Sunday, December 19, 2010

City Guide Part 11

As we walked along Central Park South, with the park to our left,
and the impressive Plaza Hotel to our right we came across several art
vendors. These vendors were not selling original and unique pieces of
art. They were selling refrigerator magnets and small unframed mass
printed photographs. I was not impressed. It seemed as if every other
vendor was selling the same thing. The sidewalk was packed with
people. It was difficult to pass between the crowds of tourists. We
eventually made our way out of the crowds and emerged in Grand Army

The main feature of Grand Army Plaza, is a large gold colored statue
of General William Sherman on a horse being led by an angelic figure.
Beyond the statue, and across 5th Avenue, stood the glass entrance to
the flagship Apple store. After first seeing a photo of the glass
Apple Cube, I assumed the whole store was inside that Cube. But I now
realized The Cube is simply a fancy entrance to the actual underground
store. There was a small line of people waiting to visit the store.
Mom and Dad opted out of the line, and decided to wait for Scott and me
among the dozens of chairs and tables outside. After descending the
stairs and entering the main retail area, Scott and I realized that this

store was no more special than any other computer store. We browsed
the merchandise, blending in with homeless people checking their emails
at the demo computers. We soon decided to walk back up the stairs and out of the Cube.

Dad and Mom were enjoying the fresh air outside. Behind them, I
noticed the main entrance to the FAO Schwarz store.

The FAO Schwarz store, along with the 5th avenue Apple store were
grandiose institutions in my imagination. As I neared the front door
to the building, my anticipation of the most fabulous toy store in the
world grew. I was greeted by a friendly doorman dressed as a toy
soldier. And as I stepped inside, I quickly scanned the front showroom
for amazing toys. I was quickly disappointed when most of what I saw
in the store were plush toys and candy. After I gave up trying to find
the actual toys, I began to notice the detail of the stuffed
creatures. Most were incredible in size and full of character. Some of
the items could not fit into a normal sized bedroom.

With my preemptive 5th Avenue Retail expectations lowered, we exited
the FAO Schwarz store and walked down 5th avenue toward the looming
Trump Tower.

Continued in Part 12

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