Thursday, February 24, 2011

It was Grand

I spent yesterday with some friends in NYC.
We had plans to take the walking tour of Grand Central Terminal, plans which of course included a nice lunch out.
FYI- most of my plans include lunch out.

I'm thankful to have friends who don't mind driving into the city.
I could do it if pressed and I'd be fine I think up until we hit the squeeze play at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel which, in a split second, requires the exact correct proportion of patience and aggression.


The weather cooperated as much as we could hope for in February and although it was a ridiculous 20 something degrees when we headed out the sun was shining brightly and that makes all the difference in a day.

If you're in NYC I recommend the tour.
It's a self guided audio tour and the cost is $5 for adults which has to be one of the most reasonable things to do in all of NYC. The building itself is beautiful and full of so many wonderful bits of history, architecture and of course, food.

Grand Central Terminal was built in 1913 by shipping and railroad hotshot Cornelius Vanderbilt (not by himself, of course). The Vanderbilt symbol was the acorn and the oak leaf and you see both of those incorporated into different pieces throughout the building.

The terminal was nearly demolished back in the late sixties when rail travel became less popular and hundreds of homeless folks began making their home inside this ginormous building. Thankfully the terminal was saved, primarily thru the efforts of The Landmark Preservation Commission with a little help along the way from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Today it is positively hopping with over 700,000 people passing thru its doors every single day.


New York is just full of people, people.


The main terminal area with its massive ceiling and beautiful staircases is definitely worth a look. Windows dominate the room and are interesting...they're double sided and actually have walkways between the two panes of glass.


These chandeliers were almost tossed until someone had the bright idea to have them cleaned and it was discovered they were not brass but solid nickel topped with gold.

Ooops.

The staircases are marble and were designed to resemble the staircases in the Paris Opera House. Here we are standing on one trying to take a picture, and no of course we did not annoy any travelers who were trying to make their way in and out of the building.


Some of these ladies read my blog (hi girls!) and we're learning as much history and trivia as we can for the day we all end up together in Cash Cab.
Have you seen the show?
So fun!

Anyway, let's talk about something important.

Like food.

And celebrities.

Grand Central has five restaurants and lounges, a 'food court' and about fifty shops.


There is an absolutely fantastic food market in the station and we may have gotten slightly off track (Ha) when we walked by all the amazing cheeses and other goodies. The chandelier in the market is made to look like an olive tree but uses lights in place of olives.


A walk thru the food court is part of the tour and it's fun to see how they've incorporated pieces from old trains to give you the sense of sitting in a dining car while you're eating.
We didn't eat here but instead had a lovely lunch in one of the nicer restaurants that overlooks the main terminal -Charlie Palmers Metrazur.


What made this particular venue even better was the moment we discovered Larry David was sitting only about four tables from ours.
We spent much of the meal attempting to subtly take his picture.
I think you can probably imagine how subtle a table full of women can be when they spy someone famous but seriously, if those pesky people at the tables between us would have just taken the hint and scooched over I could have had a nice photo.

Instead I have this-


That's him, or rather part of his head and shoulder, in the back right. For those who don't know, Larry David is the co-creator of Seinfeld and also has his own show on HBO called Curb Your Enthusiasm.
As he got up to leave a few of us may have decided we needed to go to the restroom at that exact moment. We all came face to face as he exited the men's room but something about taking a picture in that moment just didn't feel right so I put the camera away.


Besides, we had other celebs to stalk see so we needed to move on.
An event happened to be taking place in the terminal that afternoon, an Oscar tribute of sorts. You could have your picture taken with this year's Best Actor Oscar statuette.
We weren't really interested in doing that but we'd learned earlier in the day that Whoopi Goldberg was going to be there so we hung around for a look.

At first we couldn't see much more than the top of her head but we arrived at a good time because before long she was escorted out...right in front of us-


Naturally I was fumbling with my camera and she stopped and said, 'Did you get it?' Unexpectedly gracious I thought.
Why is it so much fun to see someone famous?
I can't explain it...it just is.

After all the excitement it was time to head home... back to the 'burbs and the snow and the pulling dinner out of the freezer because you neglected to do so in the morning...back to your regularly scheduled programming.


A day in the city did make for an awfully nice and much needed commercial break though, for these very real (but way more fun) housewives of NJ.

22 comments:

  1. My outings always include lunch too. Something about sharing a meal together just makes a visit complete. Thanks for taking us along on your day in the city. It looks like great fun and I can't wait to visit New York some day!

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  2. looks like a fun day! I am going to ask my friend if she wants to do this. Reasonably priced!

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  3. I am sitting in my pajamas, sipping coffee, eating cheerios, pretending not to hear my boys, watching snow fall, trying to get motivated to start homeschooling, so I must say:
    Take me with you next time.
    I will buy you lunch. ;)

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  4. You have many friends. Which is a blessing. A day together is with friends is a double blessing! Looks like a lot of fun!

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  5. I love when you describe one of your outings because I always feel like I've been along for the ride. : ) I'm so glad you got a chance to get out of the house for a while. : )

    Sorry I missed the Hodgepodge. I guess that's the answer to the first question--yesterday was the last time I was inconvenienced!

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  6. I have always wanted to visit NYC and now that I've seen your pictures, I want to go NOW! So glad all you ladies had a fun time together! Thanks for sharing your adventure!

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  7. My outings usually include lunch too! Sadly not in NYC, though. Looks like a great trip!

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  8. You do some of the most fun things. Thanks for sharing this. What a beautiful building. I know I've seen it in a lot of movies. Thanks for the history lesson too.

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  9. Oh I totally would have gone on that outing! We walked through with the kids when we were there in '99 but did not take the official tour.

    I think I need to form a "Ladies who Lunch" group. Now, there's an idea!

    If I could just find a few who have nothing to do like me... Hmm

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  10. You have all the fun & excitement. {pouting}
    When I went to NYC with the band we were suppose to go to Grand Central, but it got booted. We did get to stand outside Penn Station & Madison Square Gardens. I SOOO want to go to NYC and be in the Cash Cab. Do you know they have one in Chicago, too? CH said he saw it on tv the other day, but it's a woman and the cab isn't as nice.

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  11. Looks like a wonderful day. NY is someplace I've always wanted to visit but probably during a time of year other than winter. :)

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  12. What fun you had! Those photos are beautiful and seeing famous people must surely have tickeld you a bit (it would have done that to me). I'm so glad you went and had such a good time. Now to get ready for more snow. 6" more coming tonight and into tomorrow followed by freezing rain, Can we all say "FUN"

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  13. What a fun, fun day! I'll add Grand Central Station to my list of things to do if I ever get to NYC. I love learning the history of old buildings.

    I once saw Bob Hope in a hotel in Indianpolis, of all places. I looked, but didn't want to stare too much. I also saw (walked right by) Henry Winkler in Bozeman, MT. That was pretty awesome!

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  14. How fun! I feel so cultured and {almost} famous now. {you know, the 'i read the blog of someone who ran into someone i practically see on tv each day' kind of famous} *grin*

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  15. Your life is SO MUCH MORE FUN THAN MINE. What a great day out!

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  16. Oh, I can't believe that I've not done that on either of my trips to NYC. Well, I will definitely book it for the next one. Until then, I enjoyed taking the tour through your eyes and blog.

    Blessings!

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  17. What a beautiful building! I'm going to travel to NYC someday and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. It's always so much fun to read your posts when you travel to the city. I hope you get to participate in Cash Cab someday. What fun that would be! I think I could have lived at the cheese place in the market. Note to self to check that out when I get to the city. Thanks for sharing your trip to the city. I enjoyed reading it. :)

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  18. What a fun trip! It would be so neat to live that close to NYC and be able to go in whenever you wanted to. I'm jealous! It's ironic, I saw the story on TV today about Whoopi and the exhibit in NYC where you could have your picture taken with Oscar! Glad you got to see some famous folks. I was totally clueless as to who that man was (LOL), but I am not a TV person. Hope you liked the Indian restaurant. Love & blessings from NC!

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  19. Thanks for the little tour! It is beautiful.

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  20. Okay I am jealous! What a fabulous day you had. How awesome to see Larry David and Whoopie! What a wonderful tour. I hope that I can get to NYC someday, it is just so beautiful. You can join me on all the tours!!

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  21. I want to go to New York and Charlie has promised me he will take me if I get all the info, travel arrangements, and etc. Haven't had the time but after seeing these pics I need to really get started on planning!!!! Beautiful pics and how lucky to just have a girls day out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  22. That's what I love about NYC, you never know who you're going to run into. I remember being in the city on a middle school field trip one time, and Jonathon Silverman got into an elevator we were in. Imagine his dismay when he realized he stepped into an elevator with a bunch of middle school screaming girls wanting to take his picture! LOL! Great pics of NYC, looks like a great time!

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