I saw Paris, London, Rome, Athens and other cities (like Boston a day prior) before I saw New York, so it was definitely time.
Once we got off the Bolt Bus we found a subway, bought some all-day passes, and headed downtown to the World Trade Center site. Our hotel room overlooked ground zero and the memorial construction. The crews worked around the clock and through the night, and American flags were draped from many buildings and cranes.
One of the first places we went to after checking in was NYC Cake. Michelle was like a kid in a cake supply store.
After that we intended to grab lunch at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. The line was prohibitive and obscene.
We walked along 5th Avenue and saw the Guggenheim (outside and lobby) and went into the Met for about an hour, leaving due to hunger. The only thing we had eaten all day were some "breakfast chips" (a hotel-sized bag of Frosted Flakes).
We ended up walking the Upper East Side and eating Italian at Centolire.
In Grand Central they were filming a Justin Timberlake movie or video. He wasn't visible but some dancing extras pranced around and looked amazed at nothing. JT will be edited in later.
Later we went to Times Square and found another Shake Shack, this one with a smaller 30 minute wait. The burgers were great (soft, fresh, not greasy), though I prefer the wait time at Five Guys.
After that we went to the Apple store and Rockefeller center where the Today Show was wrapping up. We made a brief appearance on TV and while eating at Dean and Deluca across the way saw Jenna Wolfe come out to say hi to some fans. Lester Holt was around somewhere prior.
We walked more, saw the UN, found Rachael Ray's studio, and ate pizza at RayBari. It was early so the guy baked us the first two pizzas so we could get our slices.
We rode to Greenwich Village to find the building they use as the Friends apartment exterior.
We walked around for a while before finding it.
After that we saw the New York Stock Exchange and walked around Wall St.
The next morning we went back to the Today Show at my request, to see the regular weekday hosts. Here's a guy trying to hug Matt: The crowd was a little larger but it was still easy to see what was happening. Matt Lauer and another host joyfully tried to catch a butterfly at one point, when the cameras were off. Michelle stood back with our bags while I took pictures and got all starstrukk. I'm still missing Meredith and Al.
We weren't sure how to get to La Guardia and the hotel mentioned "it was confusing" trying to use the subway to get there. The concierege suggested a $21/person shuttle that took 2 hours.
The buses that run to the airport from Queens aren't difficult, thankfully. All told it cost us about $5 to get to the airport from the hotel. No problemos!