The Big Apple - New York City

posted May 20, 2011, 1:18 PM by Darren Cannell   [ updated Mar 17, 2012, 3:12 PM ]

We arrived into Newark International Airport, collected our luggage and caught a taxi.  We needed a minivan taxi to take all of our luggage and newly acquired purchases from Phoenix.  We ended up getting an Egyptian taxi cab driver who was very interesting.  We left Egypt 3 weeks before that country imploded and so we had lots to talk about.  He immigrated into the United States by the Lottery system which I did not even know existed here in America because we do not have this in Canada.  The taxi ride was expensive but we knew it would be, it was 72 dollars with our entire luggage and we got a VISA slip from the taxi operating lady before we got in the cab, which enabled us to pay with VISA.  We ended up tipping him 10 bucks as well so $82.00 for the ride into Manhattan.  It was about ½ hour ride because the traffic was not too terrible and it was about 8 pm at night.

We checked into our hotel which was The Manhattan Club at 200 West 56th street.  We quickly realized what a valuable location we were at.  We grabbed a map of NYC and then ventured out into Manhattan and walked to Times Square which was only 5 blocks away.  Times Square really lights up at night and is quite a spectacle to see.  We were right in the middle of the Theatre District and the Tonight Show was less than a block away and the famous Carnegie Hall was kitty corner to us.  The Manhattan Club is right on the corner of Broadway and 56th and Broadway is where all of the action is.  If you walk along Broadway all the way downtown you will see every store known to womankind including all of the big designer names.  The Manhattan Club is definitely location, location, location.

We woke up late the next morning on Sunday.  We were still on Phoenix time which was a two hour difference which does make a difference and you have to adjust to it.  We had picked up groceries last night which was a block from our hotel.  So we ate breakfast in our little timeshare unit with a kitchenette.  We ventured out again and wanted to figure out what Broadway shows we could see at 50% at the discount ticket booth which was 5 blocks away.  We bought Billy Elliot tickets for 65.00 each for the 2 pm matinee.  We picked up a salad at McDonalds and walked to 42nd to catch the show.  We had great tickets up in the Mezzanine and we really enjoyed the 3 hour show.  Our 7 year old son really thought that it was “awesome”.  He did say that and he also said that there were “too many swears”.  I would agree with him, there were, but hell, you know the Irish, ha ha.

After the show we walked around and went through a very large M & M store that our son thought was fantastic.  We went through the Rockefeller Center as well.  This is the place that has the huge Christmas tree lighting every year.  It is also a high end mall to shop at too.  We walked through a very large Lego store which our son would have stayed hours in if we would have let him.  Once we dragged him out of there we walked to ST. Patrick’s Cathedral and ended up lucking out and catching the last half of a Sunday mass.   This is a beautiful church and very reminiscent of the grand churches of Europe.

We found 5th avenue which is famous for stores like Saks – 5th Avenue etc and for very expensive real estate.  It is really cool experiencing these places that you have always heard about on T V and in the movies etc.  The rain was coming down hard so we broke down and bought an umbrella for 5 bucks to protect us from getting too soaked.  We found a restaurant close to the Manhattan Club called Topaz (127 – West 56th street) and it was Thai.  I ordered the Green Curry which was excellent.  Darren ordered the Pad Thai which was also good.  Our little well traveled child ordered nothing.   He does not have a well travelled palate and we picked up a sub for him to take back to the room.  Topaz was reasonably priced for NYC standards and we enjoyed our meal.  We were bagged and dragged ourselves back to the Manhattan Club and fell asleep.  Walking 50 or so blocks is quite a bit after lazing out on the Caribbean for 6 weeks.  Dax was exhausted and so were we.