Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to NY: No Lottery Luck, Dinner, the Boy Scouts, Empire State Building

We left the Met to try our luck at the Wicked lottery over at the Gershwin Theatre. Ticket lotteries are different from ticket rushes, which I've described before. Lotteries are when you throw your name in a bucket and hope it gets pulled. We actually entered the virtual lottery for Shakespeare in the Park earlier in the day, but all three of us had no luck in that drawing (which we were able to check on their website around 1pm). Wicked is ridiculously hard to win, since several hundred people enter each day, and only around 13 names are pulled. Plus, since you can only buy 2 tickets, two out of three of us needed to win in order for the tickets to be useful to us. As with the Shakespeare show, we went 0/3. However, this did allow us to do other things.

Next it was time for dinner. We had no real idea what we wanted, so we just kinda wandered around, slightly out of the overcrowded-tourist-area to see if anything struck our fancies. We ended up at an Italian place called Nizza. We only waited about five minutes before we were seated, and the service was pretty good. The water was served by the bottle - even tap! Rob went with pizza, and had great things to say about it (I forget the toppings now). Jonathan chose spaghetti with sausage and meatballs - it was good, he'd recommend it. I went with the gnocci in four cheese sauce, and it was fabulous. It was portioned perfectly, although it was too hot to dig in as soon as it arrived on the table.
my dish

We started heading toward the Empire State Building, but got distracted when we hit the Times Square area. Turns out, we came upon the Boy Scouts Jamboree, NYC edition. They have several big screens and they were teleconferencing with other locations, all celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of the USA. It was kinda neat to watch for a while, especially since Rob was an Eagle Scout. Eventually, however, the excitement died down (not before we got glow sticks!), and we continued on our way toward the Empire State Building.
Now, we knew that there would be a wait of some sot, but we certainly had not anticipated how much waiting there was to go to the top of the Empire State Building. We also thought that going at night would lessen our wait (although perhaps it did), but we still waited almost 90 minutes throughout the lines. The first line was for security, then to buy the tickets, then to ride the first elevator (to the 80th floor), then to have your photo taken, then for the next elevator (to the 86th floor). After we arrived on the 80th, I asked one of the employees if we could take the stairs the rest of the way, and he said no. However, after about fifteen minutes of that line, a stair option was announced, and a few dozen of us made our way through the throngs to climb the remaining six stories. When we finally got up to 86 and out the doors, the view was breathtaking. We probably spent 45 minutes admiring the sights from all sides. This was particularly of interest because we ended up ringing in August on top of the Empire State Building! I got some good photographs, but it was difficult with the crowding, the lighting, and other factors.
the Empire State Building in the distance
looking up at the Empire State Building
the best shot I got from the top. It was terribly difficult to focus.

The trip on the train back to Newark was quick, and it was a short walk to get the car. However, the downside to parking up in Newark is that it's a much longer drive home than when we park in Trenton, hehe.

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