji is a sort of Japanese home good shop. They happen to sell my favorite notebooks and Shira's favorite pens. And they do so at excellent prices. The kids opted to each pick up a multi-colored pen and notebook of their choice. Given how much overpriced schlock there is in Times Square, Muji, at least for the arts and crafts lover, is a stand out destination.

Our last touristy site of the day was at D's request. He so wanted to see the Brooklyn Bridge. Using our Subway savvy (and Google Maps) we cleverly stopped at a station on our way out of Manhattan to walk to the Brooklyn Bridge. By now the kids were pretty wiped, so we didn't make it that far over the bridge, but what we saw was still very impressive. On a future New York trip, I'll have to take the time to walk the full length of the bridge. To do so would be to have an encounter with history, as the bridge dates back to 1869 and was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was initially constructed.

Back home, the kids played Legos while Shira and I started cleaning up. Our adventure was quickly coming to a close.

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