Spring in New York City – Day 3

Wow — so at this point, we’re a little tired, but still wide-eyed and back for more!  We went to Central Park in the morning and began walking through the south part of the park.  Once again, my 4th time to NYC, yet my first time to see Central Park.  I know I know… I just love Broadway shows a lot, ok people. 😉  But now I’ve fallen in love with so much more of NYC!  WOW!

The Great Lawn in Central Park

Atop Belvedere Castle

View of the Upper East Side from Belvedere Castle

The Lake

The Guggenheim Museum

We walked past Belvedere Castle, the Great Lawn, the Obelisk, the Ramble, the Lake, the Guggenheim Museum, and along Madison Avenue.  We came to The Dakota, on the Upper West Side, where John Lennon was shot and killed and where Yoko Ono still lives.  We thought it was so sad that she has to enter through the very gate where her husband was killed!  Bryan said there are more famous people who live there, but they have to get permission by some committee, and that BILLY JOEL was actually refused! Seriously?  Anyway, the security guard wouldn’t tell me any other famous people that live there…what a drag. 🙂  Across the street in the park is Strawberry Fields, and it’s not what I thought.  It’s a big circle mosaic that says, “IMAGINE”.  Very cool.  There’s a “Mayor of Strawberry Fields” who tells the story of Lennon multiple times a day.  I think he’s homeless… but he’s gotten TV time, so he feels good about his job. 🙂  He makes the peace sign every day on the circle using something (usually but not limited to flowers).  Interesting!

The Dakota Entrance where John Lennon was shot

The Dakota - John & Yoko owned the entire top floor of apartments

The "Imagine" mural in Strawberry Fields, Central Park

The Mayor of Strawberry Fields

We took the subway to the Theater District to get discount tickets for Broadway shows (at the TKTS booth) around 2:15pm.  However, I looked and didn’t want tix to any of those shows, while Bryan ate and subsequently fell in love with street-vendor hot dogs.  We headed to the Hard Rock Café so Bryan could get his NYC guitar pin. (love the hustle and bustle of 42nd street BTW!)  Saw the Naked Cowboy (not all it’s hyped up to be :))  We then walked to Seeda Thai for a late lunch, but after the waitress seated us and went to her own table and started eating, I figured they weren’t that desperate for our money, so we left.  We were pretty hungry!  Ended up at a recommended Mexican place, Toloache!  So so good.  But no free chips/salsa… whaaaa!?  Fish Tacos were awesome!

The Fish Tacos at Toloache!

After lunch, we walked to Sam Ash music store (formerly the famous Manny’s Music) another famous spot, where Bryan foamed at the mouth a bit, and tried a Fulltone Catalyst pedal.  There were a lot of pics of famous folks on the wall.

The entrance to the site of the former Manny's Music

Bryan drooling over all the pedals

Bryan having some fun!

We heard that a department store named Century 21 in the Financial District is where all the locals go for good deals, so we thought we’d see for ourselves.  I had no luck, but Bryan got some ties. 🙂  Right across the street was the World Trade Center site, so we sat on some nearby steps just taking a moment to reflect.  Beyond words.  They are just now building up from the ground a few stories (Because there are about 20 stories below ground, I hear) of the new Freedom Tower.  Very cool!

The World Trade Center site

We took the subway to Union Square where we got a snack at Whole Foods and ate it in the park.  Once again, it was as if EVERYONE was thrilled about the amazing weather, because they were all out at the park.  Someone told me it had been really cold the week before.  I noticed that there are a whole lot of people in one place, but little circles of 2 or 3 or 5, so it looks like they are all together, but really, they are still separate.  Just an observation.  Maybe gives the false-feeling of community?  Or maybe people branch out and talk to each other?  Who knows.

One tiny corner of Strand Bookstore

We walked past some interesting stores until we arrived at the famous Strand Bookstore.  We got lost in all the used books… killing time. Great place!  Left around 9pm, took the subway to the West Village, and walked to The Blue Note to hear The Bad Plus (I had discovered them on TV late one night and showed them to Bryan — he remembers this, I do not. :))  They were fascinating.  SO creative.  And the drummer is animated and joyful when he plays.  It’s not your typical jazz, for sure.  I wouldn’t call it “relaxing” — you gotta be engaged to appreciate it.  We had great dessert while we were there!  I had an apple-something, and Bryan had a pear-something… but it was a lot more than that!  I wish I had a pick.  That was our dinner/dessert 🙂  We took the subway home, and crashed into bed… going going gone.

Ethan Iverson (piano) & Reid Anderson (bass) of The Bad Plus

The Amazing Dave King

The end of an excellent evening at The Blue Note!

To be continued…

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