Thursday, October 6, 2016

NYC Weekend - Sunday

Sunday was our second and last full day in New York City.

We began with a walk down 34th Street where we saw the original Macy's, the site of the Thanksgiving Day Parade and also famous for the Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th Street. Here we are by Macy's, with the Empire State Building in the background.

From there we walked up Fifth Avenue and made our way to Grand Central Terminal. The main concourse is impressive.

But what Kai enjoyed most was a small gift shop in the terminal that had a number of novel items. His favorite was a gadget button that came in three choices: Yes; No; and well, one that begins with the letter F. I have to admit I thought it was funny, though totally inappropriate for Kai. He laughed and laughed and kept wanting to push the button so I had to pull him away.

From Grand Central, it was a short walk over to Rockefeller Center. There we went to the Nintendo store. Before the trip, Kai was hoping that we would buy him some plush Mario characters there. But he lost that chance the day before we left when we found out that he had been deceitful about his homework. We stuck by that punishment, but he still wanted to visit the store. While there, he enjoyed taking pictures of some of his favorite items.

And he had fun playing a Mario Kart game on the Wii U.

There were some big Mario characters in the store.

There were several plushies; not as many as at the Pokémon Centers we saw in Japan, but enough to interest Kai. In the end he bought this Chain Chomp with money given to him before by his Bubbe.

At another part of the Rock, we saw these cardboard figures of the Today Show cast.

Of course, we had to walk over and see the famous skating rink there.

There was also a Lego store that had a miniature Rockefeller Center.

From there we walked up to Central Park. Kai had been happily playing Pokémon Go throughout our time in New York, but he was especially looking forward to going to Central Park as he heard that there were many Pokémon to be found there.

Central Park is huge, and as we had already been doing a lot of walking, I thought it would be better to take a carriage ride to see some of the park. We settled on a pedicab tour. A pedicab is a human pedal-powered rickshaw. We took the one hour tour which took us all around the lower loop of Central Park. The driver explained the sights as we passed by, and made several stops for us to see things up close and to spend more time.

Here he took a picture of the three of us at The Bow Bridge.

And this is one of the lakes.

We stopped at Strawberry Fields, the memorial to John Lennon, located very near the Dakota Hotel where he was shot and killed, and where his widow Yoko Ono still lives.

The pedicab ride was a nice way to see the Park and to rest a bit after all the walking. Kai enjoyed it because he saw a lot of Pokémon. Afterward, he wanted to walk around the Park more to find even more Pokémon. But Mom was particularly tired so we decided to sit at this statue which was a Pokéstop with a lure module that was attracting a lot of Pokémon. Here we saw a lot of people playing Pokémon Go, ranging from kids to even a couple of senior women.

Next on our agenda was to find a place to eat. We would be seeing a Broadway show in the evening, so we wanted to have a late afternoon meal (late lunch/early dinner). We chose a steakhouse that was about halfway between Central Park and Broadway.

Our waiter struck me as being a bit overly formal and polite, which seemed phony to me, but as I don't frequent these types of places that often, I thought maybe that is how it is. We each ordered a filet, medium rare, and ordered three sides to go with: sauteed mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, and steak fries (for Kai). When the food arrived, the waiter placed a filet in front of my wife, and what appeared to be a hamburger in front of Kai. My dish was not served. I told the waiter that we did not order a hamburger; we had ordered three filets. He took away both plates. A couple minutes later, someone else came from the back to confirm our order; I told him three filets, medium rare.

Several minutes later, they brought out the three filets, along with a side of sauteed mushrooms. But when they did not bring out the other sides, I had to call the waiter over again. He had completely missed that we had ordered the garlic mashed potatoes and steak fries. I was halfway through my filet before those were brought out.

Along with the horrible treatment by United Airlines on Friday, we were seeing some awful customer service on this trip. As this was not a cheap place to eat, I was especially surprised by how badly they had messed up our order.

After the meal, we walked over to Times Square. Kai loved going into both the M&M store and the Hershey's store across the street. We did not buy any chocolate, but enjoyed seeing all of the unique items.

Times Square was crowded and bright and crazy, but you have to see it. Kai liked it as there were plenty of Pokémon to catch.

In the evening, we went to see The Lion King, the huge hit that is now the third-longest running show in Broadway history. This was what I had most looked forward to on this trip, having heard so many rave reviews from friends, relatives, and in the press. I had gotten great seats from months ahead of the trip and had sky high expectations.

It turned out to be quite a letdown.

The costumes were great but other than that, I thought everything was just okay. The storyline was nice though simple. I knew some of the songs from before, but did not think that most of the music was all that memorable. That would have been fine if Kai or my wife had really enjoyed it, but they both agreed that is was just okay.

We had debated going up to the top of the Empire State Building afterward to see the nighttime view of the city. But Kai really wanted to get back to the hotel and have his iPad time, and we were all tired, so we decided to put that off until the next morning.

We would have a half day left before having to head home.


  1. I am impressed with your planning. You are getting a grand tour of NYC.

    That was a great family shot in Central Park. The driver had done a great job framing the shot. That is a framable.

    Isn't it amazing how poorly customer service is performed here in the USA? I think it is a combination of two things (for most people)...we tend to tip automatically...and we tend to not complain. I am glad YELP helps to even the score :)

    I can hardly wait seeing your next pictures from the Empire State Building.

    Other than the Blue Man Group or Cirque Du Soleil....I have never seen a stage production. For me...the music has to be it was in both of those groups.

    1. We did get to see a lot during our 2+ days there. I had planned out lower Manhattan on one day and further up on the other.

      We don't have many photos of the three of us so we were happy to have that one taken by our driver in Central Park. We may use that on our holiday card this year.

      The poor service at the restaurant was surprising both because it was a more expensive place (that had good reviews on Yelp), and because it was not just one little mistake but rather a couple of huge ones. And as with United, the restaurant did not offer to compensate.

      I have seen many stage productions... this was probably the most disappointed I've been, in part because I had such high expectations.


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