Day Three---USS Intrepid and Rockefeller Center

New York Travel Blog

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The USS Intrepid. It's a museum now.

The Intrepid Air Sea & Space Museum was on the agenda for the day. It didn’t open until 10:00 AM, so there was no reason not to sleep in a bit. We did, had a McDonald’s breakfast and got on our subway. I don’t think I mentioned that there is a station right underneath our hotel. The nearest entrance is half a block away. So jumping on the subway is very simple. It was one of the criteria when I was searching for a hotel. It had to be close to the subway. We got on, went down to Times Square, and had our first experience with the NYC bus system. For the most part the NYC subway runs North and South, and curves enough to connect with other lines to move laterally.

Me and the Blackbird
It works very well, but it doesn’t get you very close to the piers on the Westside. You either walk to take a bus. So we grabbed a bus. The same card that we bought to ride the subway works for the bus as well. Pretty simple stuff. We found the bus stop, made sure we were going the right way, confirmed with the driver that we were getting off at the closest stop. Everything went pretty quick and simple.

 

We got to the Intrepid about 10:30 AM. This was an important day for me as I got to cross a LifeGoal off my list. Life Goal #38 was to visit an aircraft carrier. I would love to visit an active ship, but that would be borderline impossible. Visiting one that had been turned into a museum, of which I had a choice of about six, was my best option.

F-14 Tomcat
I had never seen an aircraft carrier, until today. I knew it would be big, but Wow! Big just doesn’t describe it. It looked like a skyscraper lying on its side.

 

We got our tickets, which included a simulator ride, and started out tour of the museum. My big draw was their collection of aircraft. A-12, which was an earlier version of the SR-71 Blackbird, F-14 Tomcat, F6 Hellcat, and so on. The girls weren’t as thrilled as I was, but I had a good time. They had a large video display set up that looped a History Channel program that was about the Intrepid. I watch the segment on it WWII service, which was very interesting. I didn’t know that the Intrepid was the vessel hit, in that famous kamikaze video that is played every time the subject comes up. That particular hit and one that followed seconds later almost sunk the ship.

The Tower
The Captain was calling to abandon the ship, but the PA system was out. The captain mistook the crew gestures indicating that they couldn’t hear, as disapproval of his decision to abandon ship. So he ordered the continued fighting of the fire and the ship was saved. While the ship was burning and was defenseless, the battleship USS New Jersey pulled up beside it to protect it. To me that was just so representative of what has happened with our country, around 9/11. I actually got goose bumps. The whole country came to rescue of NYC in the aftermath of the attack.  The simulator was OK, but none of us could really get the hang of how to line up on the targets we were supposed to shoot down. The simulator put you in the cockpit of an F-18 Hornet. It was realistic to the point that it could turn you upside down and covered all other points of the compass. I think you had to option of letting a computer pilot take you on a ride, but I wasn’t sure how to make that happen.
Prometheus at Rockefeller Center
But, it was still kind of fun. We saw about everything and I really got a kick out of all the aircraft. We left sometime around 3:00 PM. We headed over to Rockefeller Center.

 

Getting to Rockefeller turned out to be a bigger chore than I thought it would. We got back on our M42 bus, and headed east. It dropped us off at 5th Ave, where I thought there was a subway station to take us north. It’s on the map, but I guess we were too tired to see it. It wasn’t that far, about 7 blocks, so we just walked. The Rockefeller Center was OK. Margo and Jessi liked the NBC Store, but I don’t watch a lot of TV, so it was only so so for me.

Margo and Jessi at Times Square. We seemed to end up there every night.
I had intended to let Jessi get a Build a Bear from the store there, but it moved. I don’t know where. It didn’t really matter, as she got one later today, when we went to the Toys R US, in Times Square. Anyway, we kicked around a couple of shops, and then went back to hotel for what is becoming our normal ritual, grabbing a nap.

 

The nap did wonders, recharging our batteries, and getting us ready for the evening. Not that we could really stay out too late, as tomorrow morning we needed to get up early. But, we had dinner at Pizza Villa. The food looked good, and it was cheap. It was pretty good. I haven’t been overly impressed by anything we ate so far. No knock on the city, as we really haven’t sought out anything noteworthy. Just the standard tourist fare, so far. That will probably be our pattern. We checked out a couple of more shops and it was back to the hotel for bed.

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The USS Intrepid. Its a museum no…
The USS Intrepid. It's a museum n…
Me and the Blackbird
Me and the Blackbird
F-14 Tomcat
F-14 Tomcat
The Tower
The Tower
Prometheus at Rockefeller Center
Prometheus at Rockefeller Center
Margo and Jessi at Times Square. W…
Margo and Jessi at Times Square. …
A-12 Blackbird
A-12 Blackbird
Grumman E1-B Tracer
Grumman E1-B Tracer
Margo and Jessi on the deck of the…
Margo and Jessi on the deck of th…
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall
St Patrick Cathedral
St Patrick Cathedral
St Patrick Cathedral
St Patrick Cathedral
Cold Stone at Times Square
Cold Stone at Times Square
New York Sights & Attractions review
See a piece of history and visit an Aircraft Carrier, too!
I have always wanted to see an Aircraft Carrier. Since World War II they have played such an integral part in the both the defense of the US, and our … read entire review
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photo by: herman_munster