New York Days 2 & 3

So it was a bit of slow start to the day…. No need to say why!!! We started walking down Broadway & went to see Grand Central Station. It is beautiful.. just as I imagined.. the ceiling in the main concourse is just fantastic.. its blue & with the constellations etched upon it. We didn’t find the whisper walls however. We walked past the Chrysler Building then down towards the Empire State Building.

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We grabbed a fruit salad in a café ..yum! Then we took the elevator up the Empire State Building. An amazing view & thinking of Sleepless in Seattle we enjoyed the experience. It was also great as there were no queues! We then walked on towards Macy’s but not before stopping at Victoria’s Secret. We grabbed some gifts there then headed onto Macy’s. I had forgotten what a beautiful store it is (in terms of the architecture). We were a little in awe as we were walking though & were quickly snapped up by some very savvy sales staff from Clarins who offered us eternal life with just a small cost! NOT!!!!

We then went on the hunt for the Nike Store which was uptown so we managed our way on the subway. Not hard to manage as long as you know that you’re going uptown or downtown.

We saw the Carrie look-a-likes with amazing heels going to an early dinner. We saw a very authentic diner. We saw a mad homeless man standing in the middle of the road telling certain people he didn’t like the look of to f*#k off. We found Tiffanys and the Waldorf Astoria then we FINALLY found Nike. After an hour later we walked out with new shoes & caught the subway back to our hotel.

Feeling like some Asian food, we asked the concierge for some help & he sent us to Hell’s Kitchen!!! This isn’t as bad as it sounds.  It is a foodie enclave of Manhattan. He sent us to “OBAO” which is a Vietnamese Restaurant. We walked there & finally found it… waited for not too long & were definitely not disappointed. The food was great so we ingested then walked “home”.

Day 3

Feeling confident, we hit the subway this morning & found our way successfully to 9/11 memorial. The train arrived at the new Terminus (called the Hub) which is a new building to house a number of subway intersections. From the outside the building is designed to look like a white dove coming out of the hand. It is incredibly impressive & quite beautiful. When it is finished it will house a number of lovely shops & is awesome when you first walk out of the subway.

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We visited first the 9/11 Tribute Centre & booked ourselves on the next tour out. Each tour is led by a volunteer who is either a survivor, a first respondent or a member of the family of a survivor. Our tour was led by an NYPD officer who was a Brooklyn cop & a first respondent. He was extremely informative & it was very emotional as he obviously had issues talking about the whole day & people he lost & is continuing to lose as the long term effects of inhalation etc are causing at this stage 50 different cancers. The tour first visited the memorial to the immediate fire station that amazingly only lost 3 officers then the plaque that is on the fire station wall. Then it was the reflecting pools. They have been built in the footprints of the two towers & are designed to represent the non ending loss & grief as the water cascades over the insides of the squares & then down into an abyss which no matter where you stand you can’t see the bottom. The names of all those who lost their lives not just in New York but at the Pentagon & in Pennsylvania & also the 1993 bombing of the WTC are recorded on the outsides of the two fountains. They have given it so much thought that even the names are dug out of the plaque rather than just written on them or raised again to represent loss. On some of the names there were white or red roses. The white roses meant that it was that person’s birthday & the red represents a family member has been to visit.

We also passed the remembrance tree which is special as it was the only tree to survive. They take seeds from the tree and send it to other victims around the world such as Paris & Brussels.

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After this very moving tour which was so insightful we went to the museum which was so confronting. We saw relics from the day such as the fire truck that was damaged so badly from falling debris when the second tower fell, the last column that was removed from the first tower, the survivor stairs etc. The displays had a lot of video & written descriptions also. We were there for about 2 hours.

Feeling very sombre we decided to cheer ourselves up at lunch so headed back up towards Rockefeller Centre. We enjoyed a nice Japanese lunch then it was back to the hotel… Mary to rest her back & Heather took herself to a hair salon to get a wash & “blow-out”!!

I took myself off for a long walk down Broadway heading south. First funny thing I saw was a group of Afro-Americans performing an ad hoc show in Times Square. They took people from the audience and this one little bloke jumped over them. They were hysterical in their presentation! It was then down past Macy’s & just taking in the sights & sounds. I ended up at Chelsea Markets & enjoyed having a wander through what is similar to the Rocks although mostly all food shops. I then caught the subway back to the hotel & met the girls to get ready & dine at “Buddakan”. The dinner was a gift from a friend of Heather’s as an early birthday present & was the scene of the rehearsal dinner in the ‘Sex in the City’ movie. The meal was Asian & was superb.

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Since we were all dressed up we thought we’d try another roof top bar & caught a cab to the Hyatt Times Square & up to the bar on the 54th floor. Again some beautiful views and a couple of cocktails later we headed for the home hotel and hit the sack as the next day was check out day.

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