For the record, being the only girl in a 12 bed dorm full of smelly (and often rude) boys is NOT a pleasant place to be. And if I had ever been in denial or even just unsure about that, I sure am not now. This is an aside, however, as our last full day in NYC has dawned.
We went back to the Metro Diner for breakfast (not sure I mentioned it in the entry for the 20th, but that was when we first discovered the diner and the best burgers in the world.) Our waiter from our first visit- who was hilarious- wasn't working the breakfast shift but the staff were all just as friendly and helpful as we remembered them. I finally got a coffee with my breakfast (having been too scared to order them with breakfast as ordering in NYC is an intimidating and fast-paced business!) The coffee had free refills though so I made up for a week of being caffeine-deprived with 3 cups (they were not big cups though.) Dan had an appropriately named "Lumberjack breakfast"- a feast of eggs, sausage, bacon, ham and 3 buttermilk pancakes. I went for a more traditional stack of blueberry pancakes. Oh yes, Daniel also had a milkshake as he was concerned he wouldn't have enough "sweet" with his breakfast... To put it simply, the breakfast was filling but satisfying- the qualities (and quantity) we have learnt to associate with all american food, in particular though the food of the Metro Diner, New York. We would both highly recommend it to any visitor to the city.
So, after breakfast, we waddled back to the hostel and climbed the ridiculous number of stairs up to the roof and common-room so I could sort out the NBC studio tour for the afternoon- I had been e.mailing them all week but had to eventually call them as they hadn't got back to me. People in America don't seem too reliable when it comes to e.mailing...
But the tour was sorted for the afternoon, which was a weight off my mind. But to start the day, as part of our booking, we were going on a Film & Movie tour of New York City on a coach! We took the subway back down to Times Square (getting off at 50th St. which has Alice in Wonderland tiling- appropriate for us) and met up with the coach group outside Ellen's Stardust Diner which is apparently famous for being the New York diner with the singing waitstaff. And they really sing- someone went in and we could hear them through the open door.
Luckily for us the coach was airconditioned as it was pretty warm in the city during the day. The tour was taken by a woman called Roseanne (who we later learned was a hand model and trained opera singer) she was really funny and seriously energetic but she must watch more TV than anyone I know- her knowledge on TV programs (and films) is quite ridiculous, but in a good way of course. Perfect for her job really. The tour was great though, it made me fall in love with New York even more than I already have.
We saw SO many film and TV locations throughout the city, making a few stop-offs for walking tours. We also found out some interesting facts, such as the fact that New York is the most film city in the world, and Central Park the most filmed location. Also that, to get approval as a New York film you have to have filmed 75% or more of the film in the city itself. Some other noteable points (off the top of my head) were;
Seeing the original inspiration for the "Soup Nazi" in Seinfeld. The real shop has a ridiculous ordering system and the owner is very strict- he will actually send you to the back of the queue for not having your exact change in the right hand, or even just tell you "no soup for you!" and send you packing!
Got to eat the "non-racist cookies" from Seinfeld (I haven't seen that one but apparently it's pretty well known. Dan and I won extra cookies for showing some frankly awesome F.R.I.E.N.D.S knowledge on the bus. So much so that we were dubbed "The FRIENDS couple" by Roseanne. Geeks? Us?
We saw the apartments used for Ross and Monica's flats and the building used for Chandlers office in establishing shots in FRIENDS. We also got to see the inspiration for Pheobe's street, Central Perk and for the fountain in the opening credits aswell as the part of the village that was the "feel" they wanted in the show. Brilliant for a FRIENDS geek like me really.
Went to Rice to Riches; a rice pudding shop that can be seen in Hitch but is also Ellen Degeneres' favourite place to eat. Just loads of rice pudding in every conceivable flavour. Dan chose Cookies and Cream for us and it was actually too sweet and too rich even for him! But delicious, all the same. It's pricey, with a single pot (which is pretty big) starting at about $5, but it's really yummy for a treat.
On our tour was also the firestation and library from Ghost Busters and also the street where the Stay Puff Marshmallow man first appeared. Among other things... There was good stuff there for Dan too, see?
After and during the tour Dan and I shared a hotdog, a cookie and the ricepudding. A interesting meal... And not a particularly healthy one at that...
Next was the NBC studio tour. I think the less I talk about this the better so I'll keep it brief. The NBC shop (where the tour starts) is amazing, they really have their merchandising hats screwed on right, I will give them that. The tour itself, however, really wasn't worth it. It lasted less than an hour and was badly delivered by two girls who I swear were younger than me and had absolutely NO idea what they were talking about. Ok, they probably knew what they were talking about, they just delivered it with absolutely no enthusiasm whatsoever. Most of the tour took place watching a video and going through security checks. The only cool thing either of us could think of to take away with us was getting to see the Saturday Night Live set (although it was just through a viewing-window) which is suprisingly small with an audience that only seats around 300 people. That was cool. The rest was a bit of a let down, maybe because the tour ealier had been so good. I don't know. Maybe it would have made more sense for a local... I'm not sure.
Overall though, if someone were thinking of booking this particular tour combo, I would say go with the Film and TV tour and skip the NBC studio tour- it just isn't worth it, I don't know what the studio is using the cost of the tickets for, but it certainly isn't improving the tour itself. Catty, I know, but there you have it. New York has hardened me.
Finished off our unhealthy chips and salsa at the hostel and got packed and ready for tomorrow- our journey from New York to Boston. I am sad to leave, I won't lie, but I'm sure Boston will be fun too. I had a not-as-scalding-as-before shower (the hostel shower is either scalding or off), so I'm hoping the water has finally cooled a little so Dan can wash properly. I wish him luck...