Most of our sightseeing was done between 33rd and 52nd Streets, and between 5th and 7th Ave, in what is called Mid-Town Manhattan. We started with the Empire State Building, which was very pretty, but you couldn't go anywhere inside beyond the entrance hall unless you paid to do so. We had read that the best views of the city were to be found at the top of Rockefeller Center, so we skipped going to the top here.
Next we hoofed on over to the New York City Public Library, the nation's 2nd public library. Boston's library was 1st and was built in 1848, with NYC building theirs from 1902-1911. It cost $9 million to build at the time, with estimates that if built today it would be closer to $300 million!!!
They had a special display of WWI propaganda which was interesting. They also have Thomas Jefferson's handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence and the 1st Gutenberg Bible brought to the new world here!
Some of the reading rooms were absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, the Rose Main Reading Room, which is the main attraction of the whole building, was under renovation so we couldn't see it.
So off we went to Grand Central Station, passing the Chrysler Building on the way.
At the top of Grand Central outside is Mercury, the Roman God of Transportation (did anyone know there was a Roman God of Transportation? Is that something I missed in school?--haha).
I love the main staircase...probably because I can't help but think of the movie "The Untouchables" with Kevin Costner playing Elliot Ness and the scene on this very staircase. We had lunch here before heading out again.
Our next stop was the ever-so-disappointing St Patrick's Cathedral. I only say disappointing because it was under renovation inside and out, so other than the back of the church where the organ was you couldn't see anything.
So sooner than we thought, we were off to Rockefeller Center, or "Top of the Rock"...we had intended to go up to the top here, but there were lots of clouds and it seemed to be threatening rain, so the lady at the booth said visibility was only 50% and we would be better off coming another day. UGH! From St Patrick's to the Public Library to here, we were being thwarted at every turn with renovations and such. haha
So we weren't surprised at our next stop to learn that the auditorium of Radio City Music Hall, the main attraction of this building, was off limits because "America's Got Talent" was taping here. haha But walking along the street we did see this Boston Bruin guy being interviewed, so we took his picture to share with our Bruins fans. haha
The final destination of the day was Times Square, and I'm glad to say nothing was closed here. haha There were so many people, so many signs, so many lights here, you could spend a week right in this section just people watching!
There were several cops protecting these clowns...how hateful can supposedly "God-fearing" people be? Frightening!
But for the most part the nut jobs are just fun to watch, and there is plenty to hear and see here.
At the end of Times Square is a huge "stands" section, like you would have at a football game, where people just sit and watch and take pictures. A great spot!
So at this point we have spent 2 full days walking around Manhattan, and even with the places we didn't get to see at their best we couldn't have had a better time. Manhattan is great...crazy...loud...fascinating!!!! It doesn't take even a day to realize you are in a special place. The buildings, street after street after street are massive. You have to talk loud just to have a conversation as you walk along. There is an onslaught of noise as you walk the city...the noise of the crowds; the 100 different languages being spoken by the people walking alongside you; the cars and buses and taxis and ambulances and fire trucks beeping their horns and careening around the corners; the construction sites which seem to be everywhere; the vendors on the streets all trying to make a buck and to get your attention...and they are practically ALL immigrants!! It is like being in the biggest city you have ever been in your life...on steroids! I love it!!!
So I will close with this short video...and even though it is in Times Square, I swear the whole city sounds like this.