Thursday, September 8, 2011

NYC 2011 - Day 3

This morning began with some yummy rice balls at Oms/b. It was one of my favourite grab and go places when I lived here. Very close to Grand Central, less than ten minutes walk.


It's very small inside, just a few squared tables for twos and a big one for maybe four people at the very end.

They have rice ball sets that come with miso soup or drink. Unfortunately the miso soup was not vegetarian, so we just ordered the rice balls separately.

My order - Hijiki(seaweed and edamame), plum, seaweed and tofu sheet.

Back table


Breakfast was taken care of, now time for coffee for the caffeine addicts in the group. Plan was to find a Starbucks on the way over to 5th Avenue. I remembered there was one by the public library on 5th Avenue but when we got there, we didn't find any. By the way, it's not that we have to drink Starbucks, but the free wifi is a great bonus :) And thank you for it Starbucks! So we saw Andaz by the corner, which I believe is a hotel cafe/restaurant, so we decided just to get coffee there. From the responses I got, pricey but coffee seemed to be pretty good here.


Walking across the street to 5th Avenue public library.

5th Ave Library

Bryant Park - free wifi at the park. we sat here, used wifi, drank coffee and rested for a long time even though the day had just begun... I had a feeling it was going to be a long day...

Finally people agreed to move their butts and carry on with the day's schedule. We headed back to 5th Avenue and continued marching north.

FIY, if you are looking for a washroom around 5th between 40s street, there is one in Best Buy on the lower floor. I gave up on it because the wait was just unbelievable. However if you walk up just a little bit more, the Starbucks on 5th does not have a public washroom, but they told me the Europa Cafe next door has it. We got a drink there and used their washroom, nice and clean :)

Build A Bear


Swung by NHL store. A friend is big hockey fan who carried his Canucks jersey and took pictures wearing it at all the major tourist spots.

NHL Store

Radio City

NBC Studio



Lego Store

Don't have a good picture of the actual Rockefeller Plaza but I have one in lego :P

St. Patrick Cathedral


Statue of Atlas

Way passed noon already by the time we got to 50th Street and 5th Avenue. We were behind schedule a lot but still needed to eat. My original plan was to eat at Serendipity 3 for lunch but since we were way off plan, we had to find somewhere close and settle. Just when we were thinking where to go we saw a guy handing out Cafe Metro flyers at a street corner. It was just a few stores down the street, so we thought we would just get something there. Cafe Metro is a chain restaurant, I have never tried it before, it turned out to be pretty good :)

Cafe Metro

My veggie sandwich

My cheese melt sandwich

Friend's pasta

Friend's quesadilla

I took a pic of the bill thinking I would know what I ordered when I write my blog later.. then I just realized that it doesn't say in details what I ordered... O_o||

Everyone was happy again after food and rest, walking time again. Up north more.

Trump Tower

Apple Store - too bad it's under construction all covered up, not a giant glass cube anymore.

we got bored and thought we'd take the elevator, it looked cool.

FAO Schwarz - right next to the apple store

Taking the train over to the east side for a couple places.

First, Dylan's Candy Bar

Doggy Treats!

Cool coke bottles... do we have those here too?

Then, Serendipity 3 - we thought about going in for some dessert but the wait was an hour. They don't take reservation either, so we gave up on the thought. By the way, watch out for the giant flies outside... they bite hard >_<

So we made reservation for dinner later on, took the train back to where we came from and walked over to central park, going from lower east end to the lower west end of it, to Columbus Circle.

Central Park view - I always get lost in central park. I remember the places I've been but I can't quite remember which roads to take. If you get lost, I think the best is to have a compass with you and keep walking in one direction (depending on where you're inside, but east or west would probably be a better bet), until you hit one of the border roads.

MOMA was actually one of the spots we were supposed to go this day but we ran out of time and most of us didn't seem to be too excited about MOMA either( I know! I was very disappointed too :( ). So we skipped it entirely.

Meeting up with one of my nyc friends for dinner at Topza Thai. I've never been before but I looked it up online when I was looking for a place with good review and close to two of the points we were going to. Funny it turned out to be one of my friend's usual lunch spots.

Topaz Thai - They have two places right next to each other.

We ended up getting a seat on the left hand side one.

Thai Iced Tea

Sorry for low light food pics again. I don't remember what exactly we ordered either. We had 5 vegetarians and 2 none, so we just went all veggie. I ordered whatever on the menu was available for vegetarians, a few curries, some stir fry and fried rice, as well as plain rice to go with the curries. Even though I can't remember the names of the dishes we ordered, I remember them being very good, everyone liked the food a lot. I would recommend coming here if you like Thai.

After dinner there was still one more place to go before the day ended. We walked back towards Rockefeller Center.

Love Statue - passed by this on the way

Also this.
Magnolia Bakery

Friend said to go for the red velvet

We got one red velvet and one I think lemon butter cream. Red velvet was sooo good, but the lemon butter cream was way too sweet for me.

Since we've already seen bird's eye view of Manhattan in day time, my friend suggested we should go up to Top of the rock at night. The good thing about Top of the rock is that you can pick the time frame you want to go so you don't have to wait in line. If you book it on their website you can see how it works. For us, we bought the city pass which includes the entrance ticket to Top of the rock. I didn't know how it worked since we couldn't use it to pick a time online. When we got to the ticketing counter, there was a station for city pass ticket holders. We arrived sometime before 9pm and they asked us if we wanted to go up at the next available time which was at 10. If we had known this earlier, we would have come by the counter in the afternoon and exchanged our tickets first to reserve for an earlier time for this evening. But oh well, we just waited at the sitting area inside the building until 10 eating our cupcakes, it wasn't too terrible :)

Top of the Rock