Warning:  If you’ve been to New York city more than once, your reaction to everything I say here will probably be something like “Well, duh!”  But I visited the Big Apple for the first time this past week!  I even thought of calling this post “Popping My New York Ch….”  Well, you get the idea.  Might not have been too well received.

My wife was going there for a one-day conference, so we decided to make a vacation of it.  We actually stayed in a hotel about a half-block from Times Square, which wasn’t cheap.  Of course, nothing in NYC is cheap.  So if you’ve never been there, the images of Times Square you see don’t do justice to the fact that it pretty much looks like daylight all the time.

OK, that picture was taken during actual daylight, but believe me, at night it was just about as bright.  Especially if one of the billboards would change to a mostly white pic.  It’s like you’re in a room full of people all screaming really loudly for your attention!  In fact, besides the billboards, there are a lot of actual people screaming for your attention.

We might’ve been in a great location, but the view from our hotel room could’ve used a little work.

We checked out the Empire State Building, which was the tallest building in the world when it was built — a title it lost in 1970.  But it’s still pretty freakin’ tall.  On Thursday when we were there, the view down wasn’t much, but it was kind of a cool view UP from the observatory to the tippy top.

Here’s me in the observatory doing what I do best — sitting on my butt while hard work goes on all around me.

On a more serious note, we visited the 911 Memorial Museum and took a guided tour.  The tour guide took the information very seriously as he ran down a lot of details of the attacks and their aftermath.  Here’s one of the first responder firetrucks.  Nothing came out of that unscathed.

We also took a ferry tour and got a nice glimpse of Madame Blue.

I did have one stereotypical New York experience, though I’m not sure it can be blamed on New York.  I bought a ticket to a show on a third party website and it turned out to be counterfeit.  Which sucked, but at least I quickly got a refund.

Friday morning, it was finally time to head back to good old Chicagoland, but it was nice to take back a piece of NYC with me.  This bridge is mine!  I bought it from a guy on Seventh Avenue for just a few hundred bucks!  What a deal!  I’ll let you drive on it anytime you like.