New York Stories and Tips

New York in the rain

The Dakota Photo, New York, New York

Day 2 was a bit of a disappointment overall though it wasn’t all bad. It started on a difficult note with the breakfast in the hotel. The hotel breakfast room is woefully inadequate for a hotel with 36 floors x 6 rooms. The food you get is mediocre, the coffee is awful and the bacon was that precooked and reheated stuff which always tastes like salty plastic to me. It was crowded and a bit of a madhouse. We did manage to snag a table. We thought we would have to take a (heavy paper) tray up to the room. All the dishes are Styrofoam or plastic. Not a very environmentally friendly set up. I don’t think we’re going to continue to partake, free or not.

It had been raining quite hard when we got up and we thought we’d take a cab all the way to the Guggenheim, but the rain stopped so we walked to the offices of the tour company that does the TV and movie site tours and get our tickets set up for Thursday. Now what?

I suggested, that since it had stopped raining, we take the Uptown Loop of the bus tours to the Guggenheim. Next disappointment, the guide for this route, while good and knowing his stuff, had trouble with the microphone in that it was very staticky and picked up the wind something terrible. It was difficult to make out what he said. If he stood in the stairwell it was better though still staticky. G’s earpiece really didn’t work at all so he didn’t listen. When the guide came back up top, the wind would make it bad again and when people kept complaining he got kind of cranky. Tough.

It was chilly on the top of the bus but I managed it until about half way through when the rain started again. We had plastic ponchos passed around but I just wanted to go down in the body of the bus where it was warm and dry. The guide kept telling people "it’s only rain!" To paraphrase a famous Seinfeld episode "No tip for you!"

We used our pass at the Guggenheim. There was a bit of a line up outside but I had brought my umbrella and we were ok until we got inside. Here’s where we got yet another disappointment. Though I knew it would be 20th century art, I didn't realize it would be mostly incomprehensible modern art, not really our preference at all. Turned out the exhibit in the spiral ramped main gallery was some incomprehensible Japanese art, modern, and most of which left us cold.For instance, there were two posts. One painted white and one red. With big nails hammered partway in. That's it. That's art?

We tried to get into the café but it was very small and very full. We did find the one area with the art we did appreciate. One small room. Maybe 2 dozen paintings. We tried to have lunch in the adjoining restaurant. That was rubbish too. We sat at the bar for a cold drink but you had to have a reservation for a table. One look at the menu with fancy and strange food, and we weren’t going to be partaking of any of that.

We headed to Rockefeller Centre. The tour bus wasn't forth coming, it was raining so we went by cab and got stuck a bit in particularly heavy traffic. Never mind. There would be restaurants there and we thought if we had the energy we might do the NBC Studio tour.

Got to Rockefeller centre, the rain had stopped again, so we took some photos then went inside to find a place to eat. We did find a proper restaurant though it was quite expensive, posher than we usually partake but we splurged anyway and had a really nice lunch, opting to pick up sandwiches later for the hotel room. The meal was very good, too. Graham had a burger but it was huge and heaped with things. He did say he wasn’t sure whether to eat it or ride it! He said it was excellent. I had a small Filet steak that came with creamy mashed potatoes. It was just the right size, not too much food though you’d think they would have thrown on a spear of broccoli or something. We also had cheesecake which was yummy. It was a big piece, enough to share with two or three people. It did say about sharing on the menu but we still didn’t expect it to be that big so each ordered one. I didn’t finish mine!

We had a browse in the NBC store and we also looked into a shop nearby for the Metropolitan Museum, they always have very nice things. It was a bit late to do the NBC tour so we went down around the corner to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral. (see review in this trip journal). Most of it is under scaffolding so that was another disappointment.

We got yet another taxi back to the hotel. There’s a little take out café a few doors down and we bought some sandwiches and drinks for later. We got to the hotel and guess what? The sun came out and 2 hours later, it’s still out. We’re too worn out to go out again tonight.

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