Tripping over the lights fantastic

42nd Street at night

42nd Street at night

When last we spoke, I had taken a bus tour of tv and movie locations. The rain had stopped and the sun was trying hard to come out. That night, we saw Rock of Ages at the  Helen Hayes Theatre, a few short blocks from the hotel. It is quite possibly the most fun you can have at the theatre! It’s all cheesy 80s rock, lots of great jokes, with talented actor/singers (unlike the film of the same name!) and musicians. The theatre is not large but that means everyone has a great seat. The theatre staff were very anal about people taking photos of the stage set before the show, claiming copyright. Seems a bit petty to me. Banning photos during the performance is something I can certainly understand and get on board with. Well, even when they hollered at people for taking photos, they didn’t take the camera or make them delete it, not that I saw.

We walked back from the theatre and thought the better of walking over to Times Square as our feet were hurting but we could see the lights along 42nd street and some of the other streets leading over to Times Square. That’s good enough.

Friday was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. We  had been told that the queues at the Empire State building were very light in the morning. Probably, it was earlier than we got there which was about 10:20 or so. It took us pretty much one hour from the time we entered the lobby to the time we walked out on the Observation Deck of the 86th floor, through four different lineups but for the most part, it wasn’t really that bad. The longest one is the queue for security and it moved quickly. The slowest was the one for the elevator which only takes you to the 80th floor first where you can see an exhibit about the ESB. Then there’s another wait for the lift up the last 6 floors though you can climb steps if you wish. We didn’t wish.

The observation deck was pretty busy but people seemed to be easy going and willing to move away from the view points to let others in. The sky was blue and the views were spectacular. When we left, the line up to get in was right out onto Fifth Ave.!

ESB  northwest

We had a drink and then attempted to get a cab. We had no luck. There are 13,000 cabs in New York and all of the streams of them that flowed past us were occupied. We walked, stopped, tried to wave one down, repeat. Finally a guy cycling a pedi-cab wheeled over. I asked how much, showed him where we were going and hopped in. Our destination is the Intrepid Air and Space and Sea museum on the Hudson River and it was a fair little walk from Fifth Avenue without a subway station all that near, not without a further walk. The pedicab was an unusual perspective to transport through the streets of New York. Yes, it was a huge tourist trap, as are the horse drawn carraiges but it was something different at least.

We enjoyed the Intrepid museum, a museum of, on and in an aircraft carrier that is nearly as long as the Chrysler building is high! They had lots of planes and helicopters on the long flight deck including a space shuttle which was closed due to some damage to it’s canopy from a hurricane not long ago. They have a submarine docked as well, one that was one of the first to carry nuclear and cruise missiles. The hangar deck had a couple of space capsules, an American one and a Russian Soyez. It was all really cool, we both like that sort of thing.

We could have spent more time there but we needed to get something to eat in the cafe and get to the next pier to take the Circle Line cruise around the island of Manhattan at 4. There was a very long queue there as well which wasn’t moving for the first half hour. I wasn’t sure all those people were even going to get on one boat but the boats are very big and everyone fit! We sat on the outside deck though not out at the edge of the boat. We were in the center of it so we had a lot of heads in our photos. Most people were pretty good about staying in their seat but a couple of times many of the tourists got excited over the Statue of Liberty and stood up to shoot pictures and stayed up for awhile. It’s annoying when the boat is going to come around and give everyone a good view of the Statue of Liberty.

Sailing up the East River under the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges was nice too. I like boat cruises as you get a different view of a city and it’s great for skyline type photos. It stayed nice and sunny all day and even out on the water it wasn’t very chilly or windy.

The cruise takes about two hours for the “semi circle” which doesn’t go completely around the island. We walked over to 9th Ave. from the piers (on 12th at 42nd St.) where there are lots of restaurants. We had a most excellent Thai meal at a place called Yum Yum! It was certainly appropriate.

After four days of walking and sightseeing, we’re done in. It may be Friday night in a happening city but we’re worn out and are very happy to have a relaxing evening at the hotel. Just as well. Trying to get out of the damn city was a pain in the ass. But that’s something for another blog post. Stay tuned.


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