Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bright Lights, Big City!

I’m sorry it has taken so long to write but Keith and Kristin have been working very hard and I have been too busy exploring New York City!

Have I mentioned that New York City…or NYC…is SO cool?!

After Keith and Kristin finished their work yesterday afternoon, they took me to Times Square for dinner. WOW! I have never seen anything like Times Square. There are so many billboards, ads, bright lights, and interesting people that I could have spent all night in Times Square and only seen a small part of it. Here I am standing with Kristin in the center of Times Square. One of the large screens behind us shows NBC news.

Kristin says near the top of the building with the NBC screen is a giant ball. This ball is lighted and “dropped” several feet to mark New Years. She says millions of people stand in Times Square every year to see the giant ball drop. I think I am still too young to stay up to “ring in the New Year” as Kristin says but someday I want to see what this giant ball looks like.

Kristin says Times Square is the heart of NYC. It is called Times Square because the building that houses the New York Times newspaper is at one end of the square. But, Times Square isn’t really a square. I thought it would be like the square block around the Muscatine County Courthouse. But it is more like a long triangle. The street that runs through Times Square is called Broadway. Kristin says it is a very famous street. There are many theatres where actors perform plays and musicals all around Times Square. When someone says they are headed for Broadway…they are likely headed to the theatre. Who knew?

We didn’t go to any theatres last night but Keith and Kristin gave me a grand tour. We ate dinner at the Hard Rock Café. It is a famous restaurant chain that displays instruments, clothing, and other items from famous musicians. Keith says the one in Times Square is brand new. Kristin and Keith were amazed when we walked in because there was a large display case that included the suits worn by members of a band called the Beatles when they first visited New York in the 1960s. I don’t know anything about the Beatles but Keith and Kristin tell me they are one of the most famous bands ever. Who knew?

I liked the Hard Rock because they gave me crayons to color with while Keith and Kristin waited for their food. They also have bottles of Heinz Catsup on every table. I wonder if it was made in Muscatine?

After dinner Keith and Kristin showed me the ABC studio where they tape Good Morning America. Of course we weren’t there in the morning so no one was in the studio. But, the building has a neat sign that shows news and sports headlines. Kristin calls it a “news ticker” and she says she could stand for hours just watching the news headlines. I think this is boring.

We also walked past the NASDAQ building. It is REALLY neat! The whole front side of the building is like a giant computer screen. And as you can see in this picture, this large screen that displays pictures wraps partially around the building.

As we walked through Times Square I noticed a number of people eating large pretzels. Guess what, you can buy these pretzels and lots of other food right on the street! I have never seen such a thing. Here I am with Kristin by a pretzel cart.

Keith and Kristin saved the best part of the night for last. There is a HUGE Toys R’ Us Store near the middle of Times Square. It is the largest toy store I have ever seen! And guess what? There is a full-sized Ferris wheel like the one you can see at an amusement park INSIDE the store! Can you believe it? I was too scared to ride the Ferris wheel but you can see part of it behind Keith and me in this picture.

I have never seen SO many toys in my life. There is a large dinosaur that roars on the second floor. There is also a large Lego section. The Lego section includes large versions of famous New York City buildings like the Empire State Building. Kristin says it was once the tallest building in the world. I am told it is the same building King Kong climbs in the famous movie of the same name. Can you see me as I try to climb the Lego Empire State Building?

This store also has a very large candy store. I felt like Charlie in the movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But Kristin said I didn’t need any sweets so I settled for a picture with one of the characters in the candy area. Don’t you think this looks just like one of the figures in the game Candyland?

I could have stayed in Toys R’ Us forever but Kristin said we needed to get back to the hotel because it was WAY past my bedtime. Kristin did buy me a new stuffed toy. It is Geoffrey, the Toys R’ Us mascot. But this one is dressed up to look like the Statue of Liberty. I learned this is a famous monument here in New York that was given as a gift from France many years ago.

Keith says that some people call NYC “the city that never sleeps.” Well if I wasn’t SO tired, I wouldn’t sleep. There are way too many things to see here. But, I must have been very tired from my Times Square adventure because I was sound asleep before we got back to the hotel. So, Kristin tucked me into bed with Geoffrey.

Until next time…..