With the Central Park Zoo behind me I wanted to make sure I didn’t run into the marathon again and need to make a long detour to get around. So I headed straight down 5th Avenue passed the big Apple (hah) computer store. I wasn’t in need of a new iPhone but did want to check it out however the line to get in was crazy so I skipped on by.
I had to walk about 8 blocks south to 51st Street and then head towards Broadway passing Rockefeller Center and Radio City music hall. Then at the corner of Broadway and 51st was my next stop Ellen’s Stardust Diner.
The diner was opened in 1987 and was the first 1950s themed restaurant in New York City with the waitresses even wearing poodle skirts and even break out singing every now and then. Once of their wait staff was even featured on a season of American Idol. Confession time, I have visited this place a few times in the past but never actually eaten here. Either the wait time is crazy, or as on this trip it was between meals and I wasn’t hungry. So I’ve only ever been in the vestibule inside the front door just to use the penny machine. But someday I’m sure I’ll make it for a meal.
My first visit here was able to get a set of pennies but that was over 6 years ago. About two years ago I visited to try to get a set from their new penny machine but it was out-of-order. Unfortunately this trip was no different and the coin slider was jammed inside and couldn’t be used. I have a feeling with this machine located right where the masses wait for a table they are probably not too gentle with the machine. Also with the large international crowd that visits Times Square each year I see lots of foreign currently stuck inside the machines. This is also why I take any opportunity to help our international guests figure out the correct change to use.
The designs that would have been available here included Ellen’s Stardust Diner, I Love New York City / Statue of Liberty, NYC Times Square, and We Will Never Forget / World Trade Center. As with the machine that wasn’t working in the zoo after I got home I wrote a letter to the diner with some quarters and pennies asking for a set of the designs. Hopefully they will be accommodating, but I don’t know how long it will take before the machine is working again.
So far on this trip I had visited a total of 9 machines and only two had been broken. My success rate wasn’t too bad, but hopefully the rest of my trip would work out a little better.