Saturday, October 18, 2008---Waking up in New York City, NY!
I did not sleep very well Friday night as my entire body was running on adrenaline and the excitement of being in this glorious town. Friday night after I got in, my room mates were all zonked. I quietly got changed into PJs and got into bed, and laid there in awe of the situation. I could not believe what I had just done. I had walked a good 5 miles with two people who had come from Germany to experience NY and see one of our beautiful cities and it's sites. It was wonderful. I was on Cloud 9 and wasn't coming down anytime soon.
It was 6:30am local time (5:30am STL time) and I was awake. No one else was. I took all of my stuff to the bathroom and got showered and dressed. I was downstairs by 7am ready for my site seeing trip into Manhattan. My first stop of the day was to find Rockefeller Center so I could see NBC Studios. I walked to the Subway on 96th Street figuring I could take the #1 down to 59th and then walk over to 49th Street.
When I got to the subway station, I found this.....
Instead of reading the signs, (duh) I walked into a construction site. The Subway did not run downtown on 96th. The only recourse in such a situation was to take the #1 uptown to 103rd (my usual stop anyway) and then take another train downtown from that location. I felt like a total tourist at that point. ARGH! So when I finally got to my destination of 59th and Broadway, it had taken me an hour instead of 15 minutes. At this point, I got onto 59th Street and started walking. I ended up at Columbus Circle. I don't know how I got there but I am glad I did. I had seen it Friday night with my friends and neglected to take pictures of it so I was grateful that I had found it by accident.
The Famous Tycoon, Donald Trump walks these streets. Here is his building, Trump Tower....that was cool!
Standing there, I found I was at the entrance to Central Park. Famous Central Park of New York City. AMAZING!!!!
I turned around and took this picture that a native New Yorker pointed out to me....
I asked that nice man how to get to my destination of Rockefeller Center and he led me to 6th Avenue. Thank you, kind sir.
I walked an awful lot this trip and took pictures of places that I knew and had heard about. Here are some of those pictures.
Christies Auction House
New York City Streets on an early Saturday morning.
A ticker calculating our National Debt....Being in the financial arena of my career, that was a depressing thought but I also thought the picture would be appropriate. We are in deep doo doo when it comes to our economy....
Subway Entertainment. When you are in the subway system underground, the talented citizens (or some not so much) of New York have a captive audience so that is how many performers make some of their money. By being the entertainment. Cool to experience.
I saw Radio City Music Hall several times but can't remember when or where so it goes in the misc stack of pictures.
Look at this clock. You have to almost tilt your head to understand it. I saw this Friday night, actually before the Elmos, so it started off weird. But very cool for a tourist....LOL!
Finally I get to where I want to be. I hit Rockefeller Center. Now, mind you, this is only one hour into my day. And I have been walking most of it. About 3 miles worth. It's only about 8:30am.
This was a thrill for me to be standing outside of these windows. I have been watching NYC talk shows for years now and the Today Show and to be standing here in the audience was a thrill beyond words. I had a shout out for St. Louis Missouri when the camera went off(crap!) but it was still so worth it to stand there. I am all for watching what goes on behind the scenes. I took the NBC Tour but have no pictures because the tour guide says that everything is copyrighted and NBC have heavy duty lawyers just waiting to slam a lawsuit on anyone so I was not about to take a chance of getting caught. We went into studios. It's really sneaky how the cameras can fool the audience into how it "looks" versus how it really is....I'll never watch Saturday Night Live or the Conan O'Brien Show the same way again.
After the tour, I shopped a bit, got my picture taken for posterity sake and left without much fuss.
Next stop was taking pictures of the ice rink and the surrounding areas.
The next step is fuzzy and I can't remember much of it. I can't remember if I ate lunch or not. No, I didn't. I went back to the subway (don't remember how) and went downtown to the Staten Island Ferry. It's the last stop downtown. Then the subway stops and then goes back uptown. The Staten Island Ferry is free where as the boat to Ellis Island costs so I took the free way.
The ferrys run every half hour and the ride to Staten Island is about 25 minutes. There is one going to Staten Island and one coming back so it works out well.
Being on the boat was an awesome experience. As she got closer you could feel the excitement of the passengers building. You can't help but become a little patriotic and love America a little more as you see this vision of an American Icon.
We disembarked and walked into town. Staten Island is a huge community. I thought it was a small island but it has it's own government, school district and is it's own entity, seperate of NYC. Who would have thunk it???
Staten Island even has it's own baseball team and a huge stadium.
This is the sight from the stadium looking at the NYC Skyline. After deciding against eating on the island, I got back on the boat and headed back into Manhattan.
On my way to the subway I ran into a woman who had her tourist sight seeing book out. I took a sneak peek and asked about getting to Ground Zero. She had no clue so I asked one of the subway officers how to get to the site. It was the next stop uptown, Rector. I was intrigued and the WTC site was on my "Must Do List", so off I went. I got off at the Rector stop and headed up three blocks.
There was a tour already in progress so I just listened in as the guide was talking. It's a self tour too so I took advantage of both.
It was a sobering experience to be there. Many of the buildings have been restored and repaired after they were damaged by the 9-11 disaster. I was there about a half an hour and then I decided that it was lunch time. Actually it was closer to 3pm so I was really getting hungry. I stopped by a restaurant called "O'Haras". It is an irish pub all decked out with irish flavor and tradition. As I walked in, I was asked by a group to take their picture of them and the (I guess) wonderful bartender. I snapped the picture, smiled, and sat down to order my meal. I ordered a salad and a drink when the bartender came up to me and told me that the group I had taken the picture of was offering to buy me a drink for my kindness. Sweet! To bad I don't drink....They still bought me my Sprite and they left happy. It was cool! While I was eating, I was inspired to ask about the area and if there was any damage to the restaurant due to the blast. He showed me the picture that hung on the wall behind him.
He told me that the building front was blown to bits and the windows were all shattered. The reopened about 6 months after the blast and from what I see, are doing great at business.
After lunch, my feet had pretty much had enough and I was somewhat tired, so I decided to take the subway back to the hotel and take a bit of a rest before joining my friends later that night.
I got back to the hotel, dropped off my souveniers, and just relaxed a while. At around 6pm, I changed clothes and went to 42nd Street to do some more shopping for the family. I had time to kill before the play so I also ran into McD's and grabbed a fruity yogurt treat so I would not starve in the play. I met my friends and I enjoyed being together with them again. After the play, it was cold outside but we waited around in hopes of seeing one of the stars come out. No such luck! After a half hour, we gave up and took the subway back uptown. It was very late so we were all a bit tired. Made plans to meet the next morning to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. My aching feet. Ok, sure, so long as we are together before I had to leave the next day in the afternoon. Hugs and then they were gone again. I dragged myself upstairs to my room, quite content with the days activities.
TO BE CONTINUED......