Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New York! New York! (Day 1)

What a fun trip! I never thought I would actually like New York. The city-life I mean. I always pictured NY as a uber-busy, dirty, unsafe city. Muggings, no personal space, homeless and beggars on the streets, rude pushy "yankee" people, etc. I was wrong (or at least we chose the right part of town to stay in!) It was pretty busy and a little dirty (not nearly as dirty as New Orleans I must say). I never felt unsafe, even the morning I ventured out alone. With the help of an iPhone ap, we were able to pretty easily navigate the transit system. I've been to big cities before (Chicago, Munich & Rome are the only slightly comparable ones, although Rome is not necessarily modern), but nothing like this. It's hard to picture millions living in such a small area. Wiki says Manhattan has more then 70,000 people per square mile!

Anyway, we managed to make our flights and got there around noon. We took the airtrain from JFK to Manhattan and got on the subway to get to our hotel. It was a cool Brownstone (I guess it qualifies) with 8 floors of rooms, some with bathrooms, some without. We're broke, so we didn't spring for a private bathroom. The room was really small, but had everything we needed, including a nice view of the Empire State Building.

After we got settled in, we headed to find food on our way to the Expo. The Expo was on the west side of Manhattan, about a 20 minute walk from our Hotel. On the way we passed the Empire State Building, Macy's (which was partially decorated for Christmas), and a bunch of other stuff that probably has more historical significance than we realized.

The Empire State Building

Macy's took up a whole block.

After eating lunch at Five Guys, we headed for the Expo which was in the Jacob Javitz Convention Center. The Expo was held for three days. We were there on the second day.

We had to find the right place to get my bib number. It was pretty easy actually. I expected to be waiting in line forever. They had a counter for every 1000 runner numbers, which meant they had 65 counters! Once I found the right one, I walked right up to the lady and got my number in minutes.

The t-shirt/goody bag line was a little longer. It was divided up into shirt sizes. Once we had everything, we started exploring the expo... We didn't take that many pictures inside because it was pretty dark.

Gatorade's exhibit.
We headed back to the hotel to drop off my expo stuff and headed for the Empire State Building. It would dark by the time we got there, so we got to see the city lights from the top.

Saw this sign, had to take a picture!

First time I've ever seen a multi level car park like this... Wonder how long it takes to get those cars down off the top...
We ended up eating dinner at this little diner called the Skylight Diner (It had skylights in the ceiling. Go figure.) We didn’t want to eat at any of these expensive places where “everybody” (everybody meaning tourists) goes to eat. (BTW there was a “Bubba Gump” restaurant in Times Square). We wanted to eat where the locals eat.

From the top of the Empire State Building
old school mail shoots inside the Empire State.

You can tell where Times Square is by the bright area between the buildings.

It was mighty windy and cold up there!!

From the top, we could see how close we were to Times Square. We didn't realize how close it was. We were pretty tired, but wanted to go anyway..... Portions of the streets were turned into pedestrian areas which had tables and benches to sit on. We went at 10pm and it was as bright as daylight.

After Times Square, we headed back to the hotel to call it a night. Here's some random picks from the subway I thought were cool....
Please "dip" your card??

more to come...

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