Tag Archives: New York

Love Albany 

I spent Valentine’s Day with one of my many loves… (making) money.  I worked.  I ended up in Albany, NY and had a full 24 hours to catch up on some sleep & explore a little.  

Before this trip, I was not aware that Albany is the Capital City of New York.  So, when my hotel concierge told me that we were near the Capitol building, I knew I wanted to get out and walk around a bit, even if it was 30 degrees. 

By the time I got settled in, ate & changed, I had about an hour before sunset.  So, I stepped out to walked around the cute, quaint area.  
I was stunned by the State’s Capitol and I spent some time seeing it from every angle.  

Near the Capitol, I noticed a unique building, which I later found out is a theatre, called The Egg.  


There was a large ice skating rink near by & I could hear music playing.  I imagined quite a few skaters were couples, celebrating Qupid’s day.  

After a little bit of exploring, my hands were so cold that my phone wasn’t even responding to my touch.  (I forgot to pack gloves).  So, I decided to pop back into my hotel room to warm up.  That’s when Twilight started playing on TV, and I had to decide between a single gal’s Vday with a movie & wine, or an evening meeting locals.  This is usually an easy decision, but today, it took a little work… 

Considering my long layover – and words my cousin, Johnny, shared with me recently – “Come on, fool.  Go out.  You know you never have a hard time making friends.”  I went to to a local beer hall.  

City Beer Hall was busy, but still had room at the bar.  Perfect.  I took a seat & the lovely bartender, Beth Anne, came my aide.  She helped me pick a local IPA & left a food menu for me.  

When my beer arrived, it came with a raffle ticket.  The ticket was redeemable in the kitchen, for a personal-sized pizza.   This was not a Valentine’s Day special.  They do this everyday, folks! 

After meeting a few locals, tossing back a few local brews, and nibbling on free pizza, I was informed by a gentleman named Steve, of a speakeasy that was located right downstairs.  You have to  exit the beer hall, knock  on the door, and hope they let you in. We got lucky. 

They had a live jazz band, dim, romantic lighting, snazzy dressers, and a busy dance floor.  Steve ordered us some drinks.  One was served with a single, globe-shaped ice cube & set on fire.  Cheers! 

There had been dance lessons earlier in the night & the instructors were still there, pulling people to the dance floor.  There were guys dancing with girls, girls dancing with girls, and guys dancing with guys.  I got spun around a few times, which, those who know me, know that that’s all I need.

I made friends with the bartenders & host and I promised I’d be back again.  Then, I spent my morning resting in my warm, comfy bed, as I watched fresh snow fall.  Albany surprised me.  I really enjoyed my time there.  Thank you, upstate New York. 

Advertisements

Chasing Nicky Jam 

Last week was my second attempt at seeing Nicky Jam, live, and (unlike my first attempt in Guadalajara) it was an utter success! It all started on February 13, in Mexico. I ventured out to the town that raised my father for amazing (economically priced) tickets for the Fénix Tour’s last stop in Mexico. For the price of the front-and-center seats, a (discounted) flight, hotel, food & drinks, I could experience Nicky Jam up close & personal for less than I could at any of his U.S. stops.  

Little did I know that my once declared statement of, “This man will only break my heart,” would come true so soon. Due to “lack of security & technical support,” the Fénix Tour had to “postpone” its Guadalajara show until further notice. I, of course, wasn’t made aware of this until I showed up for the concert, only to find a dark, lonely stadium. Talk about heartbreak! 

Lucky for me, my amazing career allows me to travel. I just had to request a refund, and cough up the extra cash to see Nicky in a different city. It just so happened that I had the day off when Nicky would be performing at Madison Square Garden. I’ve always wanted to see a show there, and since I was more determined than ever to get to see Nicky jam, I was in! 

My ticket for the Garden was more than double what I paid for at el Auditorio Benito Juarez, and my seat wasn’t nearly as good, but I was excited to dance the night away with great music & mi gente Latina de Nueva York! 

Zion Y Lennox got everyone on their feet as the opening act. They have so many huge hits. The crowd was singing along, letra por letra & the dancing was contagious. 

photo courtesy of areaNewYork.com

 Valentino did a great job at keeping people on their feet before Nicky took the stage.  

A large clock indicated the countdown to the main event & when it struck 0:00, the phone rang & el Cangri’s voice serenaded the crowd with the opening lyrics from Travesuras… “Hola bebe!” 

 

photo courtesy of areaNewYork.com

 
From that first song, until the last note was sung, the entire audience was on their feet. It was a night of dancing, singing, laughing, & screaming. Nicky Jam has a sexy voice, great dance moves, and a smile that could melt you like a Popsicle on the Fourth of July

  
  
  
 

photos courtesy of areaNewYork.com

 
His flirtatious lyrics, catchy beats & charismamatic stage presence make women swoon & men feel smooth. It’s the classic “every girl wants him & every guy wants to be him,” scenario. Nicky’s definitely got something special. 

The night included a lot of lights & fireworks. Nicky took breaks from singing to joke with the crowd, to host “this side vs that side,” (or “ladies vs fellas”) crowd participation competitions and to take Latino roll call. He greeted Colombians, Puerto Ricans, Venezuelans, Dominicans, & so on & so on… But, I never heard a shout out the recently cancelled-on Mexican fans, something I later brought to the attention of the NJ entourage. 

The night ended with an extended version of Nicky’s huge hit, El Perdon (featuring Enrique Iglesias), during which, Nicky had one of his colleagues select a lucky girl from the audience to join him on stage. It couldn’t have gone on long enough. I was loving every minute of it. I’m sure Angelica (the serenadee) felt the same way. 

Nicky made it a point to express his gratitude to the everyone in attendance. He kept saying that we were making his dreams come true, by allowing my him to say that he not only played Madison Square Garden, but that he played a sold out show there on March 3, 2016, a day I doubt any of us will ever forget.  

Bravo, Nicky. Bravo! 

   

  
Get your tickets to the Fénix Tour and all the latest news on Nicky Jam at NickyJampr.com

*Special thanks to Carlos Plaza at areaNewYork.com for collaborating with me & providing photos from concert. 

Sisters and the City

My older sister and I used to talk about visiting New York all the time when we were little girls. Growing up in California, we just always wanted to see what the big city was really like. I mean, who doesn’t?
We attempted the trip, once, about five years ago and it just didn’t work out. So, with this job (& flight benefits) I was finally able to get my sister on a flight to the East Coast! Monica has always done so much for me… it felt so good for me to finally be able do something amazing for her.
We hit the ground running. She came in on the redeye from San Diego to Philadelphia. (It was her first time ever flying across the country). From the plane, she drops her luggage at my place, and we hop on a Megabus to New York City.
When we arrive, I look over at her… I just want to know everything she’s feeling. She says she’s excited and that it’s surreal. I can’t wait to explore with her. I’ve been to New York a few times before, but I still don’t know my way around the city.
We want to spend the day sightseeing and trying different New York foods. We don’t have much of a plan (which is not like my Aquarian sibling). She just has a list of a few places she’d like to see. So, from the bus, we stop for tea & a small snack, then, we’re off…

20140531-020654-7614530.jpgMadison Square Garden

20140531-022038-8438756.jpgLeave it to two California girls to stop at the wrong Hot Dog stand… We wanted to try the famous Gray’s Papaya (we love the movie Fools Rush In), but we ended up at Papaya Dog. Ha! Still delicious…

20140531-031027-11427573.jpgWe almost walked right past The Empire State Building… It’s good thing we looked back! 🙂

20140531-034040-13240982.jpg

20140531-034105-13265076.jpgI appreciate it when people care about taking good pictures, especially strangers. The guy who took this was awesome! He even got some great candid shots… Thanks, mister.

20140531-034119-13279010.jpg

20140531-040941-14981663.jpg

20140531-040951-14991032.jpg

20140531-040942-14982362.jpg

20140531-040942-14982085.jpg

20140531-042147-15707539.jpgOur next stop was Grand Central Station

20140531-111802-40682310.jpgStarting at 30 😉

20140531-112312-40992469.jpgMy sister loves TV so, we had to make a stop at Rockefeller center & the NBC Studios. We were hoping to meet Jimmy Fallon… 😉

20140531-111835-40715615.jpg

20140531-112118-40878426.jpg

20140531-112127-40887241.jpg

20140531-112141-40901521.jpg

After reminiscing & playing around with all the cool gear from iconic TV shows at the NBC Experience Store, it’s time for food. My friend, An (Haute Pink Pretty) suggested The Halal Guys famous chicken and lamb over rice. Thanks for the great suggestion, An!
We didn’t get photos of our meal, but you can see plenty here.

After our nutrition break, we start our walk to Central Park…

20140531-143826-52706940.jpg

20140531-144641-53201547.jpg

20140531-143740-52660077.jpg

20140531-143744-52664888.jpg

20140531-143900-52740898.jpg

20140531-143910-52750492.jpg

We’re exhausted at this point from all the walking, but I just had to show my sister a little piece of Brooklyn. So, we push ourselves & hop on the subway.

20140531-144853-53333487.jpg

20140531-144916-53356421.jpg

We visit the area known as Dumbo in Brooklyn. It’s by the water, between the Brooklyn & Manhattan bridges, with a gorgeous view of The city skyline. It’s a little foggy out, but it’s still beautiful.
After a quick bite and drink, it’s time to catch our bus back to Philly. We’re exhausted & ready for bed. We both sleep on the bus. We still have to prepare for the rest of my sister’s visit.

We spent time around the city of Philadelphia, as well. I was lucky enough to have my sister in town for a few days and I never wanted her to leave. I even had her acting like an East Coaster after a while…with habits like crossing the street, even when the “Do Not Walk” sign is flashing. (That’s unheard of in California).
We visited historical sights, ate a lot of delicious foods, and of course, there was the Lady Gaga Concert. It was a great visit!

20140531-150206-54126426.jpgThe Liberty Bell and Independence Hall

20140531-150236-54156692.jpg
The Rocky Steps at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

20140531-150236-54156188.jpg

20140531-153105-55865868.jpg

20140531-153110-55870669.jpg

20140531-150252-54172170.jpg

Thanks for coming to see me, sister. I love you!

Thanks for reading along, everyone.