It was hard to say which day we looked forward to the most; each had its own rewards. We took Marilyn’s advice and got not only our morning coffee but our breakfast at Danny’s Gourmet next door to our hotel.
We could get made-to-order meals or grab ready-made sandwiches right there The fresh-fruit bar was glorious. We ate upstairs there and were ready to head out on foot for the Empire State Building.
As with all landmarks in this city, we could see it so far ahead that it didn’t seem as though it would be far. We passed a busy shopping district featuring the Macy’s mother ship, the largest retail store in the world. Brian and I stopped in for a look-see after the Empire State Building. The cosmetics section alone spanned what appeared to be the entire street level. The purses went on forever in the second floor and I didn’t trust myself.
At the Empire State Building, the early arrival at 9:30 meant we could walk right in and hitch rides to the main exhibits of this building that was tallest in the world from its beginnings in 1931 to 1970 when the North Tower of the World Trade Center surpassed it. It’s now the 28th tallest in the world and fifth in the U.S.
Think King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle. There’s a great exhibit explaining its building and history. The elevator ride to the observation deck has a sweet surprise. As cables whisk you higher, look up and a TV screen in the top of the elevator shows a mini movie of builders working their way up as you go along with them and feel as though you are on an amusement ride ready to burst through the top of the building into the clouds.
There’s plenty of time to visit. The building is open until 2 a.m. This was one of Brian’s top picks for the trip and it did not disappoint.
We had delicious pizza left from the night before and a microwave to warm it. It tasted just as great the second day back in our room. Brian dozed; I relaxed and then took a long hot bath and washed my hair, prepping for our fancy night on the town.
To our surprise, the kids showed back up rather than meet us at the elegant Butter restaurant. They all took naps and by 4:30, we were ready to venture to Butter.
The meal was compliments of Sam and Allison and is the most elegant meal I’ve ever had. The restaurant's executive chef and chef is Food Network and Iron Chef America star Alex Guarnaschelli and the kids picked up her cookbook, The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart, at the festival earlier in the day.
I wanted to know how the restaurant got its name and the story behind the eclectic mix of dishware.
Our server was happy to answer that the late founder used to have a saying to describe something he loved. He would say “That’s butter.” And so Butter became the restaurant’s name. As for the dishes, Alex has a passion for all kinds of dishes so she collects them and they are used to compliment the food creations.
Then it was on to the Gershwin Theatre to see our first Broadway show! Wicked did not disappoint, and I still marvel at the swift set changes and staging that appeared instantly as if by magic.
And before we knew it, we had our second day and fancy night out under our belts.
Next: NYC Experience, Part 3: BRAND NEW START OF IT.