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Saturday, December 22, 2007

New York City Vacation Day 2 - Broadway, Ground Zero, Bloomingdales, and Central Park

Wow, apparently we were really tired last night after that red eye flight to New York and the long day. We woke up this morning after 9:00am – that is really late for us – we rarely sleep in past 7:00am. Now time is short for us to make it down to the TKTS booth at Front and John streets downtown from our Times Square hotel.

The TKTS / TDS line for cheap Broadway tickets downtown at the corner of John and Front streets in New York City
Note: The downtown TKTS booth is much better and smarter than the Times Square booth. Not only is it less crowded, but you can get matinee tickets for Broadway shows the day before. For evening Broadway shows, it opens each morning at 11:00am vs. 3:00pm in Times Square. The likelihood of getting the shows you want (assuming you are not looking for Wicked, which never goes up on the boards) are very high.

We scramble to get ready quickly, grab our free buffet breakfast at “Above” at the Hilton quickly and head to the subway. Jumping on subway #2, we are at the Fulton Street station in just a few minutes. After a minute or two of remembering where things are, we find our way to the TKTS line, only about 50 people deep at 10:30am.

Today is supposed to be the coldest day while we are here in New York City. And it feels like it. I have two long sleeve shirts, a sweater, and a North Face Fleece on and at times – like when standing in line – it is cold for me, even with the weather in the high 20’s.

Once TKTS opens, it is just a matter of minutes until we are at the front of the line. It is much more controlled than yesterday’s chaotic scene at Times Square. With similar choices today (with Mary Poppins and Legally Blonde off the boards) we end up with Chicago – which we’re pretty excited about. It appears that we are in the 3rd row orchestra, meaning it should be a great close-up performance.

To warm up after standing outside for so long, just around the corner in John Street is a Europa CafĂ© where we stopped to grab a coffee. Actually, we wanted a latte and mocha – however, somehow we ended up with a Cappuccino and a coffee – we realized that once we had gotten down the block with how cheap it had been. Oh well, it looks like that was what we were charged for.

With how close we were to Ground Zero at the World Trade Center, we strolled over to take a look to see how it had changed in the last 18 months. Although I am sure a lot of foundational work had been done – from the casual viewers perspective, it actually looks like very little has been done in terms of the new construction. In addition, there are tall fences with coverings over them so it is very difficult to see in. You have to find a small crack to peer through like I did in the picture below to catch a glimpse.

Picture of new construction at Ground Zero - World Trade Center in New York City, December 2007
After Ground Zero, we hopped on a subway and headed to Bloomingdales to see their Christmas window decorations and do some shopping around Madison and Fifth Avenues. Browsing through Bloomingdales and did not find anything that we could not live without. There are of course a lot of great stores down in this area – but nothing we do not have in Los Angeles in many concentrated areas.
Bloomingdale's Christmas Windows in Manhattan with Ashley standing in front of

Continued post for day two, click here.