Monday, September 15, 2008

What I love about this place...

Post by: Beth

I heart NY! No really... I do. I'm not just one of those people milling about wearing an "I Heart NY!!" t-shirt. I don't think half of those people can really even read their t-shirts, so I think it's pretty generous to assume they really love this city. I'm in the perfect situation here: I haven't yet been here long enough to grow bored of the everyday things that long-time residents find mundane. I'm still excited by so many of the sights in New York, and I never know what to expect or what I'm going to see next.

Yesterday was one of the days where we just woke up and said "What do we want to do today?" We decided to pick between Central Park and Chelsea Piers since it was so pretty outside, and I pinpointed Chelsea Piers because I've seen Central Park before, but never the piers. For those who don't know (and I didn't.. I had to look it up), Chelsea Piers is a series of historic piers on the West Side of Manhattan... It was a passenger ship terminal in the early 1900's, with most of the major trans-Atlantic liners of the early 1900's docked at the piers. Pier 54 being the departure site for the RMS Lusitania before it was torpedoed. Pier 59 was to be the final destination for the RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England. In 1935, New York moved its luxury liner piers to the New York Cruise Terminal to accommodate bigger ships, and the Chelsea Piers became a cargo terminal at that time. During WWII, the piers were used to deploy troops.
Today, the piers are used by the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex, which includes film and television production facilities (CBS College Sports Network & Food Network), a health club, a day spa, gymnastics training center, lacrosse/soccer/b-ball areas, dance studios, golf club with 4-story driving range, 2 full-sized ice skating rinks open year-round, a marina for private boats, and several other amenities. The piers are owned by Roland W. Betts, who attended Yale and was a member of the same fraternity as George W. Bush. (Neat facts, huh?)

Sailboat for you, Mom! You're welcome.

Later that evening, we went to one of my favorite places... Divine Bar. This restaurant and bar originally had 2 locations... one in Midtown on the East side, and one on the West side. I'd visited the East location before and it was wonderful... Cheese plates with huge chunks of various cheeses from various regions, exotic fruits piled up on plates, dozens of wine flights, all in a very pretty space with candles and fun art pieces. The East side location closed recently, with all the focus being swapped to the West. It was equally as good as what I remembered from the other location, and it was so much fun to have dinner here.

As another example of one of the things I love about New York, we were just walking along to dinner, and all of a sudden, I'm standing in front of the building where CBS tapes the "Late Show with David Letterman"!! I was so excited!... I know tens of thousands of people see this building every single day, but it's just those little things that are so fun about the city. You get this unparalled chance to see in person so many of the things you see on TV. It's just never, ever boring here, even on a normal walk to dinner. Love it!

And on the way back from dinner, we got to walk through Times Square. Yeeeeeeeeeey!! (That was what I said.. Not what Raja said, in case you were wondering. ;) I of course yanked out the camera again, even though Raja said "Don't you think your readers are tired of seeing Times Square by now?" There, there, now.. Don't you worry, because I huffily told him "Absolutely not!!" and began snapping away in delight.

While walking through Times Square, we saw something neither Raja nor I had seen so far in New York. Just yesterday in the afternoon, Raja was commenting that people in the city will "sell ANYTHING." Handmade jewelry for $1 ("Hottest Styles, Latest Trends, for you New York!!"), knock-off perfumes for $5 ("SMELL GOOD FOR ONLY 5 DOLLARS -- THE REAL DEAL, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!"), keychains for $3 (I think the man selling these was mute, bless his heart), the chance to tell off a homeless man for a mere $2 (He was asleep but still holding up his sign)... we've really seen some random things for sale. However, we hadn't yet seen the unique entrepreneurial skills displayed by this man selling the chance to hold a boa constrictor snake for $10. That's right... If you pay him $10, he will set a boa constrictor on your person and take your picture "as many times as you want." (Well in that case.. what a bargain...) It was actually pretty entertaining and you have to admire his spunk and desire to set himself apart from the other peddlers. These kids put together $10 and were so funny as the man started placing this heavy snake all around their shoulders.

See why I love this place? :)


The Freeman Family said...

I am glad you posted about Chelsea Piers because I had wondered exactly what it was. I have watched Matt Lauer hit golf balls into the water from there (?) and just couldn't figure out why they have a driving range on a pier.

And I personally love the Times Square shots.

Beth & Raja Gupta said...


Glad to hear you are on Team Beth in regards to the Times Square pictures! ;)

The driving range -- they usually have nets around it when they're not taping something like the morning show. Very neat to see -- There's 4 stories of people teeing off all at the same time!

Jenny said...

How come neither of you took a picture with the snake?