Out and About in New York


Our 2,000-room hotel lobby is very busy this weekend being Easter.  There are conferences, conventions and music festivals on so the lobby looks like downtown George Street at lunchtime.

We set out to today to do a little exploring before we go to see the Mary Poppins Musical on 42nd Street after lunch.  So we went to explore Central Park a little.  This is a huge park area spread over 843 acres.  It contains areas to jog, sit, picnic, a playground, a merry-go-round, a large creek with bridges over it, a ball park and plenty of walking paths.  It also contains none other than the Central Park Zoo.  For those of us that have seen Madagascar the animation movie, then this is where Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria came from.  We didn’t have a chance to go to the zoo but maybe next time! (God willing there is one).  Realising just how big the park was we figured we’d need the help of a tour guide.  There are people with cycle-chariots that carry two passages + the pedalling driver.  We couldn’t in good consciousness sit on a cycle carriage on a very warm morning and have someone pulling us around on pedal power.  We then spotted a horse-drawn carriage that could take all four of us.  The horse was a beautiful Clydesdale called Harry and its owner was an Irishman called Sean.  They took us around on a 45 minute tour of the park, pointing out all the beautiful locations available in the park for different events or just for walking and hanging out.  He also pointed out the locations that were used in different movies and shows, such as the fountain used in the introduction to Friends.  It was a really lovely and memorable ride through the park and Lil & Jem both had a turn at controlling the reigns and guiding Harry along the path.

After the ride and hanging out listening to an old guy playing the saxophone we left for our show.  On the way out we had to try hot nuts from one of those carts.  They had roasted cashews coated in honey.  They were nice but you can’t have too many of them.  Probably the reason why they come in small bags the size of your palm but with a huge $3 price!

By now, we realise Mary Poppins was going to start soon and we had 16 blocks to walk but it sounds worse than what it is.  The blocks are small and there are plenty of things to see along the way.  We had to walk through Times Square to get there – which is brighter than Las Vegas with all of the LCD advertising panels all over the place.  It is a legal requirement that any business around Times Square must have LCD advertising panels!

Saw Mary Poppins, which was a fantastic show.  It was great to hear the good old songs with a slightly different spin on the story – full of colour and acrobatics.  Musicals are getting fancy now…  Having bolted to the show from Central Park, we were all a little unwilling to walk back.  Befitting of the New York experience, I haled a yellow cab and got a ride back to the hotel.  We went out for dinner and some souvenir shopping.  Falling in love with this city.


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