New Year's 2001-2002

January 2, 2002

What a weekend we had. Beginning Friday afternoon when Tiffany got off work early. So how did we spend the beginning of our four-day New Year's weekend? By waiting in line at the DMV, of course! We had decided a while ago that it sure would be fun to have genuine New York State ID cards, so naturally we waited until the last possible day of the year to get them. It turns out that government bureaucracy is just as inefficient on this side of the continent as it is back in CA. In our long wait "on" line (as they say in NY) we came up with about thirteen different ways that this whole process could be streamlined. But since no one asked us for our time saving proposals, we left the place as bogged down we had found it, temp ID cards in hand. From there we braved the crowds at the world's biggest department store, Macy's on 34th St. We came out an hour or so later with a long wool coat for Alex, and were met by the first snowflakes of the season. So, in one afternoon we managed to get ourselves cards to prove our residency, and a long coat, that is the unofficial uniform of Manhattanites. Now we truly belong - talk about the emperor's new clothes!

On Saturday morning we woke up early and took the subway out the JFK to meet Melissa who flew in on the red eye from LA. Tiffany knitted a few more inches on the scarf that she's making, while Alex read the last few pages of "Replay," (thanks Aaron!).

Once back in the city, with sister in tow, we strolled through Central Park taking in the season. The ice skaters where out in force on the Wollman rink. That evening we had tickets to the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. It was just as magical as we remembered from childhood. People actually applauded the sets when the curtain went up, and the snow not only fell, it swirled! We ended the night with a midnight dinner at The City Grill, a favorite of the neighborhood.

Sunday was spent sleeping in and writing Christmas cards - yes, they are on their way, do not fret. Alex also worked on selecting songs for soon to be released "Live From New York volume 1" CD (check your mailboxes soon).

On New Year's eve we mailed the cards along with quite a few other procrastinators. At least we're not the only ones a little behind the times this year. We keep blaming our week in LA for putting us behind this year. That's our excuse anyway, and we're sticking to it. We had wanted to show Melissa the Hayden Planetarium, but a secretive security guard told us that there was a private party. Alex saw Peter Jennings walking up the street to the museum, so we figured it was something important. We did get into the Natural History Museum though. Each time we go in there, there's new halls to wander down, and places that we haven't discovered yet. It never ceases to amaze. We saw a world map showing global population with lights that would come on as we scrolled through the years. Seeing the exponential growth makes you stop and think.

From the museum, we walked over to the local coffee shop to write out our highlights from the past year, as well as some goals for 2002. The highlights was a list as long as your arm, and the goals seem less rigid than "resolutions." Besides, resolutions are soooo 20th century.

Back at the apartment we bundled up in all the warm clothes we could find in our tiny closet and headed downtown for a walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge. We got there a few minutes early so we were able to see some of "Ground Zero". The "pit" is flood lit all night by huge cranes. The clean up is going amazingly fast. There is a wall of remembrance in front of a Church that is very moving, decorated with countless letters, pictures, flags, flowers… We paused for a moment to try to take it all in.

For our New Year's tour we were part of a group of about 20 other brave souls, led by an energetic history buff tour guide. We learned all about the history of the area surrounding City Hall, and the construction of the bridge. We celebrated in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge looking back on the skyline of Manhattan. We could see the helicopters hovering over Times Square, and did not envy the people in that crowd. It was 26 F! We were so concerned with getting enough clothes to keep us warm, that we completely forgot to get any champagne! All we had was a bottle of water and some Power Bars that were too frozen to bite into.

After this we stopped off in the Village to have a slice at Joe's Pizza with some other revelers. We then went back uptown to the Dead Poet for a pint. We were finally able to toast in the New Year at 2:30AM. We celebrated in spirit with all our West Coast friends at 3am. We finally crawled back to our warm apartment at around 4:30.

The following day Tiffany made French toast while we watched the Rose parade on TV. Our old stomping grounds of Pasadena look like they're doing just fine. It's good to see the old haunts of the Norton Simon museum, the palm trees, and the freeway on ramps.

Once again it was time to go back to the airport. The long weekend was way too short to do all the things we had planned, and certainly not long enough to spend with Melissa. We said goodbye to her that evening, then took the long subway ride back into the city.


Click to see PHOTOS from our New Year's


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