08 April 2008

NYC in Review: day two (part 1): Rockefeller Center and Planetarius

[I did not take or edit this photo. It's copyrighted by this guy on flickr.]

After a long night out on Wednesday (see prev. post) and very little sleep I rallied and dragged myself to breakfast at the Noho Star. I recommend it. After that I got on the subway and made my way uptown. Except first I got on the subway going the wrong way. Had a little trouble figuring out what was uptown and what was downtown. I didn't have any trouble with the subway after that, except when I accidentally went to Harlem the very next day.

Anyway, I had sights to see: Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the MoMA. Fortunately I had a friend to help me navigate a bit. I could have worked it out on my own but it was easier to let someone else make suggestions.

First stop: Rockefeller Center. Imagine an interesting mix of awed tourists and busy-looking locals in suits and you get the idea. It's similar to the Transamerica Pyramid in that it's a tourist attraction but it's also working offices. And it's a lot bigger. And there's a fun sightseeing thing at the top. And an ice-skating rink. I didn't take any pictures but it turns out that some other people took advantage of the photo ops. You can find a ton of great pictures on Flickr.

My friend and I walked around inside the building proper for a few minutes to figure out how to get to the top. Eventually we asked for directions, but at one point I said, "we could just go up those stairs, I think that's where we need to be". But we were afraid of getting yelled at, so instead we paid $20 (each), went down, around, through the metal detector, up an escalator, and were right back where I had pointed, with no security staff in sight. So that was funny.

The top of Rockefeller Center has a panoramic view of all of NYC, plus parts of Jersey. It really is a great tourist stop, although if it's crowded you will be miserable. Then it was back downstairs to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, right across the street. On the way out we passed Atlas (photo above). My friend asked what the name of it was, and I thought she was asking me who created the sculpture. It turns out I was giving both of us way too much credit, because she actually wanted to know the name of the subject. She said, "isn't it, you know, Planetarius or something?" I said, "umm, this isn't my town, but it looks like Atlas to me." And then I kept saying Planetarius every time I looked at a sculpture the rest of the afternoon. Which was often.

No comments: