Papa Price Visits

My wonderful dad had meetings in Boston recently and so stopped by for a quick visit along the way. What a treat! He is without a doubt one of the coolest guys I know. Love him. And oh did we have a blast.

The Pops flew into Newark late Tuesday afternoon. That night Bryan was able to work from home so together we had on awesome pizza party at the apartment. It was fantastic. The three of us got to chat, laugh, and just hang out. It’s always fun to hear about the many projects my dad is working on and what part of the world he is trying to save. That man has a heart of gold and sure loves humanity.

Wednesday was a big day. We started off with a quick jaunt to the boardwalk.

We then headed to the city to see the 9/11 Memorial. We were so lucky; they still had entrance tickets available so we were able to enter the actual Memorial grounds. This was a first for me.

I found the 9/11 Memorial courtyard to be both comely and serene. It felt similar to a park—not one with playgrounds but a park for sitting, pondering, and honoring. There are two massive waterfalls; each is the same size and in the precise location of the fallen towers. It’s incredible. The waterfalls are artistically built to create negative space where the two buildings formerly stood. Each waterfall begins at about waist level and pours deep into the earth. The visual affect is astounding; it truly captures the essence of the great lost experienced that catastrophic day. The two waterfalls also create white noise that makes for a hallowing ambience and further blocks out the city. The architect truly did a phenomenal job.  

Our next stop was to the Broadway musical, Once, which tells the story of a disheartened Irish musician and a persistent Czech immigrant. The play begins as the Irish musician renounces his musical gift and dreams of songwriting, singing, and playing the guitar. The spirited young Czech woman, however, refuses to allow him to give up on his musical skill and aspirations. Together the two compose the most beautiful songs, create a demo, and end up entangled in a bittersweet romance. “His music needed one thing. Her (NY Post).” It was beautiful and great and phenomenal... No wonder the it’s won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical.

As we arrived at the theater, we found the stage set as an Irish pub where the audience could buy drinks and enjoy a talented band of musicians aka the cast. It was all so warm and welcoming. Once the stage was cleared of audience members, the pub and “band” seamlessly transitioned into the actual play. In fact, it’s hard to say when the stage went from a pub and musicians to the musical and cast. Perhaps it was always the musical. Either way, it was wonderful. Not only did the actors sing and dance, they also each played multiple instruments. There was no orchestra; all accompaniment was played by the cast talented cast. Guitar, banjo, piano, violin, accordion, drums... I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a talented cast anywhere, ever. To sing, dance, act, and play the guitar, drums, and more… I’m speechless.    

Tragically, the cast cursed far too much for me to recommend it to others. It’s kind of embarrassing, but neither my Dad nor I realized they were cursing until the second half thanks to their excellent Irish accents. It was a rather shocking moment. We couldn’t help but laugh at our ignorance and obvious lack of comprehension.

Oh but the music, the power, and everything (minus the swearing) was unreservedly magnificent. It filled my entire being. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so moved by a musical. I loved it. In Heaven they will purge the play of all swearing and perform it multiple times daily—I’m sure of it. And that was Once.

Following Once, the Padre and I decided to find us a bite to eat. We considered going to the infamous Ellen’s Stardust Diner with Broadway-bound singing waiters and waitresses… but it’s not the most gluten free friendly. Rather my Dad was a champion and suggested we find a new gluten free place to dine. We selected an Italian place over in Hell’s Kitchen, Nizza. It was quaint and cozy, which is expected in NYC. And the food was heavenly! They started us off with a nice basket of gluten free bread with ricotta and olive oil. Divine. We then ordered the Roasted Chicken Breast and Gnocchi Al Fornoa and were not disappointed. I’m drooling just thinking about it. It was all so rich and almost like comfort food. So of course, we had to try their dessert. We had the Tortoni and the Hazelnut Gelati E Sorbetti. Again, it was delectable. It was honestly the best gluten free restaurant meal I’ve ever had. Ever. It was so good; in fact, my dad wrote an online recommendation while still sitting at our table. He gave it 5 of 5 stars. I highly—highly—recommend Nizza to anyone looking for fabulous gluten free place to dine near Times Square. 

Nizza address: 630 9th Avenue, NYC, 10036
and Contact: (212) 956-1800   

Following our scrumptious meal, we killed some time playing in Times Square and riding the Toys R Russ Ferris Wheel. We are SO cool.

And after our toy store adventure, we met Bryan at the Nederlander Theater to see one of my all time favorite musical tales, Disney’s Newsies. Need I say more? I mean, it’s Newsies and winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and for Choreography. Amazing! "Open the gates and seize the day. Don't be afraid and don't delay..." The singing, the dancing… why they even tap-danced. It was so fun. It’s energetic and exciting. How could anyone not love it? And this one I can and do absolutely recommend. If you’re looking to see a fun and enthusiastic Broadway then Newsies is the show for you. Be warned, the musical is slightly different from the movie—you know, the one with Batman aka Christian Bale as Jack Kelly—but it’s still fantastic.

My Dad didn’t fly out until Thursday evening, so we had nearly all day to hang out. Where Wednesday was a play day, Thursday was a workday. Don’t worry though, working with my dad is always fun. And how awesome is he for insisting on helping me finish moving in and getting settled. I really do have the world’s best dad. Anyway, one thing I still needed to do was buy a bookshelf so we could unload our boxes of books. I’d searched around a little at the mall and at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but I couldn’t find one. Well, my dad and I decided to go out on another hunt. We explored the mall again; not one store—not even Sears—sold bookcases. Odd. We found some small ones at Staples; however, we wanted something a tad bit bigger. Finally, Target had the winner. Isn’t Target great?

So we bought the bookshelf. We went outside. We hoped to hail a cab… that’s when I remembered I live in Jersey City. Let’s just say Jersey City doesn’t have quite the same amount of Taxis as NYC. Did that stop us? No. Together we balanced the incredulously heavy box on our shoulders and by some miracle made it back to my apartment. Granted we did take the most round about path to get there (we thought it was a shortcut). It was hilarious. Every block or so we had to switch shoulders. Only once did we actually need to set it down for a minute. But we did it. We made it. We’re warriors even.

...awkward cell phone selfie.

The next task was putting it together. Isn’t it wonderful when they label every piece and even label and separate the hardware per step? Best thing in the world. It took a while to put it together due to the many pieces and steps, but it looks wonderful. All thanks to my sweet dad.

...look at me go. ha.

Once the bookshelf was put together and situated in our main room, we next set out to find a bit of extra storage for next to the washer/dryer and for the bathroom. (Storage is always a bit lacking in these apartments…) Immediate success. The two storage shelves we got fit perfectly and, like the bookshelf, had easy to follow directions.

It may sound like a boring day, but it was anything but that. I love working with my dad. And I love putting things together. Why, I even braved the electric screwdriver. I know, I’m a big deal. Ha.

The hours passed all too quickly and the Padre had to continue onto his Boston conference. But I’m so grateful he would spare the time to come hang out with me in NJ/NYC. We seriously had the most enjoyable few days. It was like an extended daddy-daughter date. Super awesome. Love you Pops!    

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