Bean’s Bean: New York’s Finest Coffee Establishment

Hello all! Its Kris & Justine! You may remeber us from our 4 month adventure about Europe a few years ago…well now we’re back!
Since we returned from Europe…and yes we did return, even if we forgot to write about it…we’ve been writing on our personal blogs and have neglected this treasured travel journal. Justine has been reporting on figure skating current events over at PrincessBeany Smiles and Kris has been providing commentary on fandoms over at My Fangirl Life and her personal life on my Pigeon-Toed Life. So what brings us back to Wonder & Wanderlust? The impecable travel duo is back on another adventure! After spending 2.5 years working hard & traveling with other companions we have “reformed the band” for 10 days of walking tour packed, history rich, sitting on public steps fun. Wow we sound really cool….as a matter of fact, we are currently sitting on some public steps writing this blog. Some public steps in New York City! Times Square to be exact! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back to the start….

We woke up this morning at an ungodly hour after very little sleep. We probably should have went to bed earlier but we were hanging out with our nerd friends. Yay nerd friends!

We arrived at the airport just after 5am and proceeded to stand in lines (often the wrong lines) for what felt like hours. By the time we reached the gate there were only a couple minutes to spare; just enough time for Kris to grab breakfast sandwiches and Justine to make a Starbucks run. By this time Kris was starving, her tummy was a growly bear that needed to be feed so the stop was essential before we hopped on the plane.
“Soooooo hunnnnggrrrryyyyyyyyy….agggghhhhh!!!” -Kris
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We had a wonderful direct flight to New York which saved us a couple hours travel time. Justine spent the majority of the flight sleeping. There was no one else in our row and she laid down across two seats for awhile. Having only had a couple hours of sleep was catching up with her. Kris kept herself occupied on IgPat (which, if you read our Europe blog, you will remember is short for Ignatious Patrick the iPad). She was playing a Picma game, that she is obsessed with but no one else has ever heard of and everyone always asks about, and reading Black Panther comics. After 4 rather turbulent hours we touched down in New York…actually thats a lie; we landed at Newark airport in New Jersey. Our bags came quickly and our taxi ride to the hostel was plagued with only a few life-threatening lane weaves.

The Chelsea International Hostel is located in, you
guessed it, Chelsea amoungs lots of fun restaurants & shops. The attendant greeted us with a hearty welcome and we shared a few bonding-moment worthy laughs whilst he checked us in & explained where our room was. We are in a ‘2 bed dorm’ so basically we have a private room. Its adorably tiny with barely enough room for the sink and 2 single beds. It’s perfect though.
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We embarked on our first walk through the city with no exact location in mind but a Times Square-erly direction. This took us through more of Chelsea.
We happened upon Madison Square Garden, our first big site. It was nice but not an overly pretty arena. There were giant Stanley Cup playoff posters on the sides. We’re guessing it’s going to be quite busy around there in a couple days when Game 3 comes to New York. Just across the
street we found our first set of stairs. Not two hours on the ground and we were already sitting on steps. These ones were outside a lovely old building that said New York Postal Office on the side. And to Kris’s surprise, it was an actual postal office.
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The walk then continued to Times Square! You hear about how busy it is and you see the hustle-and-bustle on tv but it is nothing compared to actually being there. There are so many people jammed into the few blocks up making the legendary tourist attraction. Its insane to think what it would be like on New Years Eve…speaking of which, we saw the ball perched atop a bilboard-clad building. Other Times Square hilghlights include:
– The M&M Store, where you can get literally any color of M&M you’ve ever dreamed of…not that I often dream of M&Ms. You can also get any
random object youve ever dreamed of with an M&M character on it (plush toy, boxers, oven mitts, etc).
– The Hershey’s Store, where they have gigantic Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
– The Disney Store, which had a castle & the most magical escalator every constructed.
– Channing Tatums face 3 stories high.
– Toys R Us, featuring themed lands to display each type of toy. Barbies are in Barbie’s dream house. Dinosaurs are in Jurassic Park. Lego is surrounded by lego versions of NewYork landmarks…and a lego Hulk…?
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For supper we checked out Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This diner is famous for its singing waitstaff! We were excited; it was as close as we were going to get to the diner they work at on Glee. Our table was squeezed between two others so closely that the table literally had to be slid out to let Kris get to
her seat. We both ordered burgers: Kris a pizza burger and Justine one with mushrooms and bacon. The food arrived super quick, but that didn’t mean there were any compromises in taste. The meal was delicious. Being that the hours since we’d last eaten had entered the double digits, we ate as quickly as the food had been prepared. By the time we finished it had only been 20 minutes and we were not ready to leave…so we ordered some dessert. It was a scrumptious as it looks.
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The entertainment was amazing. Each member of the staff took their turn to sing a song, sometimes in pairs or groups and sometimes while continuing to serve their tables. We bopped along to the dowop beats. The majority of the songs were classic oldies that you’d hear in a 50’s diner. But that wasn’t all they sang.Their rendition of One Day More from Les Mis gave us
goosebumps. We learned a large number of these performers leave the diner because they were offered a role on Broadway. Last year alone 12 members of the Ellen’s team landed roles in either Broadway or touring roles.
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After supper we sat on the steps in Times Square and began this post. It was nice to relax for a bit after our long day. Eventually we started heading back to the hostel. We turned down Broadway and enjoyed the lights of a number of the Broadway Theatres. We can’t wait to start going to shows!
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On the way back we stumbled upon Bryant Park. It look quite enjoyable with all of its tables and chairs throughout. We will likely return to spend some time enjoying the sun here! We also passed Madison Square Garden again. This time we were on the side of the much more
impressive main entrance where the hockey game was being broadcast on large screens out front to a rather large audience.

Our evening at the hostel was uneventful. After many unsuccesful attemps to get the wifi to agree with our various devices we called it a night…at 10:30 on a Saturday night in New York City….such sleepy girls.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
– Getting our first glimpses of eveything: seeing the New York skyline and Statue of Liberty from the plane, turning the corner and peaking at Times Square, spying the lights of Radio City Music Hall from afar
– Going to bed

WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY:
– New York has good fabric shops.
– Dressing up in costumes and trying to get people to take pictures with you is a legitimate career, or at least it is to the 9 fake Minnie Mouses we saw today. So cosplay is a career too, right?
– Walking all day after 3 hours of sleep is hard.
– The Tony Awards are tomorrow! What !?!?! How did we not know this?? Stayed tuned to see if we see anything exciting.

Love, Luck & Lego,
Justine & Kris

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