16 July 2014
It's real Broadway show day today! And non-admission sightseeing. How exciting!
We began our day at Bryant Park, which of course is technically the backyard of ... the New York Public Library! I'm here to visit two Automatons that were activated by sequence Daedalus Twenty-Three during the Battle of Manhattan (I'm sure everyone knows which recent geekdom I'm alluding to).
It's Patience and Fortitude - the Library Lions - guarding the entrance to the Library!
Apart from Percy Jackson, my first recollection of the Lions was in another fantasy book. I always thought it was Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere but that was set in London, so I could be wrong. And I really cannot recall at the moment. If you remember, do let me know. I vaguely remember a female protagonist and the Lions were guarding the entrance to somewhere (not the Library).
The next Automaton we visited was Hermes at the Grand Central Terminal - popular film location for lovers to meet. Or like in Castle, someone was murdered in one of the phone booths (couldn't find that though). What I wanted to see most was the constellations on the ceiling.
|I first read about it in BSC Super Special #6|
Coincidentally, Luv and I saw a movie on TV the night before which had a scene in Grand Central with a special moment at the Whispering Wall. Took us a while to find it, and when we did, of course, we had to try it out ... and it sort of worked!
See, the architecture makes it that when two people stand at diagonally opposite corners of the 'wall', they can have a conversation by one whispering into their corner, and the one at the opposite corner will hear what was said. But here's a tip: it's called Whispering for a very good reason. You have to whisper. Talking softly doesn't work. I couldn't hear what Luv said, but he could hear my random whispering clearly.
There's an Apple Store on the mezzanine floor of the Terminal, but ... it was nothing special. The architecture of the building itself is a lot more spectacular than the Genius Bar. And just like every Apple Store in the world, there are numerous people swiping screens along the long white tables.
Next, we headed back to Broadway for our matinee show. Minskoff Theatre means ... The Lion King! Even with Luv's corporate benefits, the tickets cost us an arm and a leg. And it was so difficult to choose which show to watch. At that time, we were split between seeing the extremely famous Disney Classic, or catch an A-Lister live. If we had more time and money, it might have helped. When I was there, Idina Menzel was starring in If/Then, Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan, and Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Ah, tough choices, but The Lion King won and we didn't regret it. Very superb costumes and stage effects. I think my favourite scenes were the opening Circle of Life (of course), the Wildebeest Stampede, and that one Waterfall scene.
Oh, we also saw Naked Cowboy.
The great thing about Summer is the extremely long daylight hours, which meant we could squeeze in more outdoor sightseeing. After a walk through the Theatre District, we took the Subway to Battery Park and then to Wall Street on foot.
Charging Bull (and his b*lls) is a very popular attraction.
We saw an 'invisible' building, can you see it?
The bell goes 'ding' at the NYSE.
From Wall Street, we proceed to what I felt is the saddest place in NYC - the 9/11 Memorial. When I saw the size of the Memorial pools and the number of names engraved around them, I couldn't help tearing up. So many innocent lives wasted.
At the Park, there is a very special callery pear tree which they call the Survivor Tree. The story goes that after the attacks at the World Trade Center, the tree was discovered at Ground Zero. It was severely damaged, with snapped roots and burned, broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival and rebirth.
|Survivor Tree supported by cables|
Nearby, is the home of the brave heroes of FDNY's Ten House - the only fire station located inside Ground Zero. You can read about their 9/11 chronicles here.
We ended the day with a nod to HIMYM fandom - dinner at McGee's NYC, the pub that inspired McLaren's in How I Met Your Mother.
It's basically an Irish Pub and Restaurant, whose cocktail menu has a touch of HIMYM. Luv ordered the Slutty Pumpkin :)
The interior walls were decorated with some photos of HIMYM cast members who have been to the pub. I wonder if my seat was the same seat as Robin Scherbatsky's... Also there is this mural that apparently is also replicated in the TV Show's bar.
|Can you see Ted and Robin?|
Later, on our way back, we realised the pub's famous neighbour is none other than Letterman himself!
Up next: perhaps a post that will make your mouth water...