Discovering the Unusual and Serendipity in New York City

I’ve been to New York City many times, so discovering the unusual along with experiencing loads of serendipity was exciting and fun. During my early visits to New York City, I waited in line for tickets to Phil Donahue and Conan and would slip into the crowd to watch The Today Show. Now I look for different things to do.

New York City from the Ferry

Serendipity started with an invitation to a wedding in New Jersey the same weekend as my daughter Courtney’s invitation to a New York wedding. We flew to the Newark airport together and spent time with her boyfriend’s family. They happen to live less than an hour away. What were the chances? On Friday, Courtney and her boyfriend, Dan, my Danny, and I took the ferry to New York, very efficient and fast, and then bussed down (neither efficient nor fast) to Wall Street where they checked into their hotel.

Dan and family in New Jersey

After the usual visits to Ground Zero and Battery Park, we discovered the oldest church in New York City. St. Paul’s survived a fire which burned down a quarter of the city and 9/11. They have a pretty cool cemetery too.

While we meandered around downtown NYC, we cut through a construction zone on a small street. A sign caught my eye. I couldn’t believe it! This was The Fountain Pen Hospital Neil Gaiman mentioned in his interview with Tim Ferriss. What were the chances? I am taking Neil’s Master Class and read his book Trigger Warnings on the plane!

We stepped inside the shop where we were greeted by the owners who overheard me chattering on and on about Neil. “Neil shops here with Amanda Palmer,” the shop owner said, smiling.

During Tim’s interview, Neil said he handwrites the first drafts of his books and always uses a fountain pen. It slows down the writing process so he contemplates the sentence a bit as he writes it. Computers allow us to spew as fast as we can type making first drafts more of a mess. Paraphrased, of course.

I tweeted about The Fountain Pen Hospital but didn’t pay much attention to how the tweet read.

When my blogging friend, The Hook thought Neil Gaiman owned the shop, I deleted the tweet. Then, I tweeted a new one adding the word favorite between the words Neil Gaiman’s and Fountain Pen Hospital.

An hour later, my jaw dropped. Neil Gaiman had responded but I had deleted the original tweet. Oh, nooooo!

Wow! I couldn’t believe Neil responded! Note to self: Think twice about deleting tweets.

On a stroll down 5th Avenue, I discovered the most amazing watches and stepped inside Breguet. I thought they displayed their newest line but they were classics from a very long time ago. Their history started in 1775. The watch face below seems to be from Alice in Wonderland. The lady who helped us gave me a hardcover catalogue. I will enjoy the photos since the $35,000 price tag might be a tad out of reach.

breguet watch

In search of a place to relax with view, I asked a very friendly clerk in Ted Baker for a rooftop bar recommendation.

Upstairs view - The Kimberly Hotel

She suggested Upstairs above The Kimberly Hotel. Amazing. Thirty stories high with breathtaking views of the Chrysler Building and the upper east side as the sun slipped behind the skyscrapers, it was the perfect choice. They provided complimentary nuts and chips. Their non-alcoholic Garden Margarita made with Seedlip elixirs was magical! I loved the decor, especially the victorian chairs which must have been rescued from a fire.

A view from Upstairs - The Kimberly

Life being full of serendipity, Danny and I walked to Central Park and watched a kid catch one blue gill after another. When I took a picture, his mother told me to delete it. Then we started talking. I’m a talker. It’s what I do. She said she was on vacation to visit her mother-in-law and asked me where I lived. When I said, “Niwot, outside of Boulder,” she said, “I know Niwot. I live in Gunbarrel. My son fishes at Coot Lake on the weekends.” What??? I bike to Coot Lake twice a week! What were the chances???

A photo without her son…

Central Park

Along with looking for unusual places, I love to visit old bars and restaurants and old haunts of writers, like Chuck Dickens’ hangouts in London. I searched my phone the first day and being swept up in the scene, forgot all about it. A few days later, I was getting the hangrys in Soho. I spotted a small tavern on Prince Street. When I looked around the small bar, the built-in cabinetry appeared to be authentic Victorian. Our waitress told us Fanelli’s Café is the second oldest restaurant-bar in New York, established in 1847. Whoa. She told us she is working on the side as an editor. What were those chances?

Fanelli's Cafe

Since our Airbnb was located in the theater district, we walked past a play called Betrayal, in New York for a limited time. When I emailed my blogging friend, Lame Adventures about it, she said it was very good and Tom Hiddleston of Avengers fame was excellent. We bought super tickets in orchestra and prepared for drama. The artistic level of choreography, light, and shadow on the simple stage was fabulous thanks to Jamie Lloyd’s direction. Wow. The lighting and movement took theater to something which could enjoyed as performance art at The Whitney Modern Art Museum where we saw this. LOL!

After the play, I noticed a crowd forming while security shouted, “Only those with a program, please.” The people held Betrayal programs. I lined up behind the railing and asked the lady next to me what was going on.

“The actors will come out to sign autographs.” Whoa. I explained that I’d seen a lot of celebrities and wasn’t into autographs. She introduced herself as a music teacher from Boulder High. BOULDER HIGH! How??? She explained that had moved to New York years ago and had seen many of her students perform. She likes to support the cast by asking for an autograph afterwards. Cool! I had no idea. Something unusual to do.

Charlie Cox played Jerry.

Charlie Cox and Susie Lindau outside of Betrayal

Zawe Ashton played Emma.

we Ashton and Susie Lindau outside of the play Betrayal

“This is the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen,” she said and went onto say she’s a huge fan of Hiddleston and was surprisingly nervous. I was more nervous talking to Chuck Wendig. Go figure.

The cast of Betrayal was generous with their time. Tom Hiddleston stood right in front of me and we had a nice conversation while people strained to get their programs signed. He told them not to push, he would sign all of them. I mentioned my thoughts about the Whitney and how they should look into entering a short film of the production. Then I said I’d be heading back to the great outdoors of Colorado. He said he wouldn’t have that opportunity until December. “You’re coming to Colorado?” I said. “No,” he laughed. “I won’t be outdoors until December.” Super nice guy.

By the way, it was the handler who told us how to take selfies. She used me as an example before the actors came out. This was my worst one. Might have been a little bit nervous after all.

Tom Hiddleston and Susie Lindau

The night wasn’t over yet.

Danny and I walked to a French restaurant, Brasserie Athenee for dessert. Once we were seated, Marlo Thomas walked to a table behind us. She left the restaurant with Phil Donahue. A celebrity full circle. I couldn’t believe it.

There was other craziness like being on the Jumbotron the last three times we’ve gone to sporting events; to watch the Rockies, the Denver Broncos, and then the US Open on Monday night.

So many coincidences and serendipity while experiencing the unusual. I wonder if it ends in New York or what today will bring…

 Have you been to New York City? What’s your favorite thing to do?

Unusual Things to Do in New York City! Click for new ideas for your next visit to this amazing city! New York City things to do | New York City photography | Travel New York City | Travel New York City ideas #Newyork #NewYorkCity #NewYorkCityPhotograpy #NewYorkCitythingstodoin #NewYorkCityTravel

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47 thoughts on “Discovering the Unusual and Serendipity in New York City

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    1. Thanks Darlene!
      I just Googled “deleted tweets.” I would have to download my archive to undelete it. If I’d have known, I would have done it that day! All kinds of mistakes were made but we were on the move. 😂

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    1. Considering that I only spoke with a couple people in the city, I’d say it was incredibly lucky. If I had run into a literary agent, I would start playing the lottery. 😂😂
      Thanks for stopping by! I’ve been traveling most of the month.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s good. I keep a journal every time I’m away from home on some little holiday. Many times it’s just a few scratches of words in an exercise book, but you’d be surprised how, years later, you can check something out and jog your memory.

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  1. Ohhhh, I’m glad I didn’t skip this one! There was so much celebrity that I was going, “What? WHAT?!” by the end.

    Heck, you even had me convinced that Hids was going to be in Colorado there for about thirty seconds. 😂

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    1. I would have loved shopping at your store, Linda! 🙂
      NYC is still is one of the most exciting places! It’s the opposite of Colorado where there is a lot of wide open space and organic vistas and landscapes. The contrast makes it fun for me too, but I’m glad to be back. We were gone most of the month. I’m still in adjustment mode. What time is it??? LOL!

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    1. Thanks, Patricia!
      Right? It’s weird how that happens. I must sense their high energy. 🙂
      The rooftop bar was beyond great. There was no pressure to order a lot of food or to leave. There was a photoshoot going on and a lady at the bar wore a jacket that said, “What doesn’t kill you, fucks you up for years.” That still cracks me up!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have I been to NYC? Not unless it’s for business. I try to stay on our side of the river as much as possible because we like Brooklyn way more than the city. Come over to our world and I’ll tell you about some really off the beaten track places. And, if it’s red meat that you crave…

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  3. I’ve been to NYC dozens of times, and don’t remember ever seeing any celebrities – there was Molly Ringwald, I think, in a musical I saw once, but I don’t think that counts since I only saw her on the stage.
    But to add on to the serendipitousness of this post, I’m reading a Neil Gaiman book right now in another app. 🙂

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    1. I must have a weird vibe that alerts me to them since I see them at the most random times.

      Nice! Which book? I love Neil Gaiman. I had my own omen since I read Trigger Warnings on the flight to Jersey! 😂

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          1. I just finished Gods today, and I found that enjoyed it. Would you recommend any other of his books? I prefer my reading to be longer than 140 characters, so I probably won’t be reading Gaiman on Twitter. 🙂

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  4. I love how involved you guys get when you travel. You truly get the most out of every adventure.

    I lived around NYC during my high school years and then only two hours away for several years. Have experienced pretty much all it has to offer, including Times Square at New Year’s (vastly overated!). Favorite has to be any show at Radio City Music Hall.

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    1. Wow! That must have been something, having so much culture nearby. We used to go to Gimbels in Madison to see Santa and get a picture taken. 😂😂

      I’ve never been to Radio City. I’ll add it to my bucket list for next time!!

      Thanks, Al!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow what a wonderful visit to New York. It almost looks like a different city. Serendipity is our favourite word as it just leaps out at you when you are least expecting it. The world is getting smaller I think and we all just mingle with the same group of people over and over.

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    1. So true, Jonno! And with plane fare getting so cheap, many people are traveling more than ever.
      It’s weird how I had just read Trigger Warnings on the plane, started listening to Neil Gaiman’s Master Class and then found the Fountain Pen Hospital. LOL! I wonder if I’ll meet him in person one day. It wouldn’t surprise me. LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. LOVE NYC. I just walk, walk, and walk. It’s been a long time–went on a trip with my mom to see shows, shop, and eat, when she was still living. And before that I took a trip to NYC to audition for ballet companies, but that was my past life. I can’t wait to take one of my two kids (the one who loves cities) to NYC some time. I know he’ll just love the energy and surprises you can find there. Sounds like you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Wow! It sounds like you have some amazing memories. And ballet too!

      It has gotten a lot wilder, I’m sure. They have stands in Times Square if that tells you anything. LOL! There’s always so much to do and you never know what you’ll find. I’m sure you would discover a lot there too!

      Nice to see you, Rebecca!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So many coincidences in this visit. But you seem to have had a fun time in NYC. I’ve only visited the city three times but enjoyed each visit . The first was to see a real Broadwayshow, the second time was to see the Botanical Garden and the last time was to walk down Fifth Avenue.These were just day trips and I will have to spend a lifetime to see everything there is to see and not see.

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  8. My daughter is going to be sooo jealous, Susie: She WORSHIPS Tom Hiddleston!
    Heck, even I’m jealous that you met Loki and Daredevil!

    And that Gaiman tweet was legendary, Susie.
    Well done!

    Like

    1. It was weird since I read Trigger Warnings on the plane and had been listening to Neil’s Master Class. I’ve been taking notes with my fountain pen! 🙂

      I’ve seen a few Avengers and want to start from the beginning. When I got home, Hiddleston made the Jumbotron with his costar, Zawe Ashton. If they had been in the crowd on Monday night, when we were there, that would have really been something!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I took a trip to NYC with two sisters, my daughter, niece and nephew a year ago April. It was really great, did a walking marathon in 2 -3 days seeing the sights of Brooklyn Bridge, The 911 memorial and Tower, various eateries and of course Central Park. We also saw Kinky Boots!! Al in all a wonderful family vacation!

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  10. Never been to NYC or NY state. I do have a good blog friend who lives there. Serendipity is the law of Attraction in action. Read “E Squared” by Pam Grout. Changed my life!
    Also, the fact that the guy pulling the cart with the farting guy had candles tied to the string was hilarious!

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    1. I’ll check out E Squared. Thanks, Scott! I totally believe the Law of Attraction is a real thing.

      I was recording the video and had no idea the man would fart. It cracked me up too!! That’s modern art for you! LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did an intention for $200 this month, an amount I could believe. I found a mistake in my checkbook for $500 in my favor! No wonder last month was so hard. Waiting till next month just for safety’s sake.

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