Helicopters and Broadway shows...one heck of a combination!

New York Travel Blog

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Midtown from the air

Well, after yesterday's fiasco with the helicopter trip, alarm clocks were set bright and early and we were up and out the hotel for 8am, breakfasted at a deli beside the hotel and hopped on the subway down to Battery Park. This time we actually knew how to walk to the South Street Seaport, so didn't get lost, although the helipad is actually about 4 blocks up from SSS, at the Manhattan Heliport.

After our safety briefing the four of us crammed into the back of the helichopter and were up, up and away. It was absolutely awesome. The skies were once again clear blue, and you could see chunks of ice floating in the river and gathering around the piers. We were a bit squidged, but it worked out fine, and we were only up in the air for about 15 minutes anyway. It took us up the West Side of Manhattan, circled the Statue of Liberty and over Ellis Island.

Statue of Liberty from the Helicopter

Once we were firmly back on terra firma, Mum and Dad headed back to Battery Park for the ferry out to Ellis Island. Mark and I walked along to the South Street Seaport to see if there was anything going on. We thought about going to "Bodies The Exhibition", displaying the polymer preserved/ plastinisated remains of human bodies, the work of the infamous anatomist, Gunther Von Hagens. I think we would have gone in, but it was about $35 each, and Abercrombie & Fitch was just across the street, so we spent our money (and more) there instead!

We made a quick pit stop back at the hotel to drop off our shopping bags and caught a cab across town to Pier 38 on West 39th Street to meet Mum & Dad for a NY Waterway Tour 90 minute Complete Harbour Cruise.

Brooklyn Bridge
I thought this was madness given how cold it was on land, never mind on windy boat out on the water! Anyway, We meet the parents, who were laden down with Macy's bags after a shopping trip en route from the Ellis Island ferry, and boarded, Hot Dog in hand for lunch!
The cruise was really good, as there was a commentary but when the wind got up it was hard to hear sometimes. I got some super pictures but dear LORD it was cold to the point of being cryogenic! The trip took us round the Statue of Liberty and past Ellis Island, under the Brooklyn Bridge and up to the UN Building, and back to the West side again. I stayed outside with Dad and Mark taking pictures to the UN, but after that I headed inside to join Mum for a hot chocolate then a nap on the way back to the pier!

Tonight was theatre night, and we'd booked a table at Shula's Steakhouse at the Westin Times Square, again on the recommendation of the Doubletree's concierge.

The UN Building
It was excellent, themed on American Football, as the owner, Don Shula, was a former player and coach with the Miami Dolphins (I'm open to correction if I'm wrong). The walls are adorned with pictures of Don with US Presidents past and presents, letter congratulating him and of course, plenty of football memorabilia. We had a lovely meal, and only had to walk and couple of blocks to the Broadhurst Theatre on W44th Street, where we had reservations for Les Miserables.

This wasn't my choice of show...my parents and I have seen it a number of times, in London and Edinburgh, but Mark's never seen it and he likes the music.

Times Square by night (obviously...)
However, it was a bit of a let down...one of the main female characters, Fantine, was played by an actress called Daphne Rubin-Vega. She was awful...Mark is a professionally trained opera singer, and my Mum's not a bad amateur and they both complained during the interval that her wobbly singing wasn't suitable for the part and was painful to listen to. They were told she was being replaced at the end of the month and that she was a Tony Nominated actress, which was met with the response "Well, that doesn't help us enjoy the show...at least she dies early in the production!" The management admitted they've had complaints before and that's why she was being dropped.
Still, we enjoyed the show, although the theatres in NYC are much smaller than many in the West End of London, and I felt the production was quite cramped, but it was good. Mark said he came out feeling rather depressed, as so many people die in it, and it doesn't really have a happy ending: I'd wanted to see The Lion King but was outvoted....that would have been a really cheery show to see but never mind, we'll see it another time.
Just in case I forgot the address

And then it was off to bed once more, after eventually hailing a cab in one of the side streets off Times Square, which was lit up with every neon light blazing. 
The Doubletree earned it's stars in our book by the beds, which although they were very soft, were extremely comfortable. We all slept well, although that night there were a lot of noisy people running up and down the halls of the hotel, doors slamming and people playing loud music. Mark got up twice to try to ask them to be quiet, but it seemed to be college age kids on vacation, and they weren't for listening. We eventually phoned reception, and the volume was soon turned down and eventually stopped. The other problem with people rampaging through the corridors was that there was quite a gap under our door, so when someone ran past the light 'flickered' under the door, which woke me a few times, but never mind.

Ground Zero from the Helicopter
..I was tucked up in bed, and that was what mattered!

missandrea81 says:
Hey! How much was that helicopter ride?? That looks like something I should talk my hubby into doing!
Posted on: Apr 29, 2008
mfmcp1982 says:
Thanks Ronnie - and thanks for the smiles and comments! :D
Posted on: Mar 24, 2008
Ronniew says:
Cool photos!!
Posted on: Mar 24, 2008
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Midtown from the air
Midtown from the air
Statue of Liberty from the Helicop…
Statue of Liberty from the Helico…
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
The UN Building
The UN Building
Times Square by night (obviously..…
Times Square by night (obviously.…
Just in case I forgot the address
Just in case I forgot the address
Ground Zero from the Helicopter
Ground Zero from the Helicopter
South Street Icicles
South Street Icicles
Ellis Island from the air
Ellis Island from the air
Chrysler & Empire State
Chrysler & Empire State
Dad was cold too!
Dad was cold too!
Madison Square Gardens
Madison Square Gardens
Im not acutally this fat....I hav…
I'm not acutally this fat....I ha…
Industrial Architecture meets Mode…
Industrial Architecture meets Mod…
Lady Liberty and her Island
Lady Liberty and her Island
The Chrysler Building
The Chrysler Building
Me & Mark, freezing our tushies of…
Me & Mark, freezing our tushies o…
The main ad pillar
The main ad pillar
Gotta find the Hard Rock in every …
Gotta find the Hard Rock in every…
New York
photo by: herman_munster