The next couple days, there is no baseball, just everyday tourist-type-stuff. So much to see in New York City, so little time. We decided on starting with the 911 Memorial and then head north to our other destinations. I had previously visited NYC a year or so after 911, and the site was a giant hole in the ground. The remains of the destruction was still ever-present, but there was a make-shift memorial with a model of the future memorial. On the return visit, it was amazing to see the concept model I saw on the first visit, come to such beautiful fruition. The memorial area was very busy, but that was to be expected in NYC in the summer. Inside the memorial was a mall, an open-air museum, and a subway connection. All-in-all a very beautiful building inside and out.
The wait to get into the museum was ridiculous. In the neighborhood of 1.5 hours. We looked around the two pools for a while and headed north to go the International Center of Photography (ICP). We decided to walk instead of take the subway, which turned out to be fortuitous because we went by one of the more famous "TV" buildings, the New York Supreme Court, or the "Law and Order building." (DUNN-DUNN). After, or during, we walked through Chinatown, which was a unique experience. It was cool to see shops and items that anyone would normally look to buy just advertised in Mandarin, Korean, and other Asian languages.
Once we got to the ICP (please no Insane Clown Posse jokes), it was nice to sit and relax before we toured the museum. The previous three days traveling to Philly and NYC was taking its toll and the heat/humidity was taxing. The ICP had a Magnum (very exclusive photographer organization) exhibit. Initially, smaller than I had expected, but there was a fair amount of work that spanned every generation of Magnum photographers. It also did a good job of showing the backgrounds/history of the photographs and the photographers own words describing the vision they had hoped to portray. For me a great Experience. Bob said he enjoyed the museum as well.
After the ICP we had to head close to Central Park, as we had tickets to a Broadway play. We had an hour to kill so we ventured, briefly, into Central Park. It is quite beautiful, however out of place in the loud and boisterous city. The park was pretty busy, but again, it's summer in the city. There is a lot to do in the park, but we were not able to see the variety as we needed to get something to eat before the play. We had to find a place to eat that also had a bathroom to change in as we thought it inappropriate to go to broadway in shorts and a t-shirt.
The play we saw was "The Play That Goes Wrong" at the Lyceum Theatre. We had originally looked for a well known play (e.i. Lion King or Wicked) but the tickets were starting at $125 but this was $50 for mezzanine. The seats were the second to last row, but still very good. The play was amazing. I really cannot remember the last time I laughed that much or that hard at anything. If you ever get a chance to see that play, anywhere, go see it. Phenomenal.
After the play, we had enough time to head to Rockefeller Center and go to the Top of the Rock at the famous 30 Rock. Now, I am not afraid of much, but heights have always been a problem. Like, can't-walk-within-five-feet-of-clear-railing-at-the-mall afraid. I really wanted to go so I put on my big-boy pants and said let's go.
It was $38 to go up, which I usually don't pay that much to have an anxiety attack, but I was very excited to try and get some pictures to stitch together for a panoramic. On a side note, all of my panos will have been done when I get home, as my laptop would take about 45 minutes to load all the images, let alone adjust, edit, and finalize. When you buy tickets, they give you a 15 minute window to show up to go up. Our window was such that we had to wait about 20 minutes for ours. When our time was up we took an elevator up a few floors to a security checkpoint that mirrors an airport, but much faster. That's line two. Then you wait in line to get in an elevator to go up to the top. That whole process took about 20 minutes. The people who work there are definitely motivating you to get the lines tighter together and move along. When you get to the top, there are three decks to choose from. The bottom two have glass around them with gaps about 3.5 inches apart. I could not shoot with my chosen lens so I switched to my fisheye, which are the image you see below. It is pretty crowded on the first and third level. Especially the third deck, as it has no glass. The people were pretty nice about letting others through and giving everybody a chance to get pictures. There were some very moronic exceptions but those aren't worth mentioning. The ToR really didn't bother me nearly as much as I thought, but I was looking through my camera, and the lower decks help to quell the feeling of floating death that accompanies my vertigo. After shooting we had to get in line to take an elevator down, which took about 15 minutes.
After the ToR we headed back to the hotel for much needed R&R. We took the subway around 12:30am and it was much more crowded than I would have expected. Maybe not crowded, but people had to stand most of the way to our stop. Just outside our stop was a Halal stand and Bob and I got some food. I got a falafel wrap which was great. I would describe it as chorizo like, but not as spicy or chewy, but good. I'm also glad that there are not Halal stands in Phoenix because I would gain a whole lot of weight.