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Published: August 12th 2013
What a great time we had in New York. Everything we were expecting. We arrived on a very rainy day but the lights of Times Square lifted our spirits.
We had driven from Washington DC and stopped at Philadelphia. The day gave us nothing but pouring rain which is not the best way to see a city. The number of Rocky impersonators was cut to 2 at the Museum of Modern Art but they did a great job with a fellow traveller going up behind them to record the moment on video. We did stop and see the Liberty Bell after we had sampled a Philly cheese steak roll (as you do). and then rolled on to New York.
The brightness of the lights of Times Square on a dull wet day make you feel as if you are in a football stadium. The sights are just as you expect them to be. Yellow cabs rushing everywhere, lines of people at the ticket booths hoping to catch a cheap ticket for a show that night, noise and people everywhere.
Our tour concluded the following day so the first night was a dinner with everyone at an Italian restaurant
called Thalias. Food was great and it was very busy due to the pre-theatre crowd. Some of our group then did the night bus tour but 2 hours of sitting on the bus with a poncho on to protect us from the rain didn't appeal so we had an early night. The next day the tourist hat went on and we set off in earnest. Armed with a ticket for the hopon hopoff bus tour we set off on the Downtown tour starting in Times Square. Great to get your bearings of one part of this sprawling city. Our guide was a born New Yorker who spoke at a million miles an hour and filled us with many facts and tips for seeing New York that we could use later. We went through the fashion district, now housing only the offices of the fashion houses with most of the manufacturing done overseas. We passed Madison Square Garden, Macy's and learnt of the family's association with the Titanic, Greenwich Village, the Flat Iron building (named for its shape), the Empire State building,the brownstone houses, United Nations, Battery Park and many more. A break for lunch and then on the Uptown tour
this time taking in Fifth Avenue, the Metropolitan Opera House, The Guggenheim, Central Park and Harlem.
The next day we visited the 9/11 memorial. They have done a very good job of the area creating two reflecting pools each nearly an acre in size close to where the two towers stood. They have replanted the only tree that was left standing. The next two days were spent walking, walking and walking, revisiting the places that we had seen from the buses. We took the free Staten Island ferry so that we could take pictures of the Statue of Liberty. The area of the South Street seaport shows much evidence of Hurricane Sand still with the fish markets closed as well as many other businesses. We walked to Central park to see Strawberry Fields and the Imagine memorial. We visited the Empire State building and having been on the Flyover in Vancouver decided to do the one here as well. Big mistake. Outdated and cheesy. They are apparently redesigning it - a good move. The one in Vancouver is fantastic and you even feel water on your face as you "flyover" waterfalls etc. We of course had to take in
a show and saw Chicago.
We left New York exhausted, exhilarated and ready to visit Boston.
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