After being on a ranch in the desert, we decided it was time to see some civilization again, so on April 13th, 2005 we flew from Salt Lake City to New York City's JFK airport. We met my sister Laura and her husband Woody there and spent 5 great days in Manhattan.

Leaving Salt Lake City, we flew over the Great Salt Lake. The level there is at the low end of the cycle right now, the surface of the lake being 4,196 feet above sea level. In 1963 it was at 4,191 feet and in 1987 it got to 4,212 feet above sea level. The average is 4,200 feet. These changes are pretty minor but when the lake drops a foot or two, it exposes a lot of ground, as the average depth of the lake is only 14 inches! At maximum height, the area is 3,300 square miles. The average is about 1,700 square miles, and at the minimum level the lake only covers 950 square miles. Anyway, I never remember seeing it so low and so you can see in this aerial photo the large expanse of dry lake bed just above and below the wing.

The salinity of the lake changes from 6%, at the highest level, to 27% at the lowest level. When it is very salty you float almost on top of the water.

After a bumpy flight we made it to our hotel in Manhattan, The Plaza Hotel. We had a great view of Central Park through our small window.

Our first night on the town took us to Times Square. We ended up searching for some restaurants which are no longer around. We found Tad's Steaks and went there. It was a cafeteria style steakhouse where two steak dinners with potatoes, salads and drinks only cost $26. Not bad.

The next day we went to the Harold Square area at 34th and Broadway. I liked these Verizon yellow telephones.

Next we went up to the top of the Empire State Building. It was Laura & Woody's first time to NYC so we had to see this classic view of the world. Here are Laura & Woody with the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the distance. Built in 1964, it was the longest suspension span in the world at 4,260 feet, although it is now in second place to the Humber Bridge in England. It goes from Brooklyn to Staten Island.

We we are having fun 1,211 feet high above the ground. The top of the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet tall, and if you add the antenna it is 1,455 feet tall. It is the tallest building in NYC once again. It was built in 1931 and was the tallest until the World Trade Center was built in 1970 (1368' and 1362'). The Chrysler building (built in 1930) is the next tallest at 1,046 feet tall.

Here is the view looking south from the top of the Empire State Building. The Statue of Liberty can be seen in the right rear at the mouth of the Hudson River. The river to the left is called the East River. The Flatiron building (built in 1902, 285' tall) can be seen down at the bottom where 5th Avenue, Broadway, and East 22nd Street all come together. It has a large ad banner on the edge of it at the moment, unfortunately, but it is a very neat building.

After the Empire State Building we went to Macy's, billed as the world's largest department store. We bought a lot of ties there, including a Donald Trump purple tie. Macy's has unusual wooden escalators for moving between the ten floors of shopping. Also at Macy's? Ten different restaurants including McDonalds and Au Bon Pain.

We had many good meals, including Morrocean food at Barbes, breakfast at Raffles, and a terrific dinner at O'Neals, but the tastiest thing I ate was right here at a street vendor in Wall Street: a lamb gyro. Wow it was good, and only $3.50!

We then took a free ride on the Staten Island ferry. Here you can see the never ending construction, this time on the waterfront. Note the Statue of Liberty in the left rear.

Out on the water it was a beautiful day: no clouds at all for 5 days, just clear and sunny with temperatures in the 50s, 60s, and on the last day, 70s, which are perfect temps for all of the walking that we did. Note the Statue of Libery in the right rear. Ha!

The Staten Island Ferry docked and then we walked over and got in the ferry seen here. These Catholic school girls had fun hiding from the nun that was with them, which was interesting to see.

This is the building at 17 State Street in the Financial District, built in 1988. 41 stories and 542 feet tall. I like it.

This Beaux Arts building is the Custom House, built in 1899 to 1907. It is now a museum. It reminded us of a building like it in Munich. Beth really likes this building.

We rode the great NYC Subways a lot. They have a 7 day all-you-can-ride pass for $24 which we got. Laura really enjoyed, as we all did, the people that you see on the subway.

Back to the Plaza Hotel.

It is a beautiful building, built in 1907.

Our second full day in the city took Beth and I to SoHo while Laura & Woody went and saw the museums near Central Park. We stopped in SoHo briefly the first day and enjoyed it so much we wanted to come back for more - more shopping! I sure miss having a Crate & Barrel around - they have great glassware.

This is the Apple store in SoHo. It is a renovated US Post Office, formerly known as Station A. I got a new neoprene case for my iPod Photo here.

Katie's Papiere is a great store full of paper of all kinds. I bought several pads of graph paper.

We got Beth a new Coach purse at the Coach store, and I got a new Victorinox pocket knife or two.

I saw my second Maybach, a fancy Mercedes S600 with more rear seat everything. It was not in the 5th Avenue Trump Tower area, but in SoHo.

That night we went on a ride in Central Park in a horsedrawn carriage. The driver is from Istanbul Turkey and he is going to business school in NYC and drives a carriage at night.

Here's the Plaza Hotel at night.

On Saturday evening we went to the opera. When we came up out of the subway our first view was of the new temple in Manhattan. It also serves as a Stake Center.

We had dinner at O'Neals and then walked over to Lincoln Center for the Metropolitan Opera.

Laura especially enjoyed the opera, Mozart's Don Giovanni.

The next day was glorious, but it was time to leave.

The flight home was on a 767 and we had a nice view and a smoother ride home.

I had a cranberry apple drink on the plane. Beth's digital camera does a great job on photos!

Back to this site's home page.

Created:  29 Apr 2005
Modified: 12 Feb 2009