Midtown to Downtown

New York Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 10 › view all entries
New York Times Building on 8th Avenue

Goals today were to go the the NBC Studios Tour at Rockefeller Center and then go Downtown to Canal Street. The great breakfast served by Embassy Suites really fortifies one for the day! So, after that, we were ready to board the NJT bus for the Port Authority.  Transit time through the Lincoln Tunnel after rush hour was quick and we were soon walking along 42nd Street again, now in daylight. Our route took us through Times Square, still full of ads, but not as bright as at night, diverging from Broadway to Seventh Avenue at Duffy Square. The TKTS half-price  day-of-sale performance theatre ticket booth is located here. They were not yet open. We had tickets for In the Heights that evening, but were curious to see what shows were available, for future reference.

New York Times Building on 8th Avenue


Crossing over at 50th Street we soon arrived at Rockefeller Center at the side of the GE Building.  Built in 1933, the 70 story skyscraper known as "30 Rock" (as in the TV show) is the headquarters of NBC. A such, the canopied side entrace announces the NBC Tour and the NBC Experience store. The entrance to the studio tour is through the NBC Experience store. Clever.

After the tour (see review) and view of the upper floors of 30 Rock, we did want to experience the Experience store. There are souvenier T-shirts, magnets, mugs and more to be had here for all major NBC TV shows: House, The Office, Law and Order, etc. (Nothing for the NBC Symphony concerts under Toscanini, though. ;) ). While Susan, Julia, and Chelsea enjoyed some coffee and tea, I snuck outside to get photos of the Prometheus statue and the Rockefeller Center ice rink.
New Amsterdam Theatre (1903) on 42nd Street
(I had to get that Prometheus statue!)

Time to quit Rockefeller Center and go Downtown. We walked back over to over to Broadway along 52nd street, passing Mars 2112 where I'd eaten in 2004. The 50th Street station was near here, and our conenction to go to Canal Street.

A 1 Train subway took us from 50th Street to Canal Street. Canal Street is a famous bargain-hunter's shopping street in New York. Susan, Julia,and Chelsea all wanted to check out the stores and street vendors to be found here. I was eager to try out some "street" photography, that is, taking candid photos of daily life. (I've always been terribly shy and self-concious about taking photos of people. I'm much more comfortable taking photos of buildings and objects.) We stayed together until reaching the Amsterdam Boutique.

Times Square by day
Julia and Chelsea liked that discount clothing store, with Lada Gaga's Poker Face setting the vibe. I struck out my own to explore Canal Street. We'd meet up for a late lunch. Vendor after vendor made for colorful scenes. Canal Street led to Chinatown. Here, sidewalk produce vendors shared space with a pagoda-inspired New York City information kiosk. Not too farther along was Mulberry Street, and the famous Little Italy. It's more touristy now, with many restaruants, but was once the entry point for Italian immigrants. The Empire State Building could be seen rising up in the distance beyond Mulberry Street. I wondered how many immigrants had viewed the Uptown buildings from there and aspired to move beyond the neighborhood confines.
Advertising in Times Square
 

Cell phone buzzing, we all met to find lunch. Susan suggested Lombardi's and its famous pizza at Mott and Spring. We walked there, but the line just to get in the door was huge! So, we backtracked to Grotta Azzurra at Mulberry and Broome and enjoyed their pasta instead. (See review.)

Time to hurry back to the hotel before the show that evening. But not before I noted an interesting building with a dome. It looked like a church. What was it? (I later found it was the Police Building, the former headquarters of NYPD. It has been adapted as condos.) We pressed on. Before long, a 6 Train subway (Lexington Avenue Local) took us from Spring Street to Grand Central and then the Shuttle back to the connection with the Port Authority.

We returned in the evening to see the musical In the Heights at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

Statue of George M. Cohan in Times Square
The show is set in the New York Hispanic community of Washington Heights. Several tales run in parallel, connecting the characters and their aspirations. Owning a business. Being the first to attend university. Keeping family together. Falling in love. The story might be told of any immigrant community, and at the end, we see it may have played out before in the former German and and Irish communities that once occupied Washigton Heights. Great show and score!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
New York Times Building on 8th Ave…
New York Times Building on 8th Av…
New York Times Building on 8th Ave…
New York Times Building on 8th Av…
New Amsterdam Theatre (1903) on 42…
New Amsterdam Theatre (1903) on 4…
Times Square by day
Times Square by day
Advertising in Times Square
Advertising in Times Square
Statue of George M. Cohan in Times…
Statue of George M. Cohan in Time…
tkts half-price theatre tickets bo…
tkts half-price theatre tickets b…
View towards Rockefeller Center
View towards Rockefeller Center
Radio City Music Hall (1932)
Radio City Music Hall (1932)
Art Deco entrance to NBC Studios a…
Art Deco entrance to NBC Studios …
GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaz…
GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Pla…
Entrance Lobby of the GE Building
Entrance Lobby of the GE Building
American Progress mural in the l…
"American Progress" mural in the …
Rockefeller Plaza
Rockefeller Plaza
Prometheus sculpture at Rockefelle…
Prometheus sculpture at Rockefell…
Prometheus sculpture
Prometheus sculpture
Prometheus and skater
Prometheus and skater
Outdoor skating rink
Outdoor skating rink
Outdoor skating rink
Outdoor skating rink
Skating Lesson
Skating Lesson
Today Show studio
Today Show studio
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Typewriter Eraser, Scale X sculp…
"Typewriter Eraser, Scale X" scul…
Alice in Wonderland mosaic at 50th…
Alice in Wonderland mosaic at 50t…
West Broadway and Canal Street
West Broadway and Canal Street
Canal Street vendors
Canal Street vendors
Canal Street shoppers
Canal Street shoppers
Weary shoppers at Amsterdam Boutiq…
Weary shoppers at Amsterdam Bouti…
Street vendor
Street vendor
Dunkin Donuts man
Dunkin' Donuts man
Canal Street
Canal Street
Citibank adaptive reuse as a shoe …
Citibank adaptive reuse as a shoe…
Chinatown information center
Chinatown information center
Chinatown
Chinatown
Produce vendors in Chinatown
Produce vendors in Chinatown
Chinatown
Chinatown
Pop Chinatown
Pop Chinatown
Welcome to Little Italy
Welcome to Little Italy
Mulberry Street in Little Italy
Mulberry Street in Little Italy
Little Italy
Little Italy
Empire State Building looms over L…
Empire State Building looms over …
Police Building (1909)
Police Building (1909)
Subway arriving at Spring Street
Subway arriving at Spring Street
Program for In the Heights
Program for In the Heights
Julia and Chelsea after the theatre
Julia and Chelsea after the theatre
Theatre going loot bag
Theatre going loot bag
New York Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Grotta Azzurra Ristorante in Little Italy
Grotta Azzurra is named for the Blue Grotto in Capri. We found it a pleasurable place to have lunch in the Little Italy neighborhood of New York City.… read entire review
New York Sights & Attractions review
Visiting the NBC Studios at 30 Rock
The RCA (now GE) Building at Rockefeller Center was built in 1933 to house the studios of the NBC broadcasting network. Originally built as radio stud… read entire review
New York
photo by: herman_munster