Nom de Plumage

February 6, 2012

When In Pain, Cheat and Take the Tour Bus Around Manhattan


The Best Body EVER!

Times Square

42nd Street

Grand Central Station

Inside the Empire State Building

Empire State Building

After I had heavily bandaged my two feet, I begrudgingly put on my runners and limped down to restaurant Viand, which was next door to my hotel, for some much needed breakfast. I was given a table next to the main front window and this gave me a perfect opportunity to watch the daily hustle and bustle of the city. The extremely salty bacon and egg breakfast that I experienced in Canada, was still so vivid in my mind and lingered on my taste buds, but I thought that I should brave the inevitable and order a hot breakfast. It was a simple, yet hearty start to the day and no, it was not salty but very delicious! Service was very nice also.
First thing that I had to do, was go and see if I could fix my camera. Concierge gave me advice as to where I should go and went in the hope of a miracle. No such luck! It would takes weeks to fix, something that I did not have. So, I decided to send my camera home to Australia and get it fixed there and this left me no choice but to go and buy another one. For the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the massive electrical store that sold everything from TV’s, camera’s, computers etc. Prices and styles varied, that it made my decision ever so much harder. But in the end I opted for a re-worked camera that was sleek in design, hot red in colour and about $100 US. When it came to paying for my camera, it was a treat to see the unusual set-up that this store has. The camera was boxed and labelled, then sent down a conveyer belt several floors down, where I would have to go to pay and pick up the camera. It was brilliantly done! With new camera ready and poised, my first stop was 42nd Street and Madame Tussaud’s. This was to be my first experience of a wax museum and one that housed American icon’s past and present that I have either admired, envied, watched in movies/TV or listened to their music. Their faces so life-like and accurate, you almost felt like you were seeing the person for real. My personal favourites were Marilyn Munroe, Ali, Charlie Chaplin and Johnny Cash. 42nd Street was a buzz with theatres, coloured lights and music. The public library, which is housed in a beautiful historic building, was not far from here and I am always on the look-out for anything related to books. The hardest part, was to walk in and out empty handed. Damn! A little further down the street, was Grand Central Station. As I walked down a huge tunnel like entrance and into the main section, I felt like I had walked into a movie set. This station has to be the most filmed and recognised station in the world and here I am standing in awe of it’s size and beauty. Thankfully, the Chrysler Building was not far away and although one can not walk around or go up the building, just standing in the stunning art deco entrance and have the gold panelling blind you is enough of a special highlight. The ever imposing and now the tallest building in NY, is the Empire State Building. A absolute must for any visitor to the city because it is here that you get the most perfect view of just how big and imposing Manhattan really is. Standing at the base of the building and looking up, left you in no doubt that this is one tall building. To actually get to the top, is a feat in itself. I have visited in winter (off peak season) and do not even want to imagine what peak season would be like? A nightmare! I had to walk through a maze of barriers just to get a ticket, then go through a security check, then another maze to get to a lift that takes you 80 floors up. So far, so good. Then another maze to get to another lift that would take me the remaining six floors to the summit. Here I met with a massive long queue of people all waiting for the lift. Normally, there would be several lifts working, but as my luck would have it, only one lift was working. After waiting in the queue for at least 30 minutes and the line getting longer by the minute, security opened the stairs up so we had the option of walking up. I took the stairs and although the climb was slow, the view at the top was spectacular. A 360 degree view of the whole city. There was a lot of people all vying for great vantage points and with the wind being that much stronger and colder, I stayed just enough to get some great shots and take in the amazing view before I started my descent. That took all of ten minutes before I was back onto the main street and on my way to Times Square. By this time, by feet really ached and try as I might, the pain was becoming unbearable. So I had to cheat and get on the ‘hop-on-hop-off’ bus tour of the city. This is a great concept! You are given the choice of three different routes. By taking this option, I not only relaxed and enjoyed the scenery, took in a lot more of the city, but I also took notes and to the where-abouts of places that I wanted to stop off and see tomorrow. The first tour that I joined took me through Greenwich Village, Soho, Battery Park, past Staten Island and South Street Pier, through China Town and East Village and past Rockefeller Centre and back to Times Square. What can I say? The shopping precinct of Soho and the trendy part of Greenwich Village was amazing. Unfortunately, I am on a budget and dared not get off the bus, but oh how I struggled! China Town was the only part that I did not really enjoy. I appreciated the cultural aspect, but it was a bit run down and crowded. All in all, a brilliant first day and cannot wait for tomorrow.

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