This city gives new meaning to "love at first sight." It's so full of life and culture and it's very alive. It's crowded and moving and a huge city with so much to explore. It's beautiful and artistic and very much a free-spirit kind of city.
I'd hang around in Times Square snapping pictures all night if you let me. It's sparkling and flashing and popping in front of your eyes with bright lights and enormous billboards and television screens and it's chock-full of visuals spinning and moving before your eyes. There are tons of people staying into the early hours of the morning and it's always packed. It's full of energy and light.
We stumbled over the NBC Experience Store, which is the ultimate haven for people with a sweet tooth. It's just candy and merchandise everywhere. There are huge rainbow lollipops, buckets of chocolate bars, and any kind of candy (including cotton!) you can think of. It's really hard to exercise self-restraint. It's really cool.
We went over to the Empire State Building, which feels just like the Eiffel Tower except way more modern and with longer lines to wait and wait and wait. Just when you think you're finally finished standing in line, you go into a new room to find yet another line. And then when you get into the elevator, you zoom up to floor number 86 and your ears start to muffle everything around you. It's very cool.
We also ferried over to the Statue of Liberty, but we didn't get to go inside as they weren't allowing any crown tours that day. It was gigantic and so much more different from the perfect professional photos you see everywhere. It's not that. The statue itself is really marvelous.
We also visited the Hershey store (the world's largest one is next to Niagara Falls, where we're headed now), the 3-floor packed M&Ms World (which has every kind of M&M merchandise you can possibly imagine and really good background music), and the Madame Tussauds wax museum. As predicted, the biggest crowds were around Pres. Obama and the Jonas Brothers. Thank goodness Miley Cyrus was off-exhibit, or else we'd have an even longer line for her. We probably wouldn't have gotten out of there when we did.
We visited Ground Zero, which is a very, very sad place all on its own. We saw somewhat into the huge hole in the ground and glimpsed the broken-up rubble there. It makes you hope and pray that you never fall into a situation like that.
Speaking of sad situations, apparently a plane and a helicopter crashed over the Hudson River while we were in that area. We actually didn't see them crash, as we were near Times Square at the time, but we read it on the huge news tickers outside the Fox Business News building. It should have been loud, but over the NY traffic I guess we didn't hear it.
Nevertheless, we really loved New York. It's one of those huge cities whose life just keeps going. People just keep moving and so many different lives keep crossing each other. It's one of those really diverse cities and it's just one of the most amazing places I've ever been.
We're headed to Niagara Falls this morning, and it's a long drive. I'm not guaranteed of Internet access there; in fact, I probably won't have Internet for a couple of days while we're there. So I'll blog when I return back to New Jersey, where we're staying.