My trip to New York City for the 2nd time was certainly an interesting one. From losing the stroller to having to search for a bathroom every two blocks because I was really sick, ‘interesting’ is the only word to explain it. It definitely wasn’t a ‘wild’ time, but it was fun. How else could walking 33 blocks of Manhattan be?
We actually started our trip off in Queens on a Sunday. That’s where our motel was, and that is where we planned to meet up with friends. The designated place of meeting was 1.4 miles from our hotel. By car-12 minutes, by subway-24 minutes, by walking-30 minutes. So guess what we did? When we arrived at the designated destination, our friends stared at us in amazement. “You walked here? Why didn’t you just take a subway?” We explained that it would have taken us just as long, and this way we got to see stuff. We spent a little time with our friends, but due to circumstances it was cut shorter than intended. Not even lunch, but they did direct us to a nice little Peruvian restaurant.
With bated breath I entered. I am a very picky eater. To go to a place I had never been, with food I had never even tasted was not something I looked forward too. Inside, the walls were covered with “Hazard-If choking…” signs. Not a good sign and I wanted to leave but everyone was so hungry at that time. I had asked for recommendations on what to order and was told the chicken. So I ordered, and with cringing anticipation took a bite. I loved it. I later found out that this is the place my friends always recommend people to go to and I can see why, its delicious! And just so you know, the hazard if choking signs are in every eating place in New York. If by chance you’re in the Corona neck of Queens go to El Pollo Peruano.
Since it didn’t work out with my friends, we had extra time on our hands. So we meandered back to the motel, changed and headed out for a night in New York City. Our first stop was the Times Square area. We walked up from there to Central Park. My first destination was the Plaza Hotel. The Plaza Hotel is featured in so many movies-Home Alone 2, Bride Wars, Great Gatsby etc. We walked in, looked around and left. The idea of the Plaza Hotel is more romantic than it actually is. Although, I read that there is a Eloise gift shop somewhere in the hotel.
After the Plaza Hotel we walked down 5th Ave to the Trump Tower. Mom had wanted to go here so bad the last time. Inside it has a beautiful 60 foot wall waterfall. Six blocks later we were at the Rockefeller Center, which has the ice rink. You can ice skate on it, but it’s very expensive. 30 dollars for adults for just a limited time. Don’t do it, you can skate in Central Park for 11.25 for a full day! After hanging out in Times Square for a bit more, we rode the Subway back to the hotel.
The next day we met up with our friends in Brooklyn and had a delicious lunch. It was pasta that was green. I’ve never had green pasta before, and it was yummy. Don’t ask me what the green pasta is really called, because I don’t remember. After lunch, we said our goodbyes then ran to go to the Ground Zero museum and workshop.
I made the mistake of not looking at the directions for the Ground Zero museum and workshop. I assumed it was at Ground Zero. When we got to Ground Zero, I looked at the map and tried to find the street where the museum was. I couldn’t find it, so I ended up calling them. (This was before we owned a smart phone with data.) The museum was nowhere near Ground Zero. So we hopped in a taxi and headed to the museum workshop.
It wasn’t what I expected. It was a one room workshop. But for being so little, it packed a lot of punch. The very tiny room was full of photographs. I love this quote from Gary Marlon Susan, “Time has a way of dulling our memory and people may forget what happened and the valuable lives lost on 9/11. I hope my images will insure that people never forget.” One quote that was heartbreaking was, “I know my son is in better hands now, but I’d rather have him in mine.” Lee Lelpi, FDNY retired, Father of fallen firefighter Johnathan Lelpi.
After the Ground Zero museum and workshop we walked 33 blocks up to Grand Central Station. Along the way we passed by the Flat Iron Building, the Empire State Building, and the New York City Library. We ate at a nice little deli store that had such yummy soup! It was nice to be able to sit and rest our feet for a while. When we reached the Grand Central Station we found the Whisper Corridor. If you stand at one end and whisper into a corner you can hear that person on the other side.
The next day we had a wonderful time at the Met museum. We did a bible tour which focused on the lands of Greece and Rome, then afterwards explored the many art sections.Then we went and explored Central Park. It was starting to grow dark, and the park was empty. It was fun strolling thru the park and pretending to be in Home Alone 2. We saw some of the famous sites in Central Park-Alice and Wonderland, the boat house, the sail boat pond, Bethesda Fountain and Terrance, the mall, and the Woolman ice rink. It was fun, except I decided to wear high heels. Do not wear high heels in New York City! A ‘quick’ walk thru Central Park turned into miles of torture. 3 days of New York City is a lot and we retired after this.
The next day we went and spent some more time at the Met. The museum has a suggested 25 dollar donation, but you can contribute how much you want. Unless you are going on a private tour, which we did both days. After the Met we visited the New York City Library and went up to the Rose room.
Then we did the big tourist trap of New York City-the Empire State Building.
Even with prepaid tickets we stood in line for what seemed hours. When we finally reached the top we were greeted by a doorman who said, “Hurry, it’s almost sunset.” We raced up the stairway and soaked in the setting sun. Here is some interesting facts of the Empire State Building:
How did the Empire State Building get its name?
New York State’s nickname is the Empire State, which led to the Empire State Building. Legend is that when Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River, he was so taken by the beauty and majesty of the area that he said, “This is the new empire.”
When it officially opened on May 1, 1931 the Empire State had broken every record in the book in terms of both size and speed of construction.
The tower’s first structural columns were set on April 7th, 1930. Just six months later, the steel frame reached the 86th floor roof, and by March 1931, the 102 stories, including the extraordinary mooring mast, were completed. At peak activity in the summer of 1930, there were 3,439 workers employed on the site, and the building rose at the rate of a story a day.
Empire State Building-Taller then the Eiffel Tower
A story a day
In construction work, there are established records of time which are marks to shoot at,” wrote builder Paul Starrett in his autobiography Changing the Skyline. For steel, that industry standard in 1930 was three and half stories per week; for brick walls, a story a day; for stonework, one to two stories a week. Starrett explained, “It was clear to us at once that on the Empire State we could never finish the building on time by any progress. We decided to discard all these plans of operation and determined to erect the Empire State at the rate of a story a day.”
After the Empire State Building we raced up town to make it in time to see our Broadway Show-Cinderella. I loved Cinderella. I’ve never seen the Roger and Hammerstein version of Cinderella, and so I didn’t know what to really expect. But we all enjoyed it, and it was a good choice to take Rodney to go see. One of my favorite parts is when her gown changes and your left trying to figure out how that was done so smoothly.
After the Broadway show we were so tired, but we had timed tickets for the Top of the Rock. So we sped walked over and got in line for the Top of the Rock. At this point, we were all exhausted, grumpy, and very hungry. It had been hours since we had really eaten anything. The prices for food at Broadway shows are so outrageous it makes movie candy at movie theaters look cheap! We found a little Auntie Annie’s by the Top of the Rock ticket station and feasted on pretzels and lemonade. It was so delicious and tamed our tempers and tummies.
Top of the Rock vs Empire State Building
I had read multiple accounts from people saying to go to the Top of the Rock instead of the Empire State Building. I agree, if you are short on time. The two have a totally different atmosphere. I had more fun standing in line for Top of the Rock because there was more to look at and read. They even have a photo opp where you can pretend to be falling, or doing whatever else funny thing you can think of, off a steel beam prop. They also play a short movie. When you reach the elevator, the elevator goes dark and you look up and you can see thru the elevator ceiling as you speed to the top.
At the Empire State Building they have a fence that goes around the outside which really prohibits a lot of the view and picture taking. At Top of the Rock they have a see thru wall of glass-plastic giving you a gorgeous view of the Empire State Building. You can also have a better view of Central Park from the Top of the Rock. The Top of the Rock also has this fun room that I am dubbing a disco room. It changes colors, from red, pink, blue, yellow, etc.
At this time it was around midnight and we walked around trying to find a subway station. We walked down some dark alleys, gave up and caught a cab home. This was where I forgot the stroller in the back of the cab, which we didn’t discover till the next day.
Since I had left the stroller in the back of the cab we had to spend time and money buying a new one. When we finally found one, we headed back to New York City. We spent the day exploring the American Museum of Natural History.
Visiting this museum is highly rated, so I looked forward to visiting it. Instead of finding a fun modern museum that is featured in the movies, I found myself visiting an old dusty museum. I felt like I was in the movie Planet of the Apes (the one with Charleston Heston) when walking thru the wax figures. I did enjoy the Mayan and dinosaur section, but rolled my eyes when I saw this quote. “The history of the horse family is still one of the clearest and most convincing for showing that organisms really have evolved, for demonstrating that, so to speak, an onion can turn into a lily.” G.G. Simpson
After the museum we walked thru Central Park. We found the Belvedere Castle and obelisk along our walk. Then we went and visited the Brooklyn Bridge. That is worth the hype, it’s a beautiful bridge. We spent the rest of the night with our friends and that ended our 2nd New York City trip.