Empire State of Mind
Trip Start May 04, 2011
89Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
77 55th Street
What I did
Slept like a log until 11 am Monday morning. Eventually dragged myself out into the New York streets early afternoon and went straight to Times Square which is only 5 blocks down the road (10 min walk). Broadway is just 2 streets west. I like the street numbering instead of street names cause u pretty much can’t get lost (unless u come up from a subway in Wall St and then I was completely disorientated and did a full circle of confusion trying to find the Bull). I had registered online for David Letterman tickets but not heard anything. I walked passed the Ed Sullivan Theatre (2 blocks from me) where the show is filmed and there was a massive line. I had all but given up hope of getting tickets. I was strolling through Times Square when I heard someone asking another couple if they wanted a chance to win Letterman tix. My ears immediately picked this up and I said that I was keen. I had to answer a trivia question (fairly basic) and then got a yellow piece of paper for the Tues show. It was like a golden ticket from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory!
Times Square is beyond busy. Madness. This city is packed with people. And then a gazillion tourists on top of that. I really don’t get the attraction of Times Sq
One thing I like to do early on in any city I travel to is get to a look-out to centre myself. What better look-out in NYC than the Empire State Building. Free entry with my pass that included a 'Sky Ride’ movie thing that was supposed to be $42 just on its own. I paid $15 to go right to the top – 102nd floor. If not, then u go just to the 86th floor. The 102 was all enclosed, but u really felt on top of the sky. The air is a lot cleaner than I imagined with no smog (the streets are a lot cleaner too). Truly is a massive city made of a concrete jungle of sky-scrappers.
Day 2 (Tues) I went down-town to the financial district and visited Wall Street. The NY Stock Exchange is heavily barricaded but I managed to get a photo in front. More history on Wall St than I realised. George Washington was sworn in as 1st US President here. Again, more tourists than actual workers. Plus I got lost trying to find that darn bull which isn’t even on freaking Wall St as it turns out!
I then had to be back at the Ed Sullivan theatre to collect my Letterman show ticket by 3pm. The line was ridiculously long, but I got chatting with a very nice New Yorker named Linda which passed the time. We ended up sitting next to each other during the show and had pretty good seats on stage level about 10 rows back. The guests were avg. Some journalist woman who ranted on and on about the Iraq war and US politics and then Rose Byrne – an Aussie actress that I know of mostly because she got nude in the movie Troy with Brad Pitt. The next night was Ashton Kutcher and Rafael Nadal, but beggars can’t be choosers! The show tapes at 430pm and goes to air at 1130pm. Quite interesting to be a part of the whole process and see how well oiled the machine is that gets the show produced. I’m glad that I got the opportunity to go!
I then went up the ‘Top of the Rock’ which is the Rockefeller Centre building. The NBC studio’s are at the base and it is quite an historic building. I wanted to compare the day-time views that I got from the Empire State Building with the night-time views from here. Quite impressive! This would’ve had great day views of Central Park, but I am glad that I got to see the city up high with all the lights. Plus, all these years I had thought the lights of the Chrysler Building was actually the Empire State Building! I still prefer the Chrysler Building for its gothic nature and beauty.