New York, New Hugh, What Really Happened – Day 3

Thanksgiving Day in New York…perfect, right?  If Days one and two were anything to go by, then it was going to be an eventful day and what better way to start the day by going to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeOK, we were told the best places to see the parade would be occupied by six-thirty that morning and, after another big American breakfast, we made our way to the Avenue of Americas and were there by nine-thirty.  We managed to squeeze ourselves in a good position on Fiftieth Street, opposite Radio City and those huge red baubles, and waited for the parade to pass.  Despite our feet turning to blocks of ice because of the cold and heavy snow showers, the parade did not disappoint at all.  There was a wonderful atmosphere and I was very glad we were stood by a family whose children were able to tell us all the names of the characters that came floating past.  I’d never heard of ‘Elf on the Shelf’ before, but I was so glad to see Paddington Bear, Snoopy and Spiderman float past.  Unfortunately, because of the extreme cold, we left the parade before Santa made his appearance, but I had a feeling he would not place us on the naughty list because of that.

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Warmed up with a cup of coffee and another huge muffin, we walked around the city to take in the sights.  Of course most businesses and shops were closed because Thanksgiving Day is a holiday in the States, but John and Anna managed to find a GAP store that was open but, best of all, there were huge signs in the window saying there was fifty percent off the entire stock.  Well, when we reached the inside of the store we were faced with scenes of chaos as people picked up whatever items of clothing they could and threw them away over their shoulders if they’d picked up the wrong size or did not like the price.  This did not put John or Anna off and, after both making more purchases, I was glad to get out of the store having felt like we were in the middle of the tornado scene from the movie, The Wizard of Oz.

Rockefeller Centre AngelsThe rest of the day was pretty uneventful and we walked and took in the scenery of the Rockefeller Centre, Fifth Avenue , Central Park, to name but a few.  Anna wanted to see the inside of The five-star Plaza Hotel where we thought we would be able to have a quick drink before making our way back to our hotel to get ready for our Thanksgiving Dinner, but we never found the bar in the hotel due to the place being packed solid with human beings all trying to get some warmth from the cold.  It was almost like playing a game of ‘Sardines’ as we squeezed our way back out of the hotel.

Thanksgiving Dinner was booked for eight that evening at the ‘Tavern On The Green’ restaurant which was just inside Central Park.  All looked quiet as we made our way to the entrance of the restaurant but, upon the doorman opening the door to let us in, scenes from the GAP store earlier in the day (minus the clothes being thrown around) met our eyes.  The restaurant seemed to be in chaos and we joined a very long line of people waiting to be checked in for their meals.  As we waited, we overheard arguments coming from the front of the queue and, gradually, information filtered back that people who had reservations at five-thirty had still not been sat down.  We were some forty minutes early for our reservation thinking we could have a drink before dinner.

It took almost an hour to reach the front of the queue and along with another gentleman, John put on his Lawyers head and spoke to Jordan who announced he was the Manager and that everything was under control.  People seemed to be walking out, but more people were joining the queue and those that had already checked in and were waiting in an area packed with people (another Sardines scene) were becoming increasingly frustrated by what was going on. The restaurant had obviously overbooked and along with many other people we decided to leave, our Thanksgiving dinner in ruins.

We headed back to our hotel in the hope that we could get dinner there given that we were residents and they did not disappoint us and found us a space in the busy restaurant.  There was very little choice on the menu that evening other than Turkey or Lamb and we all decided to go with the turkey given that it was Thanksgiving and we all wanted to experience a Thanksgiving dinner.

Our first course, Chestnut soup, was very nice.  However, the main course of the Turkey dinner and our dessert, which was Apple Crumble with custard, were not so good.  The Apple crumble had been ‘deconstructed’ and we’d forgotten that the day before when ordering Blueberry cheesecake and Carrot Cake, that both had also been presented to us as ‘deconstructed.’  Bitterly disappointed that we had thought we were going get cheesecake and carrot cake that were constructed, we were horrified to see that the hotel had also ‘deconstructed’ the apple crumble.  What is it with restaurants and hotels that want to deconstruct food?  Leave them as they are I say!

A few cocktails helped wash the food down and we retired, hoping that Day four was not going to throw any deconstructed food our way.

Did I mention that during the chaos of the day I almost…yes almost, completed my mission as well?  Well never mind, because I still had two more days in New York to complete it and I was determined more than ever now that I’d get back to the UK with that mission completed.

Want to know what happened on Day 4?  Then click here.

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39 thoughts

  1. Oh no! I thought for sure that you all had a fab Thanksgiving dinner! I feel so bad that you did not. I have never been to New York City but my son has. He said that it was chaos all the time. So glad for your great re-telling of everything. By the way, my daughter, Tabitha is a manager at a GAP store in California. She said it was terrible in her store too. Hope you found lots of wonderful clothes! Can’t wait to hear more! 🙂

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    1. Hi Colleen, we didn’t let ‘The Tavern on the Green’ spoil our stay in New York at all, despite them ruining our Thanksgiving Dinner. At least we got some dinner at our hotel and although it was not a great meal, it did not spoil the fun we were having in New York. I just loved the city so much and there’s still two more days to tell you about. I wonder what those two days will hold?

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    1. Yes, we did , Claudette. New York is a wonderful city to go and explore. I can’t believe we crammed so much in over those five days. As for deconstructed food, then it’s a no,no from me. Had we known it was going to be deconstructed, we would never have ordered it. I wanted a big piece on New York Cheesecake, not some flattened mess on a plate.

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      1. Always horrible when you’re expecting a lovely yummy thing and it turns out not to be.
        Perhaps you better bake yourself one, and while your at it do me one too. 🙂

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      2. Me? Bake? Believe me, Claudette, you would not want to taste anything I bake apart, that is, from maybe the Christmas cake I made a few weeks ago. That’s not been tasted yet and, I just hope, it does not make anybody ill over Christmas. Which reminds me. I need to feed it with some brandy, so thank you for the reminder 🙂

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    1. No, I’ve seen deconstructed food over here in the UK as well. I just think it spoils the whole meal especially if they don’t tell you the dish is deconstructed on the menu. I want a big piece of New York Cheesecake on my plate, not some flattened mess. I can honestly say it did not taste like cheesecake either.

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  2. I’ve been to New York a few times but never for very long. I remember going in January and it was very cold. In June terribly hot. It’s a great city and it seems even despite the crowds and the food issues you’re having a great time. Be well!

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    1. Olga, first of all thank you so much for all the retweets. It is very much appreciated. Yes, we had a great time in New York despite the deconstruction of some of the cakes and the Thanksgiving dinner that was ruined. I still have two more posts to publish about our New York trip, so there is still more to come. I hope you are well? Not out Christmas shopping on a Saturday morning then? I’ve just done some Christmas shopping online and feel very pleased with myself that I am avoiding all the crowds.

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      1. That’s why I’ve just spent an hour Christmas shopping online and am going to hit Brighton town centre first thing on Monday morning – to avoid the crowds. But who am I kidding? I bet a Monday morning in December is going to be busy as well, with a lot of people having the same idea as me. Yikes!

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  3. Wow, Hugh! What a treat that seems to have been! I haven’t caught up with the last few weeks’ posts (finals are grinding on me) so I don’t know what your mission is, but God Speed with it nonetheless!

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    1. No problem, Cyril, catch up when you can. I know just how much of a busy man you are. We had a great time in New York and I loved the city (despite one or two mishaps). We were there for 5 days, so days 4 and 5 posts will be published over the next few days. As for the mission, you’ll have to wait until Day 5 to find out if I completed it or not …sorry. 🙂

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  4. Never heard of deconstructed food? The parade looks great though and don’t worry – Santa will forgive you for not staying to see him. After all living at the North Pole he’s used to the cold! Santa can’t expect lesser mortals to be as hardy as he is.

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    1. I have seen deconstructed food on menus here in the UK, but in New York (at the hotel we were staying) it was not mentioned that the dish you were ordering would be deconstructed.

      The Parade was wonderful, Maria. They sure know how to put on a real good show in New York. It’s shown on the TV in the States on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. We have a similar parade on New Year’s Day in London but it is no where as near as spectral as the parade in New York.

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    1. No, it was not the best meal we have ever had. The soup was great, but the main course and dessert were something we would never want to eat again. Strangely, the dessert was served cold with cold custard but they had heated up the dish it came in, so you could not touch it without getting your fingers burnt.

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