Sunday, March 27, 2011


Do I love New York?

Indeed I do!
Having spent three nights and four days there last week, the Big Apple is a wonderful place to be tucked away as it is on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the Empire State.

Not this time. The Canadian dollar stood proudly at a dollar and six cents opposite the Yankee buck. Most things that were already a bit cheaper- were a real bargain. Take a Tee Shirt for instance. A month ago I bought two tee shirts at Giant Tiger Boutique here in Orillia for 2.99. At one store on 34th Street, I almost bought a New York logo’d tee for 3 bucks. Actually with the exchange it would work out to be $2.82
The reason I didn’t buy it?
I have plenty of Tee Shirts.
I did pick up two New York Mugs however, one for 2.99 and another- with a Broadway logo, for $8.99- less the exchange.

Macy's on Herald Square
 We stayed at the New Yorker Hotel, an art-deco hotel on 8th Avenue and 34th Street. Yes, that’s a hop, skip and a jump from Macy’s- the World’s Largest Store! A block south was Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. A few blocks west along 34th Street stood the Empire State Building. We went inside the lobby but we didn’t go to the observation deck. The day was rainy and it was very foggy up top. One of the guides tapped on a frosted window and said to us- “that’s what you see when you go up!”
So we didn’t.
It was $21.50 per person to get to the observation deck plus another 15 bucks to get to the upper-most point. We didn’t need to see the view that badly! Besides, we had a bird’s eye view flying into Newark’s Liberty International Airport, just across the Hudson from NYC.

Getting back to the New Yorker Hotel.

The New Yorker- 8th Ave & 34th St.

It was a great hotel. A bit of history- it’s been around a long while, with art deco design everywhere. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Our room- although not huge which is typical of New York City Hotel rooms, was clean, neat and bright. We were 31 floors up and looked out onto 34th Street and the Hudson River. If I had to say anything of a negative nature, the complimentary Internet was not very good. For instance it continually interrupted the Swisssh Radio stream, so I gave up. One could read the Packet online and The Star however, at times pages loaded slowly. To upgrade it was 9.95 a day. We were there to tour and see a show or two, not to spend our time online.

While on the subject of news and newspapers, one wouldn’t know that Canada was a short 55 minute flight away. Nothing about the Federal election that was to be called and was called- eventually, before we left was on their news. Being able to keep in touch with the news back home is a plus these days with the internet. Even last year in Hawaii, I kept up with my daily papers through their online sites.

Tim Horton's on 42nd Street
 So what had changed and what impressed me?
How about Tim Horton’s for a start? We saw two. One was in Penn Station and another right on 42nd Street along with all the theatres and bright lights. We bought coffee, hot chocolate and a couple of donuts at the 42nd Street location. The donut selection was small maybe because this particular location had an ice cream parlour attached. I’ve seen one on Yonge Street in Toronto like that as well. The coffee was good. The sign said it was manufactured in Rochester. Nowhere inside would you know that this was a “famous” Canadian coffee chain. Just that it started in 1964. The US logo is a bit different too but the words “Tim Horton’s” remain in the same font. It did make our littlepatriotic hearts flutter seeing the sign from a distance as well walked along 42nd and Broadway in the same way as when we saw a huge Maple Leaf Flag snapping in the breeze right in Rockefeller Centre. We don’t know why it was there just in front of a huge water feature but there it was in front of a tall building with a Chase Bank located on the lower floor. Across the way on the opposite corner- Radio City Music Hall.

More New York City next time on this blog.

I’ll tell you about the shows we saw- including the opening night Broadway performance of Trey Parker and Matt Stones’ (the creators of South Park) The Book of Mormon. I also have a story about meeting with Broadway star Harvey Firestein and seeing Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey & Judging Amy) and Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader.