New York City Trip #2 (last updated on 2009/12/10)

2009/12/5 New York City Day 1

Going to airport

Woke up at 3:30am, 18F outside. It's the coldest day in the past few days. I took a shower, did a short stretch and finished packing. Decided to keep the heater ON, and left the apartment at 4:10pm, I worried a bit about starting the engine but it was not a big deal. I only had to worry about my body warmth, I was freezing as driving down south to the airport. The road was dark, but no snow or slick spots, so I could just keep driving with no problem, and due to the low volume on traffic, I was able to arrive at the parking at 4:45pm, only 30 minutes of drive. Got a ride on a shuttle to the terminal, and I checked in at 4:55am. Proceeded to the security.

Going to NYC (AA4577 6:00AM - 7:40AM)

The line for the security was not so bad but there were only two lanes open, so it took a while for my turn. I passed the security at 5:25am, and walked toward the gate. The boarding to the plane started from 5:35am, so I'd better move on. The boarding started but the jet way was pretty cold. one good thing is that the plane had a good heating in. It departed at 6:00pm, and taxied only few minutes. Took off to south at 6:10pm, changed the heading to east as I watched the plane flew by Detroit downtown and Windsor across the river. The cloud covered the ground view, and I took a nap for a while. I then wake up, then heard the announcement of the plane getting ready for the landing. The plane approached from the west, passing the Liberty Island, Downtown New York, and made a left turn above the park and landed to west at 7:30am. I don't have any checked bags so I can go now.

AA4577 At Detroit Metro Airport Detroit downtown
Lower Manhattan Midtown Manhattan

Meeting with my old friend

A but to Grand Central

The bus to downtown was coming around 8:10am, but I was already at outside at 7:45am. I found the bus stop but still have plenty of time, I waited until 8:00am then called my friend. Since I have a bag with myself, I asked him if he can keep it for me until I go check in to the hotel (bag service usually cost me $10 a day). The bus arrived at the terminal and left at 8:12pm, Arrived at Grand Central at 8:30am. I walked to my friend's apartment. Took me a while but get there by 9:00am. It was really nice to meet my friend again. He invited me into the apartment where he and his wife live. It's 480sq ft studio. I think it was very small but place like this costs a lot in NYC. We checked the hours of the museum we are planning to go, and left the place around 9:30am. We walked to the place by crossing the Central Park, talking about friends of ours.

American Museum of Natural History

Arrived at the museum at 10:10am, we checked out second floor since my friend already been to the first floor. We checked from the 2nd floor, taking a look at stuffs from Asia, they Central America. One of the display for Silk Road had opium on display. Oh man... We got hungry so had lunch at downstairs and then came back up for the African culture, going up more for Reptiles and Mammals on the third floor, and finally, going to the fourth for dinosaurs. They had the exhibits in the way which shows how each species are separated from others by showing the trees, like spines, joints, and so on. I saw the outside is snowing when we took a look outside around 3:50pm. First snow for the year... I think it's going to be cold. One of the significant finding for this was that ribcage became more compact as the time pass by for mammals.

Building Exhibit

Coming back to the apartment

Left the museum at 4:00pm, hurried to a subway entrance took a subway back then switched to another line. Arrived at 53rd St and ran back to my friend's place. The outside is pretty dark already, and white snow shining from the lights of city made them look nice. We chat a bit.

Going to New York Philharmonic Orchestra (Lincoln Center)

At 5:00pm, I tried to go to the hotel but I was turned down for five taxies in a row. No good. I called my friend to ask if they can keep my stuffs, and we decided to go eat. They told me that I can even stay at their place but I already paid for it so I'd better stay at the hotel. We had an Indian buffet at a restaurant nearby for dinner. They took me to a bus stop for a ride to Lincoln Center. We had to wait for about 10 minutes, and the bus finally came. I got off at 9th Ave, then start walking toward the building among with many people walking. I enter the building at 7:35pm, and picked up my ticket. As I cross the entrance, a guy asked me if I carry a camera. My answer should be... no, right?! Took a seat, and I was chatting a bit with an elderly lady next to me. the seats on the other side is not occupied, I guess some people are coming later today. The concert started at 8:00pm on time.

Building Inside

For today's performance, they played

With a 15 minutes intersession, they played the sound of what I usually hear from CDs. The conductor was easy to understand, and the performance, were so good. Everything was done at 10:00pm. It's time for me to get to the hotel for sure...

Back to hotel

I tried to catch cabs, but again I was turned down for three times, and there were many people trying to grab a taxi so it took a while. I finally got a ride after 20 minutes of struggle, and arrived at the hotel at 10:50pm. I called my friend to let him know that I don't Checked in and went to the room at 11:00pm. The room had a pretty huge flat screen TV, but no interest watching it right now. I took of my suits, took a quick shower then went to bed before midnight.

Hotel room

2009/12/6  New York City Day 2

Meeting with my friend again?

Woke up at 7:00am, I could tell the outside is getting bright by seeing the lights coming in from the bottom of curtain. Stretched my body, and got my suits back on. I went up to the first floor and picked up my breakfast around 7:40am. I stretched my body, and took a shower. One of the channels on the TV was showing the Lord of the Rings, which is one of my favorite show so I was watching it, but not to the end. I have to meet with my friend. I checked out from the hotel, and there was a Japanese lady who already called a cab so we get a ride together. The ride to Midtown was nice, at least I am not traveling alone so I enjoyed the chatting. She told me about the difficulty in communication in English (yup, I have gone through...) and planning to go to SOHO area for shopping. Nice to know what Japanese Yen is only around 89 for a dollar. I am in opposite situation, any expense in Japan will make me cry!

I was able to get off in front of the Grand Central at 10:20am, we exchanged cards and I went inside of the building. I called my friend and started to head up to his place. I get changed my clothes to more casual one, and stepped outside for second day of sightseeing around 11:00am.


Brooklyn Bridge

We took a train down to downtown. Arrived at the station at 11:40am. The bridge was right in front of it. It's a sunny but with chilly wind. There are many people on the bridge walking. The pathway was split in two, one is for pedestrians, another for bicycles. We walked up to the park on the other side around 12:40pm, there seems to be a couple just got married today. We decided to get some lunch, and start walking back. Saw a pizza restaurant with many people waiting, I think it won't be a choice for us. We could get some meals here but decided to go back to Grand Central for lunch. Took a subway back to Grand Central, and had a lunch at Pershing Square, which is right across the building. The place is said to be the busiest but not so crowded at the moment. I had a chicken pot pie, and watched people carrying roller bags heading to their tourist destinations. We walked out from the restaurant around 1:40pm.

Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge from other side Brooklyn Bridge from other side
Downtown New York Manhattan Bridge Municipal Building  

Chicken Pot Pie

Rockefeller Center and Apple Store

We went up north to Rockefeller Center to check out the famous Christmas tree and the skate rink. I guess I should check it out during the night, which could be beautiful. The square in front of Rockefeller building were packed with so many people. We had hard time moving around. After it was done, we walked a bit more north toward the central park. Just where the south end of the park is, the Apple had a store underground. I tried out magic mouse, which was, I guess, hard to control...

Rockefeller Building The famous Christmas Tree Skate Rink Apple Store

Before heading back, I wanted to check out a statue inside of the Central Park. We walked to 73rd and found the one.

Alice in the Wonderland Getting dark

Getting a bus to the airport

After coming back to the apartment, I waited until 5:00pm. We get to chat for the last time of the trip then I left their apartment at 5:10pm, walking down the Lexington Avenue to 42nd. The sky was dark, all the Christmas decorations at the building looked pretty, and many buildings were lit up so it was a whole different world. I was thinking like that while I was in a crowd, walking down the street. I arrived at the Grand Central at 5:30pm, lined up for the bus, which came around 5:40pm and took me to the airport.

Grand Central at night

Coming back to Detroit (AA4620 8:10PM - 10:20PM)

My dinner

A tower decorated for holidays AA4620 Arrived at DTW
Manhattan Manhattan Detroit

Arrived at the check in counter at 6:40pm, I used an automated machine and printed out the ticket. Always good to know that I have no bag to check. I have not eaten anything for dinner so I went down to a food court and had a dinner, a Chinese. I found out that Borders sells postcards so I tried by them. The casher was having difficulty on her first day, and could not enter the postcard on the register. She took almost five minutes and manager came and solved the issue. I went back up one level, and passed the security. As I walked to the gate, I picked up a bottle of water. I wrote some cards while wait for the boarding, which started just about on time. The boarding was very quick and finished in about 10 minutes. We are good to go.

Departing at 8:00pm, the captain told us that we will be having a nice view of New York on the way to Detroit. The plane was at 18th position so the take off was at 8:30pm. The plane took off to northeast, then flew north of the New York City. It was a beautiful view. I had nothing to do so I was typing a draft of my trip journal. When an announcement to prepare for landing was given, the plane was flying north of the Detroit downtown, I could see the buildings. Plane changed the course from west to south, and landed at 10:00pm with very short stop, about 2,000ft. Everybody in the plane was pushed toward the front. It was a hard one. The plane taxied to the gate.

Coming home

After arriving at the parking at 10:20pm, I put my stuffs in the car and started the engine. It was not snowing, just chilly so I could drive without any issues. Arrived at home by 11:10pm, felt pretty tired and I need to go work from tomorrow, so I gave up on doing any thing. Just went to bed around midnight.



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