A Squared: NYC Part One: Uptown & Midtown

Thursday, October 4, 2012

NYC Part One: Uptown & Midtown

What a crazy couple of days it has been!  We are finally back from New York City-- actually, we have been back since Sunday but I am tired and just now compiling some recaps of our trip.  Every time I take a little New York "vacation" I always manage to return home completely exhausted.  This trip was no exception.

As you may recall, this was Alex's very first trip to New York and I was so excited to be there for his first NYC experience.  We only had about 2.5 days to spend in the city so I really wanted to make sure that he saw as much of Manhattan as possible-- especially the architecture.  My second trip to New York City was during my freshman year of college when our architecture class took a daylong trip and marched all over Manhattan seeing the city's most significant buildings.  I basically modeled this recent tour of the city on that one in order to ensure that we saw everything.  I think Alex was really sick of me by the end of the weekend, but even through all the freak rainstorms, the lazy mornings, and a New York City food coma (more to come on that) I made sure he saw it all!

Nerd alert!  Here are some of the architectural highlights from Day One of our trip to New York City-- all Instagrammed up for your viewing pleasure.  I'll be following this post with two more rehashes of our trip to NYC... stay tuned!

Hayden Planetarium by Trowbridge & Livingston

On Friday it was just the two of us (since all our friends were working) and I decided that we should take that opportunity to tackle some of the most touristy spots in Manhattan while they were a little quieter that day.  We started uptown at the Hayden Planetarium and Central Park and then worked our way down through Midtown.

Central Park

The Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright

 Next up: The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey, the Whitney Museum of American Art by Marcel Breuer, and the New York Public Library by Carrère and Hastings.

We stopped for some lunch at Lincoln Center (we also managed to avoid a mini-monsoon while there) as we worked our way around Midtown.  First stop was the MoMa by Goodwin and Stone.  This is also where we had our first (and only) celebrity encounter: Stephen Baldwin.  A random celebrity sighting that would have only been made funnier if Alex had addressed him as "Billy Baldwin," since that's who he thought it was.  Down the street was Paley Park by Zion & Breen, and then we took a walk through St. Patrick's Cathedral by James Renwick, Jr.

Hearst Tower by Sir Norman Foster

Gratuitous fashion/non-architecture moment: Check out this black and white plaid Oscar de la Renta gown I spotted in the Saks window on 5th Ave.  Perfection.

Next up was our most touristy moment of the day: we actually forked over the money to go to the top of the Empire State Building (by Shreve, Lamb, & Harmon)-- or rather, to the 86th floor.  Here's a little tourist tip for you: it costs $25/adult to go to the 86th floor observation deck and $42/person (yes, seriously) to go up to the 102nd.  Save yourself the extra $17 and have a cocktail somewhere instead.

Nerd moment! Architectural drawings of the ESB

The view (featuring the Flatiron) from the 86th floor

By the end of the day we had walked from the Planetarium (81st St.) all the way down to our final destination for the day: the Flatiron Building by Daniel Burnham. The Flatiron was another must see stop on Alex's list. It's on 23rd St.-- that's 60 blocks of walking. It is also insanity. Needless to say, we earned that 2-hour gelato break in Madison Square Park afterward.

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