So we decided to spend the day in New York and took the bus from Willow brook Mall in New Jersey to the Port Authority bus stand, in New York. We jumped in and got pretty good seats and were off. What an experience it was to see the iconic buildings against the skyline as the bus headed for the Lincoln Tunnel. The Lincoln Tunnel is an approximately 1.5-mile-long set of three tunnels under the Hudson River, connecting Weehawken, New Jersey, and Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Built in the early ‘30’s, there is a line which shows where one crosses over from New Jersey to New York, marked in the tunnel wall.
I adore the style of the Empire State building and so looked out for it first. The star of so many movies the building is familiar to most of us having seen the movies King Kong and An Affair to Remember. And the gorgeous Chrysler Building. One of the top 10 most famous skyscrapers in New York City, was the tallest building in the world for a brief eleven months before the Empire State Building was completed.
The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco style skyscraper in New York City, located on the east side of Manhattan in the Turtle Bay area at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. All iconic and so New York, though the Burj Khalifa has outstripped all these building and is the tallest in the world today. Movies shot on the Chrysler are Men in Black 3 and Armageddon.
We met the cousins at the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree and the skating rink where skaters were enjoying a spin in the icy cold. We were meeting at The Sea Grill which was in the plaza and out of the cold, thankfully. And a glass of red wine, warmed up the blood pumping in my veins. The crowds were scary and unimaginable even for me coming from crowded India. I avoid Brigade road and Commercial St in Bangalore during the crowded times, but this was ten times that level of ‘crowded’.
Andrew and me then walked around enjoying looking at Ripleys Believe it or Not, Madame Tussards and the food carts manned by Pakistanis with hot dogs on the street. There were cartoon characters dressed up and waiting for customers to come take pics with them and get paid for the chance. A cute Mickey Mouse, a cuter Mickey mouse, a bright red Elmo, and a lot of other disney characters. Ofcourse there were heaps of Santas in varying degrees of fat. The Jap and Chinese tourists were all over and to my eyes, I saw more Indians than I could believe, everywhere.
Then we passed Saks Fifth Avenue, with it’s dressed windows, all with the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs theme. Every window was wonderful, especially the one with the mirror with a running video saying “ Mirror, mirror on the wall” Crowds surged around there were so thick, we were literally just moving with the push forward.
NYPD were a big presence and massive guys dressed in black standing menacing around with huge Colt M4 Commandos rifles. The elite units were everywhere and were comforting to see, especially in the crowds. No cars were allowed which probably prevented any terrorist deciding to plow into us.
Seeing the Radio City and the New York Times Building was such a high for me a journalist. Brought back memories of accessing the NYT website and paying huge money for every story I used on the Deccan Herald editorial pages while I worked there. Every feature story a gem and of the highest journalistic standards. Now I use them to teach young journalists how to word their stories.
And then we spent a few quiet moments in the beautiful Cathedral of St. Patrick. It’s architecture is Neo-Gothic-style, Roman Catholic church in the United States and a prominent landmark of New York City. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st.
And the numbering of the streets by numbers and not names was another strange point that hit me. Quite impersonal like the city itself felt for me. But the warmth flowed back into my veins when we walked into a pizzeria which charged us $6 for a slice of pizza which was highway robbery, but we ate them anyway rather than quibble as we were hungry.