NYC 2 – Empire State Building, Macy’s wooden escalator, and Big Daddy’s

City view from the 2nd deck of the Empire State Building in New York City /
 – Where we left off…

“But I admit, while I was rattled from all the new, scary stuff around us, I was SUPER antsy to get outside these buildings, and take in what I had heard about this place for so very long…”

– – – – –

Waking up in a city that is so vast was a little overwhelming. Especially when you don’t know your way around, and every tall building appeared to hug you so tight, you lost sight of direction.

Studying a map before we head out, we decided to take in the Empire State Building. It appeared to be walking distance so it can’t be that hard to find, right?!

Rule #1 about NYC… everyone will say stuff is walking distance, but things are actually farther than they appear on a map.

Well anyway… we attempted to rely on google map once again, but once it started spinning silly circles, I decided to ask people or look up. That seemed to do the trick!

You can’t miss the thing. It’s massive.

The golden, stately lobby of the Empire State Building in New York City /
It was right about here that I had to laugh to myself.

When did I turn into my parents?!

I’ve been pretty blessed to travel lots with them as a teen, but was ALWAYS annoyed at the stuff they wanted to see. Where was the nearest beach?! But nooooo… they wanted to see boring buildings and dumb water stuff (I passed on Niagra Falls for a hotel room, can you believe that?)

Roped lineups inside the Empire State Building in New York City /
Well, I had to take in at least one good view while in this city, so I hoped my boy would get something out of the experience.

It was suggested to avoid the major sites on weekends, so I was thrilled to see the lineups so short on our Thursday.

And it was right here when I realized my fancy point and shoot camera’s card malfunctioned. Whaaaat…

So with no card, I prayed my phone could do a reasonable job. 

Elevator inside the Empire State Building in New York City /
Ohmygoodness… elevator to elevator to elevator. It actually all went pretty fast, but they REALLY pack you in like sardines. And I refused, no I REALLY refused to think of the worst, because there wasn’t 1 inch to budge.

There’s two ways to view.. the first landing, and then the very top. Of course we bought the full meal deal, which ended up being around $100 for 2. Rather expensive elevator ride, but it isn’t everyday you get an airplane view of NYC from a building.

Inside of the Empire State Building looking outside to the 2nd viewing deck /
This is the first landing. You can go outside and peer through the caged walls, which was perfectly fabulous. Where Harry Met Sally.

And the view was AMAAAAAAAZING!

* Click the pics to enlarge *

New York City view from the Empire State Building /
New York City view from the Empire State Building /
New York City view from the Empire State Building /
Central Park! Giddy! This was one of my biggest bucket list items ever so I was pretty thrilled with this.

Until someone mentioned, “See the building with Comcast on it? That’s The Rock, and it has a better view than this.”

Ahhh… duly noted!

As a side note, the day we tried to go, it was so fogged in that visibility was 0, so we passed. Drat. So I’m glad we got this one in.

New York City view from the Empire State Building /
New York City view from the Empire State Building /
New York City view from the Empire State Building /
Don’t these black buildings look striking?

New York City view from the Empire State Building /
New York City view from the Empire State Building /
This is holding the phone over the edge. Yep… we were pretty high up for being on a building!
New York City view from the Empire State Building /
Very beautiful! The tall building in the back is the Freedom Tower where the 9-11 Memorial is. It looks close, but it isn’t!

Is going to the very top of the Empire State Building worth it?

As for the very top level, it would be my suggestion to save your money and skip it. The viewing was through glass that offered glare for every picture I took, and the glass didn’t appear to be all that clear to look through. View wise, everything just looked a tiny bit smaller, so not much different.

But if you’re anything like me, you will ignore that advice, and do it all anyway.

So, we spent a zillion dollars on some souvenirs, then hit the streets to see where we’d end up next.

Madison Square Park, in New York City /
So because we used the phone so much at the building, the battery was down to about 10%. Goodness… and naturally we did NOT know our way back.

We ended up in the Flat Iron district, which was really cool! But remember… no camera, so no pics.

But the trees stole the show for me. Welcome to Madison Square Park!

Madison Square Park, in New York City /

There is something magical about how green spaces speak to me, and this park did it to the nines. It was small and quaint, but the really cool thing about it was, while dense in the middle, it allowed the tall buildings to shine in the background. It couldn’t have been a more perfect setting.

So we just sat, and watched the pigeons, people, and appreciated the beauty.

My son wasn’t ready to go get lost again walk back yet, so we resigned to find a new lunch place . After walking past the usual types, one stood out.

Vintage styled diner with neon signs and bright seats at Big Daddy's in New York City /
Big Daddy’s is a vintage styled diner, and at this point, I didn’t even care if the food was good or not. I loved the aesthetic of this place sooooo much!

Noting a drug store across the road, I ordered, then bolted to grab a new charging cord, plug AND SD card for the camera. What luck!

And that is how I captured this quaint place.

Vintage styled diner with neon signs and bright seats at Big Daddy's in New York City /
Vintage styled diner with neon signs and bright seats at Big Daddy's in New York City /
Pink and aqua formica table top at Big Daddy's in New York City /
Isn’t the aqua and pink formica table top gorgeous?

Painted retro wall mural at Big Daddy's in New York City /
Cool ceiling and fan at Big Daddy's in New York City /
Isn’t that just the most fun you’ve ever sat in?! Very welcomed treat for hungry eyes and tired feet.

I really loved my salad, and the coffee was amazing! But my boy ordered a burger that came rare. We flat out forgot the USA served them like that. He didn’t tolerate it well, but I feel that was our fault. We didn’t forget the next time.

Big Daddy's coffee mug in New York City /
I enjoyed my coffee so much, I  HAD to get a mug from there after seeing how cute they were! It means more to me to collect from memorable places.

After eating, my son was so done with the walking thing. It may have had something to do with getting on the street and me mumbling.. “Where the blazes are we…” I need to keep my thoughts to myself more it seems!

So we tried UBER for the first time! Scary… but ohmygoodness… I’m telling you, within 2 very short minutes, this gorgeous black sedan pulls up. Wow!

Until we were dropped off. They don’t even ask you for payment because it’s all automatic, which is cool! But I was curious about how much our ride was. 

$20 for just down the road… literally. Ouch. After research, I learned we ordered the luxury sedan. I didn’t even know there were options! Another lesson learned.

Settled into our rooms, it was too early for me. So I struck out for a walk on my own (lookit me all NYC like!) after drawing my OWN map, to try and find Macy’s. I’d heard all about these vintage wooden escalators from Susan at Homeroad, and I HAD to see that for myself.

My directions rocked, because I found it instantly! Right then I knew I needed to just hand draw maps and be done with the getting lost thing. Or (gulp) learn to use the subway… 

Sitting outside of Macy's in New York City /
Goodness, this place was massive. It took an entire NYC block! Not exaggerating. It was really that big.

Sitting outside of Macy's in New York City /
I just adored how they blocked off this large area of the street for tables and chairs. It was the perfect place to people watch. But… off to go find that escalator!

Macy's wooden escalator in New York City /
Macy's wooden escalator in New York City /
Macy's wooden escalator in New York City /
I was not disappointed! These were cool! I rode 2 flights but there were more. And by the looks of an online search, I should have further investigated, because it looks like some steps are still wooden nearing the top floors.

As for Macy’s, I suppose if you’re going for retail shopping, this is the place. It was like many brand name stores setting up store in one main. But I saw what I came to see, so I head back right after the escalator adventure.

Upon returning to the room, my boy was fast asleep, so I escaped one more time (I was kinda getting into the city vibe!) to a grocery store nearby to pick up a few things for an in-room dinner, and call it a night.

The next day promised to be a big day… we were changing hotels, and by golly, I HAD to brave the scary subway so we could make it to Times Square… HAD TO!

And that adventure is next…

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Categories: Junk Drawer, Travel
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19 thoughts on “NYC 2 – Empire State Building, Macy’s wooden escalator, and Big Daddy’s

  1. I was in NYC for 2014 Christmas holiday and New Year. Was also surprised by the size of city. You do not realize it from pics. This is coming from someone who has lived in Rome, Italy.

    Rhett Baker

  2. Love your pictures! THank goodness for the drug store!

    Did you see the escalator at Macy’s that still has the original wooden “teeth” (steps)?? SO very cool!

    • I missed the upper levels, Dana! I just caught that detail on a Youtube. LOL

      If there’s a next time, I’ll ride them the entire way up next round. 🙂

      And being relieved to find a drugstore across the street… I can’t even tell you… that was the last time we left our charging cords in the hotel room! LOL

  3. Loved your pictures Donna! I too loved the lush green grass set against the buildings. And let’s not forget the black fence around the green grass. I am looking forward to more. Thanks!

  4. my daughter graduated high school last week (sob!) and she wants to go to NYC for her summer trip! When I lived in Boston many years ago, I would go down one weekend a month, but the thought of navigating my daughter around has got me a little scared! So I’m taking notes on your trip! BTW – how were the prices at Big Daddy’s? If you find some good deals for eating out, Pleae share!

    • Hi Sunni, I won’t lie, NYC was very intimidating and a little scary for me. But that is a big city for you, you won’t find glamour on every corner. You just have to walk through rough areas to get to where you wish to go. I felt safe by day on my own but not so much at night.

      Big Daddy’s was very reasonable. Not all places are priced high end, which was a relief! But honestly, your selection is so vast, I suggest you just walk the streets and try new places you choose yourself. There is no shortage of selection. It was harder to try and find recommendations than to just sit down and eat. LOL

      My very fav thing to eat in NYC was the pizza though… loaded with veggies. I miss it every day! You can get it anywhere.

      I’ll be sure to include all my fav things in my last post for easy reference. Coming soon!

  5. Great photos and narration. I live vicariously through my kids and grandkids. So I can do the same with your visit to NYC. Amazing! I would like to go to the spot of the memorial for the twin towers. Thanks for the visit.

    • The 9-11 area is very pretty Melissa, and it’s good to go at least once. But my very last post will showcase my very most FAV things to do in NYC… and they may not be what you expect! Coming soon! 🙂

  6. Loved your post today as usual very entertaining. I haven’t been to NYC in years and I want to go again so badly. I love that big city and the people.
    It truly is a place to experience at least once in your lifetime.
    Didn’t you just love the different architecture, it really runs the gamut for all the different styles, from ultra modern to Gothic and the beautiful churches, just couldn’t get enough of just looking.
    I could eat a whole pizza right now all by myself and love the old delies.
    I can’t wait to see your next post.

  7. My favorite view of New York City is in the rear view mirror as I’m leaving. The city makes me feel claustrophobic. That said I am enjoying reading your posts and seeing it through the eyes of someone who enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

    • I know what you mean Thelma. As a whole, space feels ‘tight’ due to the tallness of the buildings. But if you focus on your chosen destinations, that’s kinda what it’s all about. Once visiting famous landmarks, I could see the magic transpire. Thing is, most often, writings on NYC lend towards the good, and not really the overall feel / experience.

      I admit, the longer I stayed there, the more I got into the vibe of it all. My feelings started to change from fear to curious to ‘check me out… I rode the subway and it worked out!’ haha

  8. how fun!!! I did NOT like the ‘phone hanging out the window a million miles up in the air’ haha makes me nervous!! can’t wait to hear about the rest. and love that escalator!

  9. Whaaattt????? I’ve never had a burger served rare anywhere I’ve traveled in all of the USA unless of course I were to order it that way. Always cooked all the way through, that is weird to me that the burger could still moo.

  10. Donna I love seeing the city thru your eyes. I lived in New York most of my life before moving to Greece 20 years ago. I remember working near Macy’s and walking around there. It was awful. The streets were full of garbage and it was scary. I went back recently and marvelled at the beauty of the area. First of all, they have closed areas of Broadway and made it very tourist friendly. Then I noticed that they had installed pots of flowers everywhere. Maybe to mask the awful smell from the sewers lol. That smell will never go away, but the area is so much improved. As is Times Square and Bryant Park, which is behind the Library. It makes me so happy to see all of that greenery in the heart of the city. I understand perfectly why you love the parks.

    • How interesting, Mary! I didn’t smell sewer at all, so maybe they somehow addressed that?

      The streets still wear plenty of garbage, but it is all bagged and ready for pickup. Guess there’s no other way to store it?

      Wait till you read my entry on the Flower District and see what was on our streets… you will fall in LOVE!

  11. Donna the pictures are fabulous! Supper interesting to see New York up close like that, and the view is amazing. A few months ago we climbed a 500 feet tall tower and that was impressive enough already! Love the dinner also

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