New York Day One: 1/03

Left to right: Toni, Liz, Jess, Britt and me

Last week I spent four days in New York City with some of my best friends. We originally met pretty much by accident online over the past year, bonding over our (slightly unhealthy) love of Starkid and Darren Criss. Though we’re spread out across the country, from Texas to Oklahoma to Nebraska, we’d all previously met in person, most of us at a Darren Criss concert at Six Flags this summer, and again in November in Austin, at Team Starkid’s SPACE Tour. So when we all heard back in August that Darren was going to be starring as J. Pierrepont Finch in the iconic Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, we decided that it was as good an excuse as any to plan a trip together to see him in New York.

Britt, Jess, Liz and I flew into Newark airport on Tuesday around 1:30 p.m. and met up with each other. Our friend Toni’s flight to Newark had been canceled, so she wouldn’t be able to make it in until later that evening. The four of us took a shuttle into the city and our hotel. We stashed our bags inside and set out to explore. (It got off to a great start when Jess declared “Let’s go to Times Square!” and promptly set out in the completely wrong direction. An Australian guy outside overheard and corrected her.)

Our hotel was on 39th Street between 8th and 9th, making it about a 5 – 10 minute walk from Times Square. I forgot to mention that the day we arrived in New York it had suddenly gotten BITTERLY cold with a vicious wind to top it off. I think had windburn on my chest and face for about 2 days following. We walked up to Times Square past the New York Times building and intended to make a stop by the Al Hirschfeld theater (where Darren’s show was) to scope it out, since we knew it was on the way. After wandering around in the bitter cold for about 25 minutes we finally realized we’d walked directly past the theater without even looking down the street to see a gigantic billboard with Darren’s face plastered all over it. We got to the theater at the same time as they were putting up posters out front of Darren over Daniel Radcliffe’s, who starred as Finch for more than a year and never missed a show. We were all a little heartbroken we weren’t able to see Dan perform as well.

After our stop by the theatre we went back to Times Square to really check it out, but we were so freezing we ended up going in anywhere we could to get out of the cold. Those places ended up being Toys R Us and the Disney store. Yes, we are all internally six years old.

Next we camped out into Starbucks to avoid the cold, where Britt and I grabbed a copy of  the New York Times, which featured a top-of-the-fold front-page story in the arts section about Darren taking over Dan’s role in H2$.

By the time we left Starbucks it was about a half-hour before Darren’s Broadway debut (we had tickets to see it two days later, because we knew opening night would be insane), so we walked back through Times Square toward the theatre to check out what the crowd was like. And we just happened to be waiting to cross the street in the middle of Times Square when Jess leaned over to me to say, “That girl in front of us is Darren’s girlfriend.” and then Liz immediately said “That’s Joe Moses!”  Joe’s a fellow member of Team Starkid, and one of Darren’s good friends who we’re all also fans of. It was clear that they were about to go see Darren on opening night, which was too cute.

After we walked past the theater and took in the insanity we walked back toward our hotel and grabbed some $1 pizza for a very late lunch. We went back to the hotel to wait for Toni to get in, because she had made the hotel reservations and we couldn’t check in without her.

When Toni got there and we were all settled in we all bundled back up and headed out to show Toni around Times Square and  took in the sights.

A very flattering self-portrait in front of the Red Steps

Apparently the photobooth Jess and I used at Forever 21 recorded us getting our photos taken. So enjoy.

We were all pretty exhausted from our early fights, so after about an hour we decided to call it a night and retreated back to the hotel. And so ended day one of our crazy New York vacation.

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