19 June 2010

New York City - Day 2 - Sightseeing

Monday was a day off from work, so we got up early and had breakfast in the private club for Penthouse guests. On the TV, the Today Show played with Bret Michaels being interviewed.... I pointed down the street and said, "hey, that's happening right now, right there!" So, we walked over to Rockefeller Plaza and saw the Today Show being broadcast and checked out the plaza, inlcuding the skating rink - which is way smaller than it looks on TV.

The Rock is a very neat spot and no trip to New York would be complete without a brief visit there - we came back to it three times. It's where Saturday Night Live is taped as well as other shows for NBC. We then walked north on The Avenue of the Americas to Central Park, stopping in shops and poking our heads into the Ritz Carlton and the Plaza Hotel (which is owned by the Fairmont Group - should have stayed there). In front of the Plaza is Pulitzer Fountain, which we sat down at for a bit - across the street is the 5th avenue Apple Store - the only place I really wanted to visit in New York. Having met with the designer of the store while working on a project for another computer manufacturer, I really wanted to experience it first hand... while waiting for the lights to change, I received a phone call, the first on my New York cell phone (we each got one for local calls) - I was needed back at the Crowne Plaza for a conference call with our investor from Toronto. I never made it into the store... now I have a reason to go back.

After our conference call, Karen and I bought two tickets on the open topped bus and did a tour... we got off in Greenwich Village and strolled around, what a beautiful place - we had lunch at a little Italian restaurant called Trattoria Pesce Pasta on Bleeker Street. The buildings in Greenwich Village are much smaller than the rest of Manhattan, typically only 5 or 8 stories high, the streets are lined with trees, many of them forming a canopy over the narrow streets. We got back on another bus and were shown many of the sites all the way down to the Staten Island Ferry and back up to Times Square. The history in New York is absolutely amazing.

Before leaving, I sent an e-mail to the Late Show with David Letterman and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart... David Letterman's staff got back to us and we were in, free tickets! I checked out the line up for the show, we were going to see Don Rickles and John Prine - you have no idea how big a fan I am of John Prine. We went through the queue and eventually ended up in our seats in the Ed Sullivan Theater - the very same place where Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones and so many others had performed. It was really neat to watch a TV show happen live - I was the biggest JP fan in the audience.

We decided to go for dinner that night and to jump on the bus again, as a hop and go tour, you could get off and rejoin another bus at specific stops along the route. Our hope was to to go to SOHO for dinner - we got on the wrong bus. Three hours later, there we were, in Brooklyn, looking at the city lights of Manhattan... only another hour and a half left on the tour. We got back to Times Square and needed to eat - we found a small restaurant in the theatre district and got quite a free(k) show. Two very stereotypical transvestites had a very animated conversation at the bar beside us, oddly enough it didn't seem out of place.

New York is filled with all sorts of characters.

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