New York day 3: Grand Central, New York Public Library and Rockerfeller Center

After visiting the United Nations, I decided to walk west up East 43rd Street towards Grand Central Terminal.

Tudor City park

First I passed the exquisite Tudor City park.  I love gardens like this and would have loved to have sat quietly for a while but I decided to press on.

I entered Grand Central from the side.  I wish I had looked up for a moment instead of being transfixed by the sight of Grand Central because I passed right underneath the Chrysler Building!

Grand Central Terminal concourse

After seeing Grand Central so many times on television and screen before, it was great to actually be there and to experience this grand, old, majestic building. 

Click on the photos for enlargements


I will certainly take a tripod with me the next time I visit a place like this! It was pretty hard to get a steady shot.

Grand Central Terminal

What a lovely building!  New York is full of wonderful buildings that are as impressive on the inside as they are on the outside.  I will never cease to be amazed by such wonder and I think that is because I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa which was only founded in 1886.  If you imagine that a city takes time to build up momentum and start erecting grand buildings, then you’ll understand that there aren’t many structures in Johannesburg that are more than 100 years old.  Most of the older, surviving buildings were residences too as opposed to skyscrapers or super structures.

I finally decided to look up as I was walking away from Grand Central towards New York Public Library.

The Chrysler Building

You may notice an incredible amount of United States flags in my photos.  There are two reasons for this.  One, they are everywhere. Two, I think national pride is something to be, well, proud of.

I really wish the country I live in didn’t feel shamed into not displaying their flag.   I think it is great that you see the Stars and Stripes everywhere in the States and I wish the British would get over themselves and display their flag more.  (There are certain days in the UK when the Union Jack should be flown from government buildings.  The same can be said for other countries of course, except those days are called “every day”).  Naturally, the most beautiful flag in the world to me will probably always be the new South African flag because of what it represents.

New York Public Library

I arrived at the New York Public Library just after 6pm and was happy to see that it was open for a couple more hours.  I am sure you have figured out that I have an absolute love affair with buildings old and new, but that is nothing compared to my massive love of libraries.  I absolutely love them and I visit our local library every single week.  This is, of course, linked to my love for books and reading.

The most majestic part of the library has to be the main reading room.

New York Public Library, main reading room

New York Public Library, main reading room

How beautiful is that?  All of those books just lining the walls… yes, I am a geek.  No, it isn’t curable.  Just to prove that, I sat down for half an hour to read up on some of the stuff I’d learned at the UN.  V, I thought of you the whole time I was there.  I think you would have loved it too!

Before I left this wonderful place, I went to an exhibition downstairs called “Between Collaboration and Resistance”.  It was about French authors during the occupation of France in the second world war and the ways in which their writing was used either in collaboration or resistance.  I saw the original hand-written manuscript of Jean-Paul Sartre’s La Mort Dans L’ame.    I simply stood and looked at it for the longest time, awestruck.  Mostly, I was thankful that I’d only tried to decipher an English translation of the book and not Sartre’s handwriting.

After leaving the library, I wondered up Fifth Avenue towards the Rockerfeller Center.  I was really taken with the Rockerfeller Center and I wish I had spent more time there or visited it again later in my stay.  It was such a lively, festive area with a great vibe – it must be awesome to visit at Christmas time with the Christmas tree and the ice rink!

The Rockerfeller Plaza

It was almost 9pm by this time and it felt like it had been the longest day!  After all, I’d done the Circle Line Tour, visited the United Nations and then spent about four hours wandering around midtown Manhattan! 

St Patrick's Cathedral // Radio City // Godiva

I realised I wasn’t going to be much more use that day and I headed back to the apartment for a nice long shower, some more leftover dim sum and then I curled up with my book.

28 comments on "New York day 3: Grand Central, New York Public Library and Rockerfeller Center"
  1. Hi, I saw you added a link to my blog on your blogroll, I put your link on my blogroll also. Nice pictures of the library, it looks huge!

  2. @ Juka: :) You've always been on my blogroll. It just only ever shwos the last five people to have updated so each time you update, it will show you.

    I tweeted about your blog the other day too. Your blog rocks!

  3. Great photos and great story of what you did in New York. I'm loving it! I can't wait to get back to New York again myself. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Its awesome...i have a small at one my look grt !



  6. Your pictures of the inside of Grand Central Station and NY Public library are so great! On my second trip to NYC I went to both places and loved them.

  7. Hi Emm,
    You are staying up by West Harlem and Morningside Heights. Don't forget all the landmarks and places to go in Historic Harlem. The Morris Jumel Mansion is a must see. Go to my blog for more details on the neighborhood:

  8. I love your photos!

  9. Hi, Ms. Emm -- Awesome photos of New York! My fave is the Met. I have the best memories there, and I'm a museum hog anyway. -- Jg.

  10. LOL I liked your comment about the flags. In Texas we have the Stars and Stripes and the Texas flag up everywhere! When we moved into our rental here in The Hague, guess what I found in the closet by the front door? A Netherlands flag! I will be curious to see when it is flown.

    I think these are my favourite photos from your NYC collection... I would have loved to have been on this walk with you. That library!!! Drool.

  11. About the flags, it's a pity that Singapore flags can only be displayed for the month leading up to its National Day (9th Aug).

    Had a whirlwind tour the last time round when I was in NY. Didn't manage to cover the Public Library and the Rockefeller Center. Hmm... thanks for the photos though. My favourite? The reading room of course.

    C K

  12. The public library looks like a fantastic place to visit, a great place from, which to escape the madness of city life outside. I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from sitting in that park, it looks like a wonderful sanctuary for a traveller to relax in….

  13. I've only been to NYC once (a one-day trip with my college), but your entries are making me want to start planning another trip there! I love libraries too, and the public library looks magnificent. It was also interesting to read what you had to say about the American flag... Walking down any residential street or passing a school in my neighborhood, you will always see the flag flying somewhere. I never realized it was kind of out of the ordinary compared to other places in the world.

  14. Amazing! I have to get over there this year. We have a lack of old buildings over here on the west coast =(

  15. Love the photos! Is there a more gorgeous building in the world than the Chrysler Bldg? And of course the library. Have to go see that next time I spend two days in NYC (which is all the time I ever seem to have).

    Re: flags--South Africa's is one of my absolute favorites, even though I don't know the story behind it. Just such great colors and design.

  16. Have you been to Chinatown? You'll get lots of great photos there (not to mention food of course); it's America's Indian food... Then you must go to Little Italy for dessert and coffee! And (sorry for the cliche) do give our regards to Old Broadway!

  17. Tudor City Park is beautifully green.

  18. Wow. Such an abundance. The photos are really nice. Have you seen Grand Central Station on You Tube with one person dancing and then slowly the place is filled with dancers? Neat.

    I am still making history on my Pick a Peck of Pixels blog. Today I posted a Zebra Butterfly with long tails. He is as big as your hand. Most have never seen one. Now you can see one at
    Pick a Peck of Pixels

  19. Great photos! How do you get that writing on them in the corner? Is that something your camera does. Funny about the Chrysler building-I obviously didn't look up either. Totally didn't notice it when I went to Grand Center. The library looks so cool. I wish I had gone there!

  20. @ Dori: Thank you - I am glad that you're liking it!

    @ Escapist: Hiya, thanks and thanks for visiting.

    @ Italo: Heh. Thanks! I am glad I visited the library too.

    @ Julia: Thank you. I take that as quite a comliment coming from you!

    @ Ulysses: Sadly, I didn't even make it in to Harlem. MJ died that week and it was mayhem. But, I will go back to NYC one day and I will definitely visit. Your blog is awesome!

    @ Louduk: Thank you very much. You have a lovely blog!

    @ JGregg: I finally made it to all the museums later in the week!

    @ JaPRA: Thank you - I think this is my favourite post so far too. Re: the flag - maybe on the queen's birthday or something?

    @ C K: Yes - the reading room was just exquisite. Why can you only fly your flag for one week? That is silly.

    @ Garry: Yes, that park was just wonderful. I did stand for quite a while willing myself to either walk on or sit down!

    @ Slynnard: Yeah, it is crazy. But other countries definitely don't fly their flag as much.

    @ Sarah: Is it much newer on the west then? I guess I have never seen any grand old buildings on television and in film...

    @ Kathy: Well, the new flag represents the "new" South Africa. The democratic South Africa after apartheid. And to us, the colours represent the rainbow nation and all the different cultures, religions and colours we have. (And I agree - Chrysler is definitely one of the most ornate and beautiful buoldings I have ever seen).

    @ Prodigal Tourist: Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Chinatown, Little Italy, the Flatiron Building or Greenwich Village. Next time! I went to Times Square but didn't see any shows.

    @ Gauteng: yes, it was lovely.

    @ Abe: Thank you Abe. I am glad you like them. :)

    @ Missy: Maybe next time? I use Windows Live Writer to write up my posts. It makes the borders around the photos and then it has a watermark feature. I had to start doing that because someone was stealing my posts at one time. They stopped immediately when I posted about it though!

  21. I totally agree with you on the Union Jack Falg thing.

  22. Fabulous photos again :)

    As for the flags...yes, we tend to enjoy displaying ours. That is one thing I miss living overseas. When I do travel home, the sheer number of them always surprise me.

  23. Emm-thanks for the tip. I will have to try that. I like the watermark.

  24. Yes, I am a geek. Not, it isn't curable.
    LOVE those lines, Emm. (Me, too!)

    What a great tour of NYC. The picture of the Chrysler Building against that clear blue sky is so powerful, but of course I love the pics of the Public Library best. I've never been inside . . . must remedy that SOON.

  25. LOVE it!
    Just found your blog. So glad you enjoyed NY. It was so nice to see the park where I live written up on here - Tudor City Park! :)

  26. @ ...mmm...: I know, right??

    @ The Cowgirl: How are the German's for displaying their flag? Do you see many EU flags about?

    @ Missy: Have you had a chance to try it out yet? Do you need any help?

    @ Bee: I would absolutely recommend it!! It is lovely inside and so... bookish.

    @ Tudor City Girl: Oh wow. Thanks for popping by! Yeah, I loved New York and Tudor City was indeed one of my favourite places.

  27. Oh wow...i love the main reading room pictures! Reminds me of Harry Potter for some reason. haha. We only had about 1/2 hour at the library so I didn't get to see too much. Can't wait to go back and see more!

  28. @ Christina: Awww, I saw on your blog that you fell in love with New York too!


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