Our First (Very!) Full Day

We had found a great little diner just down the street from our hotel last night and it met us head on and didn’t flinch.  Food was very good, service attentive without being nosy and the price reasonable for New York.  Dinner taken care of and being more than a little tired there was just barely enough time to post some words before slamming my face into the pillow.

Apparently we were more than ‘a little’ tired.  Slept right past breakfast.  Ok…SS & S, dressed and it’s out the door.  Our bus tour is still good for today and there is a LOT left to try to take in.

As we walked down to where we had to catch our bus I noticed that New Yorkers seem to use their cell phones for actual conversation.  What a concept for a phone!  Certainly the bigger percentage do what we seem to be used to…text, Facebook, Tweet, etc. but there are more, than I have been used to, walking and talking.  And most are using earbuds and a mic so it looks like they’re talking to themselves.  Another thing I’ve noticed is that it’s mostly women who apparently are Very displeased with their significant other.  Not quite sure if that means something…

The weather is not what we had been led to expect.  It is definitely colder (today about 9) and with a stiff enough wind to make it even more uncomfortable.  Sitting on the top part of the bus with less and less enthusiasm I kept a look-out for options.  At one stop I noticed an American Eagle clothing store, ran in and found a sweater.  This provided a much healthier way to spend the time. 🙂

Todays venues included more of what we have always heard/read about but have never really experienced.  Radio City Music Hall for instance.  The largest indoor theatre in the world given its 10,000 square foot stage.  Rockefeller Center is not just one building.  It consists of about 14 buildings.

Central Park…now here’s a gem.  First, it was never originally planned for New York City.  However, in 1857 citizens tired of having no real place to go for a Sunday afternoon picnic (other than the local cemetery – no joke!) and decided enough was enough.  City hall put together a contest, the winner of which would design and build a grand park for all to enjoy.  A writer and an architect won the contest and designed an 840 acre marvel.  Not enough trees for the plan?  No problem, bring them in from New Jersey.  Not enough workers?  No problem, they were able to employ about 7,000 Irish laborers that could find no other work elsewhere.  Interestingly enough when the park was finished, rather than recreate the unemployment problem, the city formed formal police and fire departments and re-employed all the same workers.

Going anywhere in New York is a challenge.  Driving borders on suicide, parking almost impossible and insanely expensive (we saw one lot that was charging $11 for a half hour…or PART thereof).  Pedestrians do NOT heed walk signs unless absolutely necessary (i.e. a vehicle is almost right there) and the same holds true for cyclists.  (In fairness, New York does have and use a very workable bike lane system.) The noise is somewhat unnerving with the honking, and yelling, and police whistling and the sirens.  That brought about a thought provoking question.  Given the traffic issues that seem so apparent, how do emergency vehicles manage to get to you before you die?  The New York STANDARD for an ambulance to get to you when necessary is 5 minutes or less.  That is impressive!

Driving down the road we passed by a film crew doing what they do.  That immediately garnered the attention of all the bus inhabitants…was there someone Famous in that crowd below us?  YES!!!  Sandra Bullock and Uma Thurman live and in color.  Will the pictures turn out?  Hope so.

One last pair of tidbits before the pillow once again hits me in the face.  One World Trade Center (also known as Freedom Tower) stands 1,776 feet tall.  This commemorates the year of the Declaration of Independence for the USA and makes it the fourth tallest building in the world.  When the attacks of 9-11 happened, lower Manhattan became akin to a war zone.  A call went out to any boats and ships in the immediate vicinity to please come help get people to safety.  The result was over 500,000 people were moved making it the largest evacuation by water in history.

Tomorrow…Sleepy Hollow!!!  Maybe a picture of the Headless Horseman?

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