Well we did it. We tackled the Big Apple. And with three little people in tow! All I have to say is WOW !... wow at how many people can fit on a sidewalk ... wow at building-tall ads and flashing monitors at Time Square ... and Wow at how a city of that size can function at all!
We had a lot of fun, despite some cranky kids, fit throwing, and chilly weather. We were there for only 5-6 hours, but felt like we saw some of the 'main stuff' in the area around Grand Central Terminal.
We trained in to the city, which Wes and Kate thought was awesome! They kept saying, "are we on Thomas?" Thankfully we went 'after peak' hours on the way in, and so there was plenty of space to sprawl out with our cookies and oranges.
Grand Central Terminal is hosting a light show for the next few weeks so as you walk into the main portion (the one you see on posters and postcards), a light show dances on the walls and ceiling every 10 minutes or so. It was pretty cool.
I had printed off a small map from a website, so with it in hand, we took to the streets.
We saw the Empire State Building and Matt said, "it looks shorter in real life." It costs something like $20 to go to the observation deck, so we moved on to some more areas just to browse at the visual buffet of buildings/sites before us.
We went to Rockefeller Center where the famed Christmas Tree is, to which Matt replied, "I thought it would be taller." This trend continued throughout the day, and I agreed that we must make things bigger in our minds than perhaps they appear in real life.
Here's the tree in the distance.
Here's another view of the tree behind the flags, and below is the ice rink (once again, a little smaller in real life, but nonetheless really fun-looking). Throngs and throngs of people were gathered and it was a spot where Wes had a melt down and didn't want to proceed any farther. But there were so many people around, I didn't feel totally embarrassed - most didn't even know we existed. It was so great!
Down the way from the tree is the NBC Studio 1A where the Today Show is shot ... don't know why I didn't get a picture, but once again, camera work on TV makes the area where everyone's standing and waving at their families at home, look a lot bigger. It was pretty cool. They had an NBC store (we didn't dare go in, too many little items for little fingers to snatch).
Down the way again, is one of the entrances to Radio City Music Hall.
We walked past Carnegie Hall (no photo), and into Central Park where I'm sure we only started to scratch the slightest scratch of the surface of how big it is. But it had fun play areas for children - so Matt and the twins played for a while, while Sophie and I hung out and watched everyone. (once again no pictures, I don't know what I was thinking).
By this time we'd gone as far north as we wanted to that day so we exited the park and started down 7th street. Soon we could see the Toshiba Megatron with the 2009 on top, all ready for the big party - the ball wasn't up yet; And this is where I started to be in awe of Time Square! WOW! It was pretty cool. And I can't reiterate again, how many hundreds, upon thousands, upon millions and trillions of people were there! All the while we were pushing our way through the masses with our double stroller :).
Okay, so in this picture there doesn't seem to be a soul around us .. which is totally not true, we just have a magic camera that removes the people... I guess. Maybe it's my imagination about how many people were there (just like how everything looks smaller in real life), but there were truly some intersections where I just plowed through (at a snail's pace) and apologized the whole way for bumping into people and rolling over their toes with the stroller.
I didn't know there was such a thing as an "M&M Store" but there is, and it was Wes and Kate's favorite attraction. We didn't go in, but they sure had plenty to look at from the outside.
So that was basically it. Next time we may be a little more daring and actually go inside some places, but we treated this as our trial run. Since we live relatively close, we're going to try to go at least a couple more times in the coming 8 months. And maybe once without the little ones ... we'll see.
Just for good measure I add this last photo of the girls in their Christmas Dresses ... for documentation's sake :).
They're our little beauties! (Handsome Jack was napping peacefully and thus, wasn't photographed.)
2 years ago