NYC Days 3 & 4 or The Time I High-Fived Jimmy Fallon and Nearly Got Frostbite

After a glorified nap of four hours, we were up and going again. A quick detour into McDonald’s for some breakfast then we all took the subway downtown to wait in the standby line for Jimmy Fallon.

We arrived at 5:54am and were numbers 11-15 in line. The number of standby people who get into the show changes each night, but the typical estimate was twenty so we were hopeful that everyone would get into the show.

Cold and hungry, we munched down our lukewarm McDonald’s and huddled for warmth. The line behind us grew longer and longer as time ticked by. Between the five of us we played “I’m going on a picnic” where four tried to determine what the rule was for things that could be brought.

I nearly lost friends with our last game of “I’m going on a picnic,” but eventually everyone figured it out. Some on their own and some through strongarm-ing those who knew. As the rulemaker, I probably enjoyed stumping my friends more than I should have.


As part of our three hour wait, the televisions in the windows rotated through several clips of show trailers. I watched the same clip from The Voice around 180,000,000 times. Give or take a few. First, the camera pans across the stage to see Blake Shelton singing his heart out. Our view widens to see Shakira singing next to him. She dances around for a while before Usher pops up with Adam Levine. As soon as the other boys are out Shakira does some strange dance with the microphone stand. Adam belts a big note then Shakira jumps. When she lands, fireworks go off behind her and the title sequence begins again.

You’re welcome.

In desperate need of caffeine after we got our tickets at nine, we headed over to yet another coffee shop. This one was fancier than the last  though none of the baristas wore fedoras. I murdered the pronunciation of cafe au lait, but felt better about myself when I dumped a generous heap of cocoa powder in there. Anytime I try and speak a foreign language, I sound things out with the accent I gained in Puebla. That accent + French = embarrassment.

We had to return at 3:15pm (“Line up then, but not before” we were sternly told), so we had the rest of the morning to kill. In the center of Rockefeller Plaza, we weren’t concerned with finding things to do.

We went shopping! As these things usually go, we planned simply to poke around. I walked out with a fabulous lace top from H&M. No regrets.

Our next stop was the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The art and design pieces in the museum were beyond description. We even managed to take a picture with Van Gogh’s Starry Night! I snagged this picture of two of my friends gazing up into the starry sky without them knowing.

Well, I had the idea to take the photo, took my camera out, fixed the focus, and then they moved. I gently shoved them back into the same position and took my “candid.”


Something I hadn’t known about MoMA was the amazing store near the exit. We all had a wonderful time playing in the store and picking out the most ingenious designs. After taking a few photos around the Rockefeller ice rink, I popped into the Lego store to appease my inner child. A woman was taking a picture of the display though the window so, as responsible and mature college students, we got in the background and made silly faces.

Apparently we weren’t subtle enough because the woman taking the photo pointed us out, laughing. She still took the picture. We returned to the NBC building and waited in even more lines. All five of us made the first cut, but only two made the final cut.

Due to the incredible selflessness of my friends, I was able to go into the show. The two of us filled up the last two seats open in the studio. My seat was on the aisle near the front so I even made it on screen for a while, and high-fived Jimmy at the end of the show. I can’t thank my friends enough.

While the show’s band was present and playing, the musical guest for the night, Beck, never showed up! The studio filmed us cheering while we pretended to be excited. Jimmy Fallon called us all liars, which was hilarious. Later that night, they used a clip from a previous performance.

After the show, we had an evening out scheduled. With the encouragement of a local, we snagged a few cupcakes from Magnolia Cupcakes then headed to Chinatown to eat at the Golden Unicorn. We devoured all the food placed in front of us. After waking up at four in the morning, we were all ready for bed, but Christine, one of the girl’s cousins, wouldn’t hear of it.

The first bar we visited was the Grey Lady swiftly followed by a piano bar. The highlight of the night was when we discovered a karaoke bar. As much as we all love to dance (and truly, we do love dancing), we love karaoke even more. We rented a room out for the hour and the off-key notes began.

When we finally ran out of steam, we trudged back onto the subway to Queens. The next day, we had to drive 6 hours back to Pittsburgh, but first we had one more landmark to visit.


After being forcibly offered several packages and being interrogated about our tickets, we made it through the peddlers to Lady Liberty. In retrospect, going onto an island when the temperature is around freezing and the wind is fierce was not a good decision. We survived without frostbite. Barely.

We looked through the museum on Staten Island, and I saw a girl in a Welcome to Night Vale sweatshirt. WTNV is a podcast that I follow, and is delightfully eccentric and hilarious. I ran to tell my fellow Domer whom I had recently converted, but we couldn’t find sweatshirt girl again.

Traffic getting out of the city was awful, but we made it. We visited with family in Pittsburgh shortly before falling asleep around two in the morning. The car’s GPS had misbehaved after we veered too far away for a late night snack at Wendy’s.

An alarm at 12:30pm was the next time any of us opened our eyes. After a shot of caffeine and early afternoon omelets, we all felt slightly more human. We played with the family puppies, watched movies, and celebrated Pi Day with homemade Bailey’s pie.


When the time came to pack the car to head back home to the Dome, we dragged our feet. An amazing week had ended, but one thing was for sure. Everyone who drove back to Notre Dame from Pittsburgh had finished reading Divergent.

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