Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Sunny and We're Exploring from Top to the Bottom

First stop on this beautiful sunny day: Top of the Rock, their euphemism for going to the top of the Rockefeller Center Building and paying sacks of money for the privilege of looking down onto New York.  Since we're tourists, and the ticket was bundled with the entrance for the MOMA, we're in.

Getting off the subway at Times Square, we see that Good Morning America is doing a bit out on the street.  We stop to watch gawk.

Yep, George in the flesh doing a bit with a famous chef and the good-looking co-host--I haven't the foggiest idea what her name is.  Barbara does.

But here she is.

We trek on to the Rockefeller Building, find our way to the place where we redeem our ticket vouchers and they turn us upside down to shake us down for more money.  Kidding.

And we're at the top!

Nifty view of Central Park.

That's St. Patrick's Cathedral down in the corner of this photo, right side.  We were there yesterday.

The counterpart: Empire State Building.  Next trip.

Hi Barbara!  There were three viewing levels, and I was still on the top.  After the sprint through the streets yesterday with Chad and Barbara, I was hungry for some photography time.

A close-up of where our hotel is--79th street, just a block away from the Natural History Museum.

Looking down.

Looking back up.  I had no idea the ceiling lights in that room I'd been in lit up when a person walked by.  But they do--in different patterns. The schoolchildren are arriving.  Teens--and lots of them.

A reflective moment.  Time to go.
And we did--DOWN the island of Manhattan to Chinatown, where Barbara wanted to do some shopping.

She and Chad had been making jokes about how often I took photographs.  I remember my photography teacher saying she had to shoot a whole roll (36) to get three she liked, so I've always figured my ratio was a lot worse.  Just before I stopped to photograph this wall of tiles in the subway station, I kissed her good-bye as we'd agreed to meet up later.

Five minutes later my phone rings and it's Barbara wanting to know if I was okay.  She makes me smile--what a good daughter! 

I was interested in the fact that she was using cooking tongs to place all the diamond rings out for display.  Click to enlarge.

A for-sure sign you are in Chinatown: Peking Duck in the window.

Snacks in a grocery store.  I didn't buy any because, golly gee, if I get a craving for octopus crunchies, I know Bob and Judy Cannon can get me to the exact place in LA's Chinatown to satisfy my craving.  That is, if I should ever have that kind of craving.

Love the two flags.

If you have to chose your restaurant item solely by price, you probably won't be dining here.

It's the verbiage that I love on these signs, as well as the layout. Golden Smell Salt or Garden Wafers, anyone?

Right above Chinatown is Little Italy, and I thought of my children's Italian great-grandmother, who used to work in a hat factory somewhere down here. That side of the family didn't like to write their stories down, so they are lost.  I would have loved to know if she'd arrived before or after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire.

Not one to be left out, I head to Kate's Paperie, a shop I'd read about.  These fabulous little coin purses with big fat black leather buttons were only 90 dollars. Um, right.  So I browse, buying a wooden acorn for my kitchen window sill and a pink and purple briefcase.  You heard me.  Pink and purple.

Firmly in the SoHo area (SOuth of HOuston Street--that's Houston pronounced as HOW-stun), I find Purl Soho, a yarn and fabric shop.  If I could have figured out how to get the fabric home in my carry-on suitcase, I would have bought more.  Luckily they have a warehouse near me.

Barbara's flagging from her morning of shopping, so we duck into Le Pain Quotidien for lunch: she had a Belgian waffle and I had a Cobb-type salad.  An amazing salad.

We head back uptown on the subway to our hotel to take a break for a few hours.

We have dinner at a local chain restaurant, just wanting something easy and familiar, where we meet up with an actor who had been working all day on the movie for which we'd seen trailers in front of our hotel.  While the movie had one code name, it was really the next Spiderman movie (got that info confirmed by the NYC tourist website before I felt I could tell you all).  He gave Barbara his card.  We walk down Amsterdam, then cross over to Broadway, and find another Apple store.

Then the Lincoln Center, my sister Christine's old stomping grounds.

Then the temple.

Right there is the Folk Art Museum.  This used to be their satellite location, but then they lost their shirt lease and now this is the primary museum, rented to them by the church for a nominal sum per year.  Apparently (according to Christine) it used to be an alley with vagrants. Much better to be a place where quilts can be displayed.

This is unique because the stars (theme of this show) are done in knots on a plain red background.  If I could have used a flash, or a tripod it would have been better, but you can see a little bit of this in the lower left corner.

And the 9/11 Tribute Quilt.

We walk over to Columbus Circle and see all these dazzling blue lights in the trees.  I agreed with Barbara when she said that it was okay to have all the Christmas lights up and the music going because it was cold and felt like Christmas, and besides it was New York.  But don't do this stuff at home for at least until we get through Thanksgiving.

They were playing a delicious jazzy rendition of Christmas carols while the lights kept changing colors.  Downstairs in Whole Foods, we got a little treat to cap off our night on the town, then walked back up Amsterdam, then along the park to our hotel.


1 comment:

Judy said...

Great shots of the city. It makes you realize what a tiny downtown LA has, doesn't it? And hey! Don't lump me in there with Bob! The crazy food is MOSTLY him. Like you, I took a bunch of fire escape pictures when we were there last spring. They are wonderful! And we also stopped in at the folk art museum. I loved it ever so much more than Bob did.