Jan and I spent our last day in New York visiting the Empire State Building, having lunch, cappuccino, and cheesecake at Junior’s in Times Square, and fulfilling a major item on Jan’s bucket list.
We caught the 8:45 am train into the city to Penn Station/Madison Square Garden and then walked the 3 long blocks (New York’s blocks in Manhattan are rectangles, not square. They’re about 1000 ft x 250 ft.) over to the Empire State Building at 5th Ave. and 33rd St.
ESB from Penn Station
We got to the ESB about 10:30 am, hoping we were early enough to avoid the large crowds that can be there. Apparently, it can take as long as 3-4 hours to get in on some days, but we lucked up.
It was easy to see the 1930’s Art Deco influence in everything from the murals to the floor.
After going thru security (just like the airport, except you can keep your shoes on) we got on the first elevator about 11:00 am.
It takes two elevators to get to the 86th floor observation deck. The first one takes you to the 80th floor and then another one takes you to the 86th.
ESB Queue LIne
It was easy to see that they were set up to handle really large crowds, so I’m glad we got there early.
The view from the 86th floor is amazing. There’s just a wire fence separating you from thin air.
ESB Observation Deck
All the New York landmarks were visible, like the Chrysler Building,
the Flatiron Building,
and Central Park.
Looking down, it looks like toy buildings on the model railroad layout.
I then paid extra to take another elevator up to the 102th floor, but it was a disappointment. It was small and completely enclosed. You also had to dodge the large metal beams that support the tower on top of the ESB.
Here’s Jan and I on top.
High Atop The ESB
We were out of the ESB by noon, so we made good time. I tried to take a picture straight up from the street, but this is all you can see, due to the inset of the top floors of the building.
ESB From the Street
From here we took a cab over to 45th St and Times Square to have lunch at Junior’s , a place famous for their cheesecake in the Theater district since the 1950’s. Their carrot cake cheesecake is probably the best pie or cake of any kind I have ever eaten.
Walking back over to Broadway, Jan got her picture taken with a world-famous New York celebrity, The Naked Cowboy.
Naked Cowboy 1
Naked Cowboy 2
Naked Cowboy 3
I think she was enjoying this entirely too much. And why isn’t there a Naked Cowgirl, anyway?
And the Naked Cowboy is also running for Mayor of New York.
Naked Cowboy for Mayor
He has a bevy of beautiful blondes running around handing out campaign literature, but could I get my picture taken with them? Nooooo!
A recent article says he makes between 3 and 4 hundred dollars an hour doing this and only works between 11 am and 2 pm each day. There are pictures of him, dressed just like this, standing in 6 inches of snow.
I think I’d worry about frostbite myself.
We then sat on the lawn chairs on Broadway and watch the world go by for a while.
Looking up, we could see the New Year’s Eve ball resting at the bottom of the column for 2009.
Times Square Ball
It sure seems like the column is taller on TV.
About 3 pm we caught a cab back to Penn Station to start the journey back to Florida, NY where we’re parked.
It’s a two part train ride. First we catch a train from Penn Station to Secaucus Junction, in Secaucus, NJ.
Although not as big as Penn Station, Secaucus Junction is really a very beautiful station.
Then we catch the 4:18 pm Port Jervis train out to Harriman, NY where we left our truck at the Park and Ride, finally getting home about 5:30 pm.
Not bad, but I’d hate to have to do it every day, like many people do.
Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »