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New York with LeAnne

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1: Getaway | 2011 | September 23-27

2: A trip to New York to move furniture (Grandfather's Clock) out of Oma's house -- the first and last time I will ever visit their home by myself. I try to keep the moment businesslike and emotionless but am weakened by its poor condition and thoughts of Oma. Goodbye Beechknoll Ave in Little Neck...holding tight to tons of memories like mom's room, playing Crazy 8s and dad teaching me how to blow my nose in the snow. | Little Neck

3: Traveling alone was new to me. I took the LIRR into NYC Penn Station. The rain was coming down in buckets when I arrived; the streets were rivers! I set out walking to my hotel, and made it a 1/2 block to the nearest Starbucks. It didn't let up so I went out again. By the time I arrived at "Hotel 17", my jeans were soaked up to my crotch, and even inside my suitcase was soggy (despite my umbrella)! Some serious comfort food from The Meatball Shop was in order! | Manhattan

4: Greenwich Village | I didn't let the rain stop me from touring Greenwich Village since I had never been there before. My self-tour was quite interesting! I saw a rare wooden house (as fire hazard, are banned since 1866), a brothel from the Civil War, the narrowest home in NYC (9.6 ft wide), and ended in Washington Square Park.

5: LeAnne arrived Saturday morning. We met up and headed over to the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier Museum Complex. It was Yankee fanfest day with food, music and giveaways -- a fun start to our adventure! | INTREPID

6: Walking down 5th Avenue, we spoiled our daughters in American Girl (Kate got doll of the year Kanani) and saw a wedding in St. Patrick's. We spent our first night at the luxurious Helmsley next to Central Park. LeAnne is showing off all our free loot from the day! | 5th Avenue

7: GUGGENHEIM | Lee Ufan and his moving exhibit of rocks and dots marking infinity ... I just couldn't take seriously. I was anticipating getting some cool pix of the unique building with my new camera, but no photos are allowed. Being silly while spiraling up through the building & exhibits was the highlight.

8: I was very much looking forward to running through Central Park, and esp. loved that we crashed a marathon! We ran 5 miles thru the park and its sites. | Creepy guy got right into our faces to take our pix, and then wondered why we looked so uncomfortable! | Bucket List: Run in Central Park

9: To continue our excellent morning, we grab Starbucks and walk through a huge street fair on 6th Avenue. We also walk the fair to get to our next hotel, the New Yorker (by Penn Stn and Empire State). It's a gorgeous Fall day!


11: Interested in its architecture, we toured the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the largest public library system in North America. It was built it 1911 at the site of the city's reservoir. Afterwards we enjoyed a beer in Bryant Park.

12: Times Square

13: A destination in itself, Times Square is always full of energy and people! An entire lane of Broadway is dedicated to public space and seating so you can hang out and enjoy the City. While searching for Naked Cowboy we came across Naked Cowgirl - saggingly not easy on the eye, she needs to retire. Looking up, we're captured on the big screen. See our tiny bodies near his chin?

14: Empire State Building | On Top of the

15: At 1454 ft tall, when it was built in 1931 it was the world's tallest building for 40 years! Once again the tallest skyscraper in NYC, it even has its own zipcode. You have to pop your ears several times as the 1st elevator shoots you up 80 floors in 60 seconds! | World's Tallest Building

16: Our Monday started with a ride on the subway down to Lower Manhattan where we saw the sphere that survived 9-11, the bull in Bowling Green, Wall Street and the Stock Exchange, the Statue of Liberty, the first paved road now quaintly lined with small restaurants, Federal Hall where Washington was sworn in, the new 9-11 Memorial, the protest against Wall St, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

17: Today would have been a good day to record our audition for The Amazing Race! We were all over the City, visiting many places in a matter of hours.

18: LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD | Freedom Unity Liberty | We couldn't miss a visit to the Statue of Liberty - the epitome of patriotism! Though too small to be seen from the Empire State Building, up close she is an imposing 305 ft tall! With a fascinating history, she came from France in 350 pieces. Due to lack of funds, her dedication in 1886 missed America's centennial by 10 years. Now, more than a monument, her symbolism has grown to include freedom and democracy.

20: NEVER FORGET | The design of the newly opened 9-11 Memorial embraces America's need for contemplation, reflection and remembrance (just don't lean on the names, please). It's mesmerizing how the water cascades into a void, symbolic of the tower's fall. The enormity of the Reflection Pools and new building, sizeable to our loss and suffering, engulfs you in peace. Soon to be the United States' tallest building at 1776 ft, One World Trade Center will establish a new architectural icon for our country and become an ever-present symbol of renewal and hope for our future. It's no wonder security is so tight and tickets hard to come by!

23: Brooklyn Bridge | The world's largest suspension bridge in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge ranks as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century and remains one of New York's most popular and well known landmarks. Walking it offers a great view of the bridge's towers as well as downtown Manhattan's skyline.

24: Continuing to squeeze the most out of our trip, on our last morning we tried Tai Chi in Bryant Park (awkwardly slow, precise movements.) Afterwards we savored one last delicious Dean & Deluca coffee! We had an absolutely memorable four days together in NYC, adding amusing stories to our enduring friendship!

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