Sunday, September 9, 2012

American Girl Place, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall

Following up on my last post (our arrival in New York City during our vacation),  from the Empire State Building we started off our late afternoon, and we proceeded on foot north ("downtown") on 5th Avenue to the corner of 5th and 49th Street to American Girl Place.   "American Girl" is a popular series of historical fiction story books for little girls, with certain key characters representing a little girl from a defined era of a couple of years of American history.  For instance, the character Molly is from World War II era, Kit (the blonde-haired doll shown in the display in the photo below) is from the Great Depression, Felicity is from the American Revolutionary War period, etc.  A major part of the American Girl enterprise is that they sell dolls representing all the characters of their story books.  Not only that, but friends and pets of each character, clothing, and numerous other accessories... about anything you can think of! They have now even produced some excellent Hollywood-caliber movies based on their historical fiction characters. The characters are also pretty ethnically/racially diverse, which is nice, capturing a major element of the USA being the "great melting pot" and our pride that our populace is made up of immigrants from many nations.     

American Girl Place in NYC is a huge 3-story store dedicated to (selling) all things American Girl, and is a huge tourist attraction - at least for folks with little girls - and truly a sight to see. While my wife and daughter really loved it and were overwhelmed, I can honestly say it was pretty interesting and overwhelming even for the dads!  They have exclusive items that can only be purchased at this particular store in NYC, an onsite hair salon for the dolls to have their hair styled, even a place where the dolls can get their ears pierced!   For our daughter's 9th birthday, which was upcoming in a couple of weeks after we had our vacation, we treated her to a celebration dinner at American Girl Cafe (on the third floor), which must be reserved pretty far ahead.  The idea behind the dinner is that the little girl  can bring along one of her dolls up to the dinner table, and the doll is placed on a special chair that clamps to the table (you can see in the photo below) and even served a "pretend" tea and snacks.  Our daughter brought her doll, Kanani, who is a Hawaiian-American character -- although no one in our family is Hawaiian-American, the doll has some resemblance to our daughter, who is Filipino-American. I was expecting that the dinner itself would be nothing to write home about, but my wife and I were really quite surprised and impressed by the gourmet quality and selection of the food served to the adults (I can't remember but I think our main course was tilapia baked with a coating of roasted cashews) and the level of service.  

American Girl Place, 5th Avenue and 49th St., NYC
American Girl Place doll hair salon

Hair Salon at American Girl Place
Dining room at American Girl Place, New York City

Dinner at American Girl Cafe, New York City

Family dinner with 'Kanani' at American Girl Cafe

Kanani's table-clamping chair at American Girl Cafe
Doll hairstylist at American Girl Place, Manhattan

"Meet Kit (1934) -  a resourceful girl facing the Great Depression with spirit and determination"

Our daughter with Kanani, a Hawaiian-American character
Just a very tiny portion of all the accessories at American Girl Place

Lots of American Girl dolls -- and a Filipino-American Girl!!!

After we ate our dinner and made a couple little purchases (accessories) at  American Girl Place, we proceeded northward on foot a short distance to Rockefeller Center.  Rockefeller Center is a historical landmark and a huge complex of commercial buildings covering 22 acres (89,000 square meters) between 48th and 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues in mid-town Manhattan.  Like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center is a masterpiece of the Art Deco style of the late 1920's and early 1930's, and was built by John D. Rockefeller for the unheard of sum of $250 million starting in 1930, which would be worth at least $4 billion U.S. today (not even accounting for the labor, materials, and craftsmanship which could never be replicated today).  It was the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times, and ironically, during the darkest years of the Great Depression. We stopped to take a rest there, took photographs of the tallest building in Rockefeller Center, the G.E. Building (formerly known as the RCA Building), and the famous statue "Promethesus Bringing Fire to Mankind", then we looked around a bit inside of some of the buildings.  The G.E. building is well known for housing the headquarters of NBC and the New York facilities of NBC Studios, and the comedy show "Saturday Night Live" and the morning show "The Today Show" have their studios inside the building.  The architecture and craftsmanship of Rockefeller Center is really amazing, for instance the "Wisdom and Knowledge" frieze shown below... we were all profoundly impressed and in awe at both the artistry and the monumental scale of this place. 

Family photo at Rockefeller Center Plaza

Base of the General Electric (G.E.) Building and Prometheus Statue, Rockefeller Center

Famous G.E. Building (formerly RCA building) and awesome statue, Rockefeller Center

"Prometheus Bringing Fire to Mankind" statue, Rockefeller Center, NYC

Awesome Art Deco Prometheus statue, Rockefeller Center

Base of G.E. Building and Prometheus, Rockefeller Center
"Wisdom and Knowledge" Art Deco frieze from G.E. Building, Rockefeller Center

"Prometheus Bringing Fire to Mankind"

Memorial to John D. Rockefeller, we are sitting facing the Prometheus statue and fountains at the base of the G.E. building
Admiring the G.E. Building in awe - contemplating the beauty of Rockefeller Plaza

Next, we walked a few blocks away to take in the sounds and sights of the famous Times Square, and all of its magical lights (and more recently, gigantic LCD screens) just before sundown.  An exciting place with all the lights, and tourist/family friendly.  It didn't used to be that way -- just a few years back, Times Square was pretty "sleazy" with a lot of adults-only businesses.  Mayor Bloomberg (present mayor) in particular cleaned up a lot of that and turned Times Square into a much more family-friendly and tourist-friendly place.   At this point in time the crowd was busy but fairly light... definitely a place you want to have a tight grip on your child/children. 

Family photo at Times Square, NYC
The lights and LCD screens of Times Square - looking towards where the New Year's ball drops
Hershey's chocolate store, Times Square
Sundown, Times Square
Sundown, Times Square, and all the lights and huge LCD screens
Broadway show advertisements in lights, Times Square
Bleacher seats at Times Square; Broadway shows advertising on huge screens in background

Bleacher seating at Times Square

Hershey's chocolate store on corner of W. 48th Street, Times Square

Enormous LCD screen with live shot of the crowd at Times Square
Enormous LCD screen with live shot of the crowd at Times Square

Taxis going past Times Square
Enjoying the sights and sounds of Times Square

 Finally, before returning to our hotel for the night, we walked past the renowned and historic Radio City Music Hall, another Art Deco crown jewel of New York, got some snacks, and took some photos of the exterior, which has gorgeous old-style neon lights pretty much the same as it was in the 1930's.  Actually, Radio City Music Hall is still part of Rockefeller Center.   Next time we're in Manhattan, we all want to go inside and see its Art Deco architectural splendor, as well as see a show of the Rockettes.  

Including my last post was about it for our first day in Manhattan... we covered a lot of territory in only one, and it was an exciting day.   My next post will cover at least part of what we did on day 2 in NYC...  TO BE CONTINUED!! 

Radio City Music Hall at night

Radio City Music Hall


  1. It is always a pleasure to read your posts. Very detailed and easy to understand.

    Though I only know you by the name of Buzz Lightyear, I would like to thank you for being a follower and for replying back each time I drop by your blog. I hope you have time to visit and read my latest post again as I just nominated you for the Liebster Award.

    Blessings to you and your family !

    1. Hello Sarah,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Coming from you, that means a lot to me, because I know your posts on your blog are always well-crafted and extremely interesting too. You are very welcome for my following your blog, and I will continue to do so; thank you also so much for following mine!

      I will definitely drop by right away and read your latest post. Thank you so much for nominating me for the Liebster Award!

      Blessings to you and your family as well!

  2. The place I so wish to visit is NYC I see many people and the building are tall. Your daughter looks like you and your pretty wife. Thanks for dropping by at my blog I do appreciate it and this response is even way late. ^_^


    1. Hi there Kim,

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your kind compliments about my wife and daughter! I think you're right, I can definitely see a lot of features both my wife and my self in our daughter's appearance - interesting how genetics works, huh? I hope you'll be able to visit NYC in the near future. It's a pleasure to drop by your blog, and I look forward to reading and commenting more there.

      All the best!

  3. WoW! New York! New York! When will we see you? You're such an amazing place as always.
    You really had a great time. Enjoy the rest of your vacation Buzz! ヅ

    P.S. We're excited for your post for us! Can't wait any longer! 乂⍲‿⍲乂

    1. Hey there Wrey and Robby,

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, we had a really great time there, it's a really cool city. Thanks for your nice comments as always.

      I'm happy you're excited for my upcoming post subject matter for you... coming pretty soon, I promise!

      Best wishes!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Pettit Mom! Looking forward to checking out your blog further.

  5. Hey Sir! thanks for following my blog :)

    and wow, New York looks really awesome on your pics above! You have a wonderful wife and daughter.

    Have a nice day!

    1. Hi Fiel-kun!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for following my blog too! Looking forward to reading more of yours. Thanks for your kind compliments. New York is a pretty awesome place.

      Have a great day too!

  6. You have a lovely family!...thanks for following..definitely following you back...;0

    "concrete jungles where dreams are made of"- very nice place...:)


    1. Thanks so much, Grah! Thanks for following too! I am just beginning to check out your blog.

      "concrete jungles where dreams are made of" pretty much sums it all up!

      All the best!

  7. You have such a cute daughter. I enjoy each and every photos posted here. Good read!

    1. Thanks so much papaleng! I am happy you enjoy the photos posted here and enjoy reading! I look forward to reading your blog further!

  8. Wow looks like a fun summer vacation! Your daughter is getting cuter and cuter! By the way I nominated your blog for Liebster Blog Award. Pls check out my blog for more details. Happy blogging! :)

    1. Thank you so much, Pinay Ramblings, for both the kind compliments about our daughter as well as nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award! Happy Blogging to you, too!

  9. Hi Dear.
    I send you a liebter Award. It's up to you if you can do it or not. but, I thank to you as a part of my blog friends here.

    Have a good day

    1. Hi Pettit Mom,

      Thank you so much for the Liebster Award! I apologize it has taken me so long to respond to this. Thank you also for being a blog friend, and have a great day too! Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

  10. Hello! I'm your newest follower. Nice blog. Keep up the good work. I hope you follow my blog too. ^__^

    1. Hello Charlotte!

      Thank you so much for being my newest follower! I have definitely followed your blog too, and look forward to keeping up with it and checking out all your news. All the best to you and yours!

  11. I enjoyed this blog it's like I've been there myself, kanani looks like your daughter, i can't believe there's such a place for dolls to get their hair done...and ears pierced...

    Have a lovely Christmas with your family...

    1. Hello Cecille,

      I apologize for my tardy reply, it's been a long time! I hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas too (we did, thank you!). I am glad you enjoy this blog, as I enjoy yours too! That is funny, I thought that Kanani looks a bit like our daughter too. Yes, I too was surprised that they had a salon and place to get the dolls' ears pierced too!

      Take care!

  12. This post made me miss New York. The photos here just made me remember that one crazy weekend that I spent with my cousin back when I was here. Leaves me smiling still. Thanks for this! :) Oh, and your daughter is growing up to be a beauty. :)

    1. Hello Di,

      Thanks so much for your comment, and for your kind compliments regarding our daughter! NYC really is a neat place to visit, and as I'm sure you experienced, one weekend really isn't enough. I look forward to visiting your blog again soon... still catching up! All the best to you and yours!

  13. The moment I saw all the photos of your daughter at the American Girl Place I call my daughter right away to show it because it’s on her list of all the American Girl Places that she wanted to visit aside from the one we have here. Thanks for sharing it! By the way I’ve added your link to my list and followed you as well. You can check it here in both of my blogs: THERE'S NO PLACE THAT FAR! ( and SNAPSHOTS AND TIPS ( Thanks! :)

    1. Kumusta Sam?

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Awwww, that is nice of you to call your daughter and show your daughter the photos. I am sure she would really love to go visit the American Girl store there in NYC, although you have one near your home also. Honestly, I thought it was really pretty cool, a very nice experience, and I'm a dad that's not too much into girly stuff LOL. Thank you for adding me to your list and following, much appreciated! I did the same for you also. I will check out both your blogs and look forward to reading them.


I'd love to hear your comments!



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