May 23, 2016

New York City's Manhattan

Big Apple (New York City) Adventure

When I was living and studying at Syracuse University, one of the most enjoyable ways to travel to the Big Apple is by train. Amtrak trains provide a scenic view from Syracuse to New York City as they roll beside the panoramic Hudson River. Passenger seats opposite (the loading ramp at) the Syracuse train station offer the most appealing view.   The landscape on the other side is not as enjoyable.

If you have a car, nothing beats rustic Route 17, once voted the most scenic highway in the United States.

Another option is the Binghamton bus route, which picks up State University of New York and Cornell students.  It is also shorter than the eight-hour Albany (bus) route.
During the summer, universities in the (New York) city provide reasonably priced places to stay for as short as one night.

Trump Towers Public Restroom at Ground Floor
Our New York adventure begins in Manhattan on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street at Trump Tower.  Good bathrooms, or bathrooms for the public are hard to find.  A clean and accessible restroom is one of the hardest things to find in New York City.  At the Trump Towers, however, you are welcome to use the marble facilities.

A quiet place to relax in the city is under the bamboo trees in the indoor IBM garden.  Across the street is a free museum, AT&T’s Infoquest Science Center.

The Rodin Outdoor Exhibit at the top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one site to visit while uptown. Featured exhibits at the Met include the Egyptian Temple, gold jewelry and mummies wrapped in 1000-year-old linen.

If you are a die-hard shopper, Bloomingdale’s (Department Store) stands on one of the busiest street corners in America, 59th and Lexington Avenues. Century 21, 22 Cortlandt (with a t) St., near the World Trade Center, offers discounts on signature suits and clothes.

Reasonably priced electronic equipment can be purchased at 47th Street Photo, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.  Ray Ban sunglasses are sold here at cheap prices.  The shop sits in the diamond district of Manhattan.

Glutinous Experience
Aside from shopping, New York City has some of the best and most inexpensive ethnic restaurants.
Hop Kee, a basement restaurant on Mott Street, offers scrumptious Cantonese food at bargain prices.  Across the street is Mott 21, rated as having New York’s most delicious dim sum.

Some of the “coolest” tasting ice cream is at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Boyard Street, near Mott Street.  It is easy to spot – look for the yellow marque with a yellow-breasted panda. (Try their heavenly Lychee flavor.)

Across from Canal Street is Little Italy.  Little Italy  is pricier than Chinatown and offers the trendiest desserts in town.  One specialty is Tiramisu, a mouth-watering concoction of rum and cake that goes well with cappuccino or espresso.

On the Upper West Side, one can stop at The Hungarian Pastry Shop. It is the only cafĂ©  that has the atmosphere of a library – everybody is reading and it’s quieter than Bird Library (at Syracuse University). 

In the same block is V&T’s , which makes excellent pizza.   

Another must-see for New York City visitors  is the Winter Garden  at the World Financial Center across Wall Street.  The lobby is decorated with tall coconut trees. Many commercials are shot here.

Pocket Full of Kryptonite on 42nd Street and Second Avenue, close to the United Nations, is the Daily News Building made famous by the Superman comic strip.  The big globe in the lobby pictured in the comic strip rotates in sync with the earth’s movements.

To get the true “New York Feeling” hang around and watch  people at Grand Central Terminal  between 5 and 6 p.m.

Instead of taking the subway, try walking along Amsterdam Avenue and veer toward Columbus Avenue. As you pass the Museum of Natural History, you will see stores offering unusual knickknacks as well as various men’s and women’s boutiques.

If all of this walking around has made you hungry again and you like spare ribs, stop in at the Dallas B-B-Que (27 W. 72nd St.) a popular hangout for college students.

The Dakota Building, home to such stars as Yoko Ono, is just around the corner.  And across Central Park West is the park’s Strawberry Fields, dedicated to the memory named in honor of the late John Lennon. 

Going to New York City isn’t complete without seeing a Broadway show.  You can line up at the TKTS booth at Times Square to purchase half-price tickets.

Some world-class music can be heard for free down in the subways.  If you’re lucky, hang around during peak hours in the N/R train (subway) stop below Bloomingdale’s, where some of the best performers in town play for free, or a dime if you have a heart.

If you want to watch a talk show such as Donahue or Saturday Night Live, than hang around NBC (building) at 30 Rockefeller Center, across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in the morning and ask for waiting-list tickets from an NBC page.

This article was published on February 11, 1993!  The perspective is your coming from places like Syracuse, Buffalo and Toronto.

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