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Published on 05-22-2010 09:37 PM

Number of Views: 1549


By: John B. Holbrook, II

5/14/10 - 5/16/2010

May 15th, 2010 the fourth annual Online Watch Enthusiasts Get Together in New York City took place - we call it the "NYC GTG" for short. This is my third time attending - you can read my previous NYC GTG Reports on The Rolex Reference Page Travel Articles section. My wife, Karen couldn't make it this year, but fellow Dayton, Ohio watch Enthusiast and good friend John Rigano made the trip, as he did in 2008.

We caught an early flight out of Dayton to LaGuardia (straight through!! Yippie!!) Friday the 14th, and grabbed a cab to the hotel:

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We stayed at our usual hang out for the GTG - the Mid-Town Holiday Inn

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It's not the fanciest place in town, but I'd be hard pressed to stay anywhere else due to the great relationship we have with one of the owners.
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We checked in and did a quick unpack, then went back out to see the sights. It was a little cloudy and rainy when we got into town, but it cleared up by about mid-morning:

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We of course had to swing by "mecca" as one of our first stops - the NYC US Headquarters of Rolex USA:

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We did some watch shopping too at the usual suspects - Tourneau and Wempe:

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We saw an Asian gentlemen pull out a serious wad of 100's to buy an Omega here at the NYC Omega Boutique:

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Had to get this pic for my Coca-Cola gal Karen:

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We decided to head up to the top of the Empire State Building for some good sunset and night pictures.

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A few other folks had the same idea:

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We fought through the crowds and got some good shots:

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The sun started to set:

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The Empire State Building from the street:

Sky Building Cloud Skyscraper Atmosphere

Then we decided to head over to Times Square to get some good night photos:

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After Times Square, we headed back to the hotel for some shut eye.

The next morning we headed to Battery Park - in our trip planning, we had hoped to get tickets to go up in the newly re-opened Statue of Liberty crown (it had been closed to the public since 9/11 until very recently). However, Crown tickets were sold out until August.
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After we got our tickets for the Liberty Island Ferry, we discovered the line stretched from Castle Clinton half way around Battery Park....we were in line for an hour and a half until we got to the security checkpoint for the ferry:

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While in line we saw the Pier A Merchant Marine Memorial:

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We finally got on the ferry and left the pier:

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Cloud Water Building Sky Skyscraper

We passed Ellis Island:
Cloud Water Sky Daytime Building

The ferry was filled to capacity with folks anxious to see the Statue.

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Finally - Lady Liberty and her Coast Guard chaperons:

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The pier at Liberty Island:

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Cloud Water Sky Building Tree

It was a long wait, but we finally made it!

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The wait was worth it as it was a day with perfect weather to get some great photos of the old gal:

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You can't help but feel patriotic when you're on Liberty Island:

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After we walked around taking photos on Liberty Island it was time to catch the ferry to the next stop - Ellis Island:

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See you next time Lady Liberty!

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Ellis Island:
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Many Americans can trace their roots to the immigrants who passed though these halls:
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Outside at the front of the island there's a huge wall inscribed with the names of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island - names are written on the front and back, and it stretches around the front perimeter of the island:
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While I'm not certain, I've seen some geneology reports which suggest that Richard Holbrook is a direct relative of mine - I found his name on the wall which was pretty neat:
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The tip of Ellis Island is a great vantage point from which to take a photo of New York:
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It's also a great spot for a wrist shot!
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After an enjoyable time exploring and photo taking, we left Ellis Island and headed back to New York.
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It's a short walk from Battery Park to Wall Street:
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It's also not very far from Wall Street over to Freedom Towers construction site - formerly the World Trade Center. It looks like some progress is finally being made on the Freedom Towers project.
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We took a few cabs during our stay, but we also bought a metro card and used the NYC Subway:

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It was usually pretty crowded!
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We had to hurry back to the hotel and get changed then catch a cab over to the big Get Together. It was about this time that I discovered that while I brought my rechargeable batteries for my flash...but forgot to bring my flash.
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So I didn't get too many photos during the GTG - but John Rigano remembered to bring his so I'm sure his trip report will have plenty. Until then, here's a a few I managed to get:

Many thanks to Milos "Watchfan1" for organizing yet another successful NYC GTG. Milos is the WATCH TALK FORUMS Admin Team member responsible for the Patek Philippe Forum, and also plays host to the Tampa FL GTG in the Fall. Even though turn out for this year's NYC GTG was less than what we've seen in year's past, I can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable for me. Maybe it was because that, without my flash, I put my camera away and actually enjoyed myself this year!
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Here's Milos enjoying a drink at the bar with John Rigano:

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Here's a photo of the newest WATCH TALK FORUMS Admin Team member - Adam "Gladiator" - he'll be leading the upcoming Beginner Watch Collector Forum. Adam came all the way from Spain to be with us at the GTG:

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The big prize drawing for the prizes donated by several sponsors who support the NYC GTG:

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The traditional "all in" watch photo at the end of the evening:

Guitar accessory Musical instrument Musical instrument accessory Vehicle String instrument accessory

Wait! We forgot to include Greg "RJ007" - Moderator of the WATCH TALK FORUMS American Watch Forum:
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Musical instrument Audio equipment Musical instrument accessory Electronic device Automotive design

Also, the winners of the big WATCH TALK FORUMS Patron Program Three Watch Giveaway were randomly drawn and announced at the GTG:

Stainless Steel Winner of The Bernhardt Sea Shark: MDTerps

Gold Winner of The NFW AutoPilot: MileHiM5

Platinum Winner of The Boschett Ocean Mariner: omega564

A BIG Congrats to all the winners!

Many thanks to everyone who has joined the WATCH TALK FORUMS Patron Program! Look for more contests and giveaways coming in the near future ONLY for our Patron members!

After the GTG, John Rigano and I headed over to Fox News Studios for an impromptu tour. Fox doesn't give public tours of their facilities...but hey, if you know the right people...
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Entering the inner sanctum of Fox News:

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The set of the Fox Morning Show:

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John and I on the curvy couch - practice for when inevitably Fox calls me in as a guest on the Morning Show.
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A couple of "Great Americans" sitting at Sean Hannity's desk:

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Here we are standing on Hannity's Map of America - I'm sure Sean will eventually have me as a guest on his show too....
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Radio City Music Hall is across the street from Fox News:

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After our tour (thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou) we headed back to the hotel for some great fellowship, then called it a night.

The next morning John and I headed over to the Mandarin Oriental for some morning beverages while we enjoyed the view:

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A diet coke and cup of French Pressed coffee? $20.00.
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The view of Columbus Circle and Central Park? Priceless.
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After enjoying our drinks at the Mandarin, we headed down across the street to Columbus Circle:

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Then on to Central Park:

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The beauty of Central Park:

Plant Plant community Green Tree Natural landscape

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Cloud Sky Green Plant People in nature

Water Cloud Sky Plant Building

Water Sky Cloud Plant Building

We had a very enjoyable walk through Central Park. Afterward we headed over to Tom's Restaurant - which any fan of SEINFELD will surely recognize:

Building Window Travel Wheel Road

I come to the final photo of the my 2010 NYC GTG Report, and the close of another FANTASTIC weekend in the Big Apple. I don't think I've ever experienced better weather - if you didn't make the trip this year you really missed out on a great time. Here's one of the last sites we saw before heading back to the hotel, and catching a cab back to LaGuardia:

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I hope you enjoyed the report - and I hope to see you in Tampa in the Fall (read my report from the 2009 Tampa GTG by clicking here) and start making plans to come to the 2011 NYC GTG!!!
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**Photos & Text Copyright 2010WATCH TALK FORUMS INC.. No part of this report can be reproduced outside of WATCH TALK FORUMS without the expressed permission of John B. Holbrook, II.

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