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Trip Report Had a great time in NYC

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Just wanted to share a couple of things that we did in NYC which were really a lot of fun for us. The night we got there we checked into the Night Hotel on 45th street. We went across the street to Connelly's and had a drink. We were still wide awake after midnight so I suggested that we grab a cab and go to the top of the Empire State Bldg with the tickets I had purchased and printed before we left for our vacation. My husband had never been, even though he grew up in Brooklyn. The last elevator up is at 1:15 am.

OMG! What a treat that was!!! NOBODY was there! OK, there were about 20 workers in uniform and we saw 4 other tourists at one point or another, but we really had the place to ourselves. As we made our way to the elevators, we would pass section after section of those velvet ropes which people are herded through during normal hours. There must have been a mile of empty velvet ropes that we passed. We were told that at peak hours the wait is 2 1/2 hours.

We made it to the elevators and the man saw that I had purchased tickets to the 102nd floor. He said they were going to close that off first, so we'd better go now. We were met up there by a man who has worked there for at least 15 years. He probably spent 20 minutes with us, educating us, and pointing things out. He was terrific!! We could see bridges that were 25 miles away. It was a crystal clear night. He liked us, so on the way down to the 86th floor he asked the elevator operator to stop at the 99th floor. He asked us if we were afraid of heights, to which we replied, "no". When the elevator stopped at the 99th floor, we exited onto steel grates which we could see through down to the bottom and looked up to see a bank of white lights. We were in the midst of the white lights (which change color around Christmas time) and thought it was such a cool experience. We then continued on down to the 86th floor so that we could go outside and get a good look of the city. It was awesome!!! After we got back to our hotel, we were on such a high that we split a veggie sandwich across the street at a 24 hour deli and finally hit the hay around 3 am! The streets in our town fold up around 10 pm, so this was pretty fun for us.

Another thing that I enjoyed was a self guided tour of Grand Central terminal. It lasted an hour, but the best part was near the Oyster room. The architect built this room (I don't know if it was deliberate or not) whereby you stand facing the corner while a friend stands facing the opposite corner. You speak to the wall, and the sound carries up and over the ceiling to your friend. The conversation is clear as a bell!

We also walked the High Line which we enjoyed, we were moved while visiting the ground zero memorial, we enjoyed our walk in Central Park, our seats and performance for Wicked, and the close proximity to Times Square. We had some great interaction with New Yorkers who were so helpful. In fact one kind gentleman saw our confusion trying to get into the subway with our paper tickets as he was leaving the subway. The last time I was in NY I used tokens, so I wasn't sure how to get the machine to take our paper tickets. He showed me first, and I got inside. Then when my husband did not push the bars fast enough and was kept out of the subway, I told my husband that he needed to buy another ticket. But no! This kind New Yorker pulled out his subway card explaining that we now knew he was a senior citizen, positioned my husband next to the bar, slid his card through the machine and told him to go! What a sweetie pie.

I mainly wanted to write this to suggest to other west coasters that if you arrive late in NYC, and if you're up for it, having a look at the city around midnight atop the ESB, is one heck of an E-ticket!

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