Day 2...

Cold? You want to talk about cold? Trying riding around on the open upper deck of a tour bus in mid-winter in New York City! Wool jackets, gloves, hats and mufflers are required apparel. It's not quite the cold we experienced visiting in northern Scotland last Winter but it's still quite hellish.

Today started by continuing the (seemingly) never ending quest to find a nice, reasonable priced, corner cafe preferably with booths (for those of you who've seen 'Seinfeld' think 'Monks"). After doing one of Becky's famous "forced marches" (I know Daniel understands me here) across town I finally begged her to try this deli we were walking by in an effort to save my life from simultaneously perishing from the bitter cold (ice, I had seen actual ice in addition to the gusting 25 mph winds) and from starvation. Not exactly Monks but I was able to eat my very first ever omelet sandwich (?) while sitting at a table in an 80 degree room...if I don't die of pneumonia I will come back home one tough son-of-a-gun.

Continuing the march we made our way to the "Gray Line" bus tours figuring it's a great way to get an overview of the city. Freezing cold, expensive and with so-so information.

We got off at the Empire State Building. Now here is an experience that can't be beat. I haven't visited the building since I was a child (less than 10) and Becky never has been...a real treat. And the views...oh my, to die for (see picture #1 for view+Beck and picture #2 for the deco-bathroom+me).

While power marching about mid-town we stumbled (well stumbled for me, Gil, but planned on by she says) upon Times Square. Now this really is the "belly of the beast"...garish colors, loud, huge advertisements, huge video screens, weird people (still freezing of course), peep shows, cops, crazy traffic...really the quint essential NYC experience! Reminded me somewhat of "Blade Runner."(see photo #3 for Gil in Times Square).

Then we found/stumbled upon Macy's "The World's Largest Store." This is the day after Christmas and "Sales, Sales, Sales" abounded. Now, I've never seen a scene like this before other than on television. Gloves, scarves, sweaters, etc. in piles on the floors, millions (probably a small exaggeration) of people pawing through the merchandise, shoving, pushing...pretty much of a "sales brawl."

We fled after buying...absolutely nothing.

Finally was able to hook back up with the bus to resume our tour...better tour guide this time...still fricken' freezing but at least we're not marching anymore. Toured Chinatown, Greenwich Village and most of southern (Downtown) Manhattan (including a first peek from afar of Ground Zero...I suspect visiting there is going to be very, very, heavy...we've been kind of putting it off but we'll have to deal with it eventually).

Finished out the day by power marching (is there any other way?) back 24 blocks, in the dark...and cold (it's now dark) towards the hotel. We happen upon the historic Lowe's Theater and joy of joys "Lord of the Rings" is playing! We buy some advance tickets, hike up to the second floor to a "Chevy's" Mexican food for too long then up to the 4th floor for our movie...lingered too long over supper and now have to sit in the SECOND ROW for the film which shown on a 60 FOOT SCREEN!!! Oh my poor aching eyes...but fun!!!

Finally we get a's after 10:00 at night, cold (am I being redundant here)...back to the hotel, work up the day's photos and do the dispatch.

Tomorrow...Uptown Tour and maybe Central doubt whatever it is will involve lots of walking.

Off to bed,

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