Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NYC Part I

For most of our lives, we have been gathering impressions of New York City from TV and movies.  Packed streets, cabs everywhere, subways, huge skyscrapers, and sights like Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Plaza and Saks 5th Avenue have bombarded us in everything from "Miracle on 34th Street" to "Seinfeld" to "30 Rock".  I could probably name 50 more.

Well, after just over 24 hours in mid town Manhattan, I can report with some confidence that the images we have been given are more or less accurate.  In fact, the only thing that seems to have been misrepresented is just how crowded and manic the whole place is.  When we first got off the train at Penn station yesterday afternoon, and made our way to our hotel, it was all pretty overwhelming.

The view of Times Square from the M+M store.  That's right, a whole store dedicated to M+Ms.
Despite having lived in and around Vancouver for more than 20 years, we all still felt like country bumpkins who had just fallen off the turnip truck.  The density of the crowds, the pace of the traffic, the homeless people, the garbage bags piled on the side walks, the roar of the subways coming up through the grates, and the smells everywhere all combined into an overwhelming welcome to the Big Apple.

As we walked down the street, I had a great conversation with Katie.  "Where do you think their school is?" she asked me.  "I bet it's huge.  It probably even has an elevator!"  And "do they really have a Mayor for just this city?  He isn't doing a very good job - this place is a mess!"

The Manhattan skyline from the Statue of Liberty Ferry.  Note the new World Trade building, set to open later this year (the tallest building in the background)

The kids are listening to the pre-recorded tour that came with our tickets.  It was pretty informative.

Lady Liberty.  Still looking pretty good.

On the way back from the Statue of Liberty, the FDNY put on a show with one of their fire boats.
However, making our way around the city today has improved our confidence a bit, and I think tonight when we took the kids to the Lego store in Rockefeller plaza, we were slightly less conspicuous.

Wall Street

The New York Public Library.  No Ghost Busters, though.

30 Rock.  Am I the only one who watched this show?  No one else was taking any pictures.
We had finally learned not to spend the whole time looking up at the neon signs and the tops of the buildings. We are no longer waiting slavishly for the lights to change at every cross walk - instead, we have started to cross with the rest of the New Yorkers - whenever there is a gap in the traffic.  In fact, several times I have had to fight off the temptation to pound on a passing taxi's hood and yell "Hey, I'm walking here!" a la Midnight Cowboy.

NBC.  Looked for Letterman.  No luck.

Radio City Music Hall.  Also no luck spotting a Rockette.
And we even got dinner at a street side pizza joint.  So I guess we're not full New Yorkers yet, but at least we might be slightly less ripe for a mugging.  We'll let you know how that worked out once we leave town.


  1. I love the pictures in this post, especially the one of the kids looking bored to tears. This is the same way I feel every time we visit a monument.

    We watched 30 Rock, too, but maybe people stopped taking pictures around the time it stopped being funny...

    1. Yeah, the great thing about having the kids along is that it provides a built in limit to the amount of time we look at any given thing.

      Tina Fey burn!...

  2. Great report. I was up the World Trade Centre in 1993, so it was nice to see the new one in your picture.