The Big Apple
Trip Start May 03, 2011
31Trip End Oct 27, 2011
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Got to NYC after a 5 hour bus journey from Boston at 3.30pm. The streets were packed as you'd expect and it was great fun walking the streets with our huge backpacks on. Checked into the Element Hotel on 39th Street, about 5mins away from Times Square. Took a walk around there and saw loads of restaurants & shops – ate at Burger King (Bourbon Whopper & Californian Whopper meals) and checked out Toys R Us, M&M’s World, Hershey’s Chocolate Store and Jamba Juice smoothy bar.
People on the street trying to get us to give money all the time... worse than Ramsgate town on market day! Trying to avoid them for the rest of our stay now, hearing about poor people is really ruining the Times Square experience
Eating like pigs here so it’s important to get as much exercise as possible – today we walked for about 7 hours – Central Park, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Centre all conquered today.
We used our New York City passes which gives us discounted access to some of the best NYC attractions like Top Of The Rock & museums. Central Park is an incredible place to visit – we were in there for 5 hours and didn’t even cover half of it. It’s so lush and peaceful, although you can sometimes see the tops of skyscrapers peering over the trees & the sound s of the city are always in the backgound – the traffic and police sirens sporadically chirping up. Inside the park there’s loads of cyclists, joggers, and the Horse-drawn Carriages. Theres also loads of recreational spaces, baseball mounds with bleachers to watch games etc. We stumbled upon a castle in the middle of the park which is bizarre but great fun and overlooks a huge pond... there really is so much in there and we only saw half of it!
For Seinfeld fans, we got dinner tonight from the Soup Nazi! I had Chicken Noodle & Stanzi had Tomato & Basil and they were so frikkin’ good! Yumsers, thanks Soup Nazi! NEXT!
Also had genuine New York pizza for the first but not the last time of the trip, as it’s so damn delicious
Finally, check out the pictures from the top of Rockefeller Plaza – NYC from 70 floors up – SPECTACULAR!
After walking all day yesterday we were aching and didn't fancy walking 90mins down to Battery Park to catch the ferry to visit the Statue of Liberty (although we would get some inadvertant exercise later...). So we took the subway downtown and queued up for just over an hour in the warm NY sun to get a ride to Liberty Island. They pack the boats out as you can see from the pics, hundreds of people on each boat, and the boats rocked alot more than we thought they would considering we were in a river & not an ocean!
The boat stopped at the Statue of Liberty and then stopped at Ellis Island, which is where immigrants used to land first when they arrived at the U.S., before returning us to Lower Manhatten. From there it was a short walk to the former World Trade Centre site. This is a bittersweet experience as there is nothing to see there really, but that is kind of the point. Even in a city of skyscrapers I imagine the grandeur of the Twin Towers must have been a sight to behold but now there is only a large construction site with the promise of more to come...
We stopped for a half price frappachino fom Starbucks by the Hudson River (Frappy Hour!) which in the sun is reminiscent of sitting along Ramsgate harbour in the Summer
We went out for a meal at Chevy's Fresh Mex near Times square in the evening and got a bargain 3-course meal deal including the nicest deep-fried ice-cream dessert (click on the pic for more information), and educated our waiter Cliff about what the Queen & the royal family actually do! He gave the wedding a thumbs up, and so do a load of the yellow taxis that are around the city, apparently.
We finished the day with a night-time visit up the Empire State Building. It was great to see the city from 86 floors up at night - you can see how alive the city is no matter what time of day!
A relative day of rest compared to the past couple of days - Stanzi chilled at the hotel whilst I went to Nevada Smith's bar downtown to watch the Man Utd-Chelsea game. It's the premier bar for Man Utd supporters in the U.S and the place was buzzing even before kick off (which due to the time difference was 11am!) Needless to say, when Utd scored after 36 seconds the place errupted! Best atmosphere I've experienced for a football game in ages & made even better by the result.
We both went to McQuaid's bar for a couple of afternoon drinks to relax, it's a bit of a dive bar out of the tourist spots but you pay nicer prices and get friendly service
Our last day we met up with 'family friend' Mark Day who has lived in HYC for 7 years and showed us some of the sights we wouldn't have found on our own. First though we spent 2 hours sunbathing in Central Park - more than enough to turn us into lobsters apparently! If that wasn't enough to prepare us for Texas next week, then having lunch at the Dallas Grill certainly helped - Texas sized meals!
Mark showed us where John Lennon was shot, the Opera House, The Royal Philharmonic, The Ballet Building & Juilliard School for the Arts, and also the Mormon temple in New York.
In the evening we got to see a broadway musical called Avenue Q. It's basically an adult version of Sesame Street & it was HILARIOUS! Puppets singing about sex, drugs, drinking & homosexuality. It was done with a nice message too though lol. You should definitely look this show up! And the drinks they sold at the theatre were not for the feint-hearted either, we only had a couple and really knew about it by the time we left!
Anyway, we left New York on a high, having crammed a LOT into 5 days, and were now Buffalo bound - and 8 hour coach journey awaited...!