…It’s a Wonderful Town

My last full day in New York! And there were still places too see.

I started at the Natural History Museum. Over my time in New York I’d not really ‘gone into’ any places, preferring to see the sights instead. So this was an opportunity to have a look in the museum and a film location; Night At the Museum.

Robin Williams on a horse outside 🙂

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It’s been a while since I saw the film but the inside didn’t look familiar, I’ll have to take another look at it too compare. The animals are shown cleverly, as seen in the film, most are in dioramas which look very good.

I didn’t take many photos but here are the dolphins, and the blue whale which is life size.

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My visit was long enough to see what I wanted to see, but brief enough that I didn’t tire my already tired legs further. One thing I made a special effort to see was the Easter Island Head.

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There was a special exhibition on all about spiders. I don’t like spiders, but went in anyway.

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I’d only read about some of the spiders on the Internet, and I was surprised by how small the poisonous ones were.

This is the brown recluse spider. That is my thumb right against the glass, so you can see how small it is. If it bites you its poison will leave a necrotic lesion, in plain English, it will eat your skin to leave a hole.

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After the museum I headed once again into Central Park. I still hadn’t found the Alice in Wonderland piece and was determined to do so before I left. I checked where it was on the map and walked towards it.

On the way I found Belvedere Castle, it’s used as a weather station. If you ever check the weather in central park, it’s measured from here. The climax of The Smurfs live action film was also filmed here – hopefully you don’t know that though, it’s not a good film!

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Alice at last!

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Leading away from the piece is Conservatory Water, where a few scenes from Stuart Little were filmed.

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Walking back towards Central Park West I found myself once again at Bethesda Terrace & Fountain. The last time I visited I didn’t get passed the fountain, as I was now behind it, I went to have a look at the water and found turtles swimming.

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There were still things to see! I hadn’t got a decent picture of Brooklyn Bridge from the shoreline. The ones I got were just a straight look at the bridge whilst being on the bridge. There were also a couple of film and TV spots to hit.

First up was the apartment building used for exterior shots in ‘Friends’. I’d marked it on my map but got a little lost in the streets, until I saw a group of people taking photos on a corner, and there it was.

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I was near Greenwich Village again and I knew that Bob Dylan’s old house was in the area. I’d tried to find it before but what I found didn’t look like the picture I saw. It was the right house number but the wrong building, the house numbering was a bit odd as this time I walked further and found what I was looking for.

It’s said that he still owns it but there’s no official confirmation on the Internet.

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At this point I could feel the previous three days in my legs and kept looking for a subway station to get me to my next destination. But I was in between them and as I kept walking on I got there before finding a station.

If you go to an independent cinema in the UK, like the one where I live in Brecon, there are adverts running that are about seeing film differently, I think they are sponsored by a car company. One of these is the firehouse from Ghostbusters. Ever since seeing the film I’ve wanted to visit it, this has been reinforced by the adverts.

And here it is. The fire house is still active but was unfortunately closed when I visited.

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Just Uptown from here was a subway station, so I caught the train to Staten Island and walked around to Brooklyn Bridge to get the kind of photo I wanted to get the day before.

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Photo op done, I walked back to Staten Island and onto Battery Park. Which is a good walk!

My legs were tired so I found a bench and another photo op for the Dragon.

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In the park is The Sphere, a sculpture that once stood in the plaza of the World Trade Centre. It was in the midst of the destruction when the towers fell, and was placed in Battery Park as a temporary measure, it is now there permanently.

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I couldn’t resist the lure of another film location; this time Men in Black. The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel building is the entrance to the HQ of the MiB. I should have got a close up of the door but I think tiredness played a part and I forgot! I was also on my way to another piece of history.

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Just around the corner from Battery Park is a building that now houses a Subway, a Radio Shack and other American outlets.

However it was once the headquarters of the White Star Line, and was where the list of survivors from the Titanic was published.

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At the top of the road is the financial district, and the Bull. I managed to get a quick snap as I passed. The tourists line up in a very British fashion to get their picture taken with him but I was happy with this passing shot!

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I was down in this part of Manhattan, not just to tick off a few more sights but to also visit the World Trade Centre site. I shall post my thoughts about that later.