FEBRUARY 2, 2002


We caught a B train at 42nd and 6th and rode it up to 81st Street. Our destination was the Hayden Planetarium. It would have to wait, it was just too nice outside. We made our way into Central Park at 81st, strolling over to Turtle Pond. Mike shot this photo of Belevedere Castle from there.

The Delacorte Theatre was to our right when Mike shot the photo above.

We wound our way around the pond and Mike caught this photo from the Belvedere Castle.We missed the Shakespeare Garden as we worked our way back to 81st Street. We crossed Central Park West and entered the American Museum of Natural History. We didn't have a lot of time to spend here(you could spend a day in each section), so we chose to focus on the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

We purchased admission tickets and added the Space Show at the Hayden Planetarium.

We started our tour on the outside of the Hayden Sphere with Scales of the Universe. There, various models were compared the sphere to explain the powers of 10. For example, a 12" diameter ball equalled the size of a single blood cell next to The Sphere that represented a single drop of water. Other relationships were demonstrated in oders of magniutde as you moved around the middle level of the sphere. After orbiting the sphere, we moved to the Space Theater to see "Passport to the Universe". The theater touts a new Zeiss Mark IX star projector along with high definition video projection.. For starters, the waiting area hasat least adozen plasma screens with HDTV videos of celestial objects to warm you up for the show. I've been to a number of planetaria in the U.S. This was hands down the best planetarium experience I've ever had. Don't miss this one!

From the Space Theater we went back to The Sphere's middle level to experience Big Bang. Here we entered the bottom half of The Sphere. The program was conjured up onto a spherical screen that we looked down on to as we stood. I couldn't help reciting the first lines of MacBeth and was expecting fog and smoke to descend from above. It was a very repectable presentation! At least 6 video projectors were used and they were quite seamless. After exiting The Sphere we worked our way down The Walk, actually the Heilbrunn Cosmic Pathway. Just outside the door of the Big Bang, you start at the beginning of our universe, every step you take is the equivalent of 75 million years. The spiraling walk ends in the present where the thickness of a human hair represents human history. The Sphere and The Walk really, pardon the pun, put things in perspective.

After checking the time we decided on lunch in the Museum's cafe. The choices were plentiful. Good food, generously priced. My wrap was close to $8. Who could complain? We just experienced The Universe! Wanting to experience some more of our own Sun, we headed back outside. After a quick connoiter and shoe adjustment(not only were my blisters barking again, but I had a really, really, nasty chafe going), I pointed us south, down Central Park West.

We stopped at 72nd Street and turned right. This brought us to driveway of The Dakota, the place where John Lennon was murdered on December 8, 1980. I had to remind myself Mike hadn't even been born yet. Whew, I am getting old.

From 72nd we worked our way south and west. Before we knew it, we were standing in front of Lincoln Center.

This is the Opera House at Lincoln Center, one of the three large performance halls. The State Theatre is to the left and the Avery Fischer Hall is to the right. We made use of the amenities and quickly caught a #1 and then a R train to South Ferry. Hey, it was only quarter to 4 and we still had daylight to burn!