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We're back - trip report

Brisbane, Australia
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We're back - trip report

Finally arrived in New York after fairly eventful trip from Australia.

Train arrived early evening from Philadelphia. Wow – snow everywhere.

Traveling with SWMBO and 74 year old FIL.

Walked out of Penn Station and grabbed a cab to the Radio City Apartments where we are booked for eight nights. Too cold and tired to bring all our luggage on the subway.

Really cold, but the sky was clear, so a great night to enjoy the views from TOTR. Hadn’t been up there since our first visit to New York. Great views. Followed it up with dinner at Ellens Stardust Diner. SWMBO loves the place – as usual the food was very ordinary, and relatively expensive, but the usual entertainment was there. We always visit the place once on each trip, and since I got it over and done with on the first night, I don’t have to worry about fitting it in later.

Woke today to a beautiful clear but freezing cold day.

We do have a long list of things we hope to do on this trip, but we have learnt not to make the plans to definite on a day to day basis.

Another visit to ESB was hoped for if the weather suited, and the morning was perfect for it. We did have ‘Express’ tickets that we purchased before leaving home.

That’s getting ahead of myself.

Breakfast this morning was at EZ Diner on Broadway. Simple, very basic, cheap, nothing flash, but it did have the basic requirements of breakfast – these being eggs, bacon and toast, or any other combination of the same three ingredients. It was also only a 2 minute walk from our accommodation so in future the FIL should be able to get his own breakfast if need be.

After breakfast SWMBO and FIL wanted to go to a mass at St Patricks Cathedral, and while they did that, I had the job of getting us all 7 day metrocards, and going back to the RCA to pickup the ESB tickets we’d gone out without this morning.

Oops, after getting metrocards, what was I supposed to do?? Brain frozen, and still tired from the long trip to New York, decided to go for a walk and see if I could find somewhere to buy some gloves – the hands were really feelin the cold. Got as far as 42nd street and no luck with gloves, and nearly time to meet up with SWMBO at St Patricks. Easy – have metrocards, subway in front of me – Oops again – reminder to self: Be sure the train is going in the right direction before getting aboard. Time real tight now, but managed to get back to meet SWMBO in time, but what was that other thing I had to do? Pick up ESB tickets. I forgot. So we all trudged back in the cold to get the tickets.

No further problems. ESB was great. Express tickets did save a little time, but with such small crowds we probably wouldn’t have suffered much if we had saved a few dollars and bought standard tickets.

Next ‘Must Do’ if the weather is fine was the highline. So a slow stroll crosstown towards the Highline. Three blocks later, FIL is complaining of sore feet and being tired so he goes off on his own to get a bus back towards our hotel and arrangements are made to meet up later in the day.

Now for a major disappointment. Get to the Highline, and the signs say it’s closed. Not happy, but do understand things are not as safe with all the snow. Had really looked forward to seeing it all covered in snow. We have found out since that it did open today progressively in sections.

SWMBO is a keen quilter so each visit to New York includes a visit to her favourite quilting supply store on 25th. So we made our way there to satisfy her ‘must do major retail therapy’ urge, and then had a walk around the flatiron area. Very much stuff on the standard tourist itinerary but very enjoyable to see the city with such a coating of white.

Lunch at Shake Shack – tried it on our first visit to the city and weren’t really impressed so thought we’d give it another go. It was alright, but we really don’t see why it’s so popular. Cheese fries were good though.

Tonight we went to the Rangers game. Woohoo – 5-1 win. Good fun. Great atmosphere. Not sure if it’s my memory or not – all the food and drinks seemed really expensive and quite unimpressive at MSG. Don’t remember it being that way when I last visited.

Dinner before the game was at Giro II across the road. Thanks Mel for the recommendation on a recent thread. Great cheap, and messy meal.

Tomorrow is supposed to be really wet, so it looks like we’ll probably concentrate on doing some major retail therapy. When we travel to New York we usually bring only one or two changes of clothing with us, and try to take home a fairly complete new wardrobe. Since we were traveling in winter for the first time, we did bring a lot more gear with us this time, but I’m sure we’ll manage to fill an extra suitcase or two.

More to come in the next few days.

Brisbane, Australia
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21. Re: We're back - trip report

Been having trouble with internet at RCA. Totally nonexistant now. Have been told they will have a new internet provider from tomorrow so it should be more reliable. Doing this update on a small phone so it will be brief.

Cat on a hot tin roof was great. Scarlet johanson was very good in her role.

Today SWMBO has succumbed to her cold and decided to stay in bed. So FIL was sent off on the HOnHOff bus to see the sites, and I went off for something different.

Took subway to 20th and went to the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace Museum. Found it no worries but picked an awful day to visit. First problem - all the artifacts from the museum have been removed and placed in storage while the display area is fitted with new LED lighting. Then most not the museum was off limits for today only while new carpets are fitted. The NParks ranger was duty was most apologetic, but did give a short personal guided tour off the small area that was still available to see. Had a long chat about Ellis Island and the damage over there - he is usually based there but expects he won't be going back for well over a year.

Next step was the High line. With a little snow still on the ground and the sun shining it was a most peaceful spot to stroll and people watch.

Brisbane, Australia
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22. Re: We're back - trip report

From the highlihe had a quick walk around Chelsea area before heading back to the hotel to check on SWMBO. She was feel in better and wanted some retail therapy, so after a cup of soup from Toasties next door in 49th street it was subway again. Took a ride into Brooklyn and spent a few hours filling shopping bags in the Fulton Street Mall.

Oh the way back to the hotel thought we'd try for the Wicked Lottery. This was to be my 19th time seeing the show, but only 4th on Broadway. On our last visit to New York we were very disappointed in Wicked and it's cast. It was a matinee and a very lacklustre performance by what we considered a very poor cast was ruined by incredibly rude behaviour from many patrons who chewed, slurped, crunched their snacks and held conversations right throughout. Tonight's performance was the opposite. With the latest cast changes the show has had a new lease of life with a cast who can sing, can dance, and most importantly seem to have enthusiasm for their roles.

new york
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23. Re: We're back - trip report

Did your FIL ever come back...? LOL.. I was in London once during a 24 hour tube strike and was on the Hop on Hop off bus....hopeless means of transportation.. Just kept going around in circles in mad traffic.

Hope he is enjoying his vacation as well.

My friend saw Wicked on Saturday and thought it was brilliant. Glad the new cast has brought back its charm. Pet peeve of mine is allowing patrons to eat during the show. I just cannot understand how some people can not go without food or drink for two hours! Water bottles are the worse offense!

Enjoying your trip report...

Staten Island, New...
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24. Re: We're back - trip report

Keep enjoying. Hope SWMBO feels better.

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25. Re: We're back - trip report

Love your TA. What is the Wicked lottery? How does it work? Thanks

Netherlands
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26. Re: We're back - trip report

19 x one show ...? LOL!

Glad the missus is feeling better again

looking forward to the next installment

Brisbane, Australia
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27. Re: We're back - trip report

Father in law did return and going out on the bus has given him more confidence to venture out on his own again.

SWMBO is on the mend.

Brisbane, Australia
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28. Re: We're back - trip report

The Wicked lottery is a lottery of tickets for the front row of the theatre.

It starts 2 1/2 hours before every performance. You need to be at the box office to enter your name for the opportunity to win the right to purchase two

tickets. The tickets are front row seats. Great view.

Brisbane, Australia
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768 posts
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29. Re: We're back - trip report

This morning father in law again headed out on the hop-on hop-off bus while SWMBO and I indulged in some retail therapy including Tiffany's. We then met up and went to do the free Grand Central Station tour. It was a 1 3/4 hour walking tour through and around the station focusing on architectural and historical elements of both the station and the surrounding buildings. We've been through the station many times but found the tour interesting and very informative.

After the tour we went back into the station to show FIL the whispering wall.

Tonight we had unusual plans. Took the Staten Island Ferry to our dinner bookings at Enoteca Maria. Had a fantastic meal with great wines. Glad we had made a reservation because the place was packed.

After dinner we had tickets to a DooWop show at the St George theatre on Staten Island. Wow - what a grand old theatre. And the show had old groups like the Drifters and the Coasters and the Planetones performing. Great nights entertainment. But would have been worth the time to take the ferry for the dinner alone.

More tomorrow.

Unfortunately the internet at Radio City Apartments has only worked one evening out of the seven we have been here. Supposedly the internet system was all totally replaced today. It worked for a short time while we were in the room this afternoon, but this evening its again not working. Makes it hard to access this forum on my 'not-so-smart-phone'.

Staten Island, New...
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30. Re: We're back - trip report

"Took the Staten Island Ferry to our dinner bookings at Enoteca Maria"

Its early in the morning for me and I didn't have my coffee yet so I had to read this line twice because for a sec I thought I was imagining things out of hunger. Is this the first report of a SI dinner by a tourist here?

Please tell me you had the meatballs and/or the rabbit of the day.

Enoteca Maria for those who don't know employ 7 rotating nonnas (Italian grandmas) representing different Italian regions. Every day you get a different Nonna doing her thing with love and care. South Italian mostly.

Bravo Pancho. Now you need to come back for our Sri Lankan cuisine.