New York: American Museum of Natural History

We had another early start on the 2nd last day of our 2 week vacation. The highlight of the day was going to the museum, one that I sort of missed the last time I was in NYC.

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We had breakfast in heavens knows where! There are so many of these types of eating places in NYC and they all sort of look alike … with a long counter and a number of cooks. And quite the same service too … very rushed and impatient!

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So, this time, instead of ordering from the counter, we had something from their buffet spread which they charges by weight. Suanne and I just needed good old Chinese style carbs — we missed rice and noodles!

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Then it was off to the American Museum of Natural History. In all my travels, I find that this one in New York is the best of the best museum of natural history. Although some of the exhibits are obviously dated, it is very well presented.

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Being of Chinese descent but never been educated in the Chinese language and history, Suanne and I had special interest in the exhibits of the Chinese culture. Continue reading

New York: Top of the Rock Observation Deck

We had a few hours before the Broadway show starts. I wanted to show Suanne the view of the New York skyline from the Empire State Building but she did not want to because I had already been there before. Instead, we settled for the next best place … the “Top of the Rock”.

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The Top of the Rock is the nickname for the top of the highest building (the GE Building) in the Rockefeller Center. The Rockefeller Center is actually a complex of 17 buildings built during the height of the 1930s Depression. The GE Building, being the tallest in the entire Rockefeller Center, is 70 stories high. It’s most famous tenant is NBC.

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In the center of the Rockefeller Center is the world famous sculpture of Prometheus in front of the equally world famous skating rink.

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We bought the “Rock Pass” tickets which included not only access to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck but it also included two tours: The Radio City Stage Door Tour and the NBC Studio Tour. It was quite expensive at $45 per person. The Top of the Rock Observation Deck entrance alone costs $20.

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The NBC Studio Tour was interesting to say the least. If you watch NBC shows and programs, you will enjoy this very much. Since we were not allowed to take pictures during the NBC Studio Tour, I have nothing much to share with you here (sorry!). I was warned that I can take my camera along the tour but if I take any pictures inside the studios, they will have to slap me with a copyright infringement lawsuit!

And no … we did not bump into any stars during the tour. I was hoping to bump onto Conan O’Brien during the visit to his stage and crack a joke and see if he finds my joke funny. At the end of the tour, we were given the chance to play the role of the weather man or a news reader. You can take home a video of that if you want.

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We did not get to the Radio City Stage Door Tour at all because we simply ran out of time in New York. Oh well, we’ll be back some day I’m sure.

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Off we went to the lobby where the elevators are to bring us up to the Top of the Rock.

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We first watched a short video on the history behind the Rockefeller Center before they let us up. It was quite boring if you ask me.

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As I was told, the Top of the Rock is far, far, far less crowded than the Empire State Building. Continue reading