Jayden and I took the bus into Manhattan on Monday morning and we met Ray to do a little sight-seeing, spend the night in the city, and then go to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular on Tuesday (Ray had driven into the city really early that morning and parked the car in a garage near the hotel and then went on to work).
Ray only worked half-a-day and then walked to meet us at the bus stop, and he snapped this picture of the statue Hermes atop Grand Central Station (Hermes represents speed and he is the god of travelers):
This next picture I took off the internet:
This is a picture of the inside of Grand Central Station, when I worked in the city (a lifetime ago) my Dad would pick me up in the mornings and we would drive to the train station and from there we would ride the train to Grand Central Station and I would come out of the subway and this is the sight that would greet me, and then I would ride the escalators that were to the right of this picture up into the Pan Am Building (now it is the Met Life Building), walk through that building, out the door and...
...the building I worked in was right across the street! How easy was that!
I'm not sure what it says above the doors now (the address looks different), but it used to say 230 Park Avenue.
The hotel we stayed in (The Roosevelt Hotel) is right down the street from where I used to work:
Before I take you inside the hotel, I just want to go back thirty-seven years again to show you my commute home from work. My commute to work was not so bad as my Dad would pick me up in the mornings and drive me to the train station, and we left a little early so we weren't caught in rush hour, so we usually got a seat on the not-too-crowded train. But once my work day was done I went back across the street through the Pan Am Building and the main hub of Grand Central Station and down the tunnel, and this was one of the waiting platforms for my trip home (picture taken off the internet):
Except during rush hour it looked more like this:
And this is the way all of us commuters squished ourselves into the cars:
And that's how we all rode back to Main Street, Flushing. And from there I would take the bus home.
And believe it or not, I didn't always hate it! (I was much younger then and did not feel the least bit claustrophobic back then.)
Okay, flash forward to the present! (It is much, much easier to take the Express bus into Manhattan now, the bus stop to the city is right around the corner from our house, and the stop we needed to get off in the city was not too far from the hotel we were staying at.)
The lobby of The Roosevelt Hotel was really nice and decorated beautifully for Christmas:
There was a whole bank of elevators in the lobby (about eight or ten), each one decorated with a pretty Christmas garland arch.
This was the hall outside the elevators on our floor:
And our room was very conveniently located right off the elevator bank (Room 818, my Dad's old address from when he lived in Minnesota, and also the date he went to Heaven, I don't know why I find that so significant, but I do, it gave me a nice feeling when Ray told me what our room number was, sort of like a little shout out from my Dad).
New York is notorious for postage stamp sized hotel rooms and this was no exception. The room was tiny, and we are very spoiled because we usually stay at The Michelangelo Hotel further uptown which has nice sized rooms with spacious sitting areas that are beautifully decorated. But we were staying in this hotel for free with a deal Ray worked out, so I wasn't about to complain! (But The Michelangelo usually upgrades us to a beautiful suite, and I will show you the vast difference in accommodations!)
This is the room we stayed in at The Roosevelt:
And this is what our accommodations are like when we stay at The Michelangelo:
I think that even the bathroom in The Michelangelo is bigger than our room at The Roosevelt!
Jayden made himself comfy right away!
We were very lucky and had perfect weather for walking the city.
Well, Ray and I did the walking while Jayden rode on Ray's shoulders!
We went to Build-A-Bear and Jayden had fun picking out and stuffing his bears, and giving them their hearts:
Then he scrubbed and fluffed them:
And then we told him he had to carry them back to the hotel himself.
"But this bag is too big for me to carry all that way!"
"Look! It fits me!"
(As if he's trying on a sweater!)
After lunch we went to look at the window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue:
I tried to get a picture of the cow for Jerelene, but it was moving so I didn't do a very good job!
I liked the Victorian Christmas display in Lord & Taylor's windows much better (shown in a previous post), but Jayden enjoyed both equally.
And across the street from Saks was the tree at Rockefeller Center!
It was very crowded!
But we inched our way up to get a closer look and watch the ice skaters:
It was very hard to get a picture of Jayden because he was more interested in looking at the tree than posing for pictures, so all I could get was the back of his head!
Here I forced him to stand in front of me to try and get his face, but he was not happy about that (notice the eye roll)!
* A fact I found so interesting:
In 1931 the very first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was put up and decorated by workmen on a muddy construction site. At the time of the Depression, the workman placed the tree amid the construction, decorated it, and were proud to display the tree on the site of their job.
You can see St. Patrick's Cathedral in the background of this picture.
After viewing the tree we went to 5:30 Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. There was scaffolding covering the front of the cathedral and it was dark but we did take a few pictures of the side of the Cathedral the next morning:
I also got some pictures off the internet so you could see the face of this Gothic beauty:
The spires rise 330 feet from street level.
It is actually built of brick and then covered with marble. The cathedral acccomodates 2,200 people.
Okay, let's step inside.
I can't stop looking up when I am here!
But there is also lots of beauty when you look down on the floor:
We got there early so we could visit the many side altars. I've always had a great affection for St. Theresa (The Little Flower) so we stopped to light a few candles here.
At each and every altar Jayden wanted to light a candle and at each and every altar he asked the same question, "Can I go in here?"!
Another favorite altar of mine has a mosaic of Veronica's Veil:
Here is a beautiful Pieta statue, this one sculpted by Araldo Perugi:
The creche is awaiting the Baby Jesus:
I loved the big, beautiful Advent wreath.
And I love all the detail work of this cathedral, and every time we visit we find something new to admire:
Can you see the Dove symbol of the Holy Spirit as it hovers in the ceiling?
(I think you can see it if you enlarge)
Okay, this post is way too long, I'm sorry. Much too lengthy to show you anymore today. I'll post about the Radio City Christmas Show in a few days!