Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Manhattan, Day Two

Having packed up the night before with the intention of squeezing the last seconds out of New York, we set out of our hotel just before 10 am. It’s amazing that 10 am should become our new “early start” but that’s life with kids for us. We had till 3:00 pm to get back, on foot and the dual aim of going to that mecca retail: Macy’s at Times Square and the Grand Central Station. On our way to Macy’s as I navigated, I was puzzling over the map wondering at the mathematical skills of the old New York city official who stuck in three avenues between Third and Fifth (Lexington, Park and Madison). This really nice gentleman (he looked like a businessman headed to work) stopped by and gave me a friendly history lesson about how the commerce of a fashionable address led to shortening of the distance between avenues and thus the mathematical anomaly in naming the avenues between the Third and the Fifth. Now I did not expect a New Yorker to take note of random tourists... (we had a big camera and a map, we looked like tourists), but I was pleasantly surprised by the sense of ownership the resident seemed to have of their city which was a bit of a contrast to the Torontonian attitude of wilful avoidance of eye contact. Everyone seemed to be passing through TO, not many people seemed invested in the city. But, this is only a very superficial perspective.

We arrived at Macy’s to be received by doors that were not wheelchair friendly (stroller friendly) which by this point was not a surprise, and the ever-present construction site within and out. I had expected Macy’s to be big and bright and beautiful. Big it was, but not the other two. My enthusiasm diminished, we headed up to the children’s section and ended buying a couple of pairs of shoes at a very decent price. By this point we were famished and Tara had been promised another go at a NY hotdog (proclaimed as her FAVOURITE food by now). I was looking for a street vendor but Alex had the foresight to push us into an air conditioned restaurant on Broadway. They had the best chilli dog after Nirula’s in Delhi, so I was ecstatic, and the freshest onion rings (the waitress had to run out for onions while we waited). We also managed a washroom break for all and baby despite the fact that none of the restaurants we went to had any change tables... It is amazing how much like New Delhi, New York seemed to me, very densely alive and urban but not very inclusive of people with disabilities or young families. Winnipeg by comparison is so much more navigable with a stroller. Post lunch, Tara and I were captured by this little store selling all manners of sewing notions, beads and buckles and ribbons... very Victorian in concept and just as intoxicating to be in now as it must have been back before there was TV! They had everything from the humblest button to the most elaborate lace and bridal accessories, i could have happily lived there, but onwards we went.
 Le Carousel at Bryant park
Alex Juggles, Tara adds visual interest and Kaya is asleep in the back

Shiny New New York @ Bryant Park

By now I had got it into my mind that we must visit the Central NY Library too so we switched back from Broadway to the Sixth and ended up at Bryant Park by happenstance. It is such an awesome amenity pubic space. It was lunch hour so the park was busy with people grabbing their bag lunch while surfing the on free wifi and people watching. There was live piano and juggling demonstrations which Alex joined in. To Tara’s delight there was a wonderful carousel to ride and we took lots of pictures while Kaya had her post lunch nap in the stroller. We also stopped in at the children’s section of the NY public library on Fifth Ave. Kaya must have sensed the cessation of movement by this point as she woke up forcing us back out and back onto our route.
Grand Central Terminal and Chrysler Tower on 42nd Street

We walked back east on 42nd catching glimpses of my most loved NY skyscraper, the Chrysler building, someday I’ll have to go in, but I’ll probably be disappointed in the interior. We arrived at the Grand Central stn. With about an hour to spare and for once the inside lived up to our anticipation. It is truly beautiful and I tried to take pictures without a tripod, and probably didn’t succeed. We however, did discover a hidden gem in the Mac store on the second level plaza... Tara was kept busy watching a whole episode of My Little Pony while I caught up on emails before heading home to the ‘Peg.
Wish I could bring it home... Oh Beaux Art!

Kaya at GCT

ubiquitous picture

Oh Yeah for free Internet on a super fast macbook air

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About Me

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I am a forty-something mom of two girls, an architect by profession and an avid sci-fi and My Little Pony fan. I love to cook, but only occasionally and am in the middle of rediscovering my heritage through food.