What is the deal with this?

Lets be honest. We are the truest kind of BFFs. We met at Girls' Camp 1996 in St. Lou, survived high school and 2 years as roommates at BYU. Now, we find ourselves BOTH in NYC, which rocks, and as we contemplated how we should spend quality BFF time together - the answer seemed obvious. We must beebop the boroughs in matching purple hats every Saturday morning. Holla!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

21: Grand Central Terminal and East Midtown

This week we got the pleasure of perusing one of my favorite NY spots: Grand Central Station. We enjoyed the company of two fabulous guest beeboppers as well: Lauren and Darren. Lauren met Jill and I when we were crazy, wee 18 year-old freshman at BYU and I picked up friend Darren a bunch of years after that. Note about Laur: we were next door neighbs for two years in Utah and roommates for four. Her visit was a fantastic reunion; nine months without her caused some major miss-age. It was alright to see Darren, too.

Disclaimer: Having just finished posting - I feel that you need to be warned. I am in a very chatty mood. Consequently, this post is absurdly long and ridiculously wordy. I am being truthful - it is kind of an outrage just how long and just how wordy.

This is Laur and I in front of the train schedule board thing. You know those cool boards where the numbers and letters flip around and make the clickity sound as they update every few minutes? This board is unfortunately not one of those. Still cool, though.

This is the main information booth, the recognizable 4-faced clock sitting atop of it. Fascinating facts: the four clock-faces are made of opal, and Sotheby's estimates the clock to be worth between 10 and 20 million smackers. I feel like it is something Carmen SanDiego might try to swipe.

I commented that whenever I am meeting someone in Grand Central, we typically choose the clock as our meeting spot. Laur had this really great idea to do a dramatic role play where she would come up to Jill as if Jill had been waiting for her. We captured the moment where L realizes that this idea is not great. Jill knew the whole time.

Yep - I love NY Tourism. It brings my friends to visit me.

The ceiling of the main concourse at GC shows many constellations in the night sky. It was painted by French artist Paul Cesar Helleu in 1912, before the station was completed in 1913. Let's be real - it is the bomb. In 1998 they completed a restoration of the ceiling because it had been made beyond disgusting by tar from 86 years of cigarette and cigar smoke. Gross.

Here is another view of the main concourse. The card informs us that it is 470 feet long, 160 feet wide, 150 feet high, that it is modeled after Roman baths and that my skin is so white that its almost opaque.

BFFs posing on one end of the concourse. Because I love numbers and there is nothing else to say about this picture, I will share some interesting GC stats. Approximately 125,000 commuters bust through this station every day (plus an extra 375,000 other people). I am not sure if you realize -- but that is an obscenely humongous number. A million people tread through there every two days! If we had not gone, it would have only been 999,996. Such a difference we make!

Darren and I are purchasing tickets to take one of the 660 trains that go through Grand Central. We have to be quick, because 98% of the trains run on time.

Here we are in front of Grand Central Market, which we love. However - we visit there again in like five pictures, so I will get back to it.

Darren and I are excited to enter the Dining Concourse where there is all kinds of tasty food and also bathrooms. Jill was adamant that we use this spoon in the picture. It was in her purse - probably just in case she has an emergency that requires her to eat pudding.

A lovely chandelier, which must be accompanied by a lovely fact. There are about 19,000 items in the GC lost and found! Nuts. Quick story: I am constantly (CONSTANTLY) losing umbrellas. I think I have lost every single one I have ever possessed within a week of purchasing it. Anyway - when I was in college, I finally got sick and tired of walking home in the rain and so I devised a scheme. If I found myself sans umbrella, I hit up the lost and found claiming that I had misplaced a black umbrella (This is not a lie, really. I had indeed lost many dozens of black umbrellas while at BYU). Anyway - they always, always came through for me. If you find yourself in GC with no protection from the pouring rain - remember this tale.

Jill's fishy friend is whispering something to her. I cannot hear what he is saying.

OH - he wants to meet her at the Oyster Bar! It just happens to be the oldest restaurant in Grand Central - having opened in 1913.

Jill and L are resting on a very cute seat in the Dining Concourse right in front of Dishes. (p.s. Dishes has outrageously tasty rice puddin... ooh - good thing Jill has her spoon)

This man is proposing to the MTA Subway map. In lieu of a ring, he has a venti latte.

We are back at the market.

They sell tons of tasty food and also a lot of nappy, stank fish. Apparently many restaurants in the city buy their seafood from this market, because it is extremely fresh. It smells extremely fresh.

Lots of spices. Apparently, I am disgusted by oregano.

We love treats almost more than we love some members of our own families. Bonnie never was very nice anyway. :)

There are some really janky looking sausages in the background of this picture. Jill is humoring me.

It was necessary to take Laur's picture in front of the bakery, because she has a deep love for bread. She is quite the carb-avore.

From carb-ivore to carnivore. Fact: Darren actually does like bacon more than he likes some members of his family.

This upside down tree chandelier is gorgeous. It is at the end of the market, and we are at the end of our time in Grand Central. Don't worry - there is still more.

We actually covered two cards today - thinking that we would be speedy in Grand Central. We were not. Can you name this building??

You were right! The Chrysler Building is the third tallest building in NYC and the tallest brick building in the world. I was completely unaware until this moment that it was made of brick.
By the way - this walk is taking us from Grand Central all the way down 42nd Street to the east edge of the island.

Enjoy some Chrysler Building facts.

I am bursting with excitement to see the Chanin Building.

The Chanin Building, built in 1929, was designed by Sloan & Robertson in the Art Deco style. It really is quite lovely.

Just bein' a gangsta.

Lauren has this great skill where she can heel click on both the right AND left sides. As she clicked her way down an entire block, Jill caught her going right.

There was a cute little fountain (I love, love and love fountains) outside of one building, and after noticing coins in the bottom, we just had to stop and make wishes.

Quirky Darren tosses in his penny. He is probably wishing that one of the girls he is with will want to date him. He probably should have wished for a cookie or something.

Jill and I wishing together. (I realize that I have already wished - but as I tossed in the coin the first time, I forgot to wish. A redo was definitely in order.)

More lions. Fierce.

You know, The News. This building is home to the New York Daily News, the 5th most-widely circulated daily newspaper in the U.S. Holla.

This beautiful line of American flags needed to be captured. This picture is dedicated to our American Idol favorite, David Archuleta, for his fabulous rendition of "We're Comin' to America." We did sing that song for about 10 minutes of this walk.

Additional info: Today Jill gchatted me with a humorous tidbit from the Washington Post. On the opinion page, our little American Idol superstar was referred to as "David 'Baby Elmo' Archuleta." Hilarious.

Another sweet shot of the Chrysler Building, which was designed by William Van Alen and completed in 1930.

This is the Ford Foundation's "modernist jewelbox." The card says that the building "discreetly shelters assets of a billion or so." I am wondering where they heck they are hiding all of the jewels.

AND - As we have already established - I am unintentionally a show-stealing narcissist.

This is a picture of one of the parks near Tudor City, "an elevated redoubt of 12 apartment houses with names such as 'The Cloister' and 'The Manor.'"

Three pals in Tudor City. Love the candid shot.

This park actually looked more lovely than it actually is. They strategically place these beautiful tulips at the corner of the park to lure in passersby. Once inside - there is only grass and approximately 3 shrubs. Nice, but definitely falsely advertised.

Tudor City - built in the mid 1920's. Apparently, it used to be a neighborhood of slaughterhouses and breweries and gangs. Now - it is quiet and nice, and appeals more to the likes of the Apple-Dumpling Gang.

This scripture was on the wall along the stairs leading down to the United Nations. First off - it is a HUGE engraving. Second - we thought it was sort of excellent.

The United Nations! Usually the UN is a much prettier place (or so we hear). The many flags that are usually waving outside in the wind were not out. Hopefully they will be out when we are back at the UN for one of our upcoming walks.

That being said - we have reached the end. Booya.


Anonymous said...

Looks fun. Did you try out the whispering arches outside the Oyster Bar? (You whisper into one side of the archway and the person on the other side can hear you.)

Carla said...

Meggie, Nice and informative this time, I really liked this walk, thanks! Good talking to you the other day.

Me said...

I laughed so hard at some of your captions! Nice job! Gotta luv GC--much better than Penn :) Especially the ceilings! I like the Crysler building too! Nice walk this week. Ahhh--wish I was there too!

Carolyn said...

Another great Post. As always I loved the pics.

I also enjoyed learning about the buildings of New York.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you said that Bonnie has never been nice! That is outrageous. She has always been and will always be my most favorite Shirk! You should apologize to her and buy her one of those tasty looking cakes when she comes to visit you. Megan, I am appalled!

The Shark said...

Archuleta's rendition of "Coming to America" was the butt. He sissified an otherwise-manly and fantastic song!

To be honest, though, I felt that nobody really did any justice to Neil Diamond that night. They (mostly) all had potential to do great, but I think each contestant picked lousy songs to cover.

The Shark said...

*Correction, the songs themselves are not lousy, rather the specific RENDITIONS were lousy because they were mis-matched.

Me said...

whoop whoop. i was a bee-bopper

Unknown said...

I used to work in NYC and cross the Empire State Building never haa chance to climmb...did u guys went up ?

amberd. said...

Hey purple bee bopper girlie - You are hi-freaking-larious! I love to come to your blog and read! I hope you and Bon Bon have fun in NYC! Are you gonna take Bonnie with you out into the barios? Teehehhe.

-Craig and Amber Dahle

Anonymous said...

While reading your post, I almost spit out a mouthful of orange juice due to spontaneous laughter. Luckily, I was able to suppress a full-blown guffaw; unfortunately a chortle still escaped, along with a few drops of OJ onto the keyboard. Maybe you gals should be more careful with the way you wield your humour.


Nice blog, I enjoy reading it each week. All the best to you ladies.

AnnieC13 said...

You should have dinner at The Capital Grille (where you posed with the lions). Great steak! Yummy onion rings!

D said...

I have many lovely picture and videos that I would like to contribute to a blog addendum if that would be possible. I pretty much just like other people to talk about me.

Rennie said...

Dear Megan and Jill,
I am Kelly Simonson's mom, Rennie. Although I've never met you Megan, I know Jill's mom, Anne, from when I lived in St. Louis in 1988-89. And of course...I've heard tons about Megan from Kelly! I grew up in NY and love it. I love seeing the city from your eyes! I think its awesome that you're so funny, smart and informed! I totally e-mailed Regis Philbin about you guys!!!! I think you should be on Live with Regis and Kelly and talk about your blog and your experiences in NYC!!!!!! Looking forward to seeing more.

Andrea said...

Loved reading this! I have always wanted to visit New York-now I have in a cyber-sort-of-way :)


Cody and Danica said...

hi. You don't know me but I am Rustin's little sister and we are coming out there next week. I just have a question for you- do you know of any places that sell material for cheap? Like a place with overwhelming amounts of fabric? I know its a stupid question but maybe you have a suggestion. Thanks. Danica

homemade by jill said...

Hi Danica,

There are plenty of stores here with overwhelming amounts of fabric, but none that I know of that are cheap. You'll have to explore the fabric district a bit (mostly between 7th & 8th Aves on 39th and 40th Streets). Here is a guide that I've used before that summarizes many of the stores (although this list is somewhat out of date since it was compiled in 2004):


good luck!

LeAnne said...

Your explorations of NYC crack me up..seriouly I am laughing out loud. It made my Tuesday-that-so-feels-like-an-uber-long-Monday go by a little quicker.

You should co-author your own walking guide to NYC. I'd buy it! It would be so great! When I go to NYC with my BFF, we will look to your blog for guidance.