Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mid-Town Manhattan

One and only Chrysler Building
The disadvantage of touring with any group, of course, is finding time to see the sights others may not want to see. As much as we enjoyed our group, we missed not spending time in our favorite part of the city: mid-town Manhattan. And so when we had a chance to break-away, we did!

On our last day altogether, we began the morning by taking an insider's tour of Lincoln Center, home to the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York City Ballet—all world-famous performing arts organizations. But I was most impressed to learn that the Center is located on the site of the former housing projects featured in the opening scenes of West Side Story, one of my all-time favorite movie musicals. Who knew? The high point, though, was seeing Plácido Domingo strolling through the lobby of the Met. We burst into spontaneous applause as several women in our group practically swooned.

Waiting for our tour to begin

 Lincoln Center

From here, the tour split-up into three smaller groups. We followed the guide going to mid-town. First stop: Grand Central Terminal to eat lunch and admire the architecture. The busiest train station in the U.S., Grand Central was a horror until its renovation in the 1990s. Today it remains absolutely spectacular and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world. By the way, there's an excellent food court below the main floor, but good luck finding a seat during lunch hour!

Mercury atop Grand Central Terminal

Main concourse, where constellations look down from
the beautiful green ceiling


Main concourse clock

We then headed over to Fifth Avenue, where many of NYC's most famous buildings are located, including Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's cathedral, site of Robert Kennedy's funeral in 1968. We were home . . .

30 Rock at Rockefeller Center 

Detail of Atlas, outside Rock Center

Across the street from Rockefeller Center: St. Patrick's cathedral

Inside St. Patrick's—magnificent



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