So, first let me say…we set off to NYC to attend an awesome tattoo expo, NY Empire State Tattoo Convention. It was my husband’s first convention as a tattoo artist (only a few months out of his apprenticeship) and my first visit to New York City, ever! We had all these ideas of what our trip was going to be like, and then just a few weeks before our departure, we found out I was pregnant! Cue the most thought-out pregnancy announcement we’ve ever planned. After we waited hours to pass through Lincoln Tunnel (Oops, we forgot about rush hour…did not think that through upon entering), we finally made it to our hotel. After we got checked in, parked the car, and grabbed our friends, we headed to Times Square! I had the idea that we would buy souvenir shirts for all of our kids (including our sweet little fetus…or ‘sweetus’, if you will). We’d then eagerly share the photos of our new ‘souveniers’ with the caption: “Here we are in Times Square with shirts for all of our kids. The youngest artist won’t get theirs until December,” in hopes everyone would connect the dots. Oh, I felt so clever.
After getting our obligatory announcement photo taken, we hung around and soaked up the City That Never Sleeps. We found ourselves stunned by a group of girls on roller skates putting on an impromptu demonstration. As a former roller derby player, one of the required skills was jumping over an adult male body, so when this girl easily jumped over FIVE bodies, I was super impressed!!! Oh, those Vans skates made me super jealous too!
The next morning, the guys (my husband and his boss) had to get to the convention early to set up. So, my friend Lauren and I hit the town. Priority #1 was MoMA. Even just walking through the doors, there was a feeling that can’t be described; the kind of feeling where you just feel connected to so many artists that were exhibited there…artists that are THE ones the rest of us artists look up to.
As exciting as the entire MoMA visit was, I could NOT get over all of the mid-century art. If I could’ve just lived in that gallery for a day, I would have. Also on exhibit while we were there, Degas & Bruce Conner. I fell in love with all of Bruce Conner’s work. Since we weren’t able to take any photographs on that floor, we spent the most of our time there until we headed out.
Here we are in the courtyard at MoMA, me and little Ramona Jean (who at the time didn’t have a name…we just called her our Tiny Artist).
Next stop of the day: Central Park! We got some food before heading into the 843 acres park. (I had no idea was that big! Thanks, movies!) Luckily, Lauren had been there before, so she knew. We ventured in, determined to visit Strawberry Fields and anything else we saw on the way. Another magnificent wave of emotions came over me (not just the pregnancy kind), thinking about all of the movies that have been filmed there, awesome famous people with homes that overlook the park, and how many Humans of New York photographs and stories were captured there that have made me cry. When we reached Strawberry Fields, there was a guy there with his guitar, playing & singing for the visitors with his case open for any change people would give; a very expected thing to see there. All of the sudden, everyone there (and there were a lot of visitors and a very diverse crowd) started singing along. It was quite the moment…and I get the feels just thinking about it.
Of course, not everything can go merrily on a trip. We were totally scammed by one of those pedicab drivers inside the park. My advice, don’t trust them. Don’t even think about it. You’re welcome.
After the trip to Central Park, we did hit up Times Square again…but this time, for shopping! Well, sort of – I think I only ended up buying a couple things. Those large, multi-level stores are an experience, though. Then we headed back to the hotel to freshen up & drop off bags. We headed off to the tattoo convention just a few blocks away. Walking to the expo was crazy – we thought we saw Snookie from Jersey Shore. Then, I get a text from my husband, “I just saw Snookie.” Ha, I guess we really did see Snookie! Later, I got to watch JWoww get tattooed from Sarah Miller (Ink Master Season 2) – someone I love as an artist. Pretty neat for a few NYC celebrity sightings.
Our last day at NYC came up quick since the expo was only two days long. So the next morning, my husband and I woke up super early before the expo in order to catch the first tour of the ‘Top of the Rock’ (at Rockafeller Center). Of course, I was exhausted from walking around NYC for an entire day (pregnancy makes me so tired), so we made the second tour. 😂 We didn’t get to tour NBC studios – they were booked for the entire day. There’s so much to see from the Top of the Rock, though….so we weren’t disappointed.
That’s my hubby, looking out at the views. On the right is probably one of my favorite images I got while we were in NYC.
Below: It’s crazy because we didn’t go SEE the Statue of Liberty but we SAW the Statue from the Top of the Rock. If you look at the horizon, find the water, follow it down, you can see a little isle, and that’s where she is. This was the part of the trip where I cried a little because I made the decision to only take one wide lens and not a zoom lens where I could get a better photo in this moment. Womp womp.
Oh, and remember how I was shocked that Central Park was 843 acres? If I would’ve seen it first from the Top of the Rock, I definitely would’ve known. Look at it! So beautiful! And I just love that I got to see it from two different perspectives while I was there.
Of course, can’t forget the whole reason for our trip! We made it back for the last day of the tattoo convention. I ended up hanging out there most of the day and made some awesome friends from NYC, around USA, and even France!
Here’s my hubby, Scott Biddle, in action.
So yeah, New York City was good to us.