Sunday, December 19, 2010

City Guide Part 12

It was late Saturday afternoon, and window shoppers were in full force, eyeing the delicate and edgy window displays along 5th Avenue. One display that caught my attention was in the window of Louis Vuitton. A glass lined exhibition reflected light from dozens of multi colored florescent tubes which enveloped the newest line of merchandise. The display at Tiffany & Company made me feel as if I was peering in at a queen's personal jewelry collection. Soon, we arrived at The Trump Tower, and recognized its setting for "The Apprentice" television program. The entrance is a fixture in the progression of the show. Typically, the losing contestant leaves the building, walks across the sidewalk and is let in to a waiting cab. We reversed this pattern and walked from the street into the brilliance of the main atrium. The building was built in the early 80's and the period style was plain to see. Gold, orange and brown dominate the building's public areas. A five story waterfall cascades down the far wall of the building. We rode a series of escalators where we absorbed the peaceful experience of standing at the top of the waterfall. After collecting ourselves in the tranquil surroundings, we continued down 5th Avenue.

After walking several blocks, we found a subway station and headed back to the hotel in Queens. Back at the hotel, Mom and Dad chose to call it a day. Although Scott and I were tired, we wanted to take the train to the far end of the #7 line to the site of the 1964 World's Fair at Flushing Meadows. The train stopped many times along the way, but we finally made it to the end of the line. We got out and ran up the stairs to find a teeming neighborhood where everything was written in Korean . Although it was not what I was expecting, I was amazed at how concentrated the Korean culture was here. Scott soon reminded me that our original plan was to visit the World's Fair Unisphere and not Korea Town. We found our way back to the train and took the short trip back to the second to last station at Shea Stadium. Unlike the Korea Town station, this one was deserted; when we exited, we were all alone. We could see the Unisphere looming across the park. Dusk closed around us as we stood in the center of the enormous fountain. After a short time at the Unisphere, we walked back to the station. Although it was now very dark, there were many families with children and pets making the most of a warm Saturday night at the park. When we got back to the train station, we noticed a group of people crowded in a corner of the raised platform. I could tell they were watching the Met's game inside Shea Stadium. Scott and I walked over and found a spot among the fans and watched the last innings of the game. When the Met's were up to bat, one of the players hit a triple. I could feel the crowd's excitement as cheering boomed out from the stadium. When the game was over, Scott and I rushed to the train to beat the crowds. But our haste to leave the station before the crowd was in vain. The train engineer waited for all the cars to fill to maximum before the train left. On the ride back to the hotel, I thought of the soon demise of Shea Stadium. In just a few months, the Stadium would be razed to make room for a new venue. I thought of the people we joined on the platform watching the game from a distance, and wondered if people stood on the same platform in 1965 when The Beatles made their inaugural North American Tour.

The train was still fairly crowded when we reached our hotel stop in Queens.

Continued in Part 13

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