New York City, October 2006 (54 images)

Jane had a business meeting with a prospective client in New York City, so we decided to make a long weekend out of her trip. Since we hadn't been to the city since 9/11, our first stop was Ground Zero. There is now so much construction going on that it is hard to get a sense of how things were in the days and months after the attack. There is a Visitors' Center at the site and the pictures, artifacts and stories there were much more evocative (to me) than seeing a large construction site.

We did quite a bit of walking on the way back to the hotel. Passed through City Hall Park and Grand Central. We had planned to do a U.N. tour, but the line for tickets was long and as slow-moving as the U.N. itself. Since I was battling a sore throat, we decided to try for a tour later in the trip (we didn't make it).

Our hotel, The Club Quarters, was located across the street from Rockefeller Center and right down the street from Radio City Music Hall at one end and St. Patrick's at the other. I had hoped to go skating in Rockefeller Center but, due to my cold, decided to postpone that for another trip. All I got was pictures of other people skating. One of the restaurants under the GE Building in Rock Center actually had muffin tops. If you're a Seinfeld fan, you'll remember the muffin top episode. Pretty funny to actually see someone selling them!

We spent the rest of the weekend walking Soho, Times Square, Central Park, South Street Seaport, and (partially) the Brooklyn Bridge. I just about wore out a subway map, having to constantly check to see which station and route we wanted. Sunday in Central Park there was a walk supporting breast cancer research and we were amazed at the huge throng that was walking.

We managed to catch two Broadway shows, The Times They Are A Changin' featuring the music of Bob Dylan and the choreography of Twyla Tharp and Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! which stars ventriloquist Jay Johnson. We saw the latter show with friends Patricia and David who live on the Upper East Side.

Sunday afternoon there was a parade from St. Patrick's down 51st St past our hotel. We were told that it was a Peruvian religious celebration of some sort. The air was filled with incense and music as the parade moved slowly down the street. I took a short movie if you want to see what it was all about. There was also a street fair along 6th Avenue, so plenty of happenings right around us.

The extended weekend was over quickly and we headed back to JFK for the flight home. We used a car service on the way in and tried the subway on the way out. Non-stop service from Austin via jetBlue makes for a much nicer trip. We hope to get back every year or two.

Personal Observations:

  • NY thin crust pizza is the best! Other places say that they have NY-style pizza, but nowehere in Austin have I had a crust as thin and crispy as what we got at several places in Manhattan.
  • There are few overweight people in Manhattan. Most everyone walks and it's rare to see anyone who doesn't look reasonably fit. Those that aren't are probably tourists. :-)
  • Although the Mets were in the middle of the NLCS while we were there, I saw only one or two Mets hats or shirts. Yankees hats were worn by far more folks even though the Yankees had already been eliminated.
  • People just look more fashionable in NYC! Maybe Austin's laid-back ways aren't amenable to people dressing up much. Trendy in Austin is having piercings to go with your tatoos.
  • We took the NBC Studio Tour, which was interesting but probably not worth the time or money.
  • Another dubious attraction was the South Street Seaport. This used to be a fish market that added a bunch of shops and restaurants as well as some ships. Now the market has headed to the Bronx and the place is just a mall with the same stores you'd find anywhere. There is a museum (we didn't go in) and some special events that might make it worthwhile on occasion.

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