New York City in a Day - Our Perfect Whirlwind Tour

It seems anytime a travel magazine fails to sell a page or two of ads, they fill the open space with a short feature of "(Insert City Name Here) in a day." While I am far from the commando tourist, I usually read these filler pieces because they tend to highlight the best, most traveled spots in the various cities. I could never be the "tackle a city in a day" kind of guy, because my need for a nap around 3pm makes these itineraries more difficult. On a recent trip with my wife, however, I put aside my geriatric tendencies for what turned out to be the perfect day in New York City.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Rockefeller Center

The day started bright and early so we could do the ultimate tourist activity and visit the Today show. My wife is a loyal watcher on her days off, and I may have a slight man crush on Matt Lauer, so I was OK hanging with the sign waving crowd for a few minutes. Sadly, Matt was off for the day, but we did get to see Ann, Natalie, and Al do a quick segment before ducking back inside and out of the cold.
The Today Show Plaza
The Today Show Gang

Next up was our NBC studio tour, where we got to see the sets for Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Falon, and my personal favorite Nightly News. I asked the guide if I could sit at Brian's desk - Brilliams and I are on first name basis - but she politely declined. So I waited till she wasn't looking and did so anyway.
Hanging with Matt Lauer

After we were asked to leave the tour, we headed up to Top of the Rock. It was incredibly crowded and bitterly cold, but it was worth braving both for the spectacular view of the city. The observation deck at the Empire State Building might be good for those looking to recreate Sleepless in Seattle, but I think the view is better from Rockefeller Center. Oh and when you get on the elevator, be sure to look up...
Top of the Rock View
The View From Top of the Rock

We grabbed a quick snack before hopping on the metro for Lower Manhattan. After a quick stroll past Ground Zero and through Battery Park, we decided to walk across a portion of the Brooklyn Bridge. A friend had insisted we do this on on our trip, but warned us over and over to stay out of the bike lane. I couldn't resist the opportunity to live dangerously.
Brooklyn Bridge Bike Lane

Next we headed back uptown for a surprise stop I had on the itinerary. My wife and I were celebrating our first wedding anniversary, and I felt a stop at Tiffany's was appropriate. Before we left for New York I had purchased one of their "keys" for her, and had it waiting at their customer service. I had to think quick on my feet when she declined my suggestion of going inside, but luckily she bought my story of a "secret spot" inside I wanted to show her. Every girl should have something from Tiffany's, even if it is the 3rd cheapest thing in the store.
Tiffany's New York Sign
She's Smiling, Even Before We Went Inside

With my supply of brownie points fully stocked, we headed to The Met for a quick run through the museum. I really wish we had more time here, because we only got to see about 1/4 of the collection, but after hitting the highlights we headed for our next stop. After the obligatory picture sitting on the steps that is...
Steps of The Met

As daylight was beginning to fade we strolled through Central Park on our way back to the hotel and stopped at the ice skating rink. I'm from Florida, so ice skating isn't really my thing, but I managed to get around without falling once. Even if I did only propel myself with my right leg, while keeping my left foot firmly on the ice. This method works well when going counterclockwise, but not so much when they ask you to change directions.
Central Park Ice Skating Rink

The setting sun brought an end to our perfect day in New York City, but the best was yet to come. After a short stop at our hotel for my obligatory nap, our incredible day gave way to an even better night. But that's a story for another day...

~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~ 


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