New York: Empire State Building Race; Grand Central Terminal 100 Years Old; Stage Deli Closed

Assorted watercraft cruise on the Hudson River during a hazy day in New York. Photograph ©2012 by Brian Cohen.

I have always believed that there is no city on this planet quite like New York. Its incredible mélange of food, business, architecture, people, activities, history and entertainment solidifies its place as one of the most popular destinations in the world for tourists, business travelers and frequent fliers alike, as New York has something for everyone.
Here are a few updates regarding New York if it is a destination you plan to visit in the foreseeable future:
First, consider supporting FlyerTalk member MichaelWTravels, who is participating in the Empire State Building Run-Up on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 8:00 in the evening and intends to be the first to climb up 86 stories to the observation deck — or a vertical distance of nearly a quarter of a mile comprised of 1,576 steps. Two charities stand to benefit from this race, which first launched in 1978. While it is too late to participate in the race this year, you could always consider entering it next time — but do not think for one minute that it is a way to bypass the expensive ticket prices to visit the Empire State Building, as the entrance fee for this race is $100.00, according to MichaelWTravels.
Did you wish Grand Central Terminal a happy birthday today? The iconic landmark celebrates 100 years with grandeur, earning its place amongst the rich annals of the history of New York as one of the most famous train stations in the world with its renowned Beaux Arts architecture. While visiting the engineering — no pun intended — marvel on your own is free of charge, audio tours are available for between $5.00 and $7.00; and grand tours conducted —again, no pun intended — by volunteer guides are also available for between $15.00 and $20.00. If you have never visited Grand Central Terminal, ensure that you visit it during the next time you are in New York — even if only to watch the hustle and bustle of thousands of people with places to go rushing through it to get to their departing trains on time.
A pastrami sandwich on rye bread in New York. Photograph ©2012 by Brian Cohen.

On a sad note, a legendary New York dining establishment has closed: after 75 years in business, what was once considered the venerable Stage Deli closed its doors forever. It was an empty victory for rival Carnegie Deli, which competed for decades with Stage Deli only half a city block away for customers hungry for overstuffed corned beef and pastrami sandwiches and other Kosher-style fare. Stage Deli — known for naming its sandwiches after celebrities — is the latest amongst a spate of delicatessens to close in New York. Although there are a number of choices still available in New York pertaining to both authentic Kosher and Kosher-style delicatessens where you can satisfy your craving of a week’s worth of meat piled high between two slices of rye bread and slathered with spicy brown mustard, the traditional delicatessen in New York appears to be slowly vanishing. At least FlyerTalk members are doing their part to prolong the existence of traditional delicatessens in New York — even if only in a small way.
Another restaurant to have closed is John’s Pizzeria on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village by order of the Department of Health in New York City Department after reportedly finding a long list of health code violations. FlyerTalk members hoped that the closure was not permanent — and it appears that their wish was granted, as a quick telephone call to the 83-year-old establishment confirmed that they are once again open for business.
I just found out that Ed Koch — former mayor of New York, whom I had met in person more than once — died earlier today. May he rest in peace…

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