Saturday, December 17, 2016

Shopping and Sightseeing in Manhattan, 12/12-13/2016

During my visit to NYC, Monday was Amanda's first day off since Thanksgiving. We decided to do some shopping at Macy's flagship store on 34th Street...a place everyone should see if they get the opportunity.

We grabbed some lunch in their food court and then came across the giant keyboard used in the movie, Big. Amanda played some tunes for me!

With the help of Amanda's girlfriend, who is a fashion expert (seriously, she is), we found a very nice gray suit and jacket for Amanda to wear to the fancy holiday and opening-show events she attends. Checking out the window displays at these stores during Christmas is a real treat. These companies spend a fortune on the displays using not only their own designers but also creative folks from the theatre industry. Here are some of our favorites at Macy's.

Of course, they also showcase their holiday merchandise. This one is for electronic devices, but most are for clothing/accessories they sell.

Next we went to 5th Avenue where the most exclusive stores are. This Tiffany's store is something else ... 6 stories of absolutely exquisite jewelry. Next store is Trump Tower, blocked off by the NYPD. There were protestors in one contained area and anyone that wants to shop at the stores in the Tower must be searched. Not surprisingly, their holiday revenue is already down 50%. Security for the Trumps is now costing NYC taxpayers $1.5M per DAY. This expense is not being covered by the Federal government but by a city that desperately needs that money for their public schools and transportation systems. It's a travesty. (Sorry about the political rant, but the disruption to 5th Avenue shopping, not to mention the horrendous traffic problems that have been created by Trump's presence here is really hurting the city this holiday season.)

Many of the upscale stores are decorated with lights on the exterior and gorgeous window displays. Below is PradaValentino's, and Harry Winston. The diamonds in the window were pretty incredible!

We loved the Cartier lights and the Victoria Secret window displays were all outfits from their holiday fashion show. 

The piece d'resistance, though, was Saks. Their Christmas window displays and huge light show set to music on the front of the building were amazing.

Even though we were there on a Monday night, the streets were filled with people enjoying the spectacle. 

Ending the evening with a view of the huge Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center was a real treat. Amanda had more she wanted to do in Manhattan, but I was beat! We took the subway to Astoria and spent a nice night together watching movies. 

We had packed a lot into the three days I was in NYC but we wanted one more visit to Manhattan. Brunch at Mom's Kitchen and Bar (one of Amanda's favorite local restaurants) was delicious ( This place is next door to Halsey's Tavern, the other local meeting place for her friends. 

Amanda had friend chicken and waffle (never ate that myself, but everyone says it's fantastic) and I had a yummy omelet. It was a great start to my last day here.

The Time Warner Center is located at Columbus Circle near the SW corner of Central Park. In warmer weather there are fountains here and Amanda enjoys coming here for a quick respite. 

We browsed a few of the Shops at Columbus Circle, an up-scale urban shopping mall with several restaurants ( at Time Warner. Jazz at Lincoln Center is also located in the complex of building here (

Check out these 12' tall sculptures, Adam and Eve, in the lobby of the mall. They were created by Fernando Botero, a Columbian artist. Unbeknownst to the artist, Adam has become a tourist attraction because people just can't seem to keep their hands off his private parts. It happens so frequently that the bronze patina has worn off making the appendage gold. 

Other sights at Columbus Circle are this 30' wide steel globe mounted atop a steel tower. In sharp contrast is this industrial-style ballon protesting the use of asbestos

Near the southwestern entrance to Central Park is the Columbus Circle Holiday Market (urban There were lots of cool shops here, including food vendors. Amanda finally found some gloves she liked...colorful and very warm.

We would have spent some time in Central Park, but we needed to get back to Astoria so I could get to the airport on time for my 4 pm flight. Amanda plays with the Broadway Softball League nearby in the summer. One day we'll go to a game. Lots of people gather to watch them play to catch a glimpse of some of the celebrities that are performers!

There's a large neighborhood park in Astoria near her apartment. 

Christmas tree/decoration vendors are set up all over these neighborhoods. This is where Amanda and her roommate purchased their tree. 

And then the time had come to say "see you soon" (which always makes me cry....). I hate these good-byes!

It was a whirlwind visit and I got to see and do so much fun stuff, especially seeing the two shows. Being in the cold weather (it even snowed a little Sunday) was not that much fun, but it certainly helps get you in the Christmas spirit

I took an Uber to LaGuardia (only $7.45!) although the traffic is horrible due to major construction all around it. John was waiting for me at the airport and it was great to be with my wonderful husband again. 

Travel is always fun, but coming home is as well. Our sweet doggy, Sadie, was waiting for me in the car. The three of us were all happy to be reunited! We are hoping Amanda will be able to squeeze in a visit to see us in Tampa in 1Q, 2017.

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