New York, New York

Sitting in LaGuardia airport waiting to leave New York for Chicago and thence Madison WI. I’m not altogether sorry to be gone. I don’t think I’m a New York sort of person although there are a number of things I enjoyed.

The Empire State Building was great. There’s something about the crypto-fascist nature of 1930’s architecture which continues to fascinate me although God forbid that I’d actually have to live with it. We elected to pay the extra money to get up to the 102nd floor (rather than the standard 86th floor). The building is very small up there – sort of like being at the top of a lighthouse – but the view is fabulous. You can see Robert’s take on it here. Oh yes, and it is very, very tall. For a building as early as it is the height is extraordinary.

The Natural History Museum is the best I have ever seen. We didn’t have anything like enough time to see it all but the planetarium was great and the ‘scale of the universe’ display is both clever and informative. There is a huge suspended sphere maybe 20 metres across which is also the planetarium. Outside it are a series of ‘if this sphere is the size of X then this is the size of Y’. An example is the sphere as the sun with smaller spheres representing the planets. It goes from the largest scales (superclusters of galaxies in the observable universe) down to the smallest (a proton in a hydrogen atom).

The dinosaurs were much better than London and there were whole galleries we had to walk past because we just didn’t have time to explore them. I’d like to go back there some time.

Other good bits – we went to see the Lion King on Broadway. A spectacular production although the actual musical/story is not especially exciting. We had fun afterwards taking a little motorised trishaw back to the hotel. This seems typical of New York to me – a small niche market of people coming out of theatres who can’t find taxis filled by an inventive idea.

Robert and I managed a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to visit the Statue of Liberty. As we were queuing up for tickets in Battery Park they announced that it would be an hour and a half wait and there were no more tickets for the statue itself – all you would be able to do was walk around the outside. These things we declined to do.

F.A.O. Schwartz, the largest toy shop in the world or so they say, was worth seeing. They have turned stuff toys into an art form and this was by far and away the best part. Although I have to say the giant piano was pretty good as well – you can dance on the keyboard to make tunes.

On the whole however New York was too nervy and fast for me. I know a lot of people enjoy it for just those qualities and the fact that I was on antibiotics probably didn’t help but I can do without that sort of tension. Especially when I am on holiday. I notice I have used a lot of superlatives. That’s New York for you.

I have a feeling that Madison WI is going to be very different…

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 24th, 2008 at 5:53 am and is filed under Family, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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