Day 04: Showing Robert the city we love

The fine weather has given way to some sleeting rain, it’s cold and dark this morning. We’ve planned to meet Robert at his hotel and help him get familiar with the city, as well as catchup with Bob, our good friend.

We head up town to Robert’s hotel and he is ready and waiting to go and we walk across town and further up town to meet Bob. On our way we stop in at a T-mobile shop and sort a SIM card for Roberts’s phone.  We continue our walk.  Robert is taking in the city, amazed at its size and how busy everything is.  I remember that feeling, our first morning in NYC in 2010. The size, the swarm of people, the noise: sirens, horns, jackhammers. They all come together in a symphony that makes NYC what it is.a bustling metropolis where you can lose ourself for a few weeks a year, something we’ve done for many years now. We love it and I hope our love for this place rubs off on Robert as he explores, wide eyed around us.

We pop into shops here and there and Robert takes some photos as we zig zag our way from 51st to 59th and across from 2nd to 5th

As we hit 5th Avenue we start to pass the high end shops.  Prada, Gucci, Tiffany, Hublot, Omega.  We pass Trump Tower and Robert is amazed at its size.

We stop and wait outside the Apple Cube on 59th for Bob. The rain, drizzle, sleet, falls slowly as the traffic crawls down 5th Avenue.  The junction here is particularly busy with the Plaza Hotel oozing its opulence across the road from us and where Central Park begins is sprawl 60 blocks to the north.I point out a few sites to Robert and he takes some photos.

Bob’s voice enters our consciousness as he appears out of the haze. We warmly greet him and introduce Robert. We chat eagerly for a bit, ignoring the soaking drizzle, before finding somewhere warm and inside where we settle in for 90 minutes. We grab a burger while we are chatting and catch each other up on our respective worlds. Robert listens intently to the conversation, asking questions about New York and politics.

Bob eventually heads off, he’s got a Woolworth Building tour to run, and we are heading up to the Natural History Museum. We catch the subway up town and battle with a ticket machine to the museum for ten minutes before giving up and getting in line for a ticket from a real person. We enter the labyrinth and despite this being our fifty visit, we get lost! The long hallways, staircases, interlocking buildings, lifts and gifts shops all hinder our expedition. We eventually get ourselves sorted and enter the planetarium and look at meteor fragments and a host of other celestial objects. We then move upstairs and watch a video on the Dark Universe and Dark Matter, presented by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

We then move to the butterfly exhibit. It is mesmerising. We’ve never done it before for whatever reason. Proof that we discover something new every visit!  The exhibit is full of magnificent butterflies. The colours are vibrant, the staff knowledgeable and passionate. The butterflies seem to float around you as their wings feverishly best to keep them up. Mardi points out some colourful ones taking it easy eating or resting, which allows me to take some photos. The three of us are in a trance like state as these gorgeous creatures flutter away their day. We eventually drag ourselves away and continue our expedition.

For the next few hours we travel 65 million years back in time, across continents, into forests and descend to the depths of the ocean.

We then conclude our day with a special T-Rex exhibit. I become a T-Rex scientist for a while and using a VR headset put a T-Rex skeleton together. It’s a bit of fun.

We leave the museum after closing time and take Robert to mid town to show him our hotel and times square. The lights, crowd, noise and intensity of Times Square astounds Robert. We chat for a while before I take him to a guitar shop. He’s a bit of a whizz on a Fender. We’ve only got a few minutes before dinner, so he has a quick look, vowing yo return.

We then catch up with Mardi for some American BBQ at Virgils. After a good feed, we head home. Robert heads off to his hotel up town.

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