Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snow Day in NYC

Thanks to Winter Storm Pax, the tour buses were cancelled today!  Did that interfere with our discovery of this gorgeous city!  Not in the least!

the front of our hotel

We left our hotel with the intention to play in the snow in Central Park, but it was very difficult walking in the heavy snow and wind, so we changed our minds and did indoor things, after all, they were included in the price of the tour bus anyway!

Our first stop was the Empire State Building, not the observatory, that was not open due to weather.  We did the NY Skyride.   This is a a simulator ride where Kevin Bacon pilots a spacecraft, although the shadow looked suspiciously like a helicopter!  We take off from the Empire State Building and fly around the city, through water and a bit of history.  Sounds like it should be amazing and a good warm up to then go see the real things.  However, it is not good at all.  It is just odd and not worth the cost of the tickets, which should be $42 each, but in our case, included in the whole bus tour thing.

The only really cool thing about it was we were the only people there!  At 10am with 9 inches of snow, there were not really very many tourists about!

The nearest indoor venue to the Empire State Building is Madison Square Garden, so we jaunted off in that direction.  When I say jaunt, I mean struggle through heavy snow and the beginning of piles of drifts on the roadside thanks to the many snow plows continually going up and down the streets.

With our tickets, we got the All Access behind the scenes tour of the whole building, which is fantastic.  This is billed as the world's largest arena and it is not only enormous, but beautiful.

There is a lot of history in the building too, and the halls have many photographs and memorabilia going back to the beginning of the real Madison Square Garden. The building we toured is the 4th incarnation of MSG.

While we were there, 2 Harlem Globetrotters were on the floor, looked more like publicity than practice. But one came over and spoke to our group.

We enjoyed the tour so much, we booked tickets to see Enrique Iglesias for our last night in NYC.  We missed seeing the Knicks play basketball. That would have been amazing. But this concert
should also be memorable.  I will let you know!

While we were in MSG, the snow had turned to rain and the legendary NYC slush had made its arrival.  I didn't realise when I stepped onto what looked like snow, that I would sink ankle deep and water would flood into the sole seams of my relatively new UGG boots!  COLD does not begin to describe this shocking development in the middle of our lovely snow day......After worrying and trying not to let this ruin our day, I realised the cold and wet feeling had disappeared.  Then I remembered these boots are lined with real sheep fleece.  Magic, the cold and wet gone!  Lucky I do not need to wear socks with these, because I don't think it would have worked with wet socks.  Day not ruined at all. However, I do believe I will water proof those seams when I get home!

The rest of the day felt like a comedy, with poor Alan scouting out various street corners where I could cross without drowning my feet!  This did affect directions we took and decisions we made!

We then realised we were close to  B&H  again, and Alan "needed" to go back anyway.  But I needed sustenance first, so a lunch stop across the street at McGarry's Pub.  I had spotted this the first time we visited B&H and knew they had affordable beer!  They also had delicious steak sandwiches.  B&H beckoned after this.  I think Alan is finished with them now, at least for a while.

The slush was rising and the cold was biting, so where to next?  Subway to Tiffany & Co, only fair.  Alan gets his camera fix and I get my jewellery fix!  Actually, we had gone to Tiffany's already, located on Wall Street. That one was amazing, but not very big.  I was a bit intimidated there because I could not see the items I had already scoped out on their website (ones I could actually afford!)  So I  did homework for my next venture and used my added knowledge at their flagship store on 5th Ave.

Turns out, on the 3rd floor, there is the under $300 collection.  And, needless to say, this floor was really busy, not the one or two customers on the ground floor!  Fun, fun, fun....Alan sat and waited for me, to feast my eyes and make a dent in my pocketbook, just like I sat and waited for him at B&H!

Finally headed to Central Park since we assumed we were close.  But those deep slush puddles were not helping and it was quite a time consuming struggle to find places to cross.  The road side stands should really have been selling wellies!   Looking to our right, we discovered FAO Schwartz!  And found a really cool thing for our grandson.

Never did get to Central Park!

I guess the moral of this story is, when you can't walk without drowning your feet, go shopping!

New York City slush puddle  check this out, it is too funny!

On the way home, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts and I got the biggest iced tea ever.  I was thirsty!  Most of the donuts were heart shaped, after all, it was almost Valentine's Day!

Wandered through Times Square, this is bigger and brighter than you can imagine and I don't think videos or photos could ever do it justice.  And it was crowded.  I wonder what it would have been like there, if the Governor had not declared this city in a state of emergency!

We did manage to find Rockefeller Centre too!  The skating rink is so much smaller than it looks on television. The girl renting skates (no we did not skate, Alan just needed to change a lens) said everyone says how much smaller it looks!

One last stop - St Patrick's Cathedral.  Absolutely bathed in scaffolding, inside and out!  Alan says he got some good photos, but I was exhausted at this point and just sat and took in the view of scaffolding!

Back to the hotel, took off my boots, sat on the bed and did not move for hours. Felt like I had been through the wringer.  I have not been this exhausted from walking and enjoying (?) myself, since our first visit to Disneyworld.  This exhaustion was exactly why I booked the tour bus tickets.

Tour bus tickets?  Oh, buses were cancelled today due to inclement conditions!

"The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men

Gang aft agley"                         Robert Burns

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