Travel Tips & Adventures

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Archive for the ‘New York City – Manhattan’ Category

An Evening in Manhattan at Lips – Unique Travel

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

A crowd of us had decided to spend the evening celebrating – a bachelorette party the night before a wedding. Our destination: Lips, a restaurant with a twist. “Female impersonators” both served and entertained. And, what a show! (more…)

Travel to NYC: Only 4 Hours to Spend in Manhattan

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

On my recent trip to New York, I had only four hours to spend before it was time to catch my plane back to Phoenix.


Since I hadn’t been to visit in several years, I pondered the best use of my time. Should I head to a museum? Stroll through Central Park? Shop? Visit a landmark?
The only thing time wouldn’t permit would be a Broadway show – sigh!

So, given my four hours, I decided to reacquaint myself with NYC by just walking around. I did not head to a museum or to Central Park, but chose to travel a multi-block path that had some major highlights to see.  It was an overcast day, so the brilliant blue skies I was hoping to see just weren’t there.   But Manhattan is still impressive, no matter what the weather.

Macys - The largest store in the world

Macy's - The largest store in the world

Coming up from Penn Station, one of the first sights was Macy’s, “the largest store in the world.” I didn’t go in, because I might never stop myself in time to catch my train to JFK.  

Instead, I headed over to…

A Photographer’s Dream…

A major landmark for photographers is B & H Camera. Located on 9th Avenue between 33 & 34th Streets, B & H is THE place for cameras and photography equipment. They’ve got it down to a science and have probably every imaginable piece of photo equipment. The most wonderful part of the store is the knowledgeable staff because they really know their stuff.

Want a flash attachment for a camera? I showed them what I have and they gave me three options! The prices were right and I could leave with my choice, at a good price.


And, no, this is not a paid endorsement for B & H, but it was my second visit.


They’re impressive and also very security conscious. Be prepared to leave large bags at the entrance to claim when you’re ready to leave.



Saddled down with a suitcase, my next stop was Schwartz’s Travel Service where I could leave my suitcase. (Located at 357 W. 36th Street near 9th Ave.) Taking the small elevator to the second floor, I paid $10 to leave my suitcase for the day. Ultimately, I left it for less than two hours, but it gave me the freedom to move quickly.

The Sights

New York Public Library

New York Public Library

 Next, I headed over to 5th Avenue to see the sights: The New York Public Library with its lions guarding the entrance (stone, not live), and both the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building in the distance. I considered a trip up to the top of the Empire State Building (now the tallest building in NYC since the devastation of 9/11/01), but that would have required several hours.

Empire State Building - the tallest building in NYC

Empire State Building - the tallest building in NYC

Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building

I wandered into a street fair on Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) that stretched from about 34th Street to 42nd Street. Traffic was closed down for the entire length of the fair with people sampling food and buying the vendor’s wares. There were a lot of people selling jewelry, scarves, and NY T-shirts. The aroma of the food finally made me break down and try an arepa.

An arepa is a corn cake sandwich fried with mozzarella cheese melted between the two corn cakes. I chose a poor representation because, while it tasted good, it was very thin. As I marched and munched along, I was seeing the profusion of people and remembering the energy of NYC that I have missed.

Carousel in Bryant Park

Carousel in Bryant Park

Strolling through Bryant Park behind the giant New York Public Library, I viewed the glorious, recently refurbished carousel, a permanent fixture for anyone young or young at heart. The NY Public Library is getting a facelift on the outside with the back face totally clean and gorgeous, but the front has coverings to protect passersby from the cleaning. It is an impressive building and many people stop for a photo op near the lions guarding the entrance.

Street scene in Manhattan

Street scene in Manhattan

That’s one of the best things about New York City and, especially Manhattan; there is so much energy! The colorful signs, places to see, food choices from street vendors to fine dining, and excitement, can’t be topped anywhere.

I know, some might contest that last statement, but I never run out of enthusiasm for NYC and the many opportunities to enjoy. Times Square, entrance to the joys of Broadway, is one of my favorite places in the universe, but this time, the schedule just wouldn’t work.

Colorful, thought provoking and dynamic with events and experiences, New York City is the place where I’d spend a week if I could be in any city in the world. But I only had four hours, so I enjoyed what I could and share it here.

If you decide to go to NYC, get a guidebook like DK or Frommer’s to give you the many choices that you’ll have. And, there are many.

Web sites to review:

I Love NY

B & H Camera