Had a great time in NYC

Oct 13th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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Had a great time in NYC

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!
Dai is offline  
Oct 13th, 2013, 12:40 PM
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Sounds like you had a blast!
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Oct 13th, 2013, 02:38 PM
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Fra D: Oh my goodness, yes we did have a blast! We also attended dinner with a relative a few blocks away from our hotel, we got dressed up for a dinner affair in Tribeca, and attended a black tie wedding on LI. Lots of entertainment, which was so much fun for us.

It's a trip we'll remember fondly for years to come. It was inspirational too. I say that because we're pretty much homebodies when we are at home, but with all of the running around we did, and the great time we had, I was inspired to go ahead and grab some tickets for a couple of shows coming to town this month.
Dai is offline  
Oct 13th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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I must remember that about the EST, we went early last Novemeber around 9am so wasn't too crowded but we didn't get the personal guide that you did!! How wonderful was that.

We loved the subway too but had a DD who showed us what to do!

NYC is a great place looking forward to going back. Your trip sounds terrific.
nelsonian is online now  
Oct 13th, 2013, 04:12 PM
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Arriving in NYC on Wed!! Have been having some trouble fitting ESB in and had considered going late - you have help make the final decision!!! Sounds like you had a great time!!!
oh2doula is offline  
Oct 13th, 2013, 05:30 PM
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nelsonian: Yes, I heard that going there before 10 am can be almost as good as going late. For us to walk in the large lobby and hear the echo of our voices and see a couple of uniformed people and no one else, I just started cracking up. I said, "Oh my gosh I could do a cartwheel right here and no one would see or care." I was absolutely giddy. I want to return within a year. I'd like to combine a DC/NYC trip since I've never been to DC. Seeing the destinations of Amtrak in Penn Station made me want to do a Boston/NYC trip too some day.

oh2: Have a wonderful time. It's so doable going really late especially if you live near the west coast. There is such an excitement in the air that upon arrival, we were wide awake that first night. What a great city! Have fun!!
Dai is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Can you tell me about the self-guided tour of Grand Central? Did you follow a plan or guide with info?
MomtoCCC is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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Howdy mom: Sure, here is some more info; We paid about 15 dollars for one senior and one adult and received these hand held devices which looked like cell phones (only a little larger). They came with a strap which you can drape around your neck. They give you a map, and they tell you where to start. I believe the clock is the starting point. They also give you head phones if you like, or you can just hold the devices to your ear like a cell phone.

You use the map as a guide to take you to your next observation point and then you press the corresponding number on the device. If you want the whole experience of information, at each point after listening to the explanation of what you are seeing, you press the green button to learn an extra tidbit. We listened to everything we could listen to and it took us an hour and ten minutes to get through the tour. You can shorten the tour by skipping the green button after each station.

The Oyster room is near the end, so whatever you do, do not skip this section. It is so cool! One man was standing near us, observing us, as we faced the wall and spoke. His friend put him in the other corner and he experienced what we were doing by talking to the wall. He then came over and told my husband that at first (before he understood what we were doing) he thought we were nuts! ha!
Dai is offline  
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