2023.01 New York City and Caribbean Cruise (Part 3)

We had three full days to explore New York City, and honestly by the end of our visit, we both agreed we need to return as there is so much to do.

Here’s a summary of things we did, in no particular order:

Times Square

The typical tourist spot. Now, it’s devoid of traffic and is a pedestrian friendly area.  This is a vast difference from our respective visits to the city when each of us were in high school when the lights from the billboards would reflect off the vehicles on the road.  Add in the regular occurrence of drivers honking when the lights would turn green, and drive as quickly as they could to get to the next light — maybe it is a good idea that a popular pedestrian area isn’t filled with vehicles.

There were two evenings where we walked through Times Square to get to the 42nd street crosstown bus stop.  The place is obviously a tourist hot spot as it was extremely busy on Saturday night, however on Monday evening it was much quieter.  Still just as bright both nights.

While at Times Square we visited the tickets booth as seeing a Broadway show was on our to-do list.  No show was a standout for us until Little Miss realized the main actor in one performance — Nathan Lane!  And as a bonus was that Zoe Wannamaker was in the play as well. Right then, Little Miss had decided on the performance.

We scored tickets in the 6 or 7th row.

The play was “Pictures from Home” about a US photographer who chronicled his parents in their later life.  The performance was great, and as an added bonus the theatre was the former Studio 54 space!   At the conclusion of the show we exited the theatre and noticed a couple portable fences. We had ended up beside the door to backstage, with zero planning on our part.

With no other plans we waited with the handful of other fans. The producer (or director, I cannot recall) was by the stage door and solicited feedback first, and then smartly introduced himself afterwards to ensure he received honestly and not fawning praise.  Then Nathan Lane exited, said hi and, was in his chauffeured ride before the group of us realized it was Nathan Lane.

Zoe Wannamaker, and then Danny Burstein spent a few minutes signing autographs and snapping a few pictures. 

Intrepid Museum

Here is an interesting approach of how to handle decommissioning an aircraft carrier that started service during World War II and was active during the Vietnam War over 20 years later.
The carrier deck is open to the elements, and with a unseasonably warm January day, we were able to explore the many old aircraft. An example of my age, is that some of the aircraft reminded me of some of the GI Joe sets available when I was young.

There is a Concorde on the pier, beside the carrier, and tours of the interior were available once per day for an extra charge. We didn’t go for the tour, but it’s impressive to see an engineering feat that regularly transported people between New York to Paris and London in half the time aircraft take today.

Inside there is the prototype Space Shuttle, titled Enterprise. The collection also included documents showing public interest in Star Trek as the basis for naming the shuttle Enterprise. Although over 40 years old now, it was a start in the push to build and maintain reusable components for space flight.

Once inside the carrier, the museum focused on the history of the aircraft carrier, along with other items related to the US Navy.  Two Lego related items are at the museum, the first being a mosaic of the Enterprise over the New York City skyline, and the second being a massive model of the carrier itself, if it were in service, complete with aircraft on deck, and for humour, somebody overboard.

American Museum of Natural History

Complete with its own subway access is this museum, made even more famous from the “Night at the Museum” series of movies. We visited here on a Monday, and for the most part it helped us avoid the massive weekend crowds and attendance. Don’t expect empty galleries, devoid of other visitors, it’s a massive building and attracts people everyday.

Here’s a selection of pictures from the museum:

For us the highlights were the Dinosaur exhibit along with another item from the movie – an iconic carved head from Easter Island. Even the gift store had a sense of humour, as a magnet of the Easter Island head was titled “Dum Dum”.

Cheslea Market, High Line, Hudson Yards

We headed to the market where we had lunch before exploring the many shops in the market.

From there we went up to the walk along the high line to Hudson Yards.  I found the walk enjoyable and eye opening because of the many different architectural styles to the buildings along the way.  Here’s a slide of what caught my eye.

Then once at Hudson Yards as we went through the many levels of the mall, we tried the Banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery.  This too, was recommended from a friend, and this delivered.

It was delicious!  And now it turns into our most enjoyable portion of the trip:


We didn’t seek out any extravagant dining, but we enjoyed our food. On the first night we arrived, we took the advice from Little Miss’s coworker who pointed us to Rolf’s, a restaurant that is decorated for Christmas year-round.

The schnitzel was decent, however both of us wanted to give them her mom’s red cabbage recipe to make the meal better for next time.

The best recommendation we got was for Junior’s cheesecake.

A New York institution for almost 100 years, their cheesecake is good. Not good, it was phenomenal! So good, that we visited three times and had cheesecake each visit. If you want excellent cheesecake, Junior’s is the place to go.

Spoiler Alert — Terminal B at LaGuardia has a Junior’s Cheesecake, where its possible to purchase a frozen plain cheesecake to stuff in your carry-on as you head home.


Explore other parts of this trip:

Part 1 – Air Canada Flight Toronto to New York City, LaGuardia

Part 2 – Millennium Hotel New York, One UN Plaza

Part 3 – Things to do in New York City (this post!)

Part 4 – Caribbean Cruise Introduction

Part 5 – Things to do while Cruising

Part 6 – Cuisine onboard

Part 7 – Port, Puerto Rico

Part 8 – Port, St. Maarten

Part 9 – Port, Antigua and Barbuda

Part 10 – Port, St. Lucia

Part 11 – Port, St. Kitts and Nevis

Part 12 – Maple Leaf Lounge LaGuardia, flight New York to Toronto

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