adventures in the big city

I spent a vast majority of  last Thursday in the Big City, aka Manhattan. I must say that it was indoob a delight. We had a great time. We, being myself, my best friend Kitten and my New Yorker cousin Kim, whom I’ve last seen the last time I got myself lost in the city back in my Purchase days. 

Kitten and I took the train from New Haven, which required us to park miles away from the station and walk there. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but we weren’t looking forward to the return hike. Especially since the weather wasn’t looking too promising. Our entire day was covered in clouds, and on occasion we were welcomed with a mist to a light drizzle. If there was any real rain going on, we were fortunate and blessed enough to be sheltered in a dry warm place. 

So the train ride was fun. I don’t get to ride the train very much and it was surprisingly cheaper than I expected it to be. $28 round trip! Off-peak times of course. But it was all good. We spent a good hour, hour and a half looking out the window or watching other boarding passengers that looked weird or amusing to us. For example, a group of kids not too much younger than us that had the same NY destination caught our attention. One girl brought an entire salon kit: she first did her make-up, then her nails. I mean really did them. Filed, buffed, and applied special creams and everything. There was also a man who we thought was talking to us or the passenger in front of us, but we were mistaken and also relieved when he got off at the next stop. 

We arrived at Grand Central and exited onto 42nd St. I couldn’t tell you the actual way we were going, but it was the wrong way from where I wanted to go. What was my goal this trip? 30 Rockefeller Center, home of one of my favorite TV shows: 30 Rock. We were also super hungry, so we figured we’d get food first.

We jokingly kept a running tally of how many Starbucks compared to Dunkin Donuts we found. I think from the streets we were on, we had Starbucks as the winner 2:1. We are D&D people by the way. We headed towards Times Square in search of a favorite pizza place we ate at a couple years before. But alas! ‘Twas gone! And it looked like it was turning into some makeup store or something. I don’t know, but it didn’t feel right. An awesome pizza place in the heart of Times Square now vanished! Evil villains! So we went to a Sbarro instead. We followed up with a trip to Hershey’s store before continuing on to our destination. 

After a few wrong turns (again, it was my fault), we finally found the GE building I was searching for. By the way, my handy-dandy state of the art nifty phone was nigh-battery death. So using my GPS navigator was out of the question and was primarily used to keep in contact with Kim, whom I kept telling our current location to meet us, which didn’t help her because we kept walking. After reaching 30 Rock, we went into the NBC gift store and admired TV shows past and present and their memorabilia. I didn’t buy anything. I really wanted to take the tour, but the next tour wasn’t for another hour and a half. Surely we could come back later. And we planned too. We never did. 

Salvador Dali & t. sterling: Artists de la Surreal

We headed off towards the public library where we decided to wait for Kim to catch up. Once she joined the party, we were off to Madame Tussauds. This is where I can stop talking and let the pictures speak for themselves. This was a fun experience and I recommend people visit this place if they never have. (The captions on my Facebook album are better, by the way.)

After the wax museum, we got ice cream at Cold Stones, which was across the street. This is another hot spot for the Kitten and I. Next stop, the Empire State Building. 

Like I mentioned before, the weather hadn’t really been on our side. Due to the cloud cover over the city, and much of New England that day, visiting the observation deck of a skyscraper wasn’t in our best interests since there was 0% visibility. However, due to events beyond the Empire’s control, the tour gave us a 1/2 price for another attraction called the NY Skyride which was a helicopter simulation of a tour through NYC. I might want to add here that this ride isn’t for the weak stomach. I was expecting a nice relaxing tour, with some gentle man or woman showing you the best places to visit. No, this is more like a ride found at Disney World where your seat moves along with the giant screen in front of you, rocking back and forth, jolting here and there… Kitten and I admitted to closing our eyes a couple times just to help settle our nerves. Overall, it was mildly fun if you leave out the sick-inducing part. By the way, it’s hosted by an amusing Kevin Bacon (in which he constant refers to previous movies he’s been in while play six degrees of separation) and annoying song called “I am New York” which we told Kim she must learn and sing for us later. 

By this time, it was almost time to go. We hit up a couple stores on 34th since Kitten and I made a pact to buy ourselves something. What did we buy? Belts. That’s right, belts. And wouldn’t you know it; the belt I bought was too big? I have to put a hole in it later. An ongoing dispute had been going on about what the name of a certain movie was called that involved a miracle on a numbered street in Manhattan. Miracle on 42nd St? Miracle of 54th St? But we figured it out once we saw Macy’s on 34th

We walked back to Grand Central, killed some more time in the shops there before it was time to board our train. We said our goodbyes and hopped on a car that looked like it had some good seats. I was mistaken; it was right next to the bathroom. We endured a stench for a good (or bad) 90 minutes. The last 10 minutes I avoided the mysterious blue liquid coming from the bathroom. We aren’t sure why it started leaking from the bathroom, but we didn’t hang around long enough to find out. 

After we arrived back in New Haven, we had to trek back to the car that was parked what felt like 34 football fields away. My feet were screaming and continued screaming after I got home when Kitten dropped me off. My phone hadn’t been screaming because it died probably hours before I got home. I charged it enough to order some food and then called it a night. 

Despite the gloomy weather, sleep inducing train ride, cab drivers who ignored walk signals and red lights, brazen pigeons, tiredly sore feet, and being poked/stabbed/attacked by unnecessarily opened umbrellas, I had a really fun day as I usually do. I heart NY.

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Posted in family, Friends, memories, new york, pictures, road trip, storytelling, vacation
3 comments on “adventures in the big city
  1. I love New York and Grand Central Station and Dali!

    • t. sterling says:

      I knew you had a thing for Dali due to a post you wrote a few months ago. So I guess I included that pic because I knew at least one person would appreciate him (let alone know who he was). He’s one of my favorite painters.

  2. […] retrospect, I don’t think my adventures at Foxwoods Casino would be as long as a read as my adventures in New York, and technically, this POST should have been posted the day after the NY trip, and not a month […]

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June 2009
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