A View From the Ground: Central Park
Wednesday morning we made our way down to Central Park. We encountered a few scattered showers but nothing that compared to the downpour we experienced the day before.
Central Park was beautiful, fountains, rambling paths, expanses of deep green grass, flowers and thousands of bench lined paths.
Even with all the big city hustle and bustle these two little guys were happily getting in there morning bath!
There is just something so peaceful yet magnetic about a gentle winding path.
Central Park has a small zoo. We spent some time there along with what I think may have been quite possible every elementary school in the greater New York area. The zoo was reasonably prices at $12.00 per person, but I will say that having to maneuver along the minefield of a billion elementary age children was at times a bit tiresome.
This magnificent seal was the star of the show. He/She had no illusion as to his/her gorgeousness. It would pop up out of the water and pridefuly raise his head and just bask in the adoration of the excited crown.
Confession time here, I think I may have visited my last zoo. Every time I find myself at a zoo I have very intense feeling of sadness at seeing the animals in captivity. I know there are some who feel that the animals really don't know any better due to the reality that they have never experienced anything different. I may be reading more into the expressive nature of the animals and letting my empathy override my logical thinking. What happens when I look at this magnificent polar bear is I begin to wonder does he realize what he is missing. Trying to imagine living my life in a small contained space and never moving past the glass. Yes, I know that the zoo has taken great pains to make the habitat as close to reality as they can get, but basking in the sun on top of a fake rock in the middle of Manhattan is miles away from the arctic circle.
It just makes me sad y’all!
A new version or the familiar childhood game……turtle, turtle…….duck!
More of Central Park, I just loved the ivy covered bridge.
I had a small list of things to check off my list and experiencing a New York Hot Dog was one of them. We had lunch at a place called the Shake Shack, when we strolled up the the counter there was a hefty line and a packed out house so we figured the food was good. The Hub’s waited at the counter while I wadded through the crowd in search of an open spot for us to rest our tired feet.
I can now check a New York hot dog of my list.
A View From Above: The Skyline
Later in the afternoon we made our way down the the Empire State Building. First let me say that I was averse to paying $50.00 for two tickets just to ride an elevator. We could have saved a bit of money and bought the ticked on site but we figured it was worth the $4.00 fee to avoid any long lines at a ticket booth. However when you factor in that it took longer to wade through all the lines to get to the elevator than it did for us to actually walk around the observatory I am not sure the it balanced out! There were also way to may choices, four different options, main observatory deck, upper observatory deck, express tickets, combo tickets…it was all a bit confusing. We settled on the basic trip up to the main observatory deck.
Let me just put to rest any illusion you may have of walking in the front of the Empire State building like Meg Ryan does in Sleepless in Seattle and hopping the elevation up to meet the love of her life on the top floor! That is about as far from reality as it gets. You bypass the front all together and then you go round the corned, enter through the side door, then you proceeds through a series of security mazes, twist, turns, you go up one floor then get off, then snake through another set of security mazes, then you have to go through another set of security check point and x-ray machines. After that then you have to go through yet another set of those security mazes, then you get on another elevator and go up to the 80 floor, then get off, then get on a different elevation that takes you up to the observation deck.
It makes me tired just thinking about it!
The view was spectacular. Normally you have a full 360 access the the observation deck. When we FINALLY got up to the main deck we noticed that they had one side section cordoned off. We could only access 3/4 of the view. I’m thinking $50.00 and I only get 3/4 of a view!!!!!!
They had these plywood partitions blocking off both access point to one whole side. Occasionally you could see something the looked like one of the movie microphones hovering above the barricade. Occasionally your could see a movie camera peeking out to get a shot of the city. It was obvious that there was some kind of filming going on and they had taken great pains to make sure the public was kept out of the way. The had several security guards posted to make sure you did not wander over and get to close to the barricade. I politely asked if there was some filming going on and the guard smiled and me and gave me a non committal big smile in return. Basically denying the obvious. Yes there was something being filmed and no he was not allowed to tell us what was going on. It was a big apple secret on the top of the empire state building.
After fully experiencing the 3/4 of the New York skyline to it’s fullest we made our way back through the exiting maze. Fortunately for us we made it on to an elevator with someone from the film crew and again fortunate for us we ended up being only ones on the elevator. The Hub’s being un-intimidated by meeting strangers just barrels right in and asks “So, what going on up there?” Well apparently the crew was not sworn to the same code of silent as the guards up top and he spilled the beans.
He told us that they were filming a Tom Cruise, movie and the he was up there shooting some scenes for his next movie!
HOW COOL IS THAT!
I can’t boast about seeing a celebrity but I can say I was in the same place as one and even there when they were filing the movie. The guy told us the movie was called “Oblivion”. I did a Google search and it is scheduled to be released in 2013!
The view was awesome, and if I did not think about how high i was I managed to keep my phobia about heights in check. I will say that the Lord and I were in serious conversation in the elevator on the way up.
The view from Herald Square, and this is the side they had blocked off. I kept staring up at it expecting to see Tom Cruise hanging from a cable bouncing off the side of the building, sadly it was not to be.
We had a nice rest and several moments of people watching at Herald Square.
These of course were everywhere! I began to wonder what they do with there carts at night, but then New York never sleeps so maybe they just stay open all the time????
We finally had some time in Time Square with out the rain. This is the familiar ABC News ticker in front of there studio. I had vision of making it down early one morning to watch a taping of Good Morning America but with our limited time and my need for sleep it was not to be either!
I’d call this a billboard wouldn’t you?
It was huge taking up two entire city buildings!!!! Did y’all see The Hatfield's & McCoy's on The History Channel? It was excellent and I highly recommend it, but then I am a HUGE Kevin Costner fan!!!!!
More Time Square….
A View From Behind: The Naked Cowboy
We were making our way to dinner and low and behold this walks by. The Hub’s had mentioned this person called the Naked Cowboy, and boy did we see him. I did not have my camera at hand when we was in front of me but I was able to get a nice little booty shot. Why YES that is a man walking around Time Square in his tidy-whities playing the guitar. If you are interested you can also join the franchise and have your own Naked Cowboy enterprise. he has a website and Facebook page and basically makes his living strolling around time square in his undies playing the guitar.
We had dinner at John’s Pizzeria, it was a traditional Brick oven New York style pizza. We had pepperoni, prosciutto and mushrooms and it was excellent! The perfect end to a good day.
I think we may have walked about 20 miles today and my feet were over done after our long day! I am forming so definite thought about New York which I will share in my last vacation post coming up!
Next on the agenda is the 9/11 Memorial, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.