We trekked all over Manhattan today. After getting up later than planned (typical Sherman maneuver) we booked over to the Today Show ready to meet Matt Lauer – well, actually Sally wanted to meet him. I think she has a thing for him, but I digress. To our dismay, well to her dismay, the Today anchors were all inside becasue we got there too late to see them on the plaza. We did get to see some X-ray skinny weather lady report the weather, but we did not know who she was.
The NBC Studio tour was way better than I expected. I had figured that it would be a cheesy walk around the building with the guide telling us that Jerry Seinfeld walked down this hallway, or that Katie Couric ate lunch at that table. Instead, we stood inside the actual NBC Nightly News studio where Brian Williams gives his daily report. Then we learned how Jimmy Fallon’s late night show is produced, and we spent time in the SNL studio which is the same studio they have been using since the Not Ready For Prime Time Players era of Belushi, Ackroyd, Radner, and Curtain (when the show was actually funny).
One thing I know for sure is that I am so glad I am not in front of those High Definition cameras. They actually need to air brush on the make-up now because the cameras pick up every imperfection and glob of make-up on your face. Yikes.
After the tour, we walked uptown to Central Park. We were amazed at the sheer size of the place, and I was particularly impressed with the cleanliness and safe feeling I had in the park. I was expecting something different. Obviously, this was a good lesson in not believing everything I see on television (If you watch Law and Order you would think that there was a dead body around every turn in the park.)
We came upon a street performer who was teaching how to Hula-Hoop. Well, Sally and Gillian are already experts, so they showed the guy how it’s done. Marni and I stay as far away as possible!
The Central Park experience ended with a long walk toward The Dakota building where John and Yoko lived, and where John was murdered. It was something I have always wanted to see. Interestingly, there is a tribute to John in the park in the form of the plaque below, and there is a section called Strawberry Fields. Yet, at the site of the murder, there is absolutely nothing. According to the security guard, the current residents do not want to acknowledge the tragic event, so they refuse to erect any kind of monument or memorial. All I learned was that John was shot inside these gates on 72nd street, Just west of Central Park West. It was all very anticlimactic for me and Sally.
Mid-afternoon we hopped on a subway train and rode downtown to the lower east side. There, we toured the old garment district and an old tenement building that has been turned into a museum. This was a perfect way to put closure to our discussion of the immigrants who came through Ellis Island. This is where they lived when they got off the boat. We learned about two Jewish families who lived in the building at 97 Orchard at the turn of the century. The rooms are amazingly realistic, and the curators of the museum have done an incredible job restoring the apartments to look like they did 110 years ago. This was a fascinating tour, and I am so glad we traveled back downtown to take it.
After “Crossing Delancy” we took the train back to the Times Square area. This was another fine day, and I am so pleased that my daughters have learned so much from the experiences in NYC. They both can’t wait to get on the computer at home and do more research and reading about Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, and the tenements. Now that’s self-directed learning at it most basic and best!
Tomorrow we leave NYC for Rehobeth Beach, Delaware for some beach time. I hope the weather cooperates. We all need to “chillax” for a while.