A Day’s Visit to New York City: Chasing the Stars, Meeting Harry Potter

New York Times Square

New York Times Square

Our first visit to New York City, Ryan and I did the classic tourist route. You know, the Statue of Liberty, the Central Park, NY Times Square, Saint Patrick Cathedral, and we even visited the extremely tacky Madame Tussauds Wax Museum! Since then, we have been back to the New York City several times, because it’s a convenient hubs between Canada and the world. As for our last time in NY, we only had one full day. We thought that it would be fun to spend the day  visiting many famous places and perhaps meeting the stars from our favorite movies and TV-shows around Manhattan!

LUGGAGE DROP OFF

We arrived in the Big Apple early in the morning, after our overnight Megabus ride from Toronto. After fueling up our body and soul with a cup of coffee and breakfast, the first thing to do was drop off our backpacks. It’s not impossible to walk around with them, but certainly we could do more without. It’s a bit tough to find a place to leave your bag in Manhattan, so I was happy to find Cubby Luggage Storage which is pretty close to where the Megabus drops off.

PLANNING OUR ENCOUNTER WITH HARRY POTTER

Broadway musical - How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - Daniel Radcliffe

Broadway musical: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - with Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette

Now that our luggage was gone, we “rushed” to get the Rush Tickets for a Broadway Musical Show. According to the cheap ticket information on playbill.com, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” was available for $30 rush tickets, perfect! Harry Potter, I mean Daniel Radcliffe, was the star of the show, and I was dying to see him in person! We joined the line early and snagged a couple of seats. With tickets to see Harry Potter live in our hands, we set off to see the city!

HIT 40 FILMING LOCATIONS IN A FEW HOURS

On Location TV & Movie Tours

Left: Friends TV-show apartment. Right: Ghostbusters' fire station

Left: The Friends apartment, where Monica, Joey, Chandler, and Rachel lives. Right: The Ghostbusters' fire station.

Because our time was limited into 1 day only, we wanted to use our time as efficiently as possible. We decided to join the On Location TV&Movie Sites Tour, a guided 3.5 hours bus tour to visit over 40 TV and Movie locations in the Manhattan area. Not only famous and easy to find locations like the Central Park, Times Square, and the Empire State building, but this tour will also bring you to the more difficult to find favorites like the apartment building from Friends, the fire station in the Ghostbusters, the diner from Men in Black, and the townhouse from the Cosby Show!

From left to right: The Cosby Show, 30 Rock, Soup Nazi (Seinfeld)

On Location tours from left to right: The Cosby Show, 30 Rock, Soup Nazi (Seinfeld)

As the finale, the bus dropped us off in the front of the Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi stall! Soup, anybody? Make sure you know what you are going to order!

CENTRAL PARK

Central Park. Right: Pip from  Enchanted (What, Pip is a chipmunk? Not a squirrel? Oops!)

Central Park. Right: Pip from Enchanted (What, Pip is a chipmunk? Not a squirrel? Oops!)

We still had many hours before our Broadway show started, so we decided to chill out a little bit in Central Park. On the way there, we stopped at the famous Papaya King (that Kramer craved in Seinfeld) to enjoy some hot dogs and papaya juice. There’s no seating inside, just some spots where you can enjoy your lunch standing up, while staring at big jugs of ketchup and mustard.

Lunch in Papaya King (near the New York Central Park) as in Seinfeld

Lunch at Papaya King (near Central Park) as in Seinfeld

Many happy movies were filmed here in Central Park, like When Harry Met Sally and Enchanted. But this mega park also has a reputation as a scary place, where they always seem to be finding dead bodies in Law and Order. But really, with so much activity, and there’s not really many places for criminals to hide.

Around New York Central Park

THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

The sun went down, and we wanted to enjoy the shimmering New York lights under the night sky. We climbed up the Empire State building like  King Kong, and the view from the top was gorgeous indeed!

New York under the night sky from Empire State Building

New York under the night sky from Empire State Building

BROADWAY TIME: MEET HARRY POTTER!

As a big Harry Potter fan, meeting with Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter come to life, has been my dream. Seeing him singing and dancing as well? I couldn’t believe such an opportunity exists. But here it is, the show “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” starring Daniel Radcliffe himself! Our rush tickets put us in the fourth row from the stage, so close to the living Potter! Enchanted by him, still, I have to admit that the performance from his partner, 5-time Emmy winner John Larroquette from Night Court, was the more brilliant one.

Broadway musical - How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - Daniel Radcliffe - Harry Potter

I can't believe I met Harry Potter!!!

After the show ended, we were waiting around the backstage door to meet up with the stars. So many people were there, and after a half an hour standing under a mild rain, Daniel Radcliffe showed up… for a very brief 1-2 minutes! There were a lot of people waiting for him, only 10% in the front line actually got any moment with him. We were among the lucky one. I was talking to him, he was talking to me, I got his signature, and we took a photo together.

It’s Harry Potter, people, I was on cloud nine!

Left to right: John Larroquette, books signed by John and Daniel Radcliffe

Left to right: John Larroquette, books signed by John and Daniel Radcliffe

END OF THE DAY: GRAB THE BACKPACKS, AND DONE!

We had a Cinderella moment here!

For the sake of meeting with Daniel Radcliffe, we left the theater later than we should have and now we had to run to arrive in the Cubby Luggage Storage before it closed at midnight. We ran and ran, took a metro ride, and ran again. We barely made it! Ryan reached the place five minutes before midnight, and I was a few minutes after that. We were in, thank goodness!

What a day, chasing the stars in New York City!

A metro ride to our airport hotel, and we fell asleep as soon as our heads touched the pillows. 10 hours later  we were up in the air, on our way to Hong Kong.

Thank you to On Location Tours for sponsoring our On Location TV&Movie Sites Tour!

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11 Responses to “A Day’s Visit to New York City: Chasing the Stars, Meeting Harry Potter”

  1. Bama
    15 December 2011 at 7:59 am #

    If I have to pick one city, only one, to visit in the whole world, I think NYC will be it. I’m always amazed when listening to stories from other travelers about how they love NYC, also from blog stories like this one of yours.
    Bama´s last post…Unearthly Mount Bromo and Tengger Caldera

  2. Amer @TendToTravel
    21 December 2011 at 8:31 am #

    It seems like you’re having a great time in NYC although for only a day. But you know what, sometimes it’s cool to do one full day of tourist activities. Just to let it get out of the way. It helps your mind focus to do other stuff on the other days.

  3. Nomadic Samuel
    27 December 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    NYC is somewhere I’m dying to properly visit. It sounds like you had a wonderful experience.
    Nomadic Samuel´s last post…Hello world!

  4. Jeff @ Digital Nomad Journey
    1 January 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    I’ll say NYC is fun to visit, but not too live…too crazy and hectic. It’s an incredible hub of activity, but I can think of other cities with a cool vibe and not as “fast.

  5. Erica
    7 January 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    GOOD GOD you are hardcore people. I can’t imagine trying to tackle NYC in one day. *applause*
    Erica´s last post…Bring It On! 2012 and Over Yonderlust

  6. Melissa Minx
    17 February 2012 at 8:57 am #

    It seems you had a great time in New York!! I’m wondering how it could be possible to do so many things in just one day!! You’re very hardcore and so cool!!

  7. Amanda
    25 May 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Wow! I can’t believe you fit that much into just one day! Kudos to you!!
    Amanda´s last post…Introducing My Summer Travel Partners

    • Dina
      25 May 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      We were really exhausted by the end of the day ^^

  8. Donald Cheapstow
    14 August 2012 at 7:25 am #

    New York is my all time favourite city.
    Every corner is like a movie set.
    It looks like you had a really great time.
    The last time I went I went on the cable car ‘Trolley’ to Rockefeller Island it was fantastic.

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