Well - stay with me here. You might think it's kind of a stretch, but there really is a connection. (And if you are a true "New Yorker", perhaps you'll keep this quote from Meyer Berger in mind: "Each man reads his own meaning into New York". My perspective is certainly more that of a native Vienna-an than a native New Yorker! )
So . . .
Being located where we are here in Vienna, it's super easy to get to New York City. From Vienna, you can of course drive. You can also take a bus from DC. But we prefer taking Metro to Union Station and then hopping aboard Amtrak . The Acela is our preferred train because less than 3 hours later, you're in Grand Central Station - New York City.
My mother and I used to do this once a year at Christmastime. It's arguably one of the most beautiful times of year in Manhattan. And my memories of it will never fade. Seeing Broadway shows, eating dinner at midnight, strolling by the store windows decorated so beautifully, stopping in at Cafe Carlyle for a Bobby Short show.
Times have changed and we don't get up to New York as often as we used to. But as I drove through Vienna this week, something caught my eye that made me think back and reminisce. And then I realized that even though I might not have time to visit New York, I can still have a few "New York moments" right here in Vienna. So here they are:
Have you ever noticed the full length windows at Karin's Florist on Maple Avenue in Vienna? They change their displays with the season and they offer a lovely vista as you drive by their store. This Spring, it was a beautiful vision of "April Showers Bring May Flowers". The windows were full of pastel colored parasols & umbrellas and gorgeous flowers and greenery. This summer, the windows are full of beach balls and beach umbrellas. Every time I drive by, I remember the windows in New York and I wonder what we will see at Karin's this Christmas?!
Diners & Dives
In New York City, no matter what time of day or night, you can get a full meal. And you'll find tiny little hole-in-the-wall places that only the locals know about. Their diners & dives are world renowned. Well, here in Vienna - we have our own diners & dives. People come from all over the DC area to go to the Vienna Inn - our local dive. But don't be fooled, there's lots of history there. And it's a great place to meet the locals. And if you're looking for breakfast at 2AM or dinner at 6AM - try the Amphora in Vienna. It's open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And the menu has everything from cream chipped beef to prime rib to souvlaki to shrimp to pancakes. Plus one of the best bakeries around - try the New York Cheesecake!
David Letterman & Cafe Carlyle
My favorite part of the "Late Night with David Letterman" show (which films in New York City) is the last 5 minutes when various bands are showcased. Sometimes they have high profile groups and sometimes they host new, up & coming bands. You never know who you might see. Well, if you live in Vienna, you often have the opportunity to see the same bands that perform on Letterman, except right here in Vienna at Jammin Java - a great little venue on Maple Avenue. For example, last week, Letterman had "Steel Train" on and guess who's playing at Jammin Java tonight? Yup - that would be "Steel Train"!
Now, if you're more of a Cafe Carlyle person (read "not so loud!"), don't despair. Vienna has one of the area's best piano bars. It's at the Maplewood Grill. And not only are the performers good, the 'regulars' provide just as much entertainment. And unlike at Cafe Carlyle, there's no cover charge and no minimum!
There are lots of other "New York moments" available to those who live in Vienna - seeing shows at the theater in DC when they are on their way up to Broadway, catching the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the nearby Patriot Center - and more. We've shared ours with you, but what are your favorites?
And what we've decided is that while New York City is fun to visit, we love living in Vienna!