2012 Vacation Day 5 - Tuesday: the Big Apple...

Off to Manhattan this morning. Gus was up and waiting, so we went over around 7:30, in plenty of time to catch the 8:00 train to Penn Station.
It was only 45 minutes into Penn Station, and the train was full of people heading to work. This is a great way to get into the city.

Getting off at Penn, the first thing I noticed was the heat of the subway... it is like a furnace, and
combined with the masses of people rushing to work, it can be overwhelming. People seem to walk right through you...there is no stepping aside or even shift a shoulder out of the way... it's full steam ahead. They don't even know you are there. Made our way to street level, and came out at 34th St. Very exciting.We had made reservations at the Benjamin Hotel in the Midtown section of Manhattan, just blocks away from all the main sight seeing spots.After checking in we booked the red bus tours for two days which gives you the option to jumping off in neighbourhoods and jumping back on.  We decided a good way to get acquainted with the city to take first the 'Downtown' tour loop and the next day to do the 'Uptown' tour.

We caught the tour outside the Waldorf Astoria, and it made its way up to South Central Park, then back down through Times Square.
So much to see... and so many amazing buildings, everywhere you look you can see a variety of architecture. The street scene is just as amazing. Masses of people everywhere, going to work, shopping, tourists like us. There are tourists here from all over the world. We have heard number languages and accents, which is not at all surprising considering the draw that Manhattan must be.

We hopped off at City Hall to see the 9/11 site and the new Freedom Tower. Although not near completion, the tower is now again the highest in New York, and glassed in up to past the eightieth floor. It looks very impressive.

We walked all over Tribeca and SoHo, hopping back on the bus to make our way back uptown. Lots of funky shops here, certainly our favorite neighbourhoods.
great looking fixie...
inlaid sidewalk art...

After a long day of walking, we relaxed a bit before going out to dinner. We are going to an Indian place called Amma, just over on East 51st St, it was recommended by the hotel concierge. Upon arrival the restaurant smelled amazing. We ordered butter chicken, vegetable korma, and crispy fried okra...one of their signature dishes. The okra is shredded, flash fried, then fresh cilantro and slivers of onion added.  The food tasted amazingly good. We were very impressed, and would say this may have been the best Indian food we have ever eaten. The flavours and aromas were wonderful. What a great way to end the day.

On the walk back from the restaurant to the hotel, the Rockefeller Center looked awesome all lit up...

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