NYC, Part 2

Each “Part” in this series corresponds to one day of the New York trip. However, I didn’t actually say anything yesterday about the first day, so for those of you keeping score at home, today’s Part 2 actually covers both Monday and Tuesday of last week. I’ll be back on track tomorrow.

Also, this is quite a bit longer than the normal Back to the Fridge post. I Hope you don’t mind staying a few extra minutes today.


Today was our travel day. We were supposed to leave on Tuesday, but a minor mis-click during online booking meant that two of the three of us were now leaving a day before originally planned. A few more clicks and several hundred dollars later: Monday it was for all of us.

Around six thirty that morning, the phone rang. Uh oh. It’s never good news when the phone rings before you wake up. “We’re sorry, your flight has been canceled.” Great. Fortunately, rescheduling wasn’t a big deal. The new flight only left twenty minutes later and the only real change was stopping in Dallas instead of O’Hare. So all in all, not a problem. The flight itself was uneventful. See how nice it was?

It was high time for lunch when we stopped in Dallas. As you know, I’d already braced myself for the worst this week, eating-wise, that is. And although I didn’t want to turn that into a license to binge, I still couldn’t help myself at the food court. I peered through the glass at Manchu Wok. The food looked like it would be really, really bad, so I ordered that up but good. Stuffed, I boarded the next plane and we were off.

Flying into Manhattan was perfect. Our path took us right up the Hudson with a brilliant, clear view of the city. Unfortunately, the camera decided a two second exposure was needed and therefore this is all I have to show for it.

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. This picture, blurry though it may be, is proof of that.

As I got off the plane it occurred to me: I had no real clue where I was or what I was doing. Usually I have some sort of plan. (Actually, I usually meet someone when arrive at my destination.) All I knew is that we had to get three people and their luggage from La Guardia to a hotel in New Jersey. Oh, and about that luggage:

You women certainly put the “lug” back in luggage. I’d love to have one of you explain it to me one day. Anyway, back to the airport-to-hotel shuttling dilemma. Luckily, I’d done a little research on the interwebs before leaving. I vaguely knew we had to take the M60 bus to an undisclosed stop in Manhattan, then find our way to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and finally catch another bus to New Jersey.

I will spare you the details of standing in the aisle of a speeding bus for thirty minutes, hopping off at who-knows-where to transfer to the M104, getting to the bus terminal and making a haphazard guess at the next bus to take, making it to the departure gate only to discover that it closes at 10:00 PM (and gosh! you got there at 10:01), somehow locating the alternate gate, riding thirty minutes to New Jersey to be dropped off at an unknown stop, only to wait another fifteen minutes for the hotel shuttle to pick us up, which, incidentally shuts down service for the night at 11 pm.

Yes, I won’t go into any of that. I’ll just say it took less time to get from Dallas to New York than from the airport to the hotel. (“Why didn’t you just fly into Newark?” I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that, sir. Please hold all questions until tomorrow.)


The next morning we got up and enjoyed the “complimentary” breakfast that only cost us a $30/night room upgrade. We took the shuttle back to the bus stop and the bus back into Manhattan. We popped out of the bus terminal very near Times Square and decided to make that our first stop. We didn’t go half a block when who should we meet:

Okay, okay. So we stumbled across Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Those things are downright spooky, I tell you. After that, it was on to the famed Times Square:

Things rarely look the same in person as they do in photos, movies, and television. They’re usually smaller and more “average” looking than anything our imaginations dream up. This was different. This reminded me more of the time I visited the Eiffel Tower. No photograph or movie prepared me for the absolute immensity of that structure. In general, most things in New York were also like that. (And this is from someone who grew up in Second City, so I’m not exactly a stranger to largeness.)

Our first stop was determined by Rachel, age 12:

As we entered, we were immediately greeted by two unexpected things. First was this three story Ferris wheel:

Second was the fact that some friends of ours from Austin were riding on it. So here we are, in New York not twenty minutes, and we run into someone we know from home in the very first store we visit!

Anyway, after leaving Toys “R” Expensive, we decided to head to another toy store: the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. It was a good ways north and meant getting there would be half the fun.

First stop along the way? Lunch! And we just happened to be here:

After finding the food area below Rockefeller Center, we decided it was high time to have some good, native, traditional New York food. This could only mean one thing:

Yesterday someone mentioned “food poisoning” in the comments. Now I won’t go all the way to poisoning, but all I know is that two of us did not feel very well after this lunch. I can’t outright blame this particular meal, but—ugh. It was a good long while before I was ready to wander around the streets again. I do not recommend gastrointestinal distress as a method of weight loss. (I know, TMI…)

However, after a short rest and a pint of Pepto Bismol, we made our way to the Disney Store. And I thought Toys “Were” Expensive.

Unsure of what global warming means to humanity? Polar bears fighting in New York, that’s what!

Finally, around five o’clock (though it felt more like midnight) we arrived at our destination: Apple Products “R” Expensive:

We browsed all the shiny plastic things for a while until I tired of it. I sat down, pulled out my own iPod and just vegged out, watching everyone check their 401(k) balances at the MacBooks on display.

After that we hit the subway and found our way to Dylan’s Candy Bar, recommended by the aforementioned friends from Austin. Now I’m mostly a salt-freak, not a sugar-addict, but this place could have brought me over to the dark side.

It may not have been midnight, but I was definitely tuckered out by my first day in the Big Apple (not to mention still a bit queasy). It was time to hit the subway one more time to head back to the depot to head back to the bus stop to head back to the shuttle to head back to the hotel.

We wrapped up the evening by calling Room Service for more traditional New York fare: chicken tenders and fries. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

12 Responses to “NYC, Part 2”

Tuscanystone said
December 2, 2008 at 5:12 am

Only you could get a plane cancelled, get lost, get ripped off, get food poisoning and get to bed all in the same 2 days!!

lol Great account Charlie. Perhaps the ‘food poisioning’ had something to do with your only 1lb gain? ;o)

Tusc :o)

Mara said
December 2, 2008 at 6:34 am

Wow, wonderful first/second day account! I felt the same way when I visited NYC, and I’m from Chicago too! Everything was GINORMOUS!

Kath said
December 2, 2008 at 6:44 am

Love the luggage comparison!!

Christy said
December 2, 2008 at 7:51 am

Oh I love NYC you are so lucky. I have been there 3 times and all were memorable.

I think that ‘woman’s’ suitcase is actually pretty light packing 😉

Tammy said
December 2, 2008 at 8:53 am

Ummm… Hello!!?? We women have to be prepared for any weather / situation whilst packing. Oh, we have to dress up for dinner? No problem, because I PLANNED!


Great account… looking forward to the rest of it.

Megan said
December 2, 2008 at 9:38 am

Hey you were in my neck of the woods when you changed planes! I am truly enjoying all the NYC highlights!

Helen said
December 2, 2008 at 11:52 am

Stop it! Stop eating from chains and rooms service. What about a slice from the corner pizza places? what about Nuts for Nuts? what about the giant pretzels?what about a hot dog? what about matzo ball soup? Obviously, I could go on and on…

Dorothy said
December 2, 2008 at 12:27 pm

How could your wife make it on a trip without multiple pairs of shoes??? 🙂

Deborah said
December 2, 2008 at 12:47 pm

I’m soooo enjoying your journey. Probably more than you did with the tummy problems.

Does sound like you got a lot of walking in even though the food intake wasn’t that good. That’s probably why only the 1 lb gain.

I can hardly wait for tomorrow and day 3.

Catherine said
December 2, 2008 at 1:02 pm

NY fare?? You need some pizza, bagels, pretzels and hotdogs – stat!! That’s some real traditional NY eats!

Tom Rooney said
December 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I love the “they put the lug in luggage” line.

You should be happy it wasn’t cargo.

Sound like a great trip Charlie

MaryB said
December 2, 2008 at 5:41 pm

My daughter lives in Manhattan, I think I saw her apartment building in your pic! I hope you got some street meat, it is the best!