Thanks to all Insiders who gave me suggestions for activities and dining recommendations. I compiled a list that I'm sure will keep us busy for a week. I'll edit this post as we check off the list. In no particular order...
(1) Saw the naked cowboy. He is lucky it is probably over 50 degrees. I thank Jasper for setting this up.
(2) Saw "Jersey Boys". Got half-price tickets at tkts for 3rd row front mezzanine. Excellent seats. Wonderful show. My husband and I both enjoyed it.
(3) Checked out The Duke for breakfast. Jerry, Barrymore's has closed.
To be continued.
(4) Ate breakfast at the Duke.
(5) Walked to Bryant Park and enjoyed watching the ice skaters and window shopping at the Christmas Marketplace,
(6) Walked to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. It was a beautiful day, so we went to the "Top of the Rock". The views were incredible.
(7) Saw the naked cowboy.
(8) Saw "Mama Mia". Also got half-price TKTS. Okay seats. Wonderful show.
(9) Saw the naked cowboy.
To be continued
(10) Ate breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien, a French organic bakery.
(11) Walked to Macy's at Herald Square. Enjoyed the window displays, but didn't want to wait in line for 50 minutes to see Santa.
(12) Walked to Lord and Taylor and enjoyed their window displays.
(13) Saw "On a Clear Day" starring Harry Connick, Jr. We had gotten those tickets online. The usher moved us down about 12 rows to much better seats.
(14) Tried to win the lottery tickets for "Wicked"....no luck.
(15) Ate dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Not much of a wait to get in. Fun.
To be continued.
(16) Enjoyed the Radio Center Christmas Spectacular very much.
(17) Enjoyed a peanut butter toffee bar at Magnolia Bakery. I, too, wonder how many cupcakes the bakery has to sell to meet their mortgage. The cupcakes were $3.50 and $4.50, but they would still have to sell a whole bunch of those to make a $40,000 a month mortgage (according to an Insider on a previous post).
(18) Stepping Stones suggested trying a Chipotle Hot Chocolate at Jacques Torre's Candy Factory. Wow. It was like drinking a candy bar. The chai white chocoate hot chocolate was not bad, either.
(19) Went on a 3+ hour Christmas light tour. Tour went to 2 Brooklyn neighborhoods where many houses have extravagant light displays. On the return trip, we stopped at the Brooklyn Bridge Park to view the lights in Manhattan. Awesome view from under the Brooklyn Bridge near the River Cafe that jerrycoin had recommended for a romantic dinner. Probably one of the most romantic spots I've ever seen. Drove down 5th Avenue and enjoyed all the window displays. We chose to leave the bus at the Rockefeller Center as it returned to midtown. Traffic was barely moving, partly because of the Christmas Eve service at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
To be continued.
20. It's Christmas Day so we nibbled on some stocking stuffers (lots of chocolate) for breakfast. One of our favorite BBQ chains is Famous Dave's. We decided to try the location not far from the hotel for Christmas lunch. It was below average in taste in our opinion and twice as expensive as other locations where we have eaten (Little Rock, Kansas City, and Branson). We decided to rest today, so we watched NBA basketball and ate chocolate for dinner.
21. Monday morning we walked to the Macy's on Herald Square, then on to B & H Camera Store. I sat in the waiting area while my husband "just looked" for about an hour and a half. Took the subway to 42nd street from there, but it would have been easier to walk to Pier 83 to catch the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan. The tour was wonderful even though it was quite cold when we were outside. We would sit outside for a while, then come inside to warm up. It was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful afternoon. The cruise is narrated throughout the 3 hours as you cruise through 3 rivers, under 7 major bridges, by 25 world renowned landmarks including a close-up of the Statue of Liberty, and viewed 5 boroughs. Tried to win lottery tickets to "The Book of Mormon" and "Wicked"...no luck.
22. Tuesday morning we took the subway to the Ground Zero construction site. We viewed the entire site from the second floor Winter Garden at the World Financial Center. Then we visited the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site where maps and a scale model of the original site as well as what the site will look like when complete are available for viewing. The line to get passes to visit the official site started here and stretched for blocks. We visited the Episcopal chapel at St. Paul's which was used as a mess hall, dorm, and medical facility ater 9/11. According to Fodor's guidebook to NYC, George Washington's pew was used by rescue workers. A 56-foot bronze bas relief covers the 10 House, a fire station on Liberty Stree, that was nearly destroyed on 9/11. We passed the Occupy Wall Street site as we walked to Trinity Church where a sculpture which was inspired by the giant sycamore that fell and protected the old headstones in St. Paul's graveyard is located. There were only a few people within the barricades and many more policemen around the area.
23. On Tuesday evening, we went to the lottery where we tried to win tickets to "The Book of Mormon", however, it was not our lucky day. We went to TCKTS to get discount tickets, but after about 10 minutes of standing in the pouring rain, we decided to head to the hotel.
24. We checked out on Wednesday morning and had the hotel store our luggage while we ventured out one last time. We bought real New York bagels for breakfast (and were amazed at how soft they were) and went to Bryant Park to eat them. We walked from there to Grand Central Terminal and admired the main concourse which is 200 feet long, 120 feet wide, and about 120 feet high. A map of the constellations covers the ceilings. (The Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant had been recommended by jerrycoin, but we didn't have time to eat there).
Tried again to get lottery tickets for "The Book of Mormon", but despite having a winner from Louisiana, we did not win tickets.
25.One day last week, we were outside the ABC studio at 7 AM for the taping of Good Morning America. We had a glittery sign showcasing an Arkansas Razorback. While I shook Sam Champion's hand, he asked my husband if he had been the one to do all the glitter.
And our trip came to an end. We enjoyed the trip very much and I thank all the Insiders who gave us recommendations on things to see and places to go as well as restaurant recommendations. We were not able to check off everything, so we'll have to go back.