Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New York, New York

June 2005 and again September 2005

If you have never been to New York City make an effort to get there because it certainly is as exciting as the travel flyers tell you. As a matter of fact, we enjoyed our first trip to New York so much we went back for a second visit and also because we ran out of time to visit all the places we wanted to visit. During early June we drove the 13 hours from Danville to Manhattan. Traveling steadily east and then north on a myriad of interstate highways we crossed the states of Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and then New Jersey until we arrived at the town of Secaucus and the Crown Plaza Hotel. Secaucus is immediately south of the Hudson River, and the island of Manhattan. We decided to stay outside of Manhattan because of the good rates we got at the hotel and a regular bus service from the hotel to Manhattan. We decided to go in spring because during the heat of the summer New York can be unbearable. However, when we got there an unusual spring heat wave hit New York and it was sweltering most of days we were there. Every morning we would leave the hotel at 9:00 AM, take the bus into town, enjoy a continental breakfast at Au Bon Pain in the main bus terminus and from there venture into the city. Evenings after dinner in Manhattan we would take the bus back to Secaucus. During September an opportunity presented itself that Monica and I were able to go to New York again. It was a long weekend and I had to attend a conference 2 days after the weekend so we turned it into a short vacation. This time we flew there by plane instead of driving.

Instead of giving you a wordy description of our experiences there, enjoy the collage of pictures of New York City. I just want to say that the Metropolitan Museum for Art is a must, the Guggenheim for Modern Art is recommended, and if you are interested in politics and world history, a visit to the United Nations is well worth the time. A cruise to the Statue of Liberty is very interesting, so is a walk through Little Italy. Times Square is crowded and over rated, to see a good Broadway play is highly recommended, and there is hardly a bad restaurant in Manhattan (I’m sure there is, but I’m yet to find one.)

New Yorkers do not have much space, but they will always make space for flowers in a sunny spot.

If you are a music lover like me you cannot go to New York or Central Park without a visit to Strawberry Fields, in honor of John Lennon.

We did not plan to go to Ground Zero specifically. We ended up in the vicinity when we went to Centrury 21, the clothing store that sells designer labels at a discount. Ground Zero is just opposite the entrance of the store. Ground Zero is just a whole in the ground, but standing there and looking is quite an emotional experience.

Egyptian Wall Art. The Metropolitan Museum has the world's largest collection of Egyptian art and artifacts outside of Egypt. We spend half the day just on the Egyptian section. Although we saw Egyptian artifacts in a museum in San Jose, CA too, and we would subsequently see more Egyptian art in the Britsh Museum and in Chicago's Field Museum, the collection in the Met is superior to the other museums.

Metropolitan Meseum: Galloping in from the past. Medieval riders in chain mail armor.

Central Park. Monica pooped after a whole day of walking in the Metropolitan.

Time Square by Day.

Time Square by night.

Waiting in line to go and see a Broadway play, The Producers.

Monica in fornt of the United Nations Buildings. It was a Monday and we planed to go to the Metroplitan Museum again, but it was closed for the day, so we went to the UN on the spur of the moment. Good choice. Very interesting.

United Nations Security Council hall. Quite an amazing place to visit.

Little Italy on a Sunday morning. There was a festival going on that Sunday and most of the streets were filled with thousands of people.

Little Italy. Barbeque the Columbian way.

Lamar, Nelson Mandela and myself at Madame Tussauds's wax museum.

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