The last minute visit to Big Apple was a welcome change. Getting to the hotel was a big challenge – expected due to the holiday crowds. We first visited the Flushing Temple. We had to go around a couple of times before we got parking right behind the temple. We had heard so much good about this temple and were wanting to visit it for such a long time, we were glad we finally made it. The canteen was excellent and we had great food for few little dollars!
The Time Square Marriott Marquis was a world apart. We stayed on the 38th floor with a view of time square. We just couldn’t get the room with a view of the ball dropping – there were going at 2K a pop!
On Wednesday evening, we walked to Rockefeller center and looked at the giant Christmas tree. It was cold and got us a feel for what it would be on the 31st. We had dinner at The View – the only revolving restaurant in the Big Apple. The cheese and desert buffet was excellent. The outer floor revolves at a very slow but noticeable pace and the idea is before you finish the dinner, you would have gone around a full 360 degrees.
Thursday morning, we finished breakfast and walked to the Apple store. The glass building in front of the former FAO schwartz is awesome to say the least. The number of people the store attracts is incredible. You can sense the kind of young energy that is after Apple products.
We walked back to the hotel stopping on the way at Sukhadia’s for lunch, which was great. The vegetarian food complemented the pleasant setting and the decent price. There was obbattu-like sweet and that worked great for Rama’s birthday.
We took a nap and saw the crowds building up around 5 PM. We thought we should try to get in. The road from the Marriott was already cordoned off. We walked to 46th street and went through two security screenings and got into one of the bull pens. The weather was cold and there was standing room only first. We were in at 5:25 PM. I managed to stand but was counting every minute as it went by. It was a big challenge and my feet were telling all.
It started to rain and after 1/2 hour, I couldn’t stand anymore with the freezing water acting on the feet. I had packed myself well all along but didn’t think of winter shoes! We got back to the hotel. Rama and Vikas stepped out around 11:45 PM to hear the countdown. The roar of the crowd pierced through the windows even at that height.
The lunch, on Friday, at Nirvana was one of the best I have had in the US. We checked out from the gorgeous hotel and visited KL on the way back home. The 2009 holidays were getting over sadly. Thinking of all the pleasant memories, I am looking forward to the 2010 holidays!