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Old 06-01-2011, 09:39 AM   #76
skier_pete
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Still enjoying your TR - we were in NYC this past weekend, though mostly dealing with our min-van dying on us while we were there. We only got to go to the NY Museum of Natural History. I was hoping to do the Statue of Liberty but we didn't get the chance. Poor dead car is still there...had to rent a car to get home.

...oh, and it isn't a trip to New York if SOMEONE doesn't rip you off! So, don't feel too bad about the cab. Figure your DH tipped for getting the true NYC experience!

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Old 06-01-2011, 12:00 PM   #77
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Still haven't done TotR. We got to the bottom of the Rockerfeller but didn't head to the top. We were too busy shopping and if my mum weren't in the pictures, I'd post the ones of us with the shopping bags at the bottom.

But I'll let you know which one I prefer NEXT time I'm in NYC and definitely doing up the TotR...unless you beat me to it.
That race is on, besides I'm tired of watching those ice skaters.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:06 PM   #78
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New York is a nice city. Good to see your pictures even if they were mostly DH's. I've been there a couple times before. I think our next non Disney trip will not involve cabs, skyscrapers and bustling streets. It will definitely involve shopping!
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:29 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
New York is a nice city. Good to see your pictures even if they were mostly DH's. I've been there a couple times before. I think our next non Disney trip will not involve cabs, skyscrapers and bustling streets. It will definitely involve shopping!
A city to city tour of Walmarts?
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:43 AM   #80
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Ok so here I am going to stomp right in and put in some comparison photos of TOTR and ESB. For me they are a compliment of each other.....but......I'm very interested in Architecture. If a building is a building is a building to you?? Maybe not so important??

So starting with TOTR. A nice part of TOTR was you could get a day/night pass. You can go up in the morning and the night for a discounted price.

The Rockefeller Centre is found further uptown so you can look right over Central Park. You can look more at Uptown.







You can also get a GREAT view of.....
THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING














NIGHT TIME!!!












It's nice how there are 2 levels to view from and that the lower one is all glass so you can see well and you are a bit sheltered. You can still take clear shots around the glass.
Then if you go to the upper part it is more open and you can take higher angle photos.

This is the upper section



This trip was at the very end of November...start of December. It was cold...but as you can see there was NOOO snow at all.
If I'm gonna be cold I'd like to have snow...but it did make it easier to get around town.
We walked through the park to get to the Natural History Museum with ease.
I was really enjoying the temp actually....no HEAVY coat required. Just a couple layers. It was mainly wind up on the ESB as you are so exposed.

Yes....it was a bit brisk up there.....brrrrrr..... :-)



So up on ESB...

ESB you get a better look downtown. We went at 8am and there were about 5 people there. Last time we went there was a massive queue.....so we went early....lol...
The main problem was that the fog hadn't burned off yet. But it was still nice.
You get to see the Chrysler building better. The GE building is the Rockefeller/TOTR.







Chrysler Building



New Jersey



Downtown





Flatiron


Last edited by queenie82; 06-04-2011 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:58 AM   #81
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Now looking down from ESB. I really like how you can see Broadway cutting through







And some random shots...

Radio City



As seen from the 3 hour Circle line cruise -

Yankee Stadium



Lady Liberty



Ellis Island



Downtown






Driving across the Brooklyn Bridge



City Hall Park




This is the sculpture found at the WTC site and recovered. It was then placed in Battery Park and now stands there. I'm not sure if it will be moved back when the site is complete.



This was driving past the WTC site...





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Old 06-04-2011, 06:58 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Still enjoying your TR - we were in NYC this past weekend, though mostly dealing with our min-van dying on us while we were there. We only got to go to the NY Museum of Natural History. I was hoping to do the Statue of Liberty but we didn't get the chance. Poor dead car is still there...had to rent a car to get home.

...oh, and it isn't a trip to New York if SOMEONE doesn't rip you off! So, don't feel too bad about the cab. Figure your DH tipped for getting the true NYC experience!

SkierPete
The thing was....DH wouldn't even let me say anything to the cabbie. I tried to say something at the second crossing but got hushed up!!!


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That race is on, besides I'm tired of watching those ice skaters.
Done! In this case, I'm likely to be LAST!

Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
New York is a nice city. Good to see your pictures even if they were mostly DH's. I've been there a couple times before. I think our next non Disney trip will not involve cabs, skyscrapers and bustling streets. It will definitely involve shopping!
Shopping in NY or elsewhere?


Quote:
Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post
Ok so here I am going to stomp right in and put in some comparison photos of TOTR and ESB.
Thanks Queenie. Love your pictures.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:51 PM   #83
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Boston – Follow the Yellow…er….Red…..Brick Road

Boston – Follow the Yellow…er….Red…..Brick Road


It was the 4th of July and we were in NYC. DH and I had been in NYC on the 4th of July before and had enjoyed the Macy’s water parade and fireworks along the East River then…along with a million other people….and there had been a bit of debate about whether we spend another 4th of July in NYC or not.

In the end, surprisingly, my mum decided that she did not want to be around that many people and we chose to head towards Boston, where we would catch the fireworks there instead.

So, we picked up a car hire early in the morning and headed on out of NYC.


Road to Boston

We decided to meander up the 95 into Connecticut, past Rhode Island and into Massachusetts.

Yes, I know we could have taken a more direct route but I like collecting the US State Road Maps that are handed out by the State-run Tourist Information stops for a number of years. These maps are/were handed out mostly free of charge; but you needed to find the highly rare Tourist Information stops. I’ve managed to pick up about 20 or 30 but am not sure if I’ve got all of them anymore.

The route I chose was one that would give me the best chance of coming across these State-run stops.

On our way, we came across a little town that all the adults wanted to stop in…..Mystic. Did you know that Mystic Pizza was one of the first…if not the very first….movie Julia Roberts was in? Well…we wanted to find out if there really was a Mystic Pizza.

It is a very small town…there is one main street that we stopped in; and there was another part of the town 5 minutes drive away that we didn’t visit.




The Mystic River runs through town.




And we were lucky enough to be in town at the right time.






This was a taste of what was a common sight and occurrence in this part of the world. All in all, the whole bridge raising process takes about 10 minutes maximum…and DS was complete enchanted with the whole viewing experience.


DH and I were very amused by this establishment.






Someday, I’d like to have a business card that reads “Drinking Consultant” as my job title!


We had a ‘snack’ at Mystic and found a cute little café that served Clam Chowder. Seriously…the best chowder I have yet to have. The chef must have had an East Asian background because both mum and I could taste curry in the chowder! Absolutely spectacular.


We went in search of the Mystic Pizza and the Mystic fridge magnet. Yes, there is a Mystic Pizza but we could not find a fridge magnet in any of the dozen or so tourist shops we walked in. Turns out that the New Englanders have certain standards and tacky fridge magnets did not cut the grade. So, I ended up with a watercolour etching of Mystic to bring home.


The other thing that struck us was that home architecture was rather different in this part of the US….Shingles!





Boston

Our home in Boston was literally a home.

We had looked at hotels in downtown Boston and I was astonished to find that Boston hotel rates were as high as room rates in New York city. But before I could settle on a hotel, we had an unexpected offer from one of DH’s work colleagues to go stay with her.

She lives in Newton, which is on the outskirts of Boston and has a 4-bedroom house, separate dining, living, family room, study plus an enclosed porch/sun room. It was an incredibly generous offer and one that DH was keen to accept. We ended up in the 3 spare bedrooms – one for DH and me; one for DS and one for my mum.

We had originally planned to stay 2 nights but we had such a great time with her and she was so generous with her hospitality that we were all convinced to stay an extra night by our host. Turns out she had wanted to organize a mini-meet for DH with some of the other work colleagues that lived in that part of the world and the only night they could all get together was the 3rd night. DH was pretty happy with the mini-meet arrangement and so we stayed the extra night.

We had dinner with her and her partner for all 3 nights – the first night she took us to a nearby Pizza restaurant; the second night my mum cooked noodles as her way of saying thank you; and the third we headed into Boston Chinatown for dinner with the work colleagues. All three meals were great and the company was the best.

As a side note - Sadly, the night we went to have pizza was the 4th July and it rained! So, whilst we went to the site to look at fireworks, it was rained out. I gather it was no better in NYC, so it turned out to be a good decision to keep going rather than staying the extra night.


From her place, it took us about 20 - 30 minutes drive on the Massachusetts Turnpike to get into downtown Boston. We headed into Boston every day that we were there, getting in about 10 am and leaving around 4 pm to avoid the traffic.




Parking in Boston cost about $17 per day and we parked underneath the Boston Common.




We used the Boston public Transport system to get around and found it to be extremely convenient and reliable…particularly the train system.




There were heaps of attractions that we didn’t do in Boston – I found it hard to find activities to keep DS interested in Boston. The adults were interested in the historic Boston and whilst there were kids museums and activities a-plenty; we ended up doing a fair amount of activities that were more geared towards adults, rather than entertaining my then 7 year old.

Here are some of our highlights.


Boston Common

Boston Common is the oldest city park in the US. The Common has been used as cow pastures, a camping ground for the British, an area for public hangings, protest grounds and the park.

It was a very logical starting point for us in Boston. Not only did we park the car there everyday, it also forms one end of the Freedom Trail and we picked up a free walking tour from the Common; plus it was an access point to the Boston subway, which is the oldest subway system in the US.

It was also a very pretty patch of green…and we all enjoyed walking around the Common and taking in the views.

The Soldiers and Sailor’s monument, in memory of the soldiers that died in the Civil War.




The Frog Pond, which is a public skating rink in the winter months.




Brewer Fountain, the first piece of public art in the Common.





The Swan Boats have been part of the Common for over 130 years and I don’t think that there is any other park in the world where you can enjoy a ride.








The lovely gardens that even DS thoroughly enjoyed walking through. It was a great way to spend the last hour of each of the days we were in Boston.











(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:56 PM   #84
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(Continued from Previous Post)

The Freedom Trail and that Red Brick Road

There is a tourist information center in the Boston Common and when we wandered in there on our first day, we found that they operated free walking tours of the Freedom Trail. A word of caution – it is advertised to take 2 hours; but we found 3 hours was closer to the actual duration.

All the adults decided to sign up for the tour as there was one starting within 30 minutes of us getting there. The lone voice of dissention was from the 7 year old. If you take a look at his face in the Brewer Fountain shot, you’ll realize that he was one very unhappy walker. And this was at the START of the tour.

Our guide…




(OMG – Could he talk or what?? I suspect he was the reason that we overran by an hour!)

The Freedom Trail is approximately 2 – 3 miles long to walk along a red-brick walking trail. Yes – just Follow the Red Brick Road and you’ll pass by the 15 or 16 historic sites that make up this trail.


The Park Street Church – voices against prison reform, woman suffragettes, protests against slavery filled this church over time.




The Granary Burying Ground, resting place of many of Boston’s famous people.










Old City Hall




Our guide lost me at the Great Spring of Boston. He told us that it was a spring that provided the water supply to most of Boston; as well as the sewage system for Boston of old. I managed to butt in to ask what happened to the Spring and where all that water went to. He couldn’t answer and I had to ask our hosts about it. Turns out that there were so many wells sunk that the water table fell and the spring became a trickle. The trickle still flows…underneath the paving but is no longer used.




The alleys along the way.




Faneuil Hall, historic building but now a shopping area.




Samuel Adam’s statue is in front of Faneuil Hall….well, his bahookie or the back (side). He demanded that the British leave Boston.




Paul Revere’s house was another historic site along the way.




And in this case, it wasn’t The British Are Coming….it was definitely the Aussies!





Our guide was running very late and our tour finished up at Paul Revere’s statue. We didn’t even make it to the USS Constitution!




But by this stage, DS was well and truly done! Our very unhappy 7 year old…on the trail….but not really with us.





Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market


Without a doubt, after the Boston Common, Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market was the area in Boston that we all wanted to spend time in…and we must have come back here everyday.

For us Aussies, it was a shopper’s delight and a foodie’s heaven. Within the two buildings, we pretty much had most of the name brands, restaurants, tourist shops, street entertainment and historic ambience that we would want to find.

Faneuil Hall




Souvenier stalls and craft market goods a-plenty in this area. And that building to the right is a mall!




You can find the pretend Cheers Bar here, complete with the authentic reproduction interior of the Cheers set.




Quincy Market



Inside Quincy Market





(I deserve this drink after my parents made me walk that thin red line!)


The beautiful domed roof in Quincy Market.




(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:00 PM   #85
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(Continued from Previous Post)



Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is a historic district in downtown Boston famous for brownstone buildings. It is effectively the Double Bay or Toorak of Boston.








Like everywhere else in the US at this time, patriotism was all the rage.




We took a walk through the neighbourhood.










We walked there on-route to the real Cheers bar, where the interior looks nothing like the set!





Quack! Quack! – The Duck Tour


If you should go to the Common, one of the things that seems synonymous with Boston is Ducks! Seems like there is a nostalgic view about ducks in Boston. And if you don’t believe me, just google the book “Make Way for Ducklings”…and my shot of Mt Vernon Street wasn’t for nothing.




And ducks seem to be the thing to do in Boston! If you can’t beat them….get on a Dukw! Which is precisely what we did.

The Boston Duck tour is not the only duck tour in the world…it is not even the first duck tour in the world….but it had one thing going for it….we were in Boston with money to spare!

What is a Ducw? Well…..it comes in many colours….





But DS loved purple at this age…




We headed off and drove along the Freedom Trail, pretty much seeing what we had seen on the Walk but at a much quicker pace. DS was much happier with this tour!

We also drove past other parts of Boston….and its architecture.











Another one of DS special pictures!




The Ducw is meant to be an amphibious vehicle…




…so into the water we headed.









Our driver…




…no, not him…





…HIM! He let all the kids on board take a turn of the wheel when we got in the water.




We got to drive on it…but here was a decent shot of the Big Dig of Boston….the most expensive road construction project in the US to date.




Having driven along this road for the 3 days we were there, traffic flowed well…even when we hit the dreaded peak hour traffic on one of the afternoons!


(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #86
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(Continued from Previous Post)



Harvard


Harvard University is the oldest university in the US. It is also a private university that supports approximately 25,000 staff, students and post-grads.

It is named after it’s founder, John Harvard.




We caught the subway from the Common and it was an easy ride into the heart of Harvard. The train station was right in the Student Village. When we came out of the station, we noticed signs advising that the students ran free walking tours of the campus. So we signed up for the next one. Should any of you head this way, do yourself a favour….do NOT sign up. The student we got leading our tour effectively pleaded for tips and did not tell us any significant information about the campus. We got his drinking stories instead.

So, after about 20 minutes, we ditched the tour and walked around ourselves. We may not be any wiser about the buildings or the history of Harvard, but at least we didn’t have the aggravation of outright begging. And yes, I appreciate that every student is different…but I’m not going to recommend the free walking tour based on my one experience to anyone.

So, here are the pictures we took of Harvard.



We spent ages here….waiting for the tour guide to stop asking for money.




DS got thirsty at some stage…







….and found some water elsewhere.





Memorial Church, dominates the skyline in Harvard.




Memorial Hall. We weren’t allowed into the hall…






….but we were allowed to walk through to see one window…






The library…




…is huge!









The Student Village is amazing! It is a shopping district in it’s own right. We had a hard time getting DS out of here.




(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:11 PM   #87
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(Continued from Previous Post)


North End

The historic North End or Little Italy in Boston is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in America. It has been a center for the wealthy Bostonians, the Irish migrants, the first freed slaves, the Jewish community and lately the Italians.

Hanover Street is the main eating street in the North End; and we walked down here during the Freedom Trail walk.

We did come back for dinner one night….on the night before we flew back out to the West Coast which is still three days away…and the Italian food we had was great.

But the friends we were staying with had recommended one particular institution to go to. Mike’s Pastry! We made a beeline for it and picked up the most amazing Canolli I’ve had outside of Italy. Seriously good.

But there was one thing about the North End that we stumbled over and was not aware was there.

At the end of Hanover Street and heading towards Faneuil Hall, we found the Holocaust Memorial.

There are 6 glass towers like this, each one representing a different Death Camp.




You can walk through the towers…




….and see the registration numbers of the victims etched in the glass. Very sad.







More views of Boston, North End near Faneuill Hall


















We had dinner in Chinatown with our friends one night…yes there is a Chinatown there, near the theatre district. The food was pretty good, very Cantonese. I wished I had more time to explore the Chinatown….oh well, next time!





I will finish up Boston with this shot.




I did ask DH about it….turns out he was interested in the legs!! I can't really fault him....he's always had GREAT tastes in women!


BUTT given my very loose bahookie sub-sub-theme, it’s a perfect ENDing to the Boston chapter.



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Old 06-05-2011, 12:40 PM   #88
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Hey! Do you remember where in Newton you stayed? My grandparents lived there and that is where I spent my childhood summers! Did you go into the centre where three streets form a triangle around the parking area? It was near the street car stops. My granparents house was just up Langley Road about 2-3 blocks!

What a cool trip you had there. Too bad about the begging college students. We went to the real Cheers pub too...nothing like the set.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:27 PM   #89
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Love the Boston portion of the trip. The history in that town is amazing, love the buildings too.

You've definitely given me a taste to visit.

Sadly, I would prefer the copy of the set Cheers to the real Cheers if it didn't look the same inside
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:26 AM   #90
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What a cool trip you had there. Too bad about the begging college students. We went to the real Cheers pub too...nothing like the set.
Clearly a student from BU and not Havard.

Oh and the pub, a total tourist trap and nothing more.
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