As any other story told by yours truly, mine is a bit different. A trip to NYC that makes me instantly fall in love with the city needs certain unusual ingredients. One of them would be heavy rain in the first day, looking around for about an hour to find a certain theater in Time Square, staying at a hotel that’s partly being renovated and having no hot water in the first night, falling down in from of Central Park and hurting both knees bad enough that I still have evidence of my pain after more than two weeks and so on 🙂

If you couldn’t tell by now, it’s not your regular perfect little touristy trip to the Big Apple. It all started in Chicago, on O’Hare, where I got a bit pissed off by the security rules. In was a domestic flight, but just because I was not an US citizen, I had to go through a really thorough check up. It made me feel a little offended to be honest, as I had already been through 3 different checkups (not counting the Embassy) to get in the country. Later on my trip, I learned to love this rule, as it meant getting through security faster. I understand the tight security now, but I still don’t like it much.

Time Square

The hotel we stayed at was incredibly close to Times Square. So close we overlooked the tiny room and the even tinier bathroom. We also ignored the fact the hotel had no restaurant of its own. They had free internet access though 🙂

Our first full day in NY was a Friday, a rainy one, but that did not stop us. The hotel staff recommended a nearby diner to us, Evergreen Diner. They had amazing food, good coffee and nice waitresses, so we ate there everyday.

Time Square 2

We then took a cab to the Ziff Davis Headquarters to be given the grand tour of the PC Magazine Lab! It was indeed an amazing trip, as the credit card payment for the cab was a huge failure – thank God we had cash as well – and as I did not imagine the lab being so large or so cool. PJ, the guy showing us around was extremely nice and funny and also shared a lot of great stories with us. We then did our part, telling him about our cool AXIGEN mail server.

Kenneth Cole

I first heard of Kenneth Cole because of his blog, Awearness. So I thought I should also see what the clothes looked like. Not much to see from the buss 🙂

After that trip, we went out in the rain, as we had decided to walk back to the hotel. From East 28th to West 47. Impressive, wouldn’t you say? Most of the trip was on Broadway. We did some shopping, looked around, making sure we did not miss any detail. On the same day we bought tickets for the Phantom of the Opera (the Majestic Theater).

Downtown bus tour

Saturday came with the NYC Dowtown bus tour. As we woke up late, we queued for about an hour and a half before getting in. But it was totally worth it, as we saw some amazing places and had this incredible guide who gave great advice. As he said restaurants around Times Square are extremely expensive and serve bad food, we realized how lucky we were to find Evergreen.

man drawing - Central Park

We got off near Central Park and went for a greener walk and, of course, a hot dog bought in the heart of New York. Central Park is my favorite place in New York and I am pretty sure that won’t change anytime soon. The night was reined by the Phantom of the Opera. I loved the actual musical, although my idea of the Phantom is of a less psychotic character. But my views on the Phantom of the Opera deserve a completely separate post 🙂

Sky Scrapers Seen from Central Park

On Sunday, we took our guide’s advice and went up the Rockefeller Center, not up the Empire State building. And a smart decision that was, as now we have some cool photos with Empire State from up top and we did pay half the price for it 🙂 After going back from the skies, we realized we had more time, so we took some Starbucks treats and went to spend another hour or so in Central Park. And yes, that’s precisely when I fell, just like a 5 year old kid who was too naughty 🙂

View of Empire State Building

We sadly said goodbye to the city, packed our bags and went outside to wait for the shuttle. But we waited in vain. The lady from the Concierge desk, although writing down the right time on the receipt she gave us, booked the shuttle 3 hours later (right about when the plane was supposed to take off). We got a refund and a town car to get us to La Guardia in time though.

Central Park Angel

So to sum up, my short stay in New York was amazing, unusual, adventurous, breath-taking, better than everything I dreamed of!

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