到過紐約幾次，都住在時代廣場附近。今次 Agoda 為我們挑選的 ROW NYC，建築物本身已是一幢有近百年歷史的酒店。近年再次翻新，成為一間擁有 1331 間房的時尚精品酒店，坐落 8th Ave 與 W45th Ave 交界，在房間已看到時代廣場的霓虹燈光。我們非購物型旅人，不逛時代廣場，只是電影看多了，總覺入夜後的紐約龍蛇混雜，晚上出入，還是人流多的地方比較安心。而且紐約多條地鐵線都貫穿時代廣場，往返 JFK 機場的巴士站也在附近，探訪朋友及四出覓食都極方便。
晚餐約了 Brooklyn 土生土長的朋友，我們異口同聲說要食薄餅。在香港，找一塊價錢合理而有水準的薄餅，難。朋友帶我們深入 Brooklyn 的 L&B Spumoni Gardens，那裡只賣一款西西里式（Sicillian）厚底茄汁薄餅，若要額外加料，則要一盤24件的買。我們點了無加料的半盤 12 件，21 美金。開盒時看見無肉無菜，平平無奇。一咬之下，才發現芝士藏在醬汁之下，焗出來的香味和韌度一流，融在上軟下脆的餅底。這種沒修飾的做餅技巧，簡單直接的好味。難怪朋友每次即場吃完半盤，再外賣半盤回家。因為這店很遠，但坐地鐵還是可以不轉線的直接返回時代廣場。
One World Observatory/Kimberlogic
September 11, 2001 was a devastating day in history for The United States of America. Many people lost their lives and many families have suffered. I have been to New York many times, but I always avoided visiting the financial district where the World Trade Towers used to stand. My trips to New York were fun and happy, I never wanted to bring the mood down by visiting empty city blocks or a memorial of an event that was still pretty fresh for most Americans.
Not having been back to the States for a few years, I finally made the trip to visit family and friends and check out some of my favourite places that I missed, New York City being one of them. We met some old friends for dinner and that night, they insisted we check out the World Trade Memorial and the One World Observatory. Of course, I was apprehensive about visiting the memorial and spending one of only a few of my holiday days like that, but because Ming Hay was curious and wanted to see it, so I agreed to go.
Although the design of the Memorial was a very controversial topic in the States for a long time, I found it beautiful. Two giant infinity fountains where the Towers used to stand with the victims’ names along the edges. It was a blustery, sunny, winter afternoon and in the middle of NYC, it seemed extremely quiet. After staring in to the endless fountains and paying our respects, we needed a “pick-me-up”, so we went over to the Observatory.
One World Observatory is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, so I knew I was in for a great view of the city, but what it delivered was beyond what I could have imagined! We started at a level underground where history of the building was shown next to exposed bedrock, giving the feeling of the foundation and untouched land, not an enormously developed city. Next, we entered an elevator to go to the 102nd floor. When it started moving, graphics appeared from the floor to the ceiling. The 60 second ride showed the development of NYC from the 1500’s until present day.
Upon exiting the elevator, stood in a dimly lit hallway to watch a short presentation. This presentation was a combination of bird’s eye views and time-lapse shots with abstract textures and patterns depicting the life and vibe of NYC. Without warning, the presentation ended and the screen shot up to the ceiling revealing the spectacular view of this amazingly beautiful and iconic city.
Our decision not to visit the 9/11 museum was a wise one. We had had a sombre enough morning staring into the infinity fountain memorial and our day was brightened back up with the experience of the One World Observatory. The highs and lows made for an extraordinary day and an experience I will never forget.