Friday, September 12, 2008

All over the place...

Post by: Beth

Okay guys... LOTS of photos going on in this blog. Mom & Jenny came to visit last weekend and I've never seen 2 people use their cameras more. This blog may make it seem like I take a lot of photos, and I probably do take more than the average person right now just because it seems like I'm always in a new place or seeing new and different things. But Mom & Jenny are ridiculous... They can take pictures of ANYTHING, and they both have a knack for seeing extraordinary things in what I would consider ordinary. So that makes for a LOT of photo opportunities in a city like New York. I've had the daunting task of sorting through about 500 photos (a combination of mine and hers, with only 1/7 of those being mine) in order to determine which ones to use on my blog to accurately portray our activities of the past weekend, without my (few but appreciated!) readers getting bored of looking at 500 photos. I set aside this morning just for this task, and I now have a somewhat complete story-by-photos of all the fun things we did. I say "somewhat" complete because I still have to get Jenny's photos from her and go through those, but many of those will be duplicates since we all went to the same places together. :) So you can probably expect a few more photos from her collection, but I think I've just about covered the highlights of their visit with us. We had a great time and walked about 1,000 miles... tried great restaurants and shopped in unique stores... and mostly thanks to them, I have photos to document just about all of it. So here they are :)

Here are a few more pictures from the American Museum of Natural History... Now that I have Mom's photos, I'll add some of hers even though that activity may have been covered in my earlier post.

One of the places I definitely wanted to take Jenny & Mom was "Dylan's Candy Bar." Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren, opened and owns this candy store, and has recently expanded into Texas, California, Florida, and Long Island as well. I visited this place for the first time during one of my visits when Raja last lived here, and there's just nowhere else like it. It's THREE floors of candy, ice cream, cookies, candy-inspired clothing, gift bags, etc. The floors have millions of candy pieces in them, the lights look like giant gumballs and other candies, and the choices of sweets are endless. They have sour things, sweet things, cold things, hot things, chocolate things, fruity things.. you get the idea. If it's a candy, Dylan's probably has it.

As an extra bonus, I spotted these outfits from the back when we walked in, hanging in one of the windowfronts. I immediately grabbed the closest salesperson and pointed, stammering "Are those?... I think those are... Is that really???" She nodded and smiled, "Yes.. those are from Project Runway." So you see, back in Season 4 of Project Runway, a challenge was for the designers to visit the Hershey's Store in Times Square and use only products in that store to create a wearable outfit. That they did, and cocktail dresses made completely of candy, wrappers, etc were worn down the runway by models. After being displayed over the last several weeks at the Hershey's Chocolate World stores in New York City, Chicago and Hershey, Pennsylvania, the dresses are on loan by CARSON to Dylan's Candy Bar flagship store in NYC! Almost all of the designers' creations were on display with the exception of the winning design, which is housed somewhere else still... The lady told me where it was, but I think I was too excited and had stopped listening completely while trying to take photos.

Neat, huh? :) I was beyond thrilled.

And finally, here we are outside Dylan's with all our candy we bought.

We planned a whole day (Monday) around Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. I have to say, my favorite stop of the day was Ellis Island, even though we didn't have as much time there. I didn't post any photos of this yet, because I don't feel like I can do them justice without a proper story behind them. Since we didn't stay there very long, the history I have of them is incomplete, and I had a hard time posting the pictures of the immigrants' struggles without also telling their stories accurately. I hope to visit this area again before I leave New York, take a tour, and learn more about the island and building that housed the immigrants coming into the United States in search of freedom and opportunity. Until then, I couldn't bear to post the photos without their stories being represented.

Wall Street was our first stop of the day, and we got to see the NYSE... The building itself is HUGE and there's tons of security around it. You can't even get within about 15 feet of the building due to security guards and ropes.

Mom is obsessed with a few things Americana, and she takes a photo of them whenever she sees them. One of them is flags. She loves nothing more than a good American flag photo. She took about 5 flag photos here in New York... This one was the biggest, so I gave it preferential treatment and posted it.

Here's the "Charging Bull" statue in the financial district. The bull is used as the symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity, and has become the unofficial symbol of the Financial District itself. It often appears in the local news media to punctuate stories about optimism in the financial market.

We discovered another, relatively new, obsession of Mom's while in New York. She's apparently been harboring a secret fascination with Donald Trump and his empire. Every time we saw a Trump building, Mom stopped in reverence, then began snapping photo after photo. I have no idea what her deal is with him, but we patiently and respectfully let her get it out of her system each time she saw anything to do with Trump.

See? She can't get enough Trump.

To get out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, you take a ferry for about 20 minutes. Here we are riding along... Mom is smiling, and seemed excited about taking photos of Ms. Liberty herself, but I really think the smiles were still being fueled by the amount of "Trump" she got while in the Financial District.

Ahhhh.. there she is now.

Jenny and I had a great time posing in front of Manhattan while on Liberty Island.

Mom and I got a photo taken too... Mother & Daughter on Liberty Island. It doesn't get more American than THAT.

I forgot to mention that along with flags, Mom also loves sailboats. I wonder if Trump has a sailboat... If there was a sailboat with "TRUMP" emblazoned on the sail, Mom would probably die of happiness on the spot.
Here we are riding the ferry back to Manhattan after Liberty and Ellis Islands. Jenny's still fired up about taking more photos. I am so tired I can barely hold my head up.

Before coming to visit, I requested Jenny give me a couple of sites she wanted to see in New York so I could find out their location and plan a route to see them. She had a few churches listed that she wanted to take photos of, and out of those 3, St. Patrick's Cathedral was definitely the best. It's the largest Gothic-style cathedral in the U.S., and draws over 5.5 million visitors a year. Mom and Jenny took about 150 pictures inside the church, and rightfully so... One of the prettiest sights I've seen during my stay here.

And what is a trip to New York without a visit to Times Square at night? It just cannot be done. As cheesy as this place is, I love Times Square at night. You can't get the full idea from photographs, but it literally feels like the middle of the day in Times Square, even at midnight. Raja (much to his chagrin) & I walk to Times Square from our apartment a couple of times a week, and it's a very weird feeling to begin the walk around 9pm when it's dark and definitely feels like nighttime, only to arrive in Times Square and feel like it's noon. The lights are incredibly bright, everything flashes, and there's ALWAYS thousands of people around. I think it's so much fun and just not something you can experience in most cities.

Here a few more random photos that we took along the way to our different destinations.

Look how excited Raja is to still be at M&J Trimmings after about an hour spent inside.

See? He looks so thrilled to have spent the last hour in a sewing shop.
Luckily, he still loves me, despite being dragged to all the jewelry and bead shops. :)

Oh yeah, Mom loves clocks too.. Almost as much as she hearts "The Donald."
Clocks, clocks, and more clocks...

Do you get the idea yet? We had to stop EVERYTIME we saw a clock.

Rockefeller Plaza

And poor Raja... we wore him out dragging him all over the city. He had to take a nap because he was so exhausted. We had a great weekend though.. We love having visitors and it's so fun to show them the sights of the city. Hope you enjoyed reading about all of the fun things we did!

For a special section, I wanted to post some photos we took of the memorial sites around the World Trade Center area. Not a whole lot one can say here.. the pictures and the date pretty much speak for themselves. I will say that it's sort of strange to be there.. New construction has started, and it's very loud due to the machines and work going, and in New York in general, of course. But when you get to the Memorial sites, no one really talks that much. It's a strange feeling to be in this booming city and to hear a hush around an entire block as people look on and respect those that were lost during the 9/11 attacks.


The Freeman Family said...

I was wondering how Raja felt about the Trimmings store. He looked like he was having a blast.

Trump had a boat but sold it because it costs too much to fill it up so now he rents one. That is what I read or saw about a year ago. Now Ivana has a boat and her boy toy lives with her.

Rhonda Walker said...

Oh you forgot to tell everyone what you learned to do while I was up there. You need to take pictures of them first though so you can post something about them.
Thanks for having me as your guest for the long weekend. I had a really good time.
Hope you are feeling better.
I love you, Mom

Big Cuz said...

I love this post! you may or may not remember that I went to NY in 1987. It is funny that things like the stock exchange and trump building, statue of liberty, and time square, I have almost identical pictures of from that trip. but one thing that I would love to do is go to the memorial site. I went to the twin towers when I was there in 87 and have some pictures... but I did not go to the top. (dont regret that either!) but I would love to see the memorial, I remember how vast the block of buildings seemed, I am curious to see it blank.
thanks for sharing the pics

Jenny said...

Your mom got some really great pictures!