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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Empire State Building

OMG am I sore!! I have blisters on both heels and my hip is killing me. The sidewalks here all have a slant toward the street for drainage, so if you do a lot of walking on the same side of the street, you develop a twist in your back. It’s not just me either…Gordon is hurting, too!!! Today was a big day for us; we started off walking towards the Empire State building, but stopped for breakfast…bagels from a street vendor!! We arrived at the Empire State Building without tickets and a super long line ahead of us, with Schooner in tow. You have to go through security (thanks to 911) but with Schooner, we were moved around people and escorted up to the top very fast!!! It was a beautiful sight, with the weather cooperating completely and we even had some sunshine. We had allotted 2 hours to see the Empire State Building and were out within one, so it was off to the 33rd Street Station and Wall Street. Some of you might remember that yesterday the market fell 777 points and boy was it a media frenzy there. We couldn’t get in the Exchange (security) talked to many people and took in Tiffany’s instead! No, I didn’t get any bobbles!!! We found out it was just a “short” walk to Ground Zero from Wall Street, so we headed off towards there and all of this done before noon. Ground Zero is a busy place, with a lot of construction going on. It is hard to believe so much could be destroyed, but sad that nothing has been done to memorialize it yet. (It’s been 7 years now) We walked the complete circle around the former World Trade Center site and, other than a big hole, you would guess it was just another construction project screwing up traffic!!! There was a small memorial to the Firefighters a block away, which I assume will be moved when the WTC Memorial is completed. A large Cross, made from two of the steel beams from the collapsed buildings, sits across the street from what was the WTC and is about the only reminder of the tragedy. From World Trade Center site, we walked to the new World Financial Center and Merrill Lynch so G could take a picture of the place before it changes names. (Hope Blain enjoyed his pics.) By now, we are getting hungry, so we stop for a snack. Didn’t want to eat much because we had dinner reservations for 5:00. G decided we could walk off anything we ate by walking everywhere, (LOL) so on to NYC City Hall and the offices of Mayor Bloomberg. No we didn’t get to see him, as a matter of fact we haven’t seen anyone famous!!! We caught the subway back to 51st Street and the hotel and a caught a short rest before getting back on the subway and heading towards Brooklyn. You all must wonder why we were eating so early?? One, it was the only time available and two, the restaurant wasn’t in the most favorable place. The restaurant was Peter Luger’s; New York’s #1 rated Steakhouse and featured many times on the Food Channel. We ordered their specialty; Porterhouse for two at $85.00, and that didn’t include anything but the steak!!! We had additional sides of creamed spinach and German fried potatoes. (There wasn’t much of a choice of anything else!) After the initial shock over the price, we were treated to the very best steak ever! (and I thought Ruth’s Chris was great.) All their steaks are dry aged for 30 days and tender enough to cut with a fork!! Patrick did well with his recommendation!! It was back on the subway and to the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center.) Since we had seen the city by day from the Empire State building, we decided to see it at night from the Rock. Again, we met security, but with Schooner in tow, we were quickly whisked up 85 floors and treated to the most beautiful sight. Ms Gloria Gordon, who assists visitors at The Rock, took the time to speak with us and I thank her for her, and New York’s, hospitality! But now, it’s been a long day….a lot of walking… and Schooner just wants to lay down and sleep…me too!!

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