Monday, June 21, 2010

New york - Midtown Manhattan

25/5/2010(Tuesday) New York - Midtown Manhattan(14th to 59th ST)

Mr Oon kindly took us to Flushing(2nd Chinatown in New York), to book a guided tour to Boston. The tour company office was at the 3rd floor of 40th Road. The tour only available for Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. We have no choice but to book the nearest, that is Wednesday tour.

After that we took a subway train to Time Square, at Midtown Manhattan.

Midtown Manhattan - Time Square, Empire Building, Train Station - Grand Central Terminal, St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral, 5th Avenue at 34th street, Rockefeller Plaza, United State.

Midtown Manhattan

Map of Midtown Manhattan

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Midtown Manhattan is areas between 14th Street and 59th Street, from the Hudson River to the East River, about five square miles or 12 km2. Times Square and Fifth Avenue, have massive clusters of retail establishments.

1. Time Square & Theatre District

Map of Theatre District

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Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. The extended Times Square area, also called the Theatre District, consists of the blocks between Sixth and Eighth Avenues from east to west, and West 40th and West 53rd Streets from south to north, making up the western part of the commercial area of Midtown Manhattan.

Map of Time Square

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Formerly named Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in April 1904 after the New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly built Times Building, which is now called One Times Square and is the site of the annual ball drop on New Years Eve. Times Square, nicknamed "The Crossroads of the World" and "The Great White Way", has achieved the status of an iconic world landmark and is a symbol of New York City and the United States.

Times Square is a busy intersection of art and commerce, where scores of advertisements – electric, neon and illuminated signs and "zipper" news crawls – vie for viewers' attention. The theaters of Broadway and the huge number of animated neon and LED signs have long made them one of New York's iconic images, and a symbol of the intensely urban aspects of Manhattan. Times Square is the only neighborhood with zoning ordinances requiring building owners to display illuminated signs. The density of illuminated signs in Times Square now rivals that of Las Vegas. Officially, signs in Times Square are called "spectaculars", and the largest of them are called "jumbotrons.". declared that New York City’s famed Times Square the nation’s most visited tourist destination in 2010 based on survey in 2008.

In Feb 2010, Mayor Bloomberg declares Broadway pedestrian plazas in Times and Herald Squares will be made permanent. Indeed it is a joy to walk in Time Square.

Father Duffy Square, TKTS Booth & The statute

The square is located at the northern tip of Time Square, between West 46 St and West 47st St., Broadway and 7th Avenue. On May 2, 2006, 69 years to the day after Mayor LaGuardia dedicated Father Duffy Square in 1937, the Groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new, revitalized central meeting place at the Crossroads of the World. This tiny but totemic island stands not only at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, but also the intersection of theatre, history, commerce and the church.

The statute of Father Francis Patrick Duffy (1862-1932)

The statute of Father Francis Patrick Duffy is a fifty-foot, eight-ton, plaster statue entitled Purity (Defeat of Slander) by Leo Lentelli in 1909. It is located at the north end of the square, just in front of the bleacher seats. The square is also named after him.

Father Francis Patrick Duffy (1862-1932), the namesake of Father Duffy Square, left his parish in the Bronx to serve in Europe during World War I as the regimental chaplain of the 69th New York Infantry, famously known as the "Fighting 69th." The poet Joyce Kilmer, writing about the division's voyage across the Atlantic, observed that soldiers, standing in a line "as long as the mess-line," waited their turn each day to have Duffy hear their confessions. Lt. Colonel Duffy displayed legendary heroism on the fron lines, exposing himself to constant danger while ministering to soldiers during extremely intense fighting. After the war, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and returned to New York City to continue his community work, this time as a pastor of the Holy Cross Church on 42nd Street. Father Duffy died on June 26. 1932, after serving the theater district community for over a decade. On May 2, 1937 - Father Duffy's birthday - Myaor Fiorello LaGuardia unveiled Father Duffy's statue and dedicated the Square(ref:

Statute of George M Cohan
At the south end of Duffy Square stands a bronze statue depicting George M. Cohan (1878-1942), the great American composer, playwright, actor and producer. Cohan's parents were in show business, and at an early age he performed in vaudeville as well as on the "legitimate stage." Besides acting, singing and dancing, Cohan began to write plays and songs in his youth. Several of his songs, such as "Give my regards to Broadway," "Over There," and "You're a Grand Old Flag," have become timeless standards. Cohan was the quintessential showman, often combining patriotic fervor with Broadway razzle-dazzle. In 1942, James Cagney won an Academy Award as Best Actor for his portrayal of Cohan in the film Yankee Doodle Dandy. On September 11, 1959, the Cohan statue was formally unveiled and accepted on behalf of the city by Mayor Robert F. Wagner(ref:

TKTS Booth - The icon of the icon
TKTS , pronounced as pronounced "Tee-Kay Tee-Ess", not "tickets", is ticket booths in New York selling Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, music and dance events theatre tickets at discounts of 25–50% off the face value. Opening on June 25, 1973, the TKTS booth was an immediate success. New Yorkers and tourists began to flock to this new destination in Times Square. Since then, TKTS has become integral to the health of Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre in New York City. On average, between 12 and 15 percent of the Broadway audience buys its ticket at the booth each year.

TKTS ticket booth located at Duffy Square (at 47th Street and Broadway, the north end of Times Square) is one of the three TKTS in New York City. The other being at South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan (replacing the office formerly located in the lobby of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks); and a third in Downtown Brooklyn (Jay St. and Myrtle St. Promenade). The Times Square booth sells day-of-performance tickets only, while the South Street Seaport booth sells tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance and matinee tickets the day before.

A new TKTS booth for the Times Square location began construction in May 2006 and was completed in October 2008. During this time, the TKTS booth was temporarily relocated to the nearby Marriott Marquis hotel. After many delays, the new TKTS booth opened for business on October 16, 2008 on a renovated Duffy Square, with a ceremony featuring Mayor Michael Bloomberg and various Broadway performers. The booth is wedge-shaped, with wide stairs covering the roof, allowing pedestrians to sit down or climb the steps for a panoramic, unobstructed view of Times Square. According to the Theater Development Fund, the final cost of the new booth is $19 million.

The TKTS will be visually dramatic and architecturally speactacular, a landmark of incisive visual clarity. The design integrates the plaza, amphitheatre-like steps, and booth to provide a much-needed refuge from the visual cacophony that surrounds it. The amphitheatre is built entirely from glass, placing it at the forefront of glass technology; red glass steps supported on glass stringers and spanning between glass load-bearing walls are illuminated from within by red LEDs. The overall effect is dramatic - a shimmering, floating carpet of color and light. The TKTS booth itself is a free-standing, custom-fabricated fiberglass shell that sits beneath the steps, visible through the glass side walls of the structure. The new plaza design enables visitors to experience the entire bowtie on a grand scale.

The Square has been swept clean of street furniture and clutter, consisting of a clean and undulating plane of granite pavers - approximately 3,800 of them - that rise and fall subtly as one moves along the plaza toward Father Duffy. Eighty-eight in-ground light fixtures arranged in groups of two throughout the plaza create a dramatic environment for the Square and for the Father Duffy monument. These pools of light will ignite the Square, providing theatrical up-lighting on this urban stage in a manner befitting the Crossroads of the World.(ref:ref:

Street Performers

The "Naked Cowboy" — New York City street performer and prominent fixture of Times Square, who is not actually naked — is a fixture in Times Square

Super Bowl XLVIII 2014 celebration at Time Square
When we go to Time Square, there were many people waiting there waiting for the announcement for New York's bidding to host Super Bowl XLVIII 2014. On May 25, 2010, it was announced that the New Meadowlands Stadium would host Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014. The NFL requires that a Super Bowl hosting stadium must have a 50-degree climate or be held in an indoor climate-controlled facility. However, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would waive this requirement. The stadium was allowed on the ballot because of a "unique, once-only circumstance based on the opportunity to celebrate the new stadium and the great heritage and history of the NFL in the New York region. Super Bowl XLVIII, the 48th edition of the Super Bowl and the 44th modern era National Football League championship game, is scheduled to be played in 2014 at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Note: New Meadowlands Stadium is also a qualifying venue to host the 2018/2022 FIFA Football World Cup, as USA is bidding for the event to be held in the U.S.

New York city is represented in the National Football League by the New York Jets and New York Giants (officially the New York Football Giants), although both teams play their home games at Meadowlands Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey. So the team is New Yorker, but the venue or stadium is at New Jersey. Super Bowl XLVIII is to be held at New York/New Jersey.

Three stadiums had placed bids to host the game. They are:

1.New Meadowlands Stadium - East Rutherford, New Jersey
2.Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida
3.Sun Life Stadium - Miami Gardens, Florida

South Florida / Miami was eliminated in the second round of voting. New York / New Jersey beat Tampa in the fourth round of voting which requires only a simple majority to win. Since Meadowlands Stadium does not have a roof, it will be the first cold-weather Super Bowl game played in an open stadium, and the first Super Bowl to be played in the New York metropolitan area.

I was there on 25-5-2010 at Time Square, New York city, celebrate the joy with the New Yorkers, that Super Bowl XLVIII is to be held at New York/New Jersey. The Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg was there, Justin Tuck(an American football defensive end for the National Football League's New York Giants), Darrelle Shavar Revis(an American football cornerback for the New York Jets of the National Football League) were there. And I was there in Time Square, celebrating with New yorkers at that moment of announcement. To be there at the moment is fun....

Ref: Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey, not in New York,

On May 1, 2010, Times Square was evacuated from 43rd to 46th Street following the discovery of a car bomb. A dark-colored Nissan Pathfinder with smoke coming out from it was parked at 45th and Seventh Avenue. Bomb squads were shown, but Homeland Security did not consider it a terrorist threat. A flash was seen coming from the car, and between 6 and 6:30pm, a small explosion went off. It was found to have explosive materials including three propane tanks, consumer grade fireworks, and containers full of gasoline, burnt wires, two clocks with batteries, and other materials. Bomb squads extinguished a small fire. No one was killed or injured in the incident. It was found to be a failed bombing.[18] Several days later, on May 7, streets in the area were closed briefly while police examined an abandoned cooler found near the Marriott Marquis Hotel

Security was high following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with more than 7,000 New York City police on duty in the Square, twice the number for an ordinary year.

Denzel Washington

While walking to Rockefeller Center, we saw crowd gathering in front of a Theater. One of the fans told us one of the star is coming out from the theater. The security guard was controlling the crowd, so not to go near the limousine park at the side door. The fans are pushing toward the limousine. When Denzel Washington come out, he was shaking hand with the fans on the front line. I took the advantage of time when he entered the limousine, when the attention of the security guard and fan were not on the fans, go forward toward the car, Denzel Washington was waving to the fan. I go close to the window, without notice of the guard, and manage a handshake with the star.

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, director and film producer. He has garnered much critical acclaim for his work in film since the 1990s, including for his portrayals of real-life figures, such as Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin Carter, Melvin B. Tolson, Frank Lucas, and Herman Boone.

Washington has been awarded three Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award and two Academy Awards for his work. He has also been nominated for two Emmy Awards and a Grammy Award. He is notable as the second African American man (after Sidney Poitier) to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, which he received for his role in the 2001 film "Training Day"(Watch the youtube, Denzel Washington winning an Oscar® for "Training Day", Coincidentally Sidney Poitier is also my favorable actor.

Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, near New York City, in 1954. His mother, Lennis "Lynne", was a beauty parlor-owner and operator born in Georgia and partly raised in Harlem. His father, Reverend Denzel Washington, Sr., was an ordained Pentecostal minister and also worked for the Water Department and at a local department store, S. Klein.

Washington was last seen onstage in the summer of 1990 in the title role of the Public Theater's production of Shakespeare's Richard III) and in 2005 after a 15-year hiatus he appeared onstage again in another Shakespeare play as Marcus Brutus in Julius Caesar on Broadway. The production's limited run was a consistent sell-out averaging over 100% attendance capacity nightly despite receiving mixed reviews.

On May 4, 2010, Washington was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his role in the play Fences. Washington won the Tony Award on Sunday, June 13, 2010.

Washington is a devout Christian, and has even considered becoming a preacher. "A part of me still says, ‘Maybe, Denzel, you’re supposed to preach. Maybe you’re still compromising.’ I’ve had an opportunity to play great men and, through their words, to preach. I take what talent I’ve been given seriously, and I want to use it for good.” In 1995 he donated 2.5 million dollars to help build the new West Angeles COGIC facility in Los Angeles at the city's West Angeles Church of God in Christ.

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At least I have seen an Oscar Academy Award actor face to face in New York.....

2. Rockefeller Center

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Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres (89,000 m2) between 48th and 51st streets in New York City. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987

Radio City Music Hall
The Radio City Music Hall was completed in December, 1932. At the time it was promoted as the largest and most opulent theater in the world. Its original intended name was the "International Music Hall" but this was changed to reflect the name of its neighbor, "Radio City," as the new NBC Studios in the RCA Building were known. RCA was one of the complex's first and most important tenants and the entire Center itself was sometimes referred to as "Radio City."

After decades as a premiere showcase for motion pictures and elaborate stage shows, the theater converted to presenting touring performers and special events in 1979. Each holiday season features the annual musical stage show, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, a tradition for more than 70 years. The enormous stage, with its elevators and turntables, has also offered Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, the Grammy and Tony Awards, and countless other events. One of New York's most popular tourist attractions, the Music Hall has been attended by more than 300 million people.

GE Buildidng
GE Building - The centerpiece of Rockefeller Center is the 70-floor, 872-foot (266 m) GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza ("30 Rock")—formerly known as the RCA Building—centered behind the sunken plaza. The skyscraper is the headquarters of NBC and houses most of the network's New York studios, including 6A, former home of Late Night with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien and current home of The Dr. Oz Show; 6B, home of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; 8H, home of Saturday Night Live; plus the operations of NBC News, MSNBC and local station WNBC. NBC currently owns the space it occupies in the building as a condominium arrangement.

GE Building was constructed as a slab with a flat roof, where the Center's newly renovated observation deck, the Top of the Rock is located, which was first built in 1933. The $75 million makeover of the observation area was carried out by the Center's owner, Tishman Speyer Properties and was finally completed in 2005. It spans from the 67-70th floors and includes a multimedia exhibition exploring the history of the Center. On the 70th floor, reached by both stairs and elevator, there is a 20-foot (6.1 m) wide viewing area, allowing visitors a unique 360-degree panoramic view of New York City.

Top of the World

The observation deck atop the skyscraper, dubbed "Top of the Rock", reopened to the public on November 1, 2005, after undergoing a $75 million renovation. It had been closed since 1986 to accommodate the renovation of the Rainbow Room. The deck, which is built to resemble the deck of an ocean liner, offers sightseers a bird's eye view of the city, competing with the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building. It is often considered the best panoramic city view, if only because it offers a view of the aforementioned Empire State Building, which cannot be seen from its own observation deck.

The Underground Concourse
A series of underground pedestrian passages stretches from 47th Street to 51st Street, and from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue. Numerous business operate in the Concourse offering shoppers a range of products and services. There are also eating establishments and a post office. Access to the Concourse is available in several ways. There are stairways leading down from the lobbies in the cluster of six landmark buildings. Access can also be gained through the restaurants at the skating rink, via the elevators to the north and south of the rink. The rink itself is on the concourse level. Additionally, there is access to the western entrance of the Concourse through the 47–50th Streets subway station below Sixth Avenue (B D F M trains).

2. Rockefeller Plaza

3. Empire Building

The Empire State Building is a 102-story landmark Art Deco skyscraper in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. Address at 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10118. Its name is derived from the nickname for the state of New York, The Empire State. It stood as the world's tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building once again became the tallest building in New York City and New York State.The Empire State Building is the third tallest skyscraper in the Americas (after the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower both in Chicago), and the 15th tallest in the world.

4. Train Station - Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal (GCT) — sometimes called Grand Central Station or simply Grand Central — is a terminal station at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger trains, it is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms:44, with 67 tracks along them. They are on two levels, both below ground, with 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though the total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100. When the Long Island Rail Road's new station, below the existing levels, opens (see East Side Access), Grand Central will offer a total of 75 tracks and 48 platforms. The terminal covers an area of 48 acres (19 ha).

5. St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral

When we arrived at the church, one of the high school is having graduation ceremony. We are not able to enter the hall, but my wife was allowed to enter the hall later on. May be she looked like the parent of the student.

7. Pennsylvania Station, NYC

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Pennsylvania Station, commonly known as Penn Station, is the major intercity rail station and a major commuter rail hub in New York City. It is one of the busiest rail stations in the world, and a hub for inboard and outboard railroad traffic in New York City. The New York City Subway system also has multiple lines that connect to the station. The station is located in the underground levels of Pennsylvania Plaza, an urban complex located between Seventh Avenue and Eighth Avenue and between 31st Street and 33rd Street in Midtown Manhattan, and is owned by Amtrak

8.Madison Square Garden or MSG

Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan, located at 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station. The Seventh Avenue is the entrance to Madison Square Garden. Opening on February 11, 1968, it is the longest active major sporting facility in the New York Metropolitan area, and is the fourth incarnation of the arena in the city. One Penn Plaza stands at its side.

The official address is NO 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (8th Avenue & 33rd Street), Manhattan, New York City, NY 10001

9. Madison Avenue, NYC
Madison Avenue is a north-south avenue in the borough of Manhattan in New York City that carries northbound one-way traffic. It runs from Madison Square (at 23rd Street) to the Madison Avenue Bridge at 138th Street. In doing so, it passes through Midtown, the Upper East Side (including Carnegie Hill), Spanish Harlem, and Harlem. It is named after and arises from Madison Square, which is itself named after James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. Since the 1920s, the street's name has been synonymous with the American advertising industry.

Between 57th Street and 85th Street, Madison Avenue is identified as "the fashionable road". In this area is where most of the very well known fashion designers, jewelers and upper class hair salons are located.

A New York State appeals court building on Madison Avenue adjacent to Madison Square

Madison Avenue is served by the M1, M2, M3, and M4 NYCT Buses, and the BxM1, BxM2, BxM3, BxM4, and BxM5 express buses.

10. Fifth Avenue, NYC

Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the center of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, USA. The section of Fifth Avenue between 34th Street and 59th Street is one of the premier shopping streets in the world. Fifth Avenue serves as a symbol of wealthy New York and is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive streets in the world. The "most expensive street in the world" moniker changes depending on currency fluctuations and local economic conditions from year to year. For several years starting in the mid-1990s, the shopping district between 49th and 57th Streets was ranked as having the world's most expensive retail spaces on a cost per square foot basis. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Fifth Avenue as being the most expensive street in the world.

Fifth Avenue to tourists normally refers to the shopping district between 49th and 57th Streets

Fifth Avenue originates at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and runs northwards through the heart of Midtown, along the eastern side of Central Park, where it forms the boundary of the Upper East Side and through Harlem, where it terminates at the Harlem River at 142nd Street. Traffic crosses the river on the Madison Avenue Bridge. Fifth Avenue serves as the dividing line for house numbering in Manhattan. It separates, for example, East Fifty-ninth Street from West Fifty-ninth Street. From this zero point for street addresses, numbers increase in both directions as one moves away from Fifth Avenue, with 1 West Fifty-ninth Street on the corner at Fifth Avenue, and 300 West Fifty-ninth Street located three blocks to the west of it.

10. Broadway, NYC

Broadway, as the name implies, is a wide avenue in New York City, which runs the full length of Manhattan and continues into the Bronx. It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in the city, dating to the first New Amsterdam settlement. The name Broadway is the English literal translation of the Dutch name, Breede weg. A stretch of Broadway is famous as the pinnacle of the American theater industry.

One famous stretch near Times Square, where Broadway crosses Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan, is the home of many Broadway theatres, housing an ever-changing array of commercial, large-scale plays, particularly musicals. That is why Broadway is commonly refers to Broadway theatre, theatrical productions produced in one of forty professional New York theatres located on or near Broadway in NYC. This area of Manhattan is often called the Theater District or the Great White Way, a nickname originating in the headline "Found on the Great White Way" in the February 3, 1902 edition of the New York Evening Telegram. The journalistic sobriquet was inspired by the millions of lights on theater marquees and billboard advertisements that illuminate the area.

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There is a lot of walking in Manhattan Midtown, we may not able to cover all the tourist destinations. The visit to United Nation is reserved for the next day. As everyone is tired from a lot of walking. We called it a day and take subway back to Queen. Walking and touring in New York, can easily forget about time, and we overstay in the Manhattan. There is so much to see and experience in New York. Our plan not to stretch over 10p.m cannot be complied. Moreover, the wrong subway that take us to Jamaica, wasted a lot of time. Anyhow it is still good experience by travel in the subway to neighborhoods, which we will normally never visit, as it is either non-tourist area or dangerous neighborhood. We can has the view of the neighborhood from the window of elevated subway train travel.

Still a good day in New York.... I met a star, an academy award actor; and I was in the Time Square when New York/New Jersey won the bidding for Super Bowl XLVIII 2014.

What an exciting day..... Should I wash my hand?.......

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