09 April 2008 ~ 0 Comments

New York, New York….Day 1

After a good night of sleep, Chuck & I had brunch at Pop Diner, just a couple doors down from the hotel. Then, it was on to the subway. This may sound weird, and it may be because I don’t live in it or have to depend on it, but riding the NYC Subway is fun!

Walking toward the subway station, we heard and saw a couple of over us, making a couple of passes. Strange feeling …. New York City…fighter jets. Anyway…

First stop in Manhattan was the Empire State Building. Being 86 floors above NYC is amazing. The skyline just comes alive as you scan the horizon on all four sides. You see literally see for miles. For NYC, to me, the most stunning view is north, where you see all of these crammed skyscrapers with a huge patch of green among them …. Central Park. Seeing CP from there, and close up on the afternoon’s Grayline Uptown Loop brings back memories of one of my favorite TV shows of past, Law & Order.

Next, we headed to Times Square. Can’t say enough about being there. Even pictures don’t do it justice. Being the technology lover that I am, I think I could just stand there for hours and gaze at all the wonders of how they’ve placed different sizes and shapes of video screens!

It was a bit chilly today. We were able to find beanies at a curbside sale shack for $5. Perfect for our double decker bus ride, right? Except that we boarded a bus that had the upper level COVERED with clear plexiglass. It may be chilly, but it’s sunny. Can you say GREENHOUSE?

We both picked up the same color beanie. To keep them separate, I stuck mine in my jacket pocket. So when I needed it? Yeah, it was GONE! Someone got blessed with a brand new, albeit cheap, beanie!

The tour guides with Grayline do a great job of holding your interest and providing great information. Some of the interesting places we saw included the place where John Lennon was killed, the diner used in the movie, “American Gangster”, the museum used in the movie “Night At The Museum”, and the apartment house that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Quite macabre, I know, but interesting stuff nonetheless.

After the tour, we hit the M&M World store at Times Square. They haven’t hit California yet, but M&Ms here have a new limited edition flavor…Wildly Cherry. Some of you know about my love for the Chocolate Cherry flavor (don’t go buying me any Diet Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cherry…it turned out to be GROSS). I’ll be bringing home some of those M&Ms if I can make them last till the end of the week!

Next up, we walked 5th Avenue. I didn’t know it before today, but I guess “walking 5th Avenue” is kind of a big deal here. According to the tour guide, if you’ve “walked 5th Avenue”, it means you walked the row of highly expensive stores between 49th & 59th Streets. Tiffany, Salvatore Ferragamo, Rolex, FAO Schwartz Toy Store, and the biggest Apple Store in the world.

On the way to 5th Avenue, we passed right by Rockefeller Center, where NBC’s Today show is shot every morning. Most exciting thing about going by there was block after block after block of police cars with lights twirling.

After prying with a couple of Rockefeller Center employees, we were told it was an “anti-terrorism roll call” that the NYPD has been doing at high-profile targets on a regular basis. UN HQ, World Trade Center, Wall Street, Empire State Building, etc. They are wanting to make their presence felt on a regular basis. Presence it was! I mean, it was truly impressive. I should’ve counted the cars, but I’m telling you it was in the multiple dozens. Cool! [UPDATE: Click here for a story on this.]

After 5th Avenue, we caught the subway back to Queens, where we had dinner at the Georgia Diner. Best thing there, hands down, was the BEST Black Forest cake I have EVER had! I love Black Forest cake and have it wherever I can, but this was just the BEST!

Well, that was the day. Hope you enjoyed it with me! For those who text message, follow my trip on Twitter. Sign up for a free account, register your phone to accept Twitter, find me at www.twitter.com/Paul_Kuzma, then you’ll get the messages I send as I work through each day’s journey!