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June 2012
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New York, New York Start Spreading the News . . . I Want To Be Part Of It New York, New York

Story by Jenna Wise Photos by Harold Leath

Yes, as the famous song says, you must leave today - or sometime soon. Put on your "vagabond shoes" and go to the "very heart of the city." There are many ways to go - take a tour, drive or fly - just wake up and enjoy the "city that never sleeps."

You will want to take a great big bite of the Big Apple while you are there. I personally chose to take a bus tour designed to see two Broadway plays while also squeezing in some of the most popular sights in a quick six-day whirl. Hold on tight while I take you on my adventure, and then choose how you want to see if it is true that "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere."

Being on a bus tour, we drove across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, of course, before even arriving at our destination. And, I absolutely loved every minute of that time. It helped that I was lucky to have a seat near the front with a panoramic view - and, lucky that Jane Julian (www.janesjouneys.com) had interesting stops and activities planned. While playing bingo I won some silver dollars and started making new friends before we went through the Lincoln Tunnel or saw the first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

Before we could say Frank Sinatra, we were unloading at our convenient-to-everything lodging, The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel; eating dinner at Carmines (bet you have heard of that interesting restaurant) and were heading to the first Broadway musical of the tour, Tony-winning "An American in Paris," showing at The Palace Theatre. Yes, The Palace is as ornate and beautiful as you remember or have heard.

King of the hill . . .

The next day's plan was ambitious, but exciting: seeing and learning more than can be imagined from our "step-on" city guide who joined our group to teach us about our "new city" of New York while we traveled to Battery Park to board the ferry for a cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

If you have a chance to climb, or ride an elevator, to the observation deck at Miss Liberty, please do it. Also, go visit Ellis Island - what an awesome place. It has interesting architecture and is such an important part of our country's history.

The list of places on our afternoon drive-by tour of Lower Manhattan was so awesome. The names roll off your tongue like a U.S. history book: Greenwich Village, China Town, SoHo, Little Italy, Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, Washington Square and St. Paul's Chapel.

The stop at 9/11 Memorial is almost hard to describe because it is often emotional for visitors, but it is a worthy memorial and tribute to the sad events of Sept. 11, 2001, as well as it is to Feb. 26, 1993. The names of every person who died in events of those two days are inscribed on memorial pools there.

The finish of that big day was going to a fine dinner at Pigalle's Restaurant before going to another Broadway musical, "On the Town."

Top of the heap . . .

Starting with another informational and fun bus tour - to Mid Town this time - we got to see the Empire State Building and more, before actually getting off the bus to walk around Radio City Music Hall, and then go to ride the elevator to the "Top of the Rock" for amazing views of Central Park and much of the city. How fortunate that there just happened to be a parade that day and we got to be part of the crowd right across from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

The day just got better and better as we departed for carriage rides in Central Park before heading to Chelsea Pier to board the Spirit Cruise for dinner and entertainment with beautifully lit views of New York City at night.

Just when some folks thought the tour was over, there was another nice drive home with an overnight's stay at beautiful Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark, Ohio; that is considered by some folks to be a destination all by itself.

It's up to you New York, New York

Let's see: Lower Town and Mid Town; dinner cruise and interesting restaurants; musicals and a parade; carriage rides and the ferry -- plus, getting to stay in a beautiful lodge on the way home. And, do not forget, if you ask anybody else who has gone to New York, they will have more suggestions and ideas of what else they think you should do.

It sounds as if there is not much more to think about. Start packing your bags and head to New York.


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