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April 26th, 2007

NYC Vacation—Day 2

After grabbing a quick breakfast at the deli around the corner from our hotel, we took the 1 train up to 59th, where we exited up to the street at the entrance to Central Park. Here's Joe there:



There was a lot of hustle and bustle in the park. At the beginning of our walk, an extended family of about eight or ten people asked me to take their picture.

They were French and spoke very limited English, so I spoke in French with them. Imagine such a family in the foreground of this picture, as it's pretty much where I took it.


"Dites-moi 'fromage'!" I called out. They laughed, and I snapped it.



It was a beautiful day in Central Park—folks were taking carriage rides:


and the flowers were in bloom—the tulips...


and the daffodils...


And if the flowers weren't proof enough that Spring has sprung, then perhaps this skating rink shot is the clincher:



The willows weep for the dissipating ice.



At the corner of Central Park, we got a glimpse of The Plaza Hotel, which is under renovation, so covered with scaffolding all along the front.

We walked through FAO Schwarz and marveled at the over-sized stuff animals, including the huge bison toward the front of the store.

I took a video of a girl walking on the "floor piano," of which each "key" lights up and plays a tone when one steps on it. This is either the one, or one like the one, that Tom Hanks danced on in Big.

I couldn't get my vid to load in youtube.com, but here's one of the gazillion already stored there.



Exiting FAO Schwarz, I asked what this huge glass structure was just outside of it. It had a big white apple suspended in the middle of grid-like glass work. I had "the Big Apple" so much on my mind, that I didn't recognize it as the apple of Apple Computers.

Some spiral stairs, leading underground, took us to a big Apple store down there.



We walked down 5th Avenue taking in the glam that is, well, New York City and the consumerism of 5th Avenue, only to come upon a sanctuary, literally, in the midst of it all—St. Patrick's Cathedral.

We stepped inside, and to our surprise, we found mass in progress at the point of the blessing of the sacraments right before communion.

The juxtaposition of tourists milling around the back and sides, the sign in a church that said, "All bags and packages are subject to search," and the hustle and bustle of the gift shop as a backdrop to mass was interesting.

Joe lit a candle in memory of loved ones, and bought a rosary for his sister and a pin for his mother.

While he was shopping in the gift shop, I sat in a pew and rested. I was by the St. Anthony candles, and a lady came up with turquoise, navy, and white vertical stripes on a blouse, untucked hanging partly over her purple and orange plaid pants.

I said a small prayer to the patron saint of lost things: "St. Anthony, please help that woman find a blouse that matches her skirt."



Next, we walked around Rockefeller Center, seeing the window outside the set of the Today Show where all the tourists gather in the morning, the skating rink, which is not one for the warm months, and we walked through the NBC Experience Store.



We took the 1 train downtown, and we stopped in Greenwich Village for lunch, finally deciding on a place called Fiddlesticks to eat. The food was decent, but the service absolutely sucked there—not so much bad, as it was just non-existent.



On the way back from the Village, we stopped by Rawhide and the View Bar for their happy hours, and we met a guy who introduced himself to us as "Rocco."  He said he was a dancer, but his hips and butt betrayed him.

Before we left, he asked us to meet him back at the View Bar at 11:30, after our play.



We grabbed a "deli dinner"—I got a bagel with cream cheese, and Joe got an Italian Panini.

We took the metro uptown to see the Lion King at 8.  Our 5th row center seats were most excellent.



We returned to the room just before 11:30, I called Rocco to tell him we weren't going to make 11:30, and were now shooting for 12:15. He said he'd wait.

After a drink or two at the View Bar, he took us over to a bar called the Gym, where we ended the night after a few more drinks.

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