April 8th was the designated meeting date for me and Princess Ody, my Miss Iggy co-blogger whom I've never met in person until that day. We decided to meet at Times Square at 9AM, which proved to be challenging since both of us stayed up late the night before. It was forecast to be sunny that day in New York, so Ody and I were comfortably dressed in light cotton shirts. We began walking towards Rockefeller Center and talked about our respective careers, or my significant lack thereof at the moment.
Our itinerary for the day was supposed to be NBC Studio Tour at Rockefeller-Strawberry Fields/John Lennon's Apartment-Bethesda Fountain-Met Museum-Jollibee in Queens-Coney Island...all with just a 1-Day MTA Fun Pass ($8.25 for unlimited rides) to keep us moving from one subway stop to another. The only thing we didn't get to do was the NBC Studio Tour. It was only Thursday but we were very disappointed to learn that the next available tour (which is supposedly available every half hour on the hour) is on Sunday!
We took the subway to 72nd St. and snapped photos outside John Lennon's apartment, the Dakota. Across the road was the entrance to Central Park West which led us straight to Strawberry Fields. We caught up with a guided tour group and listened to the Central Park trivia he had to share. Then on we went to the Bethesda Fountain, which surprisingly did not have any water at all. However, this enabled Ody to have a photo taken inside the fountain without fear of getting wet.
We then walked towards the Naumberg Bandshell where classical concerts are offered to the public for free during the summer. I also pointed out that this was one of the locations in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's." We went past the Boat House, favorite wedding venue and also featured in the movie "27 Dresses" before exiting on the East Side of Central Park on 5th Avenue towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
We explored art from ancient civilizations through the modern era. We contemplated as to why flash photography is usually forbidden in such museums. It's understandable if it involves paintings and fragile paper, but what about stones and sculptures?
After this museum tour, Ody's feet were showing signs of wear and blister tear. We sat on the museum steps for a little while and rehydrated before resuming our walk towards the nearest subway station that will take us to Grand Central where we'll transfer to the 7 Train to Queens for a late Jollibee lunch. Life was peachy again.
We took the train back to Manhattan and boarded the F train that took us to Coney Island, that iconic boardwalk attraction on the southernmost point of Brooklyn. This was the longest subway ride for us which took almost an hour because it had a million local stops. It was also then that Ody and I surrendered to exhaustion. Ody dozed off and unwittingly tried to make a pillow out of her seatmate's shoulder. For her safety and to deter greater embarrassment, I suggested that we switched seats so her only seatmates are me and the seat railing. A few minutes later, I was making an open-mouthed sleeping spectacle of myself. Sexy.
It was past 5PM by this time and since we were close to the beach, the afternoon breeze was more of gusty cold winds that got me wearing my jacket. Ody had to brave the sudden change in temperature in her shirt, determined to explore the last leg of our itinerary. We saw the Original Nathan's Coney Island: home of the International Hotdog-Eating Contest which happens every 4th of July. We were amused at the "Wall of Fame" which displays the Champion in both the Male and Female Divisions!
The boardwalk had a lot of renovations going on and the fairgrounds with the Wonder Wheel were closed, so we only took photos before finally calling it a day. Our only souvenirs from this place were Nathan's hotdogs and really tired feet. We took the train back to Manhattan and parted ways in front of the NY Public Library where Ody was scheduled to meet her other friend.
This was a day of many firsts even for myself. The best part of it all was meeting Ody! I'd love to see her again in Vienna!