I can not overemphasize how great it was to have Emily as a guide. Not only has she lived in the Big Apple for 7 years, she also knows many fun things you would probably miss if TripAdvisor was your source of information. Like when we went to Grand Central Station, which is very grand indeed, Emily put me in one corner and walked to the other side of the part of the building and talked in a normal voice that despite being way too far away for me to be audible, was perfectly clear as if she was standing next to me. The reason were the special tiles that were used in the rounded ceiling that carry sound. Terrific!
She also showed me the very futuristic Oculus, the new commuter station at the World Trade Center. Now I really want to be a New Jersey commuter to enjoy those marble staircases every day. (I have learned, though, that New Yorkers look down on suburban New Jersey.) I will admit that my very first thought coming into the Oculus was not, as the architect intended, that it as a bird being released from a child’s hand, but rather that The Hunger Games were filmed there.