Skipping the subway for the most part on Day 5, we hoofed it around Times Square and did some shopping before heading off to Grand Central Station.  There’s a three-story M&M’s store on Times Square that Connie wanted to visit and ended up LOVING.  Selling specialty M&M’s and the like, we had to stop by our hotel and drop off the gifts that we bought lest we carry them around all day.

Inside the M&M's store...Connie moved quickly from chocolatey display to chocolately display
Inside the M&M’s store…Connie moved quickly from chocolatey display to chocolately display

Fortunately for us the weather was really nice while we were in NYC so walking to our destinations wasn’t an issue.  We stopped by the NYC Public Library and Grand Central Station for a look see.  They’re quite grand, as you can see by the photos below though we had spotted some food trucks along our walk and decided to head back to them and give them a try.

A ceiling mural at the NY public library
A ceiling mural at the NY public library
Lobby of the NY public library
Lobby of the NY public library
I'm a big fan...
I’m a big fan…

I had made up my mind going into this vacation to try new and different foods, which is totally out of character for me.  I settled on an Israeli vegetarian dish from the Shunka truck while Connie went to different truck and tried out their Mexican braised rib tacos.  The trucks, maybe around eight of them, were lined up next to a plaza nestled between tall buildings.  In the shade of those concrete and steel giants with a wonderful leafy canopy we claimed a small table for two and tried out our culinary treats.

The plaza where we hunkered down for some delicious food truck treats.  The guys in the middle of this photo were having an animated discussion, busting each other,  in their New York accents.  It was fun eavesdropping on them, you could tell that they were good friends.
The plaza where we hunkered down for some delicious food truck treats. The guys in the middle of this photo were having an animated discussion, busting each other, in their New York accents. It was fun eavesdropping on them, you could tell that they were good friends.
My meal.  A vegetarian dish called shakshuka.
My meal. A vegetarian dish called shakshuka.

My dish, which was basically a tomato-type stew that tasted like a spicy Mainara sauce, containing two poached eggs.  Its called Shakshuka and I wasted no time spilling some on my shorts. That, along with some unleavened bread and some kettle chips, made for an interesting meal.  I don’t think that I’d go out of my way to have it again, I certainty didn’t regret eating it….as I polished it off with no problem.  Connie’s braised rib tacos were really good, probably the better of the two dishes.

While moseying around we passed countless shops and business’s.  Shortly after we arrived in NYC I saw  a cool looking tee-shirt that I wanted to buy, but not right then.  I thought to myself “everyone probably sells these shirts so I’ll just wait until we’re closer to our hotel and buy it then…“.  Well….that shop was the only one that had that shirt and I didn’t like any of the other souvenir shop shirts BUT I couldn’t remember where that original shirt shop was, so we casually went on a souvenir shirt shop search.  I’ll wager that we visited at least twelve or more tee-shirt shops while we were in NYC and none of them came close to the one that I really wanted.  As we searched in vain the legend of that once seen but never forgotten shirt grew to mythical proportions.  Long story short, we never found the shop nor the shirt BUT I found some funny signs along the way, because I swear we walked twenty miles looking for it.

HHmmm...this WAS a window and flooring place.
HHmmm…this WAS a window and flooring place.
This wall advertisement used to read "Rooms $1.00.  With bath $1.50".  Just off Times Square...our room had a bath...but they wouldn't honor the advertised price.
This wall advertisement used to read “Rooms $1.00. With bath $1.50”. Just off Times Square…our room had a bath…but they wouldn’t honor the advertised price.
The Psychic Deli...where you walk in and they've already got your sandwich made and sitting on the counter for you.  Dead serious.  I walked in and they had  peanut butter and salami on rye ready for me to pick up.  Its a New York MUST SEE!!
The Psychic Deli…where you walk in and they’ve already got your sandwich made and sitting on the counter for you. Dead serious. I walked in and they had peanut butter and salami on rye ready for me to pick up. Its a New York MUST SEE!!
Okay...what?  How...?  I'm no bovine expert but how do they.....?
Okay…what? How…? I’m no bovine expert but how do they…..?
"...more powerful than a locomotive..."  Even though I lost the race the other commuters gave me a rousing ovation for my coming in a "close second" to the southbound B line to Coney Island.  Maybe next year...until then...I'll stick to racing against combines.
“…more powerful than a locomotive…” Even though I lost the race the other commuters gave me a rousing ovation for my coming in a “close second” to the southbound B line to Coney Island. Maybe next year…until then…I’ll stick to racing against combines.

 

We ate at the Shake Shack were they make and sell delicious burgers and shakes.  The line to get into the place was about thirty people long though it moved along quickly and we ordered within ten minutes of getting in line.

We didn't win TWO World Wars for some pencil pusher to tell me where NOT to stand.
We didn’t win TWO World Wars for some pencil pusher to tell me where NOT to stand.
Can you find the "Connie"?  If you're going to a Broadway show you can buy same day tickets at half price at the Ticker Center in the middle of Times Square.  Get there at least an hour before they go on sale.
Can you find the “Connie”? If you’re going to a Broadway show you can buy same day tickets at half price at the Ticker Center in the middle of Times Square. Get there at least an hour before they go on sale.

Coming to NYC was Connie’s idea.  So was going to a Broadway show.  While I don’t mind going to a play, in fact I like going to plays, the idea of sitting through a play where the actors sing drives me NUTS.  We bought our tickets and went to see Kinky Boots, where I liked one song out of the many that they sang.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate their talent, dancing, singing and whatnot….but just say your lines and keep it moving.

Even though I'm packing a little extra weight this summer I've put it to work in all the right places.
Even though I’m packing a little extra weight this summer I’ve put it to work in all the right places
Inside the theater
Inside the theater
Times Square
Times Square

In one of the funnier moments of the trip I observed the following.  We were in Times Square.  It was packed.  Middle of the afternoon.  Thousands of things, sights and people to look at, but this one guy caught my attention.  Some construction crews were putting on the finishing touches of a new sidewalk that was blocked off by concrete barriers and orange plastic fencing.  The construction workers, on their hands and knees, were chalking the seams of the sidewalk and generally working hard.  One tourist, a well groomed older man in his sixties with camera around his neck, leaned on a concrete barrier and intently watched the workers go about their jobs.  There were a million other things for this tourist to look at and experience but he chose to focus on the mundane tasks of the concrete guy.  For whatever reason…that moment made me chuckle as the old guy ignored the grand and obvious for the routine and yeoman-like task of the worker

With one more day left in NYC we’ll head out tomorrow with no agenda, just cameras in hand and an appetite for pancakes.  Until then…God Bless and have a great Fourth of July!

 

R

 

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