Touring New York With Other Travbuddies
New York Travel Blog› entry 6 of 11 › view all entries
Much as I'd been doing Ok with the whole time difference thing, I still left instructions for my daughter to phone me at 8am,1pm for her, but I was already awake by the time the phone rang. Didn't want to sleep in, or be in a rush, to get to my first proper Travbuddy meeting. Belgian_Tom had organised it on the forum,and had organised a list of stuff for us to do together, and the meet up was set for the Times Square Information Centre at 9-30am.
Got myself organised and made my way to the 72nd/Broadway Station and got the train downtown, which was only one stop since the Line 2 train arrived first. Was just after 9am, so I decided to kill the time by going into Starbucks for a cup of tea and to stay warm for a bit longer.
Headed down to Times Square and arrived bang on 9-30 and soon found Belgian_Tom and his girlfriend, as Tom was eaily identifiable with the bit of paper haning out his pocket with the TB logo on it.
Turned out better,I think, with a smaller group as we were able to move faster, and there were less people to have to accomodate, so in the end just 8 of us set off to head to the Top Of The Rock. Let Jim lead the way, only because he appeared to know where he was going :d, and we were soon approaching the Radio City Music Hall. Then went into the Rockerfeller Centre, where there was no queue, and bought the tickets to get to the top ($23 I think) .
Lift was a bit like the start of Space Mountain in Disneyland, as there was a glass ceiling in it and there were loads of blue/purple lights all the way up. Lift goes up at 15mph and I think everyone felt a bit dizzy from staring at the lights as we shot up the tower. Out at the top and spectacular views across the city, over Central Park, down to Brooklyn Bridge and then on the other side you had a great view of The Empire State Building. There are two more levels you can climb up once you get out of the lift, and although it was cold it never really felt like it even on the open exposed top part. Maybe because we were all moving about so much taking in the scenery :)
When we had all had enough we headed back down and caught up with Jim(blenderboy) who hadn't come up with us.
I'm not one for stopping and eating during the day, but was happy to go with the flow as the rest wanted to go for lunch. Jim suggested a place,Prime Burger, at the side of St Patrick's on East 51st Street. Quite old fashioned set up, but relativley nice and prices were well withing everyones range, though out of 8 of us I think 6 ordered a cheeseburger and the did do pots of tea, so I was happy with that.
Next destination was Grand Central Terminal and walked down there. Were just in and having a look from the steps, when i noticed Belgian_Tom talking to someone. It was a local TB,Tom (tmohen) who had turned up on spec to see if he could spot us, as he knew the rough plan for the day. After being introduced to everyone,Tom then started to find out what we were looking to do, since he didn't just want to take over. He then gave us a lot of information about Grand Central and a tour round the station, before leading us off to our next sightseeing venue, which had been added sine we were moving a lot quicker than had been anticipated.
We headed out onto Park Avenue and as we walked along Tom said we could go into the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and have a look about it.
Got the subway down to Washington Square Park, with it's kind of Arc De triumphe, Washinton Centannial Memorial Arch, and here lies the foot of 5th Avenue. When we had walked through the park, Tom pointed out a small specialist area of chess shops, where there were people inside playing, and explained that in the better weather they would all be sitting out in the park and anyone can go along and get a game there.
Set off again and walked down and around Soho, going into a few shops that caugh the eys, including the 'Dead Animal Ornament Shop', really called Evolution and then a store that sold all sorts of Chinese stuff. Decided then it was time to head along to the dinner venue, the Industria Argentina on Greenwich Street. Had a private room set aside and a few local TB's joined us for the meal. I was outside when I saw Donna (Travelfan 1963) and recognised her straight away :). had a chat with her before going back in and downstairs to rejoin the others.
Gave it a chance for others to show up before ordering dinner, and sat and had a few beers and we all shared tales of our travels. A good laugh, and a pleasant evening all round. Think the bill came to a bit more than everyone expected :O , so when we were finished we adjourned to another pub around the corner.
Stayed for a couple and then a few of us headed back up town on the subway, and I went for a nightcap in the local bar on West 72nd, since we had a later start the following morning.