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June 2006

New York 2006 – No Reason To Return

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Although it is now June of 2009, I’ve decided to go back in time to when Natalie and I and the in-laws visited New York. New York is probably the most talked about places that I know of. I don’t know why. New York City is nothing but tall buildings and litter. The street vendors are just as they appear in the movies, they layout across the city on every corner. I was shocked to see security guards at every store we visited. Even the Walgreens, which was more prevalent than 7-11’s, had security guards in every store. I asked a guard why they were everywhere. He just mentioned that they had to be because of the crime in the city. So, why does everyone love the town so much? New York offers:

  • Crime
  • Pollution
  • Big buildings that block all forms of natural life
  • A giant park in the middle, which was man made

So, why did we go? This trip was first envisioned when Natalie’s Great Aunt mentioned for us to come out. She lives in New Jersey, or close to there. I’m not exactly sure right now. Since we were visiting her we decided to see everything we could out there. I even go tickets to Wicked, the musical – which was fortunate since it had recently become one of my favorite sound tracks. I think we were out there for about a week. While in New York City we saw the major attractions including the statue of liberty, We went to the top of the Empire State Building, We saw the Hello Deli (From Late Night with David Letterman). Leaving New York City, we also visited my Friend Going Postal (which is his gaming name from our long time clan Old Timers Clan – www.oldtimersclan.com) in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo was, apparently, once a magical town with a busy economy and lots of potential. When we got there it was close to a ghost town. The buildings were mostly boarded up and it was just a dive. We saw all this as we past through the city to get to Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls makes the trip all worth it. It is truly an amazing site to see the falls. Then there is a boat that you get on to really see the falls up close as it rides across some extremely choppy water. The falls are also surrounded by very old buildings that host the hydroelectric generators. If you plan a trip to New York, forget the big city and head to Western New York. Right on the other side of Buffalo, across the border is Canada. The difference between the two cities is night and day. Buffalo has not yet started up Casino’s therefore the cash flow in the town is not as impressive as it’s neighbors across the border. The other side hosts big fancy casino’s well groomed parks and just an impressive area for tourists. I do not support gambling towns, but this area does give an impressive contrast between the two towns. You do have to remember, ever dollar won in a casino means that someone else has lost a dollar – or more in most cases. The other amazing reason to cross the border is Tim Hortons Donuts. Tim Hortons makes a good donut that puts Krispy Kreme to shame. But enough about donuts. The drive from Buffalo to New York City is almost 10 hours. We made it back just in time to see Wicked. Wicked on Broadway gave me a new perspective on Broadway shows. New York’s Broadway is no better than our own Capitol Theatre here in Salt Lake City. The actors made just as many mistakes, the stage wasn’t any bigger or better. I’ve no reason to go back to New York for the Broadway shows. I’ve no reason to go back at all.

Another place we visited while in Western New York is the Hill Cumorah. This is a very important place in the history of the LDS church. This is the place that the Plates containing the Book of Mormon were found. Since Palmyra is right there as well we visited Joseph Smiths home and the Sacred Grove. These are also places that are totally worth visiting if you have the chance. The church has done an amazing job of keeping the place nice and clean. There’s a replica of the cabin that Joseph Smith was raised in. As far as getting in touch with the history of the church it’s a great place to experience at least once in your life.

We brought Aubrey on this trip. She was 4 months at this time. She was also the cutest baby in New York. If she went back right now she would still be the cutest baby in New York. I carried her in a baby carrier that sits like a backpack, but it sets on the front rather than the back. Aubrey really liked New York. She didn’t have to do any of the work.

Finally, we didn’t stay in New York the entire time we were there. We headed down to see Natalie’s Great Aunt, of whom this entire trip was about. She lives in a very nice retirement home that is fully catered in every way. This is in Princeton, New Jersey. Since we were so close to the school we decided to go check it out. Princeton is a fancy school. It’s old and it looks old. The buildings are old, the grounds are old, the trees are huge. Princeton is a nice area. It turns out that we must have been there during graduation since there were a lot of graduations going on as we were there.

We also managed to visit Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell and all the area around there. There is a lot of history back east. You can read all about it in your history books. I don’t want to go in detail here. I’m about done writing this. My point is, if you chose to go on a trip back east, I fully support your decision. Go see the history and the beautiful sites. Just don’t plan for any more than one day in New York City because there just isn’t that much to look at.

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