Once we arrived in NYC (11/22) there was nothing stopping us from setting out into the city that very night. We headed right into Time Square where I couldn’t help but stare with wide eyes. We saw the famous Coca-Cola sign, the M&M and Hershey factory (does that shock you?), and everything else there is to see in Time Square. We ended the night by eating at John’s Pizza where we had real New York Pizza and real New York Cheesecake (the best I’ve ever had).
The next day (11/23) we played it by ear and walked around the city looking for shops and the usual “tourist traps”. 5th Avenue caught our attention and we went to the world famous Saxs… wait, no that doesn’t sound like us… we instead went to the NBA store (now that’s better).
After shopping for Laker stuff (I got PJs) we headed over to St Patrick’s Cathedral, Central Park, Tavern of the Green (where a scene from Ghostbusters was filmed), the Time Warner Building, Trump Tower, Rockefeller Center, The NBC Store (where I bought my F.R.I.E.N.D.S. souvenirs), The New York Public Library (where another famous Ghostbusters scene was shot), and then the Empire State Building. After all of this walking around we headed back to the hotel so we could change before seeing Mama Mia! on Broadway.
I’m sorry to say that it was completely overrated. The story was great and the music was fun but the singing really REALLY disappointed me. Some of the characters, some of the lead characters, didn’t have strong or even very good voices at all. I was shocked. Every time someone ask me if I’ve seen any Broadways I always tell them I’ve seen Les Miserables, Lion King, Phantom, and Wicked but in LA not in NYC. They always respond by telling me that they are way better on Broadway in NYC and that I’ll have to go and compare. I was so shocked at the mediocre performance it was like going to a High School play. What happened here?
After the play we went to The Top of the Rock to get a 360° view of the city. We were going to go the Empire State Building, but apparently all the locals and the “people in the know” go to the Top of the Rock. Nighttime is definitely the time to see the city. I never realized how large it was.
Our final full day (11/24) in NYC was saved for the southern end of the Island. We hopped on the Subway and headed down to Bowling Green (Battery Park) where we were able to catch a ferry to Liberty and Ellis Island. It was cold in NYC but it was even colder out on the river... low 30s?! Maybe?! We took an audio tour of Liberty Island and walked to the top of the observation platform right at the top of the pedestal where Lady Liberty Stands. She is gorgeous!
Next we jumped on the ferry to Ellis Island where we took an audio tour and used the computers to find Peter Neilsons (my great great great….grandfather who came over from Denmark) name. The computer told us he had been there and where exactly to find his name on the plaque (which had a list of all the names of the people that came through Ellis Island) and we found his name! Computers are great, aren’t they?
After freezing to death outside while we were waiting for a ferry, we were able to go back to the city where we walked over to Ground Zero.
We paid our respects to those who were killed in the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and took he Subway back up to Time Square. We couldn’t leave NYC without eating at the world famous Juniors Deli. The sandwiches were HUGE! I probably had a good 3 lbs of turkey on my plate. And the night would not be complete without some good ole’ New York Cheesecake.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008. They day I had been waiting for for almost a year had finally arrived… We were going to Egypt! Leaving New York was hard but I knew we had a great adventure waiting for us on the other side of that horrible 10 hour plane ride.