Thursday, February 27, 2020

Thanksgiving in The Big Apple, 5th and final installment

Sunday was a 'free day' and dad wanted to see the Empire State Building. It was a little more than a 5-10 minute walk from our hotel, so after breakfast at the Bistro, we started walking.

And there she is. 

Side note: I discovered after we got home that the new exhibits/renovations on the uppermost floors had just been finished and opened only 4 days before our trip!! 

This was so cool. The "scene" outside the windows (King Kong, old city NY, airplanes) was on a loop and made it appear that Kong was actually on the outside of the building. He would move around watching the planes and looking inside. It was very cool. His huge hands, appearing to have broken through the walls, were fabulous photo ops as people could stand in his hand. (We did not take the opportunity.)

One of several new art pieces in the renovated exhibit. Honoring those who worked to build the Empire State Building.

Views from the Empire State Building
Even the outside of the building is spectacular. I love all the art deco inside and out.

Check out the vehicles on the streets below. Those tiny dots between the buildings are the vehicles. And the red sign on the corner of the building to the right of center on the lower third of the photo is Macy's.

Way off in the distance you can see Liberty Island on the upper right.

The building with the large gold cap is the New York Life Building. The smaller building behind it with a smaller gold cap at the top (not easy to see in the photo) is the Met Life Building.

The distinctive Chrysler Building. Again with the art deco! Such beautiful architecture. Also, notice the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.

Williamsburg Bridge over the Hudson River. That's New Jersey on the other side.

View from the opposite side of the Empire State Building.
Bryant Park at the center of the photo, with the white area being an ice skating rink from January through March.  

On the way back to our hotel, dad wanted to stop at Macy’s. So we did.

It was decked out for Christmas and we even saw Mrs. Claus and a couple of elves. We missed seeing Santa though. 

Lovely hanging display just inside the entrance.

But my favorite were the original wooden escalators, built in 1920-30s. You can’t really see in the picture, but they have brushes that line the bottom on each side. I imagine dapper men in their shined up shoes being glad for the brushes to keep their shoes looking spiffy before heading back to their offices way back when.

Afterward, we walked back up to Times Square for some lunch and Yahtzee at Bubba Gump. 

Our day was topped off by a bus ride to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. And wow, it really was quite spectacular. 

Dad waiting in line to see the Rockettes.

Gorgeous HUGE chandelier in the lobby. I tried to get some perspective as to the size by including the staircase lined with people. Can you see them near the bottom of the photo? All those white dots are human heads. (That did not sound right. LOL)

Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed during the actual show, so you'll have to make the trip and see the show for yourself. Besides the fact that the dancers are, uhhh, the Rockettes, hello!!!!, part of the show was a live nativity that was really amazing. Live sheep, donkeys, and camels …. what!??? Honestly, the whole show was as spectacular as its name. What an experience. I highly recommend it.

It was a long day. After the show, dad was ready for bed. But hey, we're in New York! So Mom, Kathy, and I headed to The Long Room for some relaxing refreshments and, of course, Yahtzee. It was getting pretty late, but the next day wasn’t an early one, so we were enjoying the down time. 

Not long after we got there, our tour director and his wife happened to come in so they joined us. We really enjoyed their company and had a great time with them throughout the entire trip actually. And, for the record, I highly recommend The Long Room if you’re ever in the neighborhood. (stock photo)

Our last full day decided to rain. We had reservations at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, a 50’s themed restaurant featuring a singing wait staff. It had been cold the whole trip, but now it was raining too. Most of the time we were out was spent on the bus   ...

...   but we did have to stand in the rain for a while as we waited to get into the restaurant for lunch. It’s a fun place to go, and the place to be if you’re a singer looking to be discovered. A definite must-see if you’re in town. 

Awesome mural of 50's cars at the drive in on the wall of our booth.

As we were having our lunch, the rain turned to heavy snow. A LOT of heavy snow. It didn’t stick though, as it was too wet from the rain earlier, but it was really coming down. 

After lunch, we boarded the bus for a final tour of the city. 

We had a really great time, and for only 6 days the tour covered quite a lot. I hope you've enjoyed the little bit I've been able to share and, as always, if you have any questions I'd love to answer them. Leave a comment or shoot me an email anytime.

Thanks for joining me on my first time in New York trip!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Thanksgiving in the Big Apple, part 4

Saturday after Thanksgiving our bus took us to the ferry where we headed to the Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty Museum. If you should decide to take the ferry over without the benefit of a tour excursion, I strongly suggest you get there early morning or be prepared to wait in a line forever. If we hadn't got there when we did, the line would have been at least an hour just to get to the ticket window.

World Trade Center and skyline from the ferry.

Statue of Immigrants, Battery Park ferry terminal

Dad and mom on the ferry.

From the observatory of the museum, the back view of the statue and the flag in the center of the common area.

Look closely to the left of her left arm. That small black dot in the sky is a helicopter. I thought it was cool to see it there.

In the museum is the original torch held by Lady Liberty until 1984. It was replaced with the current more efficient design she holds today. Here it is in the museum in the statue pedestal. So beautiful! 

After our tour of Liberty Island, we boarded the ferry to Ellis Island, a short ferry ride away. This was our best vantage point to see the front of the Statue of Liberty and, while the weather had been very cold every day, it was less cold, the sun was out and it was a gorgeous day for our tour. 

Yes, these are my own pics, taken with my phone, and taken through the window of the ferry. I was so happy to have gotten these!!

As with my post on 9/11, I've included a link here for tons of detailed information on the history of the island it how immigrants were processed etc. I could have easily spent at least a few more hours there if we'd had the time. It is so intriguing and amazing and fascinating, and I loved it. 

Ellis Island from the ferry

Inside the main building of the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration . Please click the link. This link gives you a sample of how the interactive tour works and some of what we heard, saw and read. 

It was fascinating to see all the photos and hear accounts of the experiences our families went through to become American citizens. It was such an honor for them to be here, they did not question the process. Where has the immigration process gone wrong?! It worked so well for so many thousands of people, and they were thankful for the opportunity. Now, well, that’s a story for another time and place. We all have our opinions on that. I was so enthralled, this is the one and only photo I took!!

That evening we were on our own and decided to visit The Long Room, just a few steps outside our hotel on the opposite side as the Bistro. Fun place! We had a great time there and the wait staff was fabulous. It would not be the only time we spent our evening there.