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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Out and about in New York City...

Our first day in New York we first walked to Penn Station near our hotel and caught the subway to 42nd St to go to Times Square. The subway is pretty efficient and the trains are very clean...I don’t think I expected the latter. But we did see a rat running around near the tracks and it was big!!!

Times Square; the statue of George M. Cohan, the composer of 'Give my Regards to Broadway'
Wandering through Times Square we were amazed at how bright the colours were, and how the whole scene was just so vibrant and full of movement and noise. We picked up the tickets for all our pre-booked tours and then DH got in line at the TKTS booth to see if we could get some theatre tickets for that night. We ended up getting 50% off tickets to Billy Elliott for the 2pm matinee. It was a wonderful production; thoroughly enjoyable! DH was a professional actor many years ago and he can be critical of productions given that experience. He stood up at the end along with the rest of the audience...and gave the cast a standing ovation! That means it was very, very good!

Some of the theatres on Broadway
Before the show we walked around the Broadway area and the number of theatres was amazing and the fact that each was showing top musicals or a few had plays. At home in Brisbane, we get one ‘top-notch’ musical at a time so to see so many at once in the one place was mind boggling! I think that Broadway and off Broadway theatres far out-number those in the West End of London.
After the show we did the first of our tours, the Hop on, Hop off tour of Downtown. We went through a number of districts, including where we are staying Madison Square Gardens (which is round!),Times Square where we were told 500000 people gather on NYE, the Garment District, Greenwich Village, the Financial District, the old fish wharves/markets and one end of the historic Brooklyn Bridge and Soho to name a few. (Soho apparently stands for South Houston) We drove past the Empire State and Macys which is supposed to be the largest department store in the world. The very old Ford Building was pointed out to us and it is known affectionately as the Flat-iron Building. It is also known as the ‘Daily Bugle’ Building as it was used as that in the Spiderman films.

The Flat-iron Building

Part of the old Fishery Buildings, now reborn as restaurants etc
Riding on the open top of a double-decker tour bus got quite cold but we ended up having our tour cut a bit short when a woman in a U drive hire truck clipped the side mirror of the bus and the company wouldn’t allow the driver to continue without that side mirror. We were frozen by then so DH and I headed for a Starbucks and had a cup of their $1.75 American Coffee. We eventually got home by underground as DH is very ‘good at working out things like that’!
Here is a link to some more of my photos of our first day or so in New York which I uploaded to an album on my Facebook page. This is a public link that will only take you to this album; You do not have to have a Facebook account to access it.

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