Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Final Details About What We Did in NYC

The first thing that grabbed me as we drove into the city, of course, was the architecture. I'm a sucker for a photo of interesting buildings, and I took a few hundred. Here is a sampling:
Trump Empire

Part of Trump's Empire.

I love the colorful apartments with the fire escapes.

fire escapes

colorful fire escapes

And I love the water towers that sit atop many of the buildings.

water towers

We checked into our hotel Friday afternoon. We were treated to a very fancy hotel in which we had 2 adjoining rooms. Mark's brother had free vouchers and was going to join us but at the last minute couldn't make it. Someone had to use the vouchers, and though it was a tough call, we volunteered to be that someone.

Parking cost a fortune at the hotel, but we turned the keys over to the valet anyway because we didn't know any better. Later we saw other parking options that were cheaper, but the penalty for taking the car out of valet parking and moving it elsewhere would have been greater than just leaving it there, so we just chalked it up to Lesson Learned for Next Time. Because I witnessed this kind of parking option in action on The Amazing Race a couple weeks ago, I was fascinated to see the real thing.

After we got settled in our room, we decided to head out into the frigid, gusty wind. We fought our way through it to Times Square.
family in Times Square

On the agenda for Times Square: ToysRUs on steroids.

An enormous ferris wheel sits just inside the revolving doors.
ToysRUs ferris wheel

And there is a section called Candyland which hocks, you guessed it, candy.
ToysRUs Candyland Audrey

Having grown up in a third world country, I always experience a mixture of emotions when I observe overdone things like this ToysRUs. There is always still just a tinge of amazement, almost like a little culture shock to see so much. There is also disgust at the indulgence of Americans, the way everything must be over-the-top and way more than necessary. Last, there is just a little bit of amusement as I imagine the reaction of any African over such, well, what can only be tagged absurdity.

Following Times Square, we walked further to Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller flags

where the kids visited the Lego store, and I enjoyed the tranquility of St. Patrick's Cathedral.
US Flags

And following our long walk back, we searched for a place to have dinner. Clearly New York City is not made for families our size because there seemed to be few eating establishments that would accommodate us. We finally settled on a place that looked larger than the others and that offered some familiarity for us as well. It was called Southern Hospitality, and it served BBQ. Not the best BBQ in the world, but we did remind ourselves that we were in NYC, not Atlanta, plus we got to enjoy fresh brewed sweet tea with our meal.

The next day, we spent the morning at The Sea, Air, and Space Museum followed by our taxi drive to 59th and 3rd where we visited Dylan's Candy Bar.
Dylans stairs

Dylans lollipops

Dylans gumballs

The kids were permitted to pick out one item. With so many choices, it was a tough decision to make.
Dylans decisions

After our subway trip back to Times Square, a walk back to the hotel, and a few moments to catch our breath, our tummies were growling. Time for the dinner hunt again. Around the corner from our hotel is the Hell's Kitchen area, so there were a lot of choices, but again, such tiny little restaurants. We noticed driving in 3 Thai restaurants, all with the same name but with 2-4 storefronts separating them. We found that odd but later heard from our concierge that they are indeed the same restaurant and probably share a kitchen underground or in back somewhere, but they just couldn't get enough property all clumped together. So we went into one, made reservations for another, and then went back to the hotel to wait for our reservation time. It was worth the wait - the best Thai food we've ever had! A great way to end the evening...

...and to end our trip. Because when we woke up leisurely the next morning, it was time to head back home to the country. By contrast anyway.
bright blue sky


Zondra Art said...

Beautiful photos and colors!

dclouser said...

Looks like you had an amazing time! Love the candy pix and the one of Audrey trying to decide what to choose!

Amber said...

I just love the vibrant colors in these photos. Looks like you had a blast too!!!

tsinclair said...

Trump's Empire almost looks fake - but wow, I am with you on the architecture. Amazing!
I also agree with you on America going overboard, especially the more History we study.
The parking garage looks really interesting – I have not seen one like that. True, here in the suburbs I do not see many parking garages of any kind. :-)

Brownie said...

Brilliant colors! Amazing job with the photos!

CrossView said...

Purty colors! :O)
I think I figured out why I never wanted to go to NYC... it's intimidating. Kind of like Tokyo... =/
Well, that and all the rat stories. LOL!

Looks like quite an amazing trip! I kind of want to move in to Toys R Us.

Mama Zen said...

Fabulous, fabulous pictures!

Chic Homeschool Mama said...

What an amazing time with some amazing captures. My favs are the candy store of course :) Such vibrant colors in all the shots- they just hold me there for a while.

leavesnbloom said...

I loved these especially of the buildings. I would love to turn those into hdr shots.

Dana Maize said...

I LOVE all of your architecture pictures. WOW. Never been to NYC, and I think I'd be like you - taking pictures of parking "racks" (can't figure that out!) and shaking my head at all the overkill. But it does seem like a really fun time, especially with the whole family getting to experience fun new things together! (and all that candy!) :)

Amy Sullivan said...

Beautiful photos. . .what a gift you have.

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Those first few are amaaaazing, Kathleen! Just stunning. And, I looked back through the other posts. What a wonderful trip. It's been quite a few years since we've been to the city when visiting NY. It really is a wonderful place for photos. :)

So glad y'all had a nice visit!

Tara said...

These captures are amazing, I love the first few of the buildings. Looks like so much fun!

Alex said...

Why photograph the fire escapes when you can do cool stuff with the crowds?

deb duty said...

I love the colorful photos of the buildings! Really beautiful!

Amy @ Cheeky Cocoa Beans said...

Such gorgeous, color-filled shots! And, yes, the excess...I honestly cannot imagine living near such an over-the-top place. Of course, we live near enough to Atlanta but manage to avoid such things for the most part. ;)

I love reading Alex's comments on your blog...

Brooke said...

My jaw was open the entire time - these pics are amazing and so vibrant!! That's it. I want to go to NYC now :D I have never been. Thanks for sharing :D

Brooke said...

My jaw was open the entire time - these pics are amazing and so vibrant!! That's it. I want to go to NYC now :D I have never been. Thanks for sharing :D