When I left off last time we had just finished our first full day in New York. I'd like to say that the rest of the time was a little less hectic, but it wasn't and we wanted to see everything we could. We started off Friday like we did most of our days there with a quick stop at Starbucks before heading to the bus stop. Our plan for today was to take the uptown loop and see the northern part of Manhattan. The bus drove up by Central Park and then around in front of the Lincoln Center before coming to the place where John Lennon was shot. The next stop after was the American Museum of Natural History where we jumped off. The weather was wonderful that day with a high near 60, so we opted to hold off on the museum until Sunday when the weather was supposed to be much colder. Instead we walked around Central Park for several minutes. The park is really neat and very big. After seeing so much concrete, steel, and glass it was nice to walk amongst grass and trees for a while. We took lots of pictures and even stopped by a memorial for Lennon before going back to one of the bus stops and getting back on.
We stayed on the bus a little longer as it went up through the upper west side and into Harlem. Around Harlem we made a stop we hadn't actually planned at a giant cathedral called the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Apparently it's the largest in the world and as we came upon it we just had to get out and take a look. We got lots of good pictures inside of some beautiful architecture including a giant domed room, huge columns, and ornate stained glass. It was really very neat and best of all admission was donation only so you can see it for very little.
After the cathedral and after waiting for a new bus (apparently the one we got off of broke down immediately after we left and was sitting empty in front of the church when we came out) we hopped back on and headed through Harlem. Harlem was a neat area and as we started heading back south our next stop was at a museum across from the east side of Central Park that we received free admission into with our bus passes. To be honest, the museum was kind of dull but I am glad we stopped there because we got an excellent lunch recomendation from one of the staff there. One Fish Two Fish was just a few block away and Becca and I both got a salad, a Tuna Salad sandwich, and fries for under $6 each. It was a lot of food and one of the best sandwiches I've ever had for a price you couldn't get in Springfield. I would highly recommend it.
Finishing off the trip we traveled on the bus along Central Park before arriving back in midtown near our hotel. At this point we were extremely exausted so we headed back to our hotel to rest a bit. One thing I had really wanted to do was take a tour of the NBC studios, so at the hotel I gave the reservation office a call and scheduled a tour for later in the day. We got some good time to relax a little bit and then headed down to the studios for a tour. The tour was a little shorter than I expected, but still neat. We got to see the Saturday Night Live studio and just happened to show up when Lorne Michaels was there for a photo shoot. For those of you who don't know Lorne Michaels he's the creater/producer of SNL along with several other very funny shows and movies. He's definately a very influential figure in show-business and was definately the highlight of the tour for me. From there we went onto the control room for the NBC networks and then to a mock news room where they had some people from the tour do a fake news cast. It was all very interesting but I was expecting more. If it hadn't have been for Lorne I probably would have been let down.
After leaving the studios we thought we'd stop by one more place before going back to our hotel. In Times Square there's a big set of red stairs and underneath they sell Broadway tickets for half off. By now it was almost 7:00 and the shows start at 8:00 so we didn't think there would be much of a selection but we gave it a shot anyways. To our suprise there actually were several good shows still available including Shrek the Musical which Becca and I both thought would be good. So we bought our tickets and rushed to the room to get ready. Becca made amazing time getting ready and we were able to make it to the show with time to spare. The show was really good with huge elaborate sets and a very good adaptation from the movie. The story was almost identical to the movie with a little more adult humor and we really enjoyed it a lot. I'm still amazed that they can have these huge moving sets that they're able to switch on and off stage so quickly. Because we had been in a rush before the show we didn't have a chance to eat dinner. So at intermission we went out and got a couple of hotdogs from a street vendor, something that I had wanted to do while I was in New York. After the show, the hotdog hadn't really held us over so we stopped by a little pizza place on the way back and picked up a strombolli to go. We ate it in our hotel room and it was excellent. We spent the rest of the night watching TV and getting ready for the next day.
I hadn't intended on doing this, but once again this is getting long so I'll stop here and pick up again later. I'll try this time to make the next post a little quicker than this one. Until then.