Thursday, November 3, 2011

New York, New York Part II

Oct 27 - Oct 31

Day two in the city - wet, cold, and snowy.  New York City, and most of the New England era was hit by a snow storm on Saturday.  The storm manifested itself as rain, sleet, and snow in the city, beginning early and ending late. That doesn't mean that we didn't have a good time.

Our first stop of the day was to the 9/11 Memorial.  This memorial would hands-down be much better without the sleet.  There were benches to sit and listen to the water running through the two memorials and a tree-lined walking path.  Unfortunately it was too cold and wet to really enjoy the site.  After a brief moment of remembrance I quickly headed to the temporary museum (the main museum is still under construction).
Memorial pool at the site of one of the towers.
Names on the Memorial.
Trees and walkway. 

After a long walk (Dad and my understanding of the addressing of the city was sadly wrong), we headed for a pie.  A pizza pie, that is.  We went to Lombardi's Pizza - claimed as the first New York City pizza parlor. ( They still use their coal fired pizza oven to bake their delicious pizza.  We ordered their original, the margarita pizza, simply topped with cheese and tomato.  Delicious!!

Slice of Lombardi's margarita pizza.

After pizza the family went back to the hotel to warm up and take a break.  Then we headed to Seminar - starring Alan Rickman, Jerry O'Connel, Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater, and Hettienne Park.  I thought it was a great play, and a nice change of pace from the musical from the night before.

Day three - Sunday
The day started early with a trip to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  These two sites were, by far, my favorite of the trip.  I know it sounds hokey, but it was patriotic to finally see Lady Liberty in person.  The engineering of the statue was amazing!
Dad on the Ferry boat to see the Statue of Liberty.

Our second stop was to Ellis Island.  It was awesome to see and learn that Ellis Island was not the first immigration station in New York.  That honor goes to Castle Clinton (see previous post), where immigrants were processed until 1890 when it was moved to Ellis Island.  The history of Ellis Island was fascinating.  I would highly suggest that if you visit, take the audio tour, it offered so much more information than just the plaques on the displays. 
Ellis Island.
Interior of Ellis Island.

After the tour, we hopped on the site-seeing bus to see lower Manhattan.  On a whim, we stopped for a late lunch at a great Indian restaurant.  Yum! Hopping back onto the bus we traveled up the island where we saw the UN and Rockafeller Center.  We even got off the bus to see the Waldorf Astoria hotel.  Very swanky and expensive!
Brooklyn Bridge

Sunday night we went to see Godspell.  The theater was in the round.  It was a great show, that was expertly updated to today's audience (references to Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, the Shot song - you get the point). I would definitely go see this show again.  I think we all enjoyed it the most out of all of the shows we saw on this adventure to NYC.

Day four - Monday, last day...

A shortened day for us before heading back home.  However, we did get the chance to see a lot of the city via the tour bus.  We headed up north this time and saw Harlem and the Guggenheim.
The Guggenheim. 

I really wanted to see the Empire State Building and Mom and Dad were willing to go to the top with me.  The views were great - and the building was even more awesome. I love Art Deco style and this building had it all - the vertical lines, the gilding, and the geometric shapes. One of my favorite features were the U.S. Mail shoots that traveled through the floors.  I would love to have seen letters falling through the chutes from the various offices when the building was full.

Empire State Building interior.

Empire State Building Mail chute.
From the top we could see everything - the Flat Iron building, the Chrysler Building, Central Park.... and on and on...
Flat Iron Building. 
Me at the top with the Chrysler Building in the background.

The day was wonderful - the week was wonderful.  I was sad to leave on Monday night.  But, I know that I will be back for another adventure.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New York, New York - Part I

Oct. 27-Oct. 31

My latest adventure was a short vacation with Mom and Dad in New York City.  In four days we saw a lot, but there is so many awesome things to do and places to visit in the city and one could easily spend many vacations there. I took a lot of photos, so I will only post the highlights.

Friday -
After a delayed start, we arrived in NYC late Thursday night.  Friday morning, we awoke fresh and headed out to South Ferry to take the Statue of Liberty tour.  Instead of getting on the ferry we took the tour of Castle Clinton, the battery built after the Revolution to protect the city and harbor from any British invasion.
Castle Clinton

Cannon protecting NYC

Castle Clinton with downtown Manhattan in the background

The battery was later used as an opera hall and aquarium. In the 1950s, the building was given to the National Park Service and restored to its earliest use as a battery.  I wish I could have seen the McKim, Mead, and White aquarium design, but oh well!  If you are in the city, this site is definitely worth checking out.(and hard to miss because this is where one goes to pick up or get tickets to the Statue of Liberty and Elis Island)

Later in the day we went to a wood working business in Brooklyn.  The business, primarily mail order, was located on the fifth floor of a warehouse.  I have never ridden in a freight elevator before, and it was an interesting experience!
Yep, the woodworking store was located in one of these warehouses.

Before heading to the theater, we took a stroll through the lower quarter of Central Park.  This is really the only green in the city and it is great to see that such lucrative land was used as park space for the enjoyment of all.  I don't think I can imagine NYC without Central Park - and to be honest, I am sure that the residents there would go crazy without any green.  Here are some of the sights...

Awesome stone arch bridge in Central Park

Dad in the park.


After a walk through Central Park in the evening we headed to the theater district to go to our first show - Mary Poppins.  The show was in the New Amsterdam Theater in the whimsical and elaborate Art Nouveau. The musical was great, with the traditional classics and some new music. The best part for me was the set, a house that broke apart at each of the floors so that when a scene was set in the children's attic nursery that stage set descended from the ceiling.  Mom and Dad got back stage passes to meet the cast, see the set, and ask questions!  No one has more awesome parents than me - what a great treat and incredible experience!!

The family with 'Bert' on the Broadway stage for Mary Poppins

'Mary Poppins' herself posing with us.

The 'Bank's' home.  I loved this set; you can see how it breaks apart at each level in this photo.
 I can't believe how much we got done in our first day in New York together. Part II to be posted soon!