New York – Taking Feizi to Empire State Building and Times Square

Feizi

Feizi and I at Time Square

Feizi and I at Time Square

Feizi is a classmate and friend from college, one of the seven girls from my class. By mid 1990s, four of us had moved to the States and one to Canada. While 6 of us had managed to stay in touch, no one knew where Feizi was for more than a decade until the spring of 2008. By the freak of luck and a helpful connection, Zhang Lu, who lives in China, tracked down Feizi and emailed us her contact information.

Just like that, Feizi reappeared and popped back into our lives. We caught up with each other over a joyful web of international calls between the east, west coasts and Heartland of U.S.A., Toronto, Canada and Shanghai, China. It turned out, in contrast to our various conjecture, Feizi had lived in her hometown (Shanghai, China) the entire time.

Adding to the nice surprise was Feizi’s plan to come to the US in the summer, bringing her son to a prestigious private high school near New York City. Owing to a smart and industrious husband who has been successful working China’s stock market, Feizi is now very well off financially.

Our reunion over the summer worked out beautifully. Feizi arrived in New York the week I was vacationing with family on the Jersey Shore. We met up in the big apple when I took a day trip to New York from the Jersey Shore. Then, after we returned home from vacation the following week, Feizi and her son flew to our city and stayed with us at our house for a few days.

The moment we saw each other in New York was almost magical. It took only a second or two to transcend almost twenty five years of time and everything those years had put on our persons before we recognized each other. We reminisced and laughed as we sat at a Chinese restaurant in Flushing. Aside from the wisdom and maturity commensurate with our age, I saw the same person in my friend, careful and tactful with tinge of bluntness and obstinacy. In me, she found an eloquent gabber, probably because I couldn’t stop talking. In any event, despite all the changes, we effortlessly and quickly fell back to the college camaraderie from the innocent and carefree days as if we had not parted that long at all.

As we eagerly jabbered on in Chinese (as if trying to make up all the years we had missed), Feizi recognized the virtue of patience in my husband, who couldn’t understand the conversation and had only the lunch on the table to turn to and people on the street to watch over the window. Two hours later, we left the restaurant for Manhattan. Finally making it there for the first time ourselves, we showed Feizi one remarkable landmark of New York, Empire State Building. We walked to Times Square afterwards.

At the end of the day, when we asked Feizi, who had visited Fifth Avenue and shopped at Tiffany the previous day, of her impression on the US by far, she articulated: “Big. Everything seems big here, the sky, buildings, roads, cars, people and portion of food…”

Empire State Building

A 102 storey building completed in 1931, Empire State Building occupies the corner of 34th Avenue and 34th Street. It lost its title as the Tallest Building in New York City to World Trade Center in 1972 and regained it in 2001 when World Trade Center was tragically destroyed.

The mere thought of plane crashing into building can evoke a sense of terror in me these days and I was dumbfounded to learn Empire State was accidentally crashed into by an US Army bomber in 1945. It feels extremely gratifying that it miraculously survived. Now I could mount its 86th floor Observatory with my husband and my friend to appreciate the remarkable views of the city.

Chrysler building can be seen on the northeast

Chrysler building can be seen on the northeast

Brooklyn and Queens beyond the East River

Brooklyn and Queens beyond the East River

Williamsburg Bridge southeast of Empire State

Williamsburg Bridge southeast of Empire State

Looking out to New York harbor beyond the high rises on south end

Looking out to New York harbor beyond the high rises on south end

The Liberty Statue and Ellis Island southwest of Empire State

The Liberty Statue and Ellis Island southwest of Empire State

Manhattan and the West River

Manhattan and the West River

Central Park lay beyond these high rises to the north

Central Park lay beyond these high rises to the north

Find more info on Empire State Building on the following links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_State_Building
and
http://www.esbnyc.com/index2.cfm

Times Square

With its iconic neo signs dazzling, Times Square sits on the junction of Broadway and 7th Avenue, between 42nd Street and 47th Street. Renamed in 1904 after Times Building (now One Times Square), New York Times’ former office building on 42nd Street and Broadway, it has been the site for the famous New Year’s celebration in the city. A tradition since 1907, thousands today gather at the square on New Year’s Eve to countdown and witness a crystal ball dropped down a pole atop One Times Square, ushering in the New Year. Starting Dec 31, 2008, the ball stays up as a permanent installment through the year. A bustling intersection, Times Square is also the hopping point to many fabulous theaters near by.

Time Square looking to the south

Time Square looking to the south

Time Square looking to the north

Time Square looking to the north

The famous Neo spectacles

The famous Neo spectacles

A near naked cowboy playing guitar

A near naked cowboy playing guitar

Theaters right off Times Square

Theaters right off Times Square


My husband and I enjoyed Phantom of the Opera at Majestic in Aug 2006.

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