Three nights in Manhattan

“The City That Never Sleeps” certainly showcased why it got its nickname in the scant few days that I was in New York City for work. For three nights (I don’t count the first one because I arrived at my hostel at 9pm, dead-tired from a trans-Pacific flight), I returned to my hostel past 9pm because there was always something to see, even at the late hour.

First night: outside Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral

We started walking from Instituto Cervantes on E 40th St towards Times Square (where a co-delegate was meeting his aunt) on W 46th St, but with a slight detour to pass by Grand Central Station on E 42nd St. It sounded near enough in my head, forgetting to take into account the width of NYC’s blocks.

We didn’t have the time to enter Grand Central Terminal (I did that the next day) but even seeing just the outside was enough.

My favorite shot of this trip
Grand Central Terminal with the Chrysler Building

I’m pretty proud of these photos, especially since they was taken with just a seven-year-old Canon S95.

We finally got to Times Square and took a lot of photos.

I really, really wanted to see a Broadway show but alas, no budget ???? Entered the online raffles for Aladdin and Wicked but no luck there, either. And Hamilton, Waitress, and Dear Evan Hansen? HA! As if.

We parted ways after we took each other’s photos (well, I took their photo. I didn’t have my photo taken). Ended up having dinner in a small Italian restaurant off Broadway, where I ate only half of the $16 calzone (what is it with the US and their huge servings?).

Also had dessert at the fine American institution called Ben and Jerry’s. To keep up with the New York theme, I ordered two scoops of the Americone Dream, Stephen Colbert’s special flavor. It has a vanilla ice cream base, combined with fudge-covered waffle cone bits and caramel swirl. In short, some of my favorite things in life. Part of me regrets not getting The Tonight Dough with Jimmy Fallon, as it’s made of caramel and chocolate ice cream, chocolate cookie swirls, chocolate chip cookie dough (!!!), and peanut butter cookie dough.

I passed by Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral on my way back.

Radio City Music Hall wasn’t a planned stop, but it was great to see it because hey, it was still pretty cool to see it in real life. Luckily, there were no upcoming concerts that I wanted to see, unlike in Sydney years ago, where John Mayer was scheduled to stage a concert the day after I left.

Tried to take a photo of 30 Rockefeller Plaza (AKA 30 Rock) but failed. Christmas was a long way away so no famous Rockefeller Christmas tree nor ice rink. Ah well, I would have frozen from the cold anyway. Also got to take photos of Atlas.

St Patrick’s Cathedral is gorgeous any time of the day. They do their general cleaning and maintenance at night so I contented myself with photos of the outside.

Second Night: the High Line, inside Grand Central Terminal, Midtown Comics

This was my only free day so I started as early as 9am. By sunset, I found myself on The High Line, a public park that stared out as a freight rail line in 1934.

Made my way back to Grand Central Terminal after, where I finally got to take photos of its famous lobby and ceiling. Too bad I didn’t see any dramatic reunions.

The last stop of the night was the Lexington Ave branch of Midtown Comics, which was completely unplanned because I didn’t even know it was there. The staff nodded approvingly at my “Rebellions are Built on Hope” shirt and one of the customers asked to see my phone case because my phone was sticking out of my pocket and he recognized Han Solo’s pants on the case design even though it was upside down (?!). In short, it was my idea of geek heaven. They didn’t have Rey’s saber but I did walk away with a shirt with Alex Ross’ Superman on it.

Read the full account of this day here

Third Night: Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center observation deck)

The panoramic view

I’d planned to make Top of the Rock my last stop for the previous night (just to maximize the day) but the feet said nope, so I made plans for the last night instead. Tickets are sold for a specific entry time slot so if you want to be there for the hours before and after sunset (and thus get a 2-for-1 package for the city views), buy tickets way ahead of time.

The exhibits you see as you move through the waiting area are really good. Part of me was a bit sad that the line moved fast, as the history of the Rockefeller Center sounded pretty interesting.

And the views that I came up here for:

Bringing a light hoodie was a good idea as it got pretty cold and windy on the view deck.

Passed by St.Patrick’s again on my way back to the hostel and got lucky with my traffic photos.


Author’s note: I took this trip in September 2017. All information is correct as of September 2017.

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