Welcome to New York | Kaleidoscope of lights — No Starbucks and a horn anthem

Andrea | A Glimpse of Good
7 min readMar 9, 2023
NYC, Moulin Rouge! Musical, Mid Life Travel Shenanigans, Broadway

“Walkin’ through a crowd, the village is aglow {people. video. horns. Broadway}
Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats {in February for sure}
Everybody here wanted somethin’ more
Searchin’ for a sound we hadn’t heard before
And it said…”

Welcome to New York, it’s been waitin’ for you!

The city that doesn’t need sleep because it has local coffee nectar from Times Square to Hell’s Kitchen to Rockefeller Center {besides the every corner Starbucks}.

Bright lights, honking horns, and mammoth video boards ring in this city’s soundtrack just like the words in Taylor Swift’s, Welcome to New York.

If you’re looking for a place to get lost in the crowd + soak in BIG CITY life, this is it!

With a gajillion people from all over the world crammed right next to you on the corner of 8th and 48th waiting for the crosswalk sign to flash, it doesn’t get any bigger-city than New York’s Times Square!

Welcome to New York…You’ll never feel more like a sardine in a can.

But don’t worry, the honking taxis and neon billboards keep you entertained while you shuffle along with the rest of the sardines. And if you’re here in the warmer months, you’ll most-more-than-quite-probably catch a glimpse of the famous Naked Cowboy strumming his guitar in his tighty-whities.

This travel trip took us here in frigid February and there was no Cowboy sighting. Even he has his temperature limits. 🥶

Tuck tight to your crossbody bag, patience, and sense of humor — you’ll need all three here in this concrete jungle.

Welcome to New York…Welcome to the Jungle

Can you really prepare yourself for New York City? Every time I return to this wild place, I see, hear, and smell something totally different.

After this recent safari, I’ll be adding a vanilla- or floral-smelling pouch to my travel bag for big cities. The robust pot smell smokes its way up my tiny nose hairs and overwhelmed.🤢 {Travel always writes new chapters in my story; some wondrous — some odiferous.}

What else should you pack + prepare for on your New York Trip?

Check your weather app –and hope they get it right– {I check three apps and split the difference, because really, it can be a game of craps}. My apps predicted a 40% up to a 90% chance of rain for this New York quick trip.

Into the suitcase dropped my polka-dot travel umbrella.

Not a sprinkle of rain. Thankfully, my umbrella is so small I didn’t sacrifice a pair of shoes to bring it along 👟 Umbrella’s aside, here’s a general packing list for my Mid Life travel to the Big Apple {big cities}::

Welcome to your New York Suitcase

1/ Stylish + comfortable sneakers {one} {two} {three}

2/ Heels for a fancy dinner out

3/ Clothes that layer well {this trip was in February}

4/ MULTI-use scarf {neck warmth — all short hairstyles know this is a must😉 — toss over your head, easy-accessory style}

5/ Crossbody or belt bag for walking the city

6/ Cell phone battery pack {that concrete jungle + the cold temps drain your battery FAST} Fits easily into your beltbag {yes, we know them as fanny packs😂 but I like the updated name way better}.

7/ Jacket with either deep or zip pockets {I took this one to NYC this time}

Welcome to the Marriott

There’s any number of ways to find a hotel. When we’re not staying in an Airbnb, we’re Marriott people. {Hotel loyalty has its perks with later checkout times, higher views, that also bring no hub-bub noise from the street below.}

As your Mid Life trip-hopping beckons more often, it can be worth it to get your favorite hotel chain’s credit card for the added perks. {THIS POST has more credit card perk details.}

For New York City, we stay right off Times Square, since we catch a musical every time we’re there. Marriott has four Time Square hotels that we’ve tucked in for our nights over the decades.

Welcome to your Wheels

1/ Subway from the airport {longer trip, with possible pungent odors aloft}

2/ Taxi {somehow we always get the driver on their own sight-seeing tour –longest route–}

3/ Uber {had the best luck}

4/ Car rental — unless you’re going far from the city, this makes no sense. Do you really want to drive in NYC?! AND this is a vacation — fun travel, remember. NYC traffic is a day on decaf coffee –one big, brain-splitting headache — No one orders that!?

5/ Step-it — My Apple watch steps it up on these trips, because we walk almost everywhere + it’s the best snapshot of the city. Good way for a coffee stop pause too😉

6/ Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours — Every big city has these tours. First time in New York? Buy your tickets for your first day to get the Cliff-notes of the city sights, then jump off at the ones you want to spend your time with.

Top New York Tourist Stops:

  • Statue of Liberty
  • Central Park
  • Empire State Building
  • Times Square
  • NY Stock Exchange {STILL no idea how it works, but it’s where all the money magic puffery happens}
  • Rockefeller Center {arrive EEEEEEARLY to catch an upfront glimpse of Al Roker on The Today Show}

Welcome To New York…On Broadway

One of the main reasons to return to New York is for the “Spectacular — Spectacular!” Broadway shows. This is one of two PRIMO PLACES to hear jaw-dropping musical performances -

  • New York City {this trip was Moulin Rouge! and Hadestown}
  • London

I’d be a horrible travel blog hostess if I didn’t share a top five favorites list to get your musical mindset ringing, right?::

  1. Wicked {all-time classic for me}
  2. SIX {seen in London, currently playing in New York}
  3. & Juliet {seen in London, currently playing in New York}
  4. Moulin Rouge! {this most recent trip to New York}
  5. The Phantom of the Opera {longest running Broadway show at nearly 14,000 performances}

Insider Tips for Broadway

For all the must-see new hit musicals {Yes, Hamilton}, there won’t be much variation on ticket prices. For all the others, there’s a few places to check before buying your tickets::

  • In-person at TKTS {kiosk sits in Times Square}
  • Directly through the theatre hosting the musical {sometimes the least expensive option}
  • SeatGeek is a quick and mobile way to buy if you’re in line at TKTS and want to compare prices.

Welcome to the End

Another trip in my Mid Life Book. It’s a city of noise, clamor, and horns {OMG, the horns!}, and I can’t cover everything New York has to share. So just a glimpse, hopefully a helpful one, will do.

I’ll wake you with some food and coffee notes from this trip.

Traveling is the chance to scope out the side places, the small places, the “You have to go here!” places. No Starbucks, no Olive Garden, give me something special to

On this venture, we wanted to make reservations to have plenty of time before seeing Moulin Rouge!

If you don’t mind waiting in line for next available table, and never been, jump in line early for Ellen’s Stardust Diner — it IS A MUST if you’ve never been.

Marriott Marquis has two fun options::

☕️ Coffee

You can find a Starbucks on every corner. It’s a motto someone somewhere coined forever ago I think, and it stuck. BUT in NYC you can also find a fun and YUM coffee cup in between those corner blocks.

Save your Starbucks points for your commute to work.

Instead, Yelp, Google, or bookmark this post for one of these for your warm cup + great photo op 📸

OR maybe, you want some travel ideas other than New York? Have a gander at a few other Mid Life Refresh{ments}:: –I really need to work on my puns😬–

Where are you going in March?

Rockefeller Center, NYC, New York, Mid Life Travels

Andrea ~ A Glimpse of Good with Mid Life Shenanigans mixed in

Global GallivanterSmileRaiserLifestyle Blogger50+ Style Enthusiast • And the Queen of Quirky
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Sharing style goodness + some affiliate links of style joy may give a smidgin’ to me, at no extra cost to you. Grazie.

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Andrea | A Glimpse of Good

Globe Gallivanter. 50+ Style Enthusiast. Book Buff. Wine Taster. Queen of Quirky | Lifestyle Blogger + Renovator of THGB