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Manhattan, New York City is one unique city.  There are no real houses – just row houses and apartments.  There are no major department stores and not much grass except for the parks located around the borough. The hustle and bustle of the city is unparalleled by any other city I have ever visited.  Living in the openness of the Midwest, I felt like I stepped into a different universe when I arrived in Manhattan.  I loved it.

There was a delay in our flight to New York and arrived at our hotel close to midnight.  The three restaurants in our hotel were already closed and being the naive Midwesterner, was not sure about adventuring out at this hour.  We had brought some snacks with us and had decided to just eat those and we would have a good breakfast in the morning.  We asked the desk clerk if they had a ‘pop’ machine.  He looked at us funny and said no.  We walked away and said how could a hotel not have a pop machine.  We wandered around the hotel and found one.  The next morning. after a huge breakfast that we devoured, we began exploring the city.  We came upon one the infamous food carts and discovered to our amusement that it is soda and not pop.  No wonder the desk clerk did not know what we were talking about.

I was amazed at how much stuff I could buy without ever walking into a building.  There were food carts selling any kind of food you could imagine.  The newsstands, the grocery stores with displays on the side-walk, and the sole proprietor selling wares from a blanket spread on the sidewalk.  It started to sprinkle during our adventures and suddenly everyone had umbrellas for sale.  It was awesome.

I had purchased tickets to see the musical “Cats” which is the most amazing live performance I have ever witnessed.  The ‘cats’ were amazing – they were so flexible, the choreography was so cat-like.  I especially liked some of the cats wandered in the audience.  The costumes and make-up was unbelievable – I felt like I could dangle a string in front of them and they would play.  And who could ever forget the heart wrenching performance of “Memories?”  It was an unforgettable experience.

Actually, the whole trip was an unforgettable experience.  We did the tourist things – the boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty, getting lost in Central Park, and rode the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building.  We took a bus tour where we visited Chinatown, Little Italy, and Battery Park.  We drove through SoHo, the financial district,  past Rockefeller Center and the World Trade Center.  It was amazing to actually see all these places and things that I had only ever seen in pictures.  We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and window shopped at Trump Tower.  We even walked “The Great White Way” of Broadway. Truly an amazing experience.

That trip only consisted of Manhattan – we did not have time for Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, or Staten Island.  I would love to visit the other boroughs. I am sure they are as amazing as Manhattan. I would love to a New York native as a tour guide to find some of the lesser known places of the city.  Maybe someday.

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