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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Like a geeky tourist

Tourist surveys view from top of Empire State Building
A tourist surveys the view from the top of the Empire State Building

Much of today was spent shivering on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. It really felt like -20C, standing outside 86 floors up, and we had to rush back into the warm environs of the gift shop to thaw out on more than one occasion!

Despite wearing jackets, gloves, hat and scarf, I couldn't feel my fingers after ten minutes in the icy winds, and my cheeks were so frozen I could barely move them to talk!

Viewing magnifier on top of Empire State Building
Magnifying viewer points toward the Chrysler Building

Geeky Australians find potted Christmas trees on the sidewalk endearingly cute. And look, genuine snow too!

Potted Christmas tree on New York sidewalk

Times Square beckoned with reassuring familiarity. Giant billboards, lots of scrolling text, lights flashing... a little like Shinjuku, Tokyo but without the tinny high-pitched Japanese female spruikers!

New York Times Square

Of course my eye was immediately caught by the sight of a huge Hersheys sign, just off Broadway.

Hersheys Shop off Times Square, New York

It's really just a giant Hershey's marketing opportunity with every variant of Hersheys available for sale as well as giant syrup bottle money boxes, Reeses hooded sweaters and even Hersheys pillowcases.

But they scored brownie points with me when I was handed a free chocolate with a smile as I entered. Sure the cynic in me spots the subversive motives of piping in the smell of melting chocolate, but ha! free chocolate! Woohoo!

Chocolate chocolate chocolate in the Hersheys Shop off Times Square, New York

I wandered a little around Broadway. There are so many theatres here it leaves London's West End for dead. And even though I'm not the biggest fan of Letterman, it was still embarrasingly exciting to recognise the theatre and signage =)

Ed Sullivan Theater, home of the Late Show with David Letterman

Even more exciting was spotting the stereotypical New York City scene--steam rising from a drain. Steam is sold and piped to various buildings in Manhattan by Con Edison for heating and other purposes. The escaping steam that tourists =) get excited over comes either from leaking pipes, or where water has come into contact with the hot steam.

Steam rising from a drain in New York

The sun goes down at about 4.30pm, but at least when darkness falls, it means the pretty lights come on, and that's all good too.

Christmas lights on Fifth Avenue, New York
Christmas lights on Fifth Avenue

Empire State Building at dusk
Empire State Building at dusk

Start from the first New York entry Read the next New York entry

3 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 12/06/2005 11:55:00 pm


  • At 1/16/2006 6:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey AG! I didn't get a chance to say Happy New Year and also welcome back. I hope you were not too affected by the transportation strike there? I read that people were rollerblading to work.

    Great photos! :) I don't know about you, but it's kind of depressing trying to get back to "real life" after a long vacation.

  • At 1/16/2006 7:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, nice pictures! I've always wondered what was up with the steam seeping up through the road in NY. I particularly like the pic of the Empire State Building at dusk. Welcome back AG!

  • At 1/17/2006 12:58 pm, Blogger Julia said…

    All the photos are brilliant but the first one (on the front page) is something special.

    And yes, welcome back to warm and rainy Sydney!


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