2004 NYC honeymoon: These are photos from our Honeymoon in NYC in 2004 which was our first trip there. I had left Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 2000 and wanted to go back to show Andy the campus but it just didn’t get done that trip. We started out in Pittsburgh at the Omni William Penn our first night and then had a series of misadventures getting to and from NYC which are the stuff of airline legends….
During that trip we stayed in a Howard Johnson right off Madison Square Gardens. The lights were mainly burned out so that is read HO and a lot of mileage was gotten out of that. The hotel is no longer there, replaced by shops the the ubiquitous Duane Reede drug stores. During this trip I dragged Andy to the NY Public Library, a work of art in itself, and we went to the observation deck of the Empire State Building where a nice gent took our photo. Somehow we managed to find 2 Sanrio Stores full of Hello Kitty EVERYTHING which are no longer there and play around at FAO Schwartz and Toys R Us. We discovered some installation art on the Sheraton sign in downtown and never did find those little guys again until 11 years later when they took their mission underground… We also completed our main mission- stopping at Grey’s Papaya for hot dogs and Papaya smoothies after seeing a reference in You’ve Got Mail. CLICK ON THUMBNAILS FOR LARGER PHOTOS
2012 NYC : I took a trip by bus just after Thanksgiving 2012 and stayed in a hostel on Broadway in Uptown. The hostel was mainly for international students and I shared a room with a girl I never saw- she was always asleep when I came back in and vice versa. At one point a bumbling British backpacker came in to stay and I went right down to the desk and demanded to be sent to the girls’ dormatory- I’m married! They complied. The hostel was a little like jail but I was there to shop the Christmas sales and see the many Christmas store windows, not sleep around a hotel. I caught a ton of little marketplaces in Bryant Park and on the edge of Central Park and hit all the big stores, walking 14 hours a day and completely destroying a pair of boots. Just for kicks I visited FAO Schwartz, Toys R Us, American Girl and Build a Bear and got lots of chocolate samples from Lindt and Godiva to walk off! In what became the Quayle tradition I looked for Grey’s Papaya but couldn’t find the one we’d gone to- by 2012 two of the 3 locations had closed. CLICK ON THUMBNAILS FOR LARGER PHOTOS
Phipps Conservatory Christmas show 2014, Pittsburgh:
Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2014, Consol Energy Centre, Pittburgh:
The TSO is a yearly Quayle tradition. Andy has seen them every year they’ve come to Pittsburgh. Our first official date was to a TSO concert.
July, 2015: NYC
Though we took a day trip to the Google lab in Chelsea Market to pick up the Google Glass in 2014, this was our first real trip to NYC as a couple since our honeymoon. We booked a lovely apartment in Hell’s Kitchen through AirBNB and took a Megabus in. We saw no shows- we never do but everyone always asks us this! The Quayles are much more on the street than that- we love to just walk and pop into places. We saw Donald Trump when we popped into Trump Towers to find a bathroom, stopped at the Apple Store and managed to have a walk in Central Park. We bought subway passes but did mostly walking. I finally got Andy to Pratt and we really only missed one thing we wanted to do- take a stop at Coney Island. It was unbearably hot- 91-93F the whole trip. Our lodgings were a few doors down from a full grocer so I cooked some of our meals and we had a few treats out; one being at a trendy Japanese bento place and of course, we found Gray’s Papaya. I’m not a papaya fan but their Coconut Champagne (non alco) is great. We also found possibly the world’s largest Chupa Chups lollipops and the Peel P-50 car, a reproduction at Mada,e Toussaud’s. It was actually a Trident model- the P-50 was and maybe still is the world’s smallest reproduction car and was made on the Isle of Man. I sat in a real one at Tynwald Day in 2007 on the island and it’s a tight fit on the knees even at my 5’3″. One of our stops was also the World Trade Centre Memorial- we had gone to ground zero for some closure on our honeymoon but it was mainly just rubble in 2004. There is still a ton of construction but the main buildings are finished. We only took photos from the outside, did not tour. Sadly, the iconic Pearl Paint has long since closed and Pearl River Mart is scheduled to close later this year so those were huge disappointments on my part but I did finish buying my sushi set at Pearl River and we rounded off at Macy’s on 24th and then a downtown KMart to get me some jeans because you can take me out but you can’t dress me up for long without me ruining something! CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS FOR LARGER IMAGES.
2015 Kennywood and Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh:
Direct TV Blimp ride over Pittsburgh, 2015:
We were extremely fortunate to go in a short ride on the Direct TV Blimp over Pittsburgh after an evening Pirates game. We didn’t go to the game; a freelance photographer for Getty Images and Sports Illustrated was riding to do after-game photos and Andy reached out to the blimp’s pilot on social media asking if he could also attend to get some good Pittsburgh shots for his employer’s website. We were told by the county airport (where the blimp touched down to refuel) that this is a very rare opportunity. I was escorted into the gondola but it seemed I might not get to ride in the end because of the weight shift (I was too heavy! Not really- every extra person requires the blimp to re-balance so it had to adjust). We sat in the back, of course the freelancer needed the front for his huge-lensed cameras. It was a fabulous ride, very smooth, totally unlike what I was expecting and the team of guys with their ropes guiding the blimp just blew my mind. For all the tech that goes into the Direct TV Blimp’s huge one-of-a-kind LED screen, it’s men with ropes and flashlights that get it going and coming back to safety.