Monday, June 27, 2011

NYC - Sunday's Leisure Time - Not!

Did something different Sunday and went to the Upper West Side for brunch at a little place called French Roast. This was my first venture into this area, and I must say I liked it. Maybe because it feels roomier and the streets aren’t as crowded as other areas of the city. Maybe it was the people. But either way, I liked this part of town. After breakfast, we went down Riverside Drive and saw Riverside Park; another large area of greenery around the New York that I’d heard was a concrete jungle.

Sunday afternoon was spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka The MET) to see the Egypt exhibit, along with a few other areas. It’s almost impossible to see everything in there, so we focused on specific areas. See photo below:

The main thing that struck me was how much the Egyptians communicated. Symbols and stories of their lives were engraved into everything—walls, tombs, doorways, etc. As a writer, I’m intrigued by their impassioned desire to communicate stories in so many ways, for so many reasons. Another note was how much the Ankh (symbol of life or life force) was prevalent in their statues and symbols. One intriguing statue in particular had a lion sitting on a throne, clasping the Ankh tight in its hand, almost as if to cling to whatever life it could.

Dinner was at Chez Josephine, where (I’m embarrassed to admit) I went against my better judgment and tried one tiny bite of escargot. But hey, this is NYC and it’s a city for new sights, new sounds, and the creativity and thrill of being here must have affected my brain because I ate one bite.

Ahem. YUCK. Never again, but at least I tried it.

After dinner, friends and I decided to do something incredibly foolish: go to the top of the Empire State Building. We weren’t foolish for wanting to do such a thing, after all, it’s a standard tourist activity. We just should have picked a better time to go – we picked close to sunset.

The line was deceptively brief, enough for us to comment how easy this venture was going to be. Ahem. Not. For those of you who haven’t been here or may want to visit the top of it, go first thing in the morning when it opens. Or go at 1 a.m. because it closes at 2 a.m.

We got in a line for security. Then we got into a line to get tickets. Then we go around a long hallway where we are in another line.

Then we finally get into an elevator and wow, we’re going up to the 80th floor! Exciting, right? We are on our way! The ride going up kind of freaked me out because it does go 80 stories high…and of course thoughts of plummeting to the basement kept creeping into my mind. Fortunately, the worst thing that happened on the ride was that my ears kept popping.

When the light said 80th floor, I stepped out. This was it. I was going to see the whole city from way up high. Yay, this is terrific, right?

No. There’s another line. This one is to go to a different set of elevators to the 86th floor, where the *real* observatory is. Great. So kill another 20 minutes. FINALLY we got to the top. It is an incredible view, we caught the last few minutes of sunset before the view turned to tiny twinkling lights in every direction. It’s the city that never sleeps. Boy is that ever right. Even at 1 a.m., streets are crowded like it’s rush hour in Atlanta. Who knew?


I guess it took us about an hour to get up to the top, and we spent about 20 minutes up there. Not terrible, but I’d do it at 8 a.m. next time, not sunset. So we go back in, figuring it’s going to be a lot easier to get down than it was waiting to come up. Right?

Nope. You guessed it. There’s another series of lines. Same as coming up. Oy! Oy Vey!

Needless to say, I came back to the hotel and crashed.


Tami Brothers said...

Wow! 80 floors. Had no idea. Great tip going in the morning. When my family goes next year, we will definiltey have to keep this in mind.

I can't wait to see the Egypt exhibit. That is one of the things on our to-do list!!!

The Writers Canvas said...

Actually, 86 floors for the regular viewers! I think you can go up to the 105th floor for an extra $30 but I thought the 86th floor was fine!

Yes, definitely be wary of how many lines there are to get in! The first line to go thru security is deceptively simple-looking!

The Egypt exhibit was beautiful. We even saw an old tomb that had been brought over. Wonderful experience at the MET, not to mention great air conditioning in humid weather!