Friday, July 14, 2017

NYC - Day 1

On Thursday afternoon (June 8), we landed at LaGuardia Airport. If your first impression of New York is LaGuardia, please do not turn around and get back on the plane! It's probably the worst experience of the city and alleviates any doubts that I've ever had about America needing to upgrade its infrastructure. I would call it the Wrigley Field of airports but that is an insult to Chicago. But, we did feel welcomed right away as you can barely see at the top of this picture:

Our hotel in Queens was just 4.2 miles from the airport and it took over 30 minutes to get there. Two recommendations for flying into NY. #1 - don't, instead fly into Newark, NJ. It's a much better airport; #2 - don't plan on landing during rush hour. For my October trip, I flew into Newark at 11 PM and the 19 mile UBER ride took about 25 minutes. From my two, brief experiences, I've determined that rush hour begins at 4 AM and ends at 11 PM.

Once we got our luggage to the 9th floor of our luxury hotel (compared maybe to Riker's Island), we quickly unpacked that which we needed right away and scurried down and out the front door to make the 2 block walk to the subway station where we bought our one week MTA passes (this we used to the fullest) and hopped on the #7 (subway) for the 3 mile ride to the 5th Avenue. 

Lunch was loooooong overdue so we broke rule #1
of being a true New Yorker and ate meat off the street.
Somehow the water became the highlight of the picture...
...and the meal too.

First stop: Rockefeller Center

This is now (July):
 This is how you might be used to seeing it on
TV and in the movies - this picture is from the
October trip:

Even after reading about her
I still don't quite understand her but she was at
Rockefeller Center too: 

 Atlas Shrug also bears the world on his shoulders
at Rockefeller Center

The Lego Store is well represented too:

From there, we walked over to 7th Avenue and 54th Street
to see where I stayed in October. This was the view from my window at that time:
A homeless man who set up in front of a vacant building.
He will be featured again in a later post.

 The line to the 75 year old Carnegie Deli
which is aptly named given its
proximity to Carnegie Hall. This picture was
taken on October 7 - the deli had announced
it was closing on October 31 therefore the
line was always at least this long.

 This picture was made in front of the store just below
the apartment where I stayed during the October visit:

 7th Avenue goes about like this between
42nd and 56th Streets: Pizza Place, Souvenir Shop, 
Deli, Luggage/Camera/Phone Store, repeat
(because everyone buys more than they
thought they would and/or forgets or breaks their electronics).
Scott felt this picture was necessary!

 There are a few other places along that path.
The M&M Store is a tourist favorite. It is 3 floors
of everything you can imagine M&M and
every flavor and color you can imagine:

We walked out of the M&M store to
meet up with these guys: 

On down the street to the area where
a driver went onto the sidewalk a
few weeks ago and intentionally ran
down several pedestrians. These barricades
are now all over that area: 

Down to the heart of Times Square.
The New Year's Eve ball drops
from the building in the center:

 Scott learned - Whatever you do in NYC, don't
let any of these guys catch up to you.
They harass until you "give".

And finally... some Ray's Pizza.
2 locations on 7th Avenue
Some say it's the best. I've now
eaten there 8 times (across 2 trips)
and would agree that it's the best. Then again,
I liked it so much, it's all I tried.

NYC - Day 1 
NYC - Day 2 
NYC - Day 3 
NYC - Day 4a 
NYC - Day 4b 
NYC - Day 5 
NYC - Day 6 
NYC - Day 7
NYC - Buildings 
Sabbatical Trip Part 2 - Day 8
Sabbatical Trip Part 2 - Day 9
Sabbatical Trip Part 2 - US Naval Academy
Sabbatical Trip Part 2 - The Last Days including Ocean City, NJ, West Point Academy, Flushing Meadow-Corona Park

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