“Taking A Bite Out Of The Big Apple”
Someone once told me never stare up at the buildings. The thieves and the bandits will know pretty darn quick you’re from out-of-town. Totally mesmerized by the volume of detailed mega-structures housed in the Big Apple it was difficult not to display the effervescent mindset of a first-time tourist. Manhattan is just down right an awe-inspiring city. Planning my cardinal adventure was electrifying. How would I conceivably engineer ample time to see my all time favorite celebrities? Jerry Seinfeld? Regis Philbin? Donald Trump? So much to do and see in less than three days.
Arriving mid-afternoon on a brisk Autumn day in November brought me directly to the Hyatt Hotel on East 42nd at the Grand Central Terminal. I was completely spellbound by the magnificent and glorious Grand Hyatt. Moved by the splendour of the tapestry splayed between the four walls of this first-class hotel I knew I was no longer in Kansas. My premium pick for overnight stays has always Tom Bodette’s Motel 6 –you know– the one where the lights are always on.
My daughter and I had a lengthy agenda and a no-nonsense plan to tackle the sights. Times Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, SOHO, Tribeca, Broadway, Wall Street, Serendipity, Macy’s, China Town, Little Italy, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Ground Zero, Empire State Building, Herald Square, Regis and Kelly and whatever else we could cram into two full days. Now any seasoned foot passenger to the city knows our timetable was impossible to do.
The afternoon of our arrival we trekked around Times Square and Broadway. Overwhelmed by the crowds we ruled against standing in line to buy tickets to a Broadway show. The droves of people were breeding on the streets right before our eyes like mice in an experimental laboratory. Upon leaving Toys “R” Us we witnessed Spiderman climbing light poles while luxury sedans and stretched limos moseyed through the throngs of moon struck folks. Suddenly a group of young girls broke into a thunderous roar. Glancing toward the MTV studio’s my daughter and I caught fancy of these teenage fanatics. Standing directly in front of us clad only in tidy whites, cowboy boots and a shiny guitar was The Naked Cowboy. And for a small price you could have a photo shoot with this fine Times Square attraction. Now I must confess to you here. Upon witnessing this unbelievable extravaganza a giant NYC pothole bounced up from beneath my feet and swallowed me whole. Knowing full well once the light turned green 50,000 cabbies would be blowing horns and squashing me to my very demise a strange man (I’ll call him my angel) suddenly lifted me to my feet and before I could say thanks vanished into the thick of the night. Embarrassed and injured by the incident I hobbled back to the hotel and turned in for the rest of the evening.
Early Friday morning brought us to Live with Regis and Kelly. Harboring our tickets like fugitives we moved slowly but directly into the studio. A fun-filled hour existed with a performance by Josh Groban. Regis and Kelly mingling with audience members during commercial breaks was surreal to me. Anyone following my posts knows my love for the entertainment industry and my aspiration to meet Howie Mandel and Adam Sandler.So for me my friend this was a mighty fine moment and well worth my entire journey to New York.
With locomotive speed we conquered Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, Empire State Building, Ground Zero,and Herald Square. Dining was high on our list of most do’s. Noshing on street vendor hot dogs and Serendipity’s famous frozen hot chocolate was paramount but my all-time favorite watering hole was Bravo Pizza on 42nd and 5th a place I dwell at on my frequent visits to the city. Amazed by the legions of refuse and homeless chaps crowding the streets and storefronts we settled in once again for another night.
Exhausted inside and out it was finally time to bid adieu. With Frank Sinatra’s famous tune New York New York etched deep within my heart I bid farewell to my new city friend. My daughter and I went in two separate directions promising a NYC rendezvous would become a yearly tradition for us. Statue of Liberty? Check. Times Square? Check. Rockefeller Center? Check. Serendipity? Check. And yes, Regis Philbin? Check!
Live Life to its Fullest and Follow Your Dreams
see you soon…