November 11th, 2009 – by: Andy99
Times Square subway station
Susan and I thought that November would be a good time for a return visit to New York City
. We'd had a great time on our April trip with Julia and were eager to return. In fact, Susan had booked tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular almost as soon as we had returned from the last trip.
Once again the plan was to drive to New Jersey and stay at the Embassy Suites in Harmon Meadow. This was the Veteran's Day holdiay in the USA, but traffic was light and the drive along I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike was easy. We arrvied in Seacaus, NJ, and checked in to our hotel a little after 4:00 p.m.--about 5 1/2 hours total for the drive, including a stop for lunch in Elkton, Maryland.
Toys R Us store with ad for Twilight: New Moon
Rain along most of the drive had turned to overcast by the time we reached northern New Jersey. After settling in and picking up a few brochures and the Manhattan concierge map from the front desk we were ready to head into the City. (That Manahttan map, available at most hotels, is one of the best I've seen. It shows the subways and most attractions and buildings of note.)
Our bus arrvied at the Port Authority Bus Terminal
at 6:40 p.m. From the world's busiest bus station, we headed out to 42nd Street. Manhattan once again! Our first goal was to soak up more of the Times Square
and Broadway Theatre District
atmosphere. As always, Times Square was crowded and brilliantly illuminated.
One Times Square building
The evening was overcast, in the mid-50s (about 12C), and felt warmer among the crowds and buildings. Changes noted in TImes Square from April--the upcoming film Twilight: New Moon was now the illuminated promotion over the Toys R Us store. Defintely the place to place it! The permant Target stores ad behind One Times Square was already themed for the holidays with the Twelve Days of Christmas. Charmin (brand of bathroom tissue) announed the imminent opening if public restrooms in Times Square to handle the holiday and New Year's Eve crowds. Near here a silver-painted living statue performer was holding the crowd's attention. There were these and more night scenes to photograph!
Next item on the agenda was finding a place to have dinner. We thought first of Junior's on West 45th. There were long lines there from theatre-goers dining before an 8:00 p.
New Year's Eve ball atop One Times Square
m. curtain. So, we walked over to Stage Deli
on 7th Avenue. We'd planned to try it as an alternative to Carnegie Deli, so this was an opportunity.
After dinner, we headed to Rockefeller Center, walking along 53rd to Avenue of the Americas. Radio City Music Hall
, home of the Rockettes, was arrayed in holiday decorations for the Christmas Spectacular. Susan suggested that we make our planned visit to the Top of the Rock
right then, and not wait until daytime. We'd see New York illuminated. So, we went in to the GE Building at the Top of the Rock entrance. It's $20 each to go up, plus $2 for a printed guide to the panoramic view. (Worth it to someone like me who wants to identify all of the buildings.
) There were no crowds and we were able to go right up to the 67th floor. What a dramatic view on a reasonably clear evening! The Empire State Building and one other office tower were illuminated in red, white, and blue lights in commemoration of Veterans' Day. (Good thing we went when we did, as it rained the next two days!) I had to go all over all the observation decks, inclduing the topmost 70th floor open deck. It was windy and cold up there, but I still spent much time taking pictures. Lots of pictures. Many more than presented here! (I like taking nighttime photos.) Meanwhile, Susan retreated to the covered observation areas.
It was finally time to come down--off the cloud, so to speak. After a turn through the gift shop, we descended to concourse level. (One below street level.) It was 10:00 p.m. by this time an the Concourse shops had closed. The Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center Plaza was open, with the Zamboni machine smoothing it out. Walking the other way back along the Concourse, we found the path to Avenue of the Americas on the opposite side and the exit from 30 Rock.
Returning to Times Square, we stopped again at Junior's to pick up a slice of cherry cheesecake to enjoy back at our hotel.
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