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Barack and Michelle Obama made their first trip to New York City since he took office, enjoying dinner and a Broadway play over the weekend.
After both parents attended eldest daughter Malia's soccer match (her team won), they boarded a C-20 plane and arrived in the Big Apple Saturday afternoon. (A White House press spokesperson said that the President had "promised" his wife that he would take her to a Broadway show after the election was all finished.)
Their first stop? New York's West Village neighborhood, where they dined at Bluehill Restaurant.
Fellow diner Eva Fleischer of Manhattan said she "had no idea" the Obamas would be there when she made her 5:30 p.m. reservations.
"They had to pat us down," she told reporters outside the restaurant, which is known for its "locally grown fare."
As the Obamas left, Fleischer recalled, the President said to her table, "'Hi, guys!' It was very exciting because we didn't expect to see him here. It was really neat."
Another diner, Susan Korchak of Manhattan, noted that Michelle "is very tall. She's just statuesque and gorgeous."
Fan went wild as the two exited the restaurant. Blockades were set up to keep the crowds of people at bay on the streets. Several people weren't allowed to cross the street to get back to their apartment, but they were happy to wait it out. Dads had their kids up on their shoulders; others had their cameras out, hoping to catch a picture. There was even a helicopter flying in the sky. Some onlookers remarked that it was like the inauguration all over again.
After dinner, the Obamas then went to the Belasco Theater on West 44th Street, where they caught a performance of Joe Turner's Come and Gone - about a group of African-Americans coming to grips with the legacy of slavery - before flying back to the White House.