Wednesday morning we arrived to a queue in Times Square at the TKTS booth which is located in the middle of Times Square underneath the red stairs where you can get discounted tickets (up to 50% off) to shows on the day of the show. The Times Square TKTS booth sells matinee tickets from 10am and evening tickets from 3pm so you can basically only buy tickets to one show at a time and it involves queuing of an hour to 90 minutes (which may explain why in the end I only watched one show – I just don’t have the patience to stand in queues). We got tickets for Cirque du Soleil at the Radio City Hall and I was very excited to see a show in the venue I have toured.
We went to Madame Tussauds to brush elbows with some celebrities. I think if you have seen one you have seen them all and I have been to one in London and Amsterdam so the wow factor of how well it is done was gone. It was however interesting to see how tall or short some of the celebs were and of course everyone was eager to get a photo with President Obama and the first lady in the oval office.
In the afternoon we watched Cirque du Soleil which was phenomenal and the fact that it was in such a spectacular venue was an added bonus. We had brilliant seats near the front and I just loved the show which is described as an acrobatic rock opera full of acrobatic shows and tricks. The stage and décor added drama to the show. I especially enjoyed the sand art where a woman painted with sand and the beautiful and poetic movement of a solo act by Anatoliy Zalevskiy (go YouTube him – outstanding!)
Late afternoon we visited the three storey high M&M store that sells different varieties of M&Ms (almond, coconut, peppermint, cherry, dark chocolate, peanuts, etc) and in every imaginable colour. You have never seen so many M&Ms in your life. They also sell T-shirts, mugs, cushions, games, toys and other merchandise.
We then went to the Discovery Center to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, the six foot tall, 2000 year old defenders of the first emperor of China, Qin Shihuangdi, where an army of 8000 terracotta soldiers were buried with the emperor when he died to protect him in the afterlife. The exhibition and history around it was fascinating. What was interesting in the little video we got to watch was that they kept talking about BCE and not BC when referring to the period the emperor ruled. I don’t know if the BC (Before Christ) is not used in non Christian countries and that is why they use BCE but it was notable.
We went to Ripley’s Believe It or Not where some things are a bit silly but there are fascinating things as well as the guy (Willard Wigan) who creates creations so small it can fit on the back of a pin and can only be viewed with a microscope but the craftsmanship is just so striking.
We ended the day with a trip to the New York Public library and Bryant park (a public park next to the library where the locals get something to drink after work it seems while watching a live music performance) before we headed to a diner in Queens for supper. This was a jam-packed fun day!