Here's my apartment. It had no washcloths, handtowels or sheets (just a fitted bottom sheet and a comforter) plus hairs in the sink and water stains on the ceiling (and a radiator that sounded like it was going to explode). But it was also devoid of cockroaches or bedbugs, which I guess puts it above the Milford Plaza. If I visit NYC again, I won't stay in a place like this. Vacationing alone, I felt very isolated lodging in a place without any hospitality staff on site.
My building's courtyard and the neighboring 414 Hotel courtyard, which was a bit nicer. So were their fire escapes (below).
I lived in the top floor right apartment.
On Thursday morning I traveled by subway to the northern end of Manhattan to visit the Cloisters, part of the Metropolitan Museum where they house medieval art (500 to 1,000 years old). It was like attending an art museum at Hogwarts. It is surrounded by acres of woodland and sits across the Hudson River from a wooded section of New Jersey that Rockefeller bought just so the museum could have a nice view.
The corridors look out on rectangular gardens.
Since we don't have many buildings this old, the stones to build the facility were imported from abandoned or demolished cloisters from other countries (I think...I picked up most of my info by eavesdropping on school field trip groups).
These are just like the alcoves and corridors where I often stick Violet, Snape, and the Slytherins in my fanfics.
Here's the view across the river. I believe the institution is a Loyola campus. That's a Cruise Line boat, just like the one I rode Tuesday morning.
Here's some of my favorite art from the Cloisters.
On Tuesday morning, I took a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan and saw the following:
Several views of the Manhattan skyline
The Chrysler Building
A collection of abandoned subway cars destined for the bottom of the ocean where they will form a reef for the fish.
Lots of government housing. The city subsidizes middle income folks, too, lest their island be filled with only the poor.
The Brooklyn Bridge (see ya Friday morning!) and the Statue of Liberty
The island from the south, where the Hudson and East Rivers meet. The Harlem River and the Atlantic Ocean are to the north.
The Staten Island Ferry and this groovy rotating bridge (the middle section) in the Harlem River. It takes several minutes to open so call ahead!
I always wondered why such a modern city would have rickety old water towers on top of the buildings. Turns out they supply firefighters in the event of a power outage that could shut down pumps. Manhattan pumps in all its water.
On Wednesday morning I had to stay close to Midtown because I was attending two shows (matinee and evening). So I went to Top of the Rock above NBC Studios and Rockefeller Plaza. "What happens if I open this window?"
Central Park West. Can you spot the Dakota building, i.e. "the Bram" from Rosemary's Baby?
The Empire State Building.
I returned Friday after dark. The top section of the Empire State Building is lit in different colors at different times of year.
Back on the ground, we have Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Plaza, and the skating rink (already open for business!).
On Friday morning I headed downtown to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and see the World Trade Center site, now shrouded in construction.
WTC Construction workers at lunch.
Below are some shots from St. Paul Chapel, right across the street from Ground Zero, where many people sought shelter and searched for loved ones after the attack. It's the oldest pre-revolutionary chapel still standing in the U.S., I believe. George Washington workshipped here before his inauguration; in the cemetery lie several red coats!
On Thursday, after visiting the Cloisters, I hopped off the subway at Central Park West to check out the Dakota, a building reportedly so haunted that if the innocent step inside, they have nightmares for life. Check out the security...and the decoration that's repeated every few feet on the railing around the building.
A few more tourist shots...
The main branch of the New York Public Library. Free internet access, but you have to sign up and wait around 45 minutes.
The real men in black.
...and again, at night.
A fun gimmick. You pay $30 and for 30 seconds, you get to be on a Times Square light-up billboard. See the real people right below?
Got religion? This is on my street, right across from the theatre where I saw In the Heights.
And now, the theatre shots...
Equus, the first Broadway show I saw, played at the Broadhurst, right across from Sardi's!
Forbidden Broadway: low-budget brilliance.
Here's the marquee...
...and the poster...
...and the set of my very first Broadway musical, In the Heights. Thoughts on the shows are in my blog.
My second musical was also a Tony wininer.
It had a new cast featuring Hunter Parrish. My seat was right up against the stage. I could have touched every single cast member, all of whom were terrific.
A Tale of Two Cities was not as good...
...but check out the bathroom! Stained glass...
...and a fireplace!
I got some nice shots of the cast at the stage door after the show. Here are Little Lucy...
...and one of the men I came to town specifically to see, James Barbour (Sidney Carton).
Here's the famous Shubert Alley.
Here's the other guy I came to see...Raul Esparza in Speed-the-Plow. He's on the right of the poster. I look forward to seeing him again...on the Tonys next spring.
Last but not least: The future...for my brother, anyway! He's seeing this show in Houston in December.