New York City, Part I

We drove from Philly to Highland Park, New Jersey, where a friend had offered to let us leave the car. From there, we hopped on New Jersey Transit and took the train to New York Penn Station, then a taxi to the Hotel Belvedere. I’ll stop right here and put in a plus for the Belvedere. We had, for New York, a great rate – about $180 a night. Location was great, 319 West 48th, about 2 blocks from Broadway, within 5-6 blocks of just about every theatre. The staff were all great, helpful, responsive – like when Janet and Kristen blew out the power in the room getting ready for the theatre Tuesday night by running two hairdryers and various other hair thingies. Maintenance had it back on within 5 minutes, and when they blew it out again 5 minutes later, they were back up just as fast. Plenty of places to eat nearby, several little markets (the Amish Market was my favorite), room included a refrigerator and microwave.

So, the first day (Sunday), we spent mainly getting to the hotel and settling in. We walked down Broadway later, and ate a late lunch at John’s Pizzeria on West 44th. It’s not the original John’s, but it’s still very good, and it’s located in an old church, so you can eat pizza and look at old stained glass and painted ceilings.

Anyway, on the morning of Day 2 we began our Week In New York by getting up early (5:30 AM) and going to…

This was what Janet and Kristen wanted to do. Being the good husband and father that I am, I agreed to go. We decided to walk – mistake! – and it took longer than I expected, plus we got rained on along the way. When we got there, the line waiting for stand-by tickets was long. Afetr waiting for an hour, we found out we weren’t getting in. But they told us that Friday’s show would be taped at 11, and we could get guaranteed tickets for that. J&K jumped on those, so we showed back up at 11. Had we made the live Monday show, we would have seen Lance Armstrong. The guests for the taped Friday show were Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Stan Tucci. Not a bad trade. The crowd, needless to say, was estrogen-heavy. We waited in this line for about 30 minutes after getting inside the building and getting through the metal detectors.

Once we got in, there was this guy whose job was to warm up the crowd. He began picking out people and asking them where they were from – Michigan, Texas, California, Rhode Island, Georgia. Everybody got big rounds of applause. Then he noticed the guys in the crowd – by which I mean me and about 4 other men scattered through the crowd. He came up to me and asked my name and where I was from. When I said “Mississippi” the response from the crowd was – let’s say unenthusiastic. A small smattering of applause, nothing more. I really thought we were past that.

So, here’s the obligatory shots of the hosts and guests:

No, I didn’t bother taking a picture of Stan Tucci.

After getting lunch and returning to our room, we got ready for our New York Harbor cruise. A note here – we got a CityPass, which was well worth the money. 6 attractions – Empire State Building, Natural History Museum, Museum Of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, Harbor Cruise, and the Intrepid Air-Sea-Space Museum – for $63. That works out to about half price, if you go to 3 of them you’ve basically paid for the ticket. Plus you get to avoid the lines for buying tickets at each location. More on the museums later, for now I’ll just say the harbor cruise is worth the time and money.

July 3, 2006 В· Harry В· 2 Comments
Posted in: NewYork2006

2 Responses

  1. jim - July 4, 2006

    Hate that I can admit this but you probably saw one of Star Jones-Reynolds last Views. In the last week or so that show has turned into MEGA-tabloid fodder with an extreme bitch fight between Barbara and Star over Star’s exit. Just proves no matter how nice women appear to be to one another in front of the camera they’ll stab’em in the back as soon as the tape stops rolling.

    Out of all the things to do in NY I can’t believe you ended up here and not in Yankee stadium. Or maybe you did?

  2. Harry - July 5, 2006

    Nope, no Yankee Stadium. The rain made games iffy, and there just wasn’t enough time for something that might or might not happen.

    Mega-tabloid fodder about The View? You wouldn’t believe what it was like up there. I figure it was my fault, since it all broke that day after I went.