Recently I got to go to New York. It was only the second time I've gone, but I pretty much fell in love with the place the first time I went years ago. Getting to go this time was extra exciting considering I got to go because my mom managed to get us tickets to Hamilton on Broadway! It was just one highlight of the five day trip.
Of course, because we are still dealing with the pandemic (which I can forget sometimes due to living in a state that stopped caring...) there were protocols to follow, but none of them hindered my vacation at all. In fact, more than once they helped me feel safer. Where I live, this isn't being done, but in New York you are required to show proof of vaccination to be able to go anywhere. Restaurants, the theater, museums, everywhere. It wasn't a hassle really, although unfortunately I did see a case (on the news) of a hostess being attacked for asking for the vaccination proof. The story has been changed a couple times now concerning the cause of the attack, but still it started with the girl doing her job. Not checking for vaccination validation in New York can have a large fine, and it is for everyone's health. These kinds of things happening just make me take pause, honestly. Violence should not be a response, whether you agree with the vaccinations or not. (For the record, I am pro-vaccination.)
I love me a good museum. When I was younger, when we would take field trips to museums there was this thing we did where we would share at least one thing we learned once we left. This stuck with me, and I still do it today. I like to walk away remembering something new I didn't know before. While I was able to do that with the Natural History Museum (we'll get back to that), the Museum of Illusion isn't really the kind of place for that game.
You might not walk away from the museum of illusion having learned something (unless you consider the way the brain can perceive things!), but it is still a cool place to visit. There are some very neat things to see and interact with, like the reverse mirror, infinity room, or hologram photos, or pose for fun pictures at designated spots with a spot to set your phone. Enjoying a good mental puzzle myself, I even bought a puzzle box to play with. It doesn't take very long to see what the museum of illusion has to offer, but it is still a fun way to spend some time!
The other museum visit I got to do was the Natural History Museum. I wasn't lucky enough to see the place come to life after sundown, but that doesn't take away from the magic. Where I probably spent most of my time was the ocean life exhibit, which is also probably one of the most well known. You know it, it's the room with the blue whale hanging from the ceiling. That game I like to play? Well I learned that besides being the inspiration for most mythological and fictional sea monsters, we really don't know much of anything about giant squid.
The second exhibit I explored the most is probably the gems and minerals. While a lot of the science part didn't get retained in my mind, it was still very cool to see gems both raw and cut and see the differences that could be more drastic then I originally thought. Plus, it was neat to see the display of the varying versions of birthstones according to different zodiac calendars. I also got to see a couple of giant geodes, and who doesn't love that?
Like I said at the start, the whole reason for going to New York was due to my mom being amazing and scoring us tickets to Hamilton. Even when she was buying them the day they went on sale, it sold out nearly right away. We were clearly not the only ones eager for Broadway to reopen (there was even a whole celebration for it in the streets with Broadway performers and all!). That one show was already enough to be excited about, but then she went and did it again and got us tickets to Six: The Musical!
Now, comparing the two shows is not fair. They might both be about history, but they have such different tones. Hamilton tells a full story in a narrative. Seeing it live and actually in New York allows it to hit different then seeing the filmed version that was released to stream, especially when they are singing about New York being the greatest city in the world. Whether or not you agree with the sentiment, it felt like a powerful moment.
Six I was excited to see because I had heard a couple of the songs, and hadn't seen it in any way. I knew the general idea, but saying I hadn't seen Hamilton live (for streaming is not live) is different than saying I hadn't seen Six live. It is only an 80 minute show, but WOW was it fun! You learn about these figures in history while being entertained by what is basically a concert with fun personality. It's a fun competition about who had it the worst while also being all about girl power and feminism. The costumes are awesome and the music is a blast. I've been humming the songs since the show. If you're able, I highly recommend.
It wasn't a long trip, only a handful of days, but we got something out of each one. The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious, and we had a great time. By the time we were off towards the airport, we were ready to come home to our loving pets and to share our stories with family. Vacation is nice, but home is where the heart is, right? Hope to see you again soon, New York!