City lights and Broadway
New York Travel Blog› entry 12 of 13 › view all entries
At our hotel nearby to the Penn Station we are allocated the Coney Island Room and indeed the walls are painted with scenes from Coney Island including a mermaid and ferris wheels. As it starts to get dark we go out on our ritual exploring walk. The streets are hyper and it is disconcerting to hear a train bearing down on you and turning around, see nothing. The trains are below the streets, but they sound like they are right beside you! We find a huge self serve chinese dining place and get a some great food. Nearby we find a place that has the tours to see the city on the double decker buses and taking a brochure with us we decide on the 48 hour, 4 lines tickets which also give us the bonus of ferry tickets to the Statue of Liberty and to the viewing platform of the Empire State Building.
Throughout the night we hear the sirens, the arguments of guys who seem to hang around on the corners below our building and the constant traffic. Next morning we catch the bus for the downtown tour which covers so much. On Time Square a soft drink company has set up a mountain with snow for boarders to show their stuff off and the crowds and TV cameras are there and people thrust free cans of the soft drink at us.We see Madison Square Gardens, Greenwich Village, Radio City, Maceys, the Broadway shows, fashion designers row, Central Park etc. In Times square on another day we see a naked cowboy in about 42 degrees farenheight singing to the traffic and the hundreds of pedestrians. At Battery Park we catch a ferry but have to go through security that seems to be tighter than at the airports.
On our last day we head to Radio City to do a stage door tour. It is a marvellous theatre build around the 1920s and was to be demolished until a campaign saved it at the last moment. Since then it has been refusrbished with painstaking attention to retaining the original decor and colour scheme. Eventually is is time to collect our bags from the Hostel and walk to Penn Station in the Maddison Square Garden complex. Our train ( our final one on our 30 day pass) originates at New York so for once it is unlikely to be late and it leaves on time. During our journey we add up the miles we have travelled 6,000 ( or 9,600kms) and for about $449 US we have had excellent value and so much fun and flexibility. The train leaves promptly and gets in about 4 hours later only 30 mins late. Our travel with Amtrak is highly recommended.