So we packed ourselves with some heavy breakfast of bread, scrambled eggs, chicken sausages and waffles topped with whipped cream and syrup from the breakfast buffet at our hotel, the Marriot.
I tried different flavours everyday but B stuck to his favourite combination of chocolate and cream.
On some days there would be a vegetarian crumble along with an assortments of salamis and sausages ... mostly pork. There were a variety of baked goods too. And of course oatmeal and cereals with milk and fruits.
Breakfast at the Marriot was good.
And so, after fueling ourselves to last a good part of the day, we caught the train to New York city. And reached the Grand Central Terminal in around forty minutes.
The Grand central terminal has a very old history that is full of trivia and stories and is New York's most famous landmarks. Built and rebuilt a number of times, this railway station caters to around 750,000 people who pass through the station every day. And ranked by the number of platforms, it holds the title of the largest railway station in the world.
This station has very few staircases and has lots of ramps to make walking around easy. Anyone coming inside will always first see the Information booth, which has been placed strategically thus, in case people need to know where to go to and how.
Some trivia about the Grand central Terminal :
Once you cross Oyster bar, in the area under the four archways,you will find yourself in the hallway known as the Whispering gallery or the Whispering walls.
This place is very interesting .... if one person stands at one end of an archway column and speaks to the wall corner in a low volume, the other person standing at the diagonally opposite end ... around 100 meters away, can hear perfectly him perfectly well!
Much like our forts of Rajasthan, or the Bhulbhulaiya in Lucknow, where this concept has been used thousands of years back.
The window skylights let daylight in but the roof is spangled with stars ... i.e. around sixty five lights built into the roof give the feel of a star studded ceiling.
In the picture below, you can see a small, black spot on the ceiling. That is an old leftover mark of the nicotine that the workers used to take during work. After renovations, it was decided to keep the old mark as it is .... and now it is one of the lesser seen things in New York.
The people inside the information booth are extremely helpful and maps are given free of cost. So do not hesitate to ask for directions ever.
We would later come across such a scene numerous times in NY ... at the Central park, on he roads, at Times square ... and so on.
And were famished too.
So went on to finish an early lunch of squash flatbreads and mushroom and feta sandwiches. Got some water too and set off to explore the outside.
The tall, never ending skyscrapers on both sides of the road took my breath away on the first glimpse.
There is the Chrysler building for you ... standing high, the tallest brick building in the world.
It stayed the tallest building for some time before the Empire state building surpassed it in height.
Here is a close up of the Art deco ornamentation at the top.
We decided to walk down the twelve blocks of Madison avenue towards Central park. If you are in New York and want to explore the place well, then you need to be fit and should be able to walk.
Also, the US sun is ruthless and if you are not careful, it will give you a good tan that will take months to go away ... as we learnt the hard way in Niagara, later.
A one man band was so good we spent around 10 minutes just watching him sing.
Check out the size of the turkey drums!
Crossed a lot of big brands on the way. Came across Tiffany's and clicked a photo as it reminded me of another time and another Tiffany. :-)
After walking for what seemed like ages, we reached one of the circles that led to Central park finally.
Central park sits bang in the middle of New York city and is a huge area, having at least four entrances on four sides.
Do keep with yourself a map and refer to it.
The place is huge and is not easy to cover in one day, if you are on a relaxed mode. So do keep two days for this.
Since it was almost past noon, we decided to head for Bethesda terrace and fountain first.
The guy cycling our rickshaw would often turn around and talk to us all throughout our journey .... another of American etiquette we came along ... he was uneasy about turning his back to us. He informed us of the Marathon to be held the next day at Central park and mentioned that we had come on a very good day. The park would stay closed the next day.
The beautiful Bethesda terrace has been on my wish list ever since Kal Ho Na Ho .... this is the same place where Shah Rukh Khan mouths the soul stirring "Har ghadi badal rahi hai " song.
People threw nickels into the water, wishing on them first.
And exchanged clicking photos for one another.There was so much of happiness, smiles and laughter all around that it was slightly surreal.
At least to this Indian, it was. :-)
The colours of the trees were so vibrant that the water reflecting them looked colourful too.
After a while, we went to the underway where a man and a girl were performing a two man opera. They were so talented and so mesmerising that people gathered around and stood till they finished the act.
(I will upload the video soon).
There was a man performing magic; another juggled with balls. Families with babies in prams walked around. Little children played in the dry leaves .... making a heap of them and jumping into it.
It was an awesome feeling to be walking in such beautiful weather, with my favourite person by my side, among such happy people celebrating nature. And life.
Parents were teaching the small ones. The air was filled with happy shrieks as the children thumped and fell.
It was another happy zone of another kind.
The best way to enjoy Central park is in a slow pace.
So do sit awhile, take in the scenes and the breath deep.
Do keep your camera side for a while and just look around.
Central park during fall is one of the best places to be in in New York City.
We walked out of Central park and headed towards Grand central again ... to catch the train back home.
My feet were already killing me and I wondered how was I going to explore Niagara the next day.
B suggested that we walk down a different avenue this time ... he wanted to show me the Rockefeller skating rink. We would go to the observation center on a later day.
Isn't it beautiful? Bang in the middle of a traffic snarled New York road?
And here is the Rockefeller center!
We did walk down to the rink and saw the place was very crowded. Clicked a few pictures and stepped out. I will upload some pictures of the rink on a later post.For now, just this.
By the time we reached Grand central terminus, we were dead tired. And famished too.
B knew a very good Punjabi food joint inside Grand Central ... the Cafe Spice.
We decided to finish our dinner there.
Reaching the hotel, we crashed .... but not for long.The alarm would wake us in just four hours to be able to catch the our flight to Buffalo.
Stay tuned for our Niagara trip.
I will leave you now ... with the beautiful Elms of Central Park, NYC.