Tuesday, May 4, 2010

pieces of new york city

This is not just any old crosswalk:

It's an NYC crosswalk.

To be exact, it's an an NYC crosswalk that leads to the Guggenheim directly across from Central Park where cars zoom toward and around pedestrians at Interstate speeds because who cares if you smack down a human being where humans abound like mosquitoes in the Delta swamps???

At least, that's what it seemed like they were thinking as we scuttled across these lines. It felt like a video game.

We got tickets for Mary Poppins, which was playing on Broadway. I was ecstatic about seeing a Broadway play on Broadway. I also wanted to go to an opera and a ballet, but there's only so much you can do in a 4-day weekend with family reunions interspersed.

We passed Street Food, so much (unappetizing) street food on every corner! Tell me, who regulates those health codes, huh???

Times Square:
We were there just a week before the bomb! I'm so thankful no one got hurt in that episode.

Yes, the Broadway ads.

My brain was way overstimulated while we were in Times Square. I think Husband told me many stories about his childhood and his life's ambitions and restated his love for me and I heard not a word. I learned something about myself: I cannot hear when there are so many bright lights around.

We found the most wonderful Italian restaurant a few blocks away from all the noise where the seating was limited and the pasta was homemade. A man was sitting at a keyboard playing jazz favorites and singing with all his soul. For about two hours, I thought I was in the hills beyond Florence or an old sinking villa in Venice. So lovely and timeless. I felt the charm of that melting pot that never sleeps they call New York, New York while in that little port of pasta.

(I was too enamored for photos. Maybe someone else in our group took one and will email it to me...)

I liked seeing the ABC studio. It took me back for a brief minute to the days when I thought I would be a traveling journalist...
a.k.a. the days before I found Husband and my current calling of working with children who have Dyslexia.

And I thought this was some kind of tribute to chocolate. And I agree wholeheartedly. Chocolate needs and deserves that kind of tribute. Don't you think?

And M&M's deserve this kind of tribute. They've brought multitudes from many a stale, sore state of mind. They've immersed delight into many a dull day. They've awakened many a taste buds with that candy-coated chocolate snap. A tribute in Times Square is indeed in demand! Maybe even a Nobel Peace Prize...

The Empire State Building
I visited this structure many years ago, but this is the first time I journeyed to the top.
I didn't get pictures because my throat and stomach temporarily switched places while I was looking over New York, NY and what I believe must have been a large chunk of coastal New England :)
Husband left me to walk around the building because I was stuck like a tree frog against the sturdiest wall I could find. He could skip around the edges and swing from the railing and hang out like this guy (<- look at that!) and never flinch if he wanted to. But not me. That thing moves while you are on top. Believe me, it sways. I was just picturing all 102 floors folding like a Jacob's Ladder. But it was a beautiful view and truly huge and astounding. I can't believe the see of lights that stretches out in all directions. It's like looking at a never-ending city.

But I did get this photo:

How many celebs have you seen swiveling through those doors? It's definitely a major scene on Sleepless in Seattle. And maybe Hong Kong and An Affair to Remember. Any others? Lots I'm sure, I'm just not a movie ace.

Husband liked these old-timey mail shoots.

Funky architecture.
There was lots of it.

Old building/newer building architecture.
Husband (he's in construction) kept stopping to examine these side-by-side structures, so I took a picture for him.


Is there a major city in the world you can't go to and find one of these?
(The "s" seems to need new bulbs. Paying for space in the heart of Manhattan, you'd think they would keep extra bulbs on hand, huh?)

I'll share my Yankee cousin's social commentary here. (Apply a strong Jersey accent.)

"Gotta be different! Just cause it's in New York, it's gotta be different! It's gotta have that bling just cause it's in New York!"
(He was actually talking about the water taxis, but the commentary fits so many other places, too! I guess that extra "bling" is the essence of the NY charm.)

The tulips are still blooming up there. They've been wilted here for several weeks.

NYC Public Library

I wanted to visit their library shop, which I've often perused online.

People playing Ping Pong in Hyde Park, just outside the public library.

A building I liked,

Children's books sitting in Hyde Park, in case anyone wants to read. (I loved this park, in case you can't tell! It was like a mini-Central Park with a huge library right there.)

I thought the book stands were a grand idea!

I really wanted chess lessons from this guy, but alas, we were in a hurry to make it back for our Broadway show. Maybe next time.

Green spaces on rooftops.
It was fun to try and spy these.

The Guggenheim

Did Frank Lloyd Wright intend for this to look like a beehive?

I like it anyway.

We ran down the beehive :)
(The art on display was stuffy and weird-- not all that impressive, in my opinion. The kind of art where all the talent seems to be laced up in the idea behind it more so than the actual execution of the visual. I like to see both realms at work.)

Grand Central Station

Again, how many movies have filmed major scenes here??? They actually play movies on the walls in Grand Central Station for the public to come and view as a weekend family activity.

The Subway
where apparently no one makes eye contact.
I tried so hard to smile at the people around me, but not one person would make eye contact with me or anyone else! It must be an NY resident tacit rule. And one of their ways to spot a silly tourist.

At the Broadway Show
Though we literally ran at least 15 blocks from the subway, we made it! I wanted to go for a run in Central Park while we were there, but instead I got to run through Times Square :)
I'd say that's comparable.

It was a wonderful show (and I mean that in the most concrete sense of the word: full of wonder from the sets to the lights to the acting to the music to the costumes).
If you're vacationing to NY, it's a MUST for your to-do list.

The New York Times building

And the iconic NYC Taxi cab and driver out front...

And the iconic street stand food, which I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole :)
SO, when I labeled my last post "Home Sweet South," I wasn't kidding. I don't think we exhaled until we landed in Charlotte last Monday afternoon. And, as you can see from my week of slack on the posting, it took me a whole week to fully recover.
We had a great time and oohed and ahhed the whole way, but believe me we don't envy anyone who has a life there. Husband says he's seen all he wants to see. I, on the other hand, would go back every 10 years and do something new. There's so much to experience there and the bustle is taxing yet contagious and fascinating.
I have a few other photos to post... and I promise it won't take me a week!


  1. Wow ! Thanks for sharing this with us, Courtney ! Amazing ! I loved all of the photos :D

    Have a blessed month, dear friend,

  2. For some reason, NY is one of the places I'd like to visit once (only) in my life. I guess it's the movies. I like the library building and the book stand; great idea.

  3. LOVED your descriptions. It is funny how much we can change over the years. The hectic life you describe and only want to visit is what I love! And yes, the no smiling, no eye contact thing is a rule on tubes everywhere... I rarely even bother to take off my sunglasses on the tubes of London. I've missed your posts and am glad you're back.

  4. Gosh! So much! Too much! But I think you really caught a great feel for NY in this entry! I've never been but so much I have seen on tv in my time! I might get a chance to go in October...fingers crossed! The Empire State Building always reminds me of Sleepless in Seattle...and my my what a massive macdonald's sign!

    As for Times Sq - it reminds me very much of our Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Sq in brightness and bill boards! Your poor hubby! Though I can see how the brightness can overwhelm the senses...

    And that building you liked - isn't that from home alone 2?! xxx

  5. Ah, it may be from Home Alone! I knew I had seen it somewhere but couldn't think where...

  6. Your photos were incredible. Simply incredible. I loved all of them. You captured the essence of NYC perfectly and I've never even been there. I felt like I just was, though... just awesome. I'm stopping back by tomorrow for another look. Now I really feel deprived cause of where I live. I shouldn't though, I should be grateful. I'd only live in NYC if I had plenty of money... otherwise, bummer.

  7. I'm back. When I was 17, I was going to run away from home and live with my boyfriend in NYC. I didn't do it---probably best. But, I look at these pics and I think about what might have been, the sights, the expierence, how my life might have been different, and it also makes me miss him--now deceased. I've liked the movie, 'Green Card' for years cause it always made me think of him in NYC. (sigh...)


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