Friday, October 5, 2012

Heavenly New York City – Part Four


We made it through the first day of New York City. Now on to the second. Are you enjoying these posts? I can’t stop yet, so just hang in there. I am loving the reliving of NYC as I look through all of these pictures, so maybe I can just be selfish this week.


I made a point to get to the city even earlier this morning, despite the three-hour time difference from home. I was on the bus around 9:30 AM and in New York less than an hour later.

It was stormy this morning, and the rain had just finished. Aren’t these clouds over the city just dreamy?


The sidewalks were still wet because of the storm. I would fight more rain this evening, but most of my day was clear and perfect. But still humid!


Did you miss the sign up above? A sign for cupcakes? It’s a shop called Crumbs, and I knew that I had to go inside once I realized that I could have a cupcake for breakfast.

Look at their awesome selection! Isn’t this gorgeous?


In an accidentally-identical move from yesterday’s donut, I decided to get a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. Is anyone else starting to see a trend here?


I enjoyed my cupcake…perhaps a little too much since I stopped here later to get another cupcake to enjoy tomorrow. Oops. Did I mention that out loud?!

To me, Times Square is even more enjoyable during the daytime. You can see better and watch more people with the sun partly-shining.


It was Saturday in the city, so traffic wasn’t as killer today. I had a full schedule of things to squeeze in. With a yummy cupcake in my belly, I couldn’t wait to walk to the first item on my list for today.


No, I won’t be climbing the Chrysler Building today. But I loved the shot of it peeking out from among other buildings down the street from Times Square.


And I thought that these old buildings discovered on my walk were so pretty. I often think of this type of structure when I consider residents in the biggest city in the country.


And I really love pictures with taxis in them, since they represent so much of what goes in in lil’ ol’ NYC.

People are always on the go here!


Does this give you a hint of what I wanted to do first this morning?

Oh, yes I did.


But first, I got to pass the “World’s Largest Store” on 6th Avenue. Macy’s was built in 1902 and even had the world’s first escalator. For that reason alone, I am very grateful to stand on such hallowed ground this morning.


There are all sorts of Christmas movies based on this location. Macy’s is what hosted the Miracle on 34th Street. Which, embarrassingly enough, I’ve never seen. Either version.

Is that even possible for someone who loves Christmas so much?!


Oh boy. We are getting so close. Do you know what it is yet? I’ll give you a hint. When it finished construction in 1931, it was nicknamed the “Empty State Building” because no one could afford the rent. The Great Depression had quite an impact on everyone back then.


Incredibly, it was built in just one year, five months. There was no shortage of people willing to work back then, since many were having difficulty finding jobs. The Great Depression had quite an impact on everyone back then.


Luckily, the plans to build the Empire State Building were in place before everything crashed. Hence, the ridiculous amount of expensive materials all throughout the building.

They just completed a multi million-dollar renovation a few years ago, bringing the building back to its original glory.

Obviously, early morning is the time to come visit this place. I had no lines getting to the top today.

IMG_3132  IMG_3135

But I passed some beautiful representations of the building façade. This is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, and I felt so blessed to explore it today!


Of course, they channeled everyone through the store as part of the required path to get to the observation deck. I am so glad that I don’t need knickknacks to remember a visit.

Maybe that is why I take so many pictures?


Woohoo! Now we’re talking! Speaking of talking, I was apparently the only person speaking English on top of the Empire State Building today. I felt a little out of place.


This was my first glance from the 86th Floor Observation Deck. They have another observation deck on the 102nd floor, but it was an additional $30 from my New York Pass ticket. It just didn’t seem worth it to me, when I had gotten inside today for practically free.


Here we go. Heavenly views from 1,300 feet up.


This vantage point makes me realize where all of these people actually live. I could see for miles today, and it gave me a great map of the city from above.


Here is a bridge over to Queens to the east. And the Chrysler Building…can you see it?


These housing buildings remind me of Sesame Street from the 1980s, for some reason. I imagine this is where Sesame Street takes place, in those brown squiggly buildings down below. Can you imagine having to grow up in an apartment with no yard? Sheesh.


Even the small skyscrapers are massive here. I don’t know what the gold-tipped building is, but it is stunning!


It was windy today, as seen from my awesome hair. I was actually glad for it, because it kept the crowds away until later in the day when it warmed up. I didn’t feel the building sway, Mom!

By the way, they didn’t add these wire fences right away but soon had to install them. Too many people were committing suicide from the observation deck. Isn’t that crazy?


The Empire State Building is known for its mast, which actually houses several radio station antennas. Because it was the tallest building in the city for over forty years, placing antennas here was a pretty good idea.

There are still several radio stations based in the Empire State Building’s upper floors. Along with the Boys Scouts of America. So take that into consideration next time that you make a donation.


I love this picture, with the bridge and the up-close buildings. It looks so crowded, but NYC certainly is crowded.


Can you see that tiny green space below? That is Bryant Park, just behind the New York Public Library. We will get to pass it later today.


I actually really love the shorter buildings in the foreground. You know that they were the cream of the crop when they were built! Maybe late 1890s? Maybe early 1900s? I love how old this city is.


To the north, we see Central Park. I was just there yesterday! I will actually make it back again later today. I am pleasantly surprised that so much green space still remains in this city.

I’m sure that rich guys would love to develop that park, but the locals would have a riot.


This is looking west over the Hudson River towards New Jersey. Aren’t all of those beautiful boats cool? They are bringing in more Crumbs cupcakes, I hope.


You can see Macy’s down below. They were working on redoing the face of the building, but it’s neat to see its sheer size from above. That’s a lot of shoes.


This is looking towards Chelsea and Greenwich Village neighborhoods on the west side of Manhattan.


And you can see that the haze was still clinging towards south Manhattan near the Financial District. My favorite thing about this picture is the new One World Trade Center tower. Can you see it?


As you can see, they are still adding the glass panels to the exterior of the tower. But it became the tallest building in New York City this past May.

You can see Lady Liberty from this picture, too. I hate to put it in writing, but I was a little less than impressed with her lack of size when I first saw her twelve years ago with my sister. Was anyone else underwhelmed by how small she was? Maybe it was just me…I had always pictured something much bigger.


Here is a better shot of Soho and the Financial District. I will wander through here this evening, in the rain. Very appropriate, I would say!


Well, what do you know. Another church!


It was cold and windy up here this morning, and I had seen the city from every angle possible. It was time to head inside and make my way downstairs.


Look at all that marble. They spared no expense when this building opened in 1931.


I love the entrance to this place…with the original sign in place. You can tell that it’s the original since it doesn’t have the radio antennas added to the top. Those were placed a few years after the building opened.

Did you know that the top of the Empire State Building was designed as a terminal to house lighter-than-air ships? And the 102nd Floor Observatory was to act as Customs for all of those foreign visitors stopping in NYC?

Luckily for everyone, airships went out of style shortly after the Empire State Building was complete. And they could never quite find a way to secure the airship for disembarking…so maybe it’s a good thing that this never came to fruition. I can’t imagine trucking down a rope ladder in the winds that I experienced today!


OK. Enough information about the Empire State Building. I had lots of fun studying about it after my visit. It made me appreciate the incredible building even more. Go read about it…you won’t regret it.

Now, let’s go get some lunch!


I tried to take pictures of street signs to have as a reference of where I visited. It’s pretty easy to get turned around in this place. I did several times, in fact.


Ooooohhhh, here we are! This is the New York Public Library, which we saw from up above not too long ago. Behind it sits Bryant Park. And in front sits two large lions, Patience and Fortitude.


This library, which finished construction in 1908, is the second-largest in the nation. Only the Library of Congress is bigger.


It was fun to see such a neat NYC landmark as the library, but it was time to put more into my stomach than just a cupcake. Mom would be so proud!


Pret A Manger shops are all over the city and focus on fresh food made all throughout the day. I loved the idea of eating something that had just been made. So I checked out their selection!


A Chicken & Mozzarella sandwich sounded really yummy. But it was hard to make up my mind.


So I got this PeeWee Herman sandwich with a strawberry lemonade to wash things down. It was a delicious lunch and just enough to tide me over for the afternoon. I have lots planned for this day…and it’s going to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.


It was a great meal, and I recommend Pret if you are in the city looking for a quick bite. It also felt good to get inside with some air conditioning. I am such a wimp with this humidity!

More to come next week. I hope that this trip to New York City has been fun for you so far!


  1. Another cool post, sis. Did you notice the gardens/trees and yards on top of some of the buildings? How strange to go sit on top of your house to enjoy some grass and leafy trees! I swear the Empire State Building swayed when we were on it! I have nightmares about it to prove it!

  2. One of the best views of NYC!

    I'm loving your tour of the City.

  3. What do you think it is that makes everyone love NYC? Fun to see all of your pictures and read your commentary.


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