Ah the joys of summer vacation. We flew to NYC on Thursday and arrived around 10:00 pm. Given that it was still around 7:00 in our heads, we went for a walk over to Times Square just to see what was going on. The answer is, as usual, a lot. This was Kate and Zach's first time in Manhattan (though they had been there many times in the Spiderman video game) so they were familiar with a lot of the landmarks, just not in person -- or from the ground level.
This morning, we were scheduled for a studio tour at NBC so we got up and headed over to Rockefeller Center. We walked by the Today show studio around 10:00, Kate and Zach had their picture taken with Katie Couric who was standing outside. The studio tour was pretty cool. All of the studios are smaller than you would expect, in particular Studio 8H - where they do Saturday Night Live was really crowded and even more so since they are on summer hiatus and all sorts of extra junk is stored there while they convert their studios to Hi Def. We saw the studio where Brian Williams does NBC Nightly News. Again, smaller than you think but the funny part was the "control room" behind him which is really a 1 minute video loop of the MSNBC control room shot late at night. Next time you're watching, check out the guy on the left in the orange shirt. Someone walks over to him to talk to him every minute on the minute. The magic of television :)
After the tour, we had lunch at the Carnegie Deli. This place makes Claim Jumper look downright stingy. Leslie and I split a pastrami sandwich and it was still way too big for us. It was stacked about 8 inches high with pastrami and cheese. Just nutty.
After lunch we split up. Zach and I walked around Central Park and then to the Central Park zoo. Kate and Leslie went shopping. I took a bunch of pictures at the zoo including the penguins and an extraordinarily huge... but lazy polar bear. Unfortunately, it was pretty cloudy all day so the light wasn't great, but I got a couple of good shots.
We had tickets to see The Lion King on Broadway at 8:00. Fantastic show! We used to watch the Lion King on video all the time when Kate and Zach were little. The costumes and and sets were amazing, particularly scenes like the wildebeast stampede. It was kind of like 'O' in Las Vegas where the stage is as much a part of the performance as the actors.
Here's my one complaint about New York. For a "city that never sleeps", restaurants in any place other than Times Square sure do close early. We were looking for a bite to eat after the show but we didn't want to go to the generic places right by the theater so we started walking back to our hotel at 37th and Lexington. Everything was closed. A couple of years ago, we tried to find a place to eat around midnight in the village and had the same problem. What's up with that? Where do all of these people eat when they're not sleeping?
Oh well. More tomorrow.
The lazy bear
Central Park Penguin
The view from our hotel roof
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