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Adventures in New York City

Last week I visited New York City for four days. With the exception of London, England, this city is the busiest one I've visited, with a population of over 8.5 million people. I spent my time in Manhattan where I found there was just as much traffic on the sidewalks as the streets. With the streets mostly filled with taxis, Cadillacs and full-sized SUVs, I don't think I've heard so many car honks per minute anywhere else.

As always, at the top of my list of things to do was anything magic related. I had heard of a highly recommended magic show called "In & of Itself". This is a magical storytelling production about one's identity. I don't get fooled as much as I used to, but this show reignited the magical spark of wonder that got me started with magic in the first place. If you ever get a chance to see this show, I promise you won't regret it.

New York City has two magic shops, both are located in Manhattan, close to Times Square. I couldn't get enough of these places, especially Tannen's Magic Shop. Overall I think I spent 8 hours in there. Behind the counter was Magick Balay. He is a well-known magician in the magic community. It was a pleasure to watch him perform, as he is one of America's top demo magicians. He has demonstrated magic for all the top magic suppliers in USA, and he has some of the best presentations I've seen.

Next stop was another magic shop called Fantasma. This store was very different from Tannen's. The owner of this shop buys magic collections from around the world and sells them here. He showed me antique magic props and tricks that I had never seen before. I know that if I ever want something that no other magicians have, then this is the place to go.

Fantasma is also known for their Harry Houdini museum. Inside their store, they have many of Houdini's original props and cases that he used, as well as signed pictures and posters on display. It was very interesting to learn more about the legendary escape artist's history.

With the little time I had left, I did some sightseeing and visited the Rockefeller Center, home of the Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. At 259 meters high, the top of this building offered some stunning views of Manhattan. In the picture below, you can see the worlds tallest residential building to date, 432 Park Avenue Condominium, towering above its neighbors at 425 meters high. Further in the background is a view of Central Park.

Here is another view on the opposite side of the Rockefeller Center, looking towards the Empire State building with the Hudson River on the left and East River on the right.

On my final day, I visited Ground Zero, where the original World Trade Twin Towers once stood. New York City did an excellent job of building a beautiful memorial for all those who lost their lives back in 2001. Below is a picture of one of two manmade, never ending waterfalls where one of the towers once stood. The name of every victim has been machine cut into the perimeter walls.

Behind me are Three and Four World trade center buildings. After the attacks, all of the remaining World Trade Center buildings were demolished and rebuilt, as they were damaged from the collapsing Twin Towers. I was told the final World Trade Center building has yet to be built and is undergoing construction very soon.

Unfortunately, the weather was a bit too cold for street performing, so I didn't do any this time around. However, my visit was still filled with magic and I was very pleased with my time spent in Manhattan, New York City.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more traveling adventures.

Kevin Smith


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