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New York, New York!!

January 10, 2013

I am ashamed to say it is over a month since I last wrote a blog – slightly slacking but here are my terrible excuses:

1 – Honeymoon in New York

2 – Christmas with small nephew and neice

3 – Business stuff

4 – Niece’s 2nd birthday

5 – Trying out new and exciting recipes!

So in that order, I shall slowly work through and try to blog at least once a week.

On our first day in New York we woke to beautiful sunny skies, although it was hard to tell it was so sunny as we were in the shadows of the really tall buildings. We had a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, yoghurt and tea (I say we, but Phil had cereal, two bagels and a cake!) we headed out to the Subway and found our way to ‘The High Line’, a walk recommended to us by Marina Spironetti, our Italia magazine journalist for the boat. We wandered along an old railway track about 3 storeys above the road and took in the views across the Hudson River as well as enjoying the art work supplied by many local artists. This building particularly caught my eye!

Art on the High Line

We got to 34th street and continued a little further up to the piers and caught our Circle Line 3 hour cruise around the whole island. For someone like me who knows that New York is a long way away, near the coast and has lots of Americans in it, it was a great eye opener. We cruised past Lady Liberty, the financial district, all the smaller islands, Queens, Brooklyn…We also passed under 19 bridges and one railroad bridge had to open for us.

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty and the financial district

It was a very chilly ride but the guide made it a very interesting 3 hours. After a warming coffee and a stroll back via some Fifth Avenue shops, we had a quick change, some (complimentary) cheese and Prosecco in our hotel and headed back out to claim our tickets for the show that night. We arrived a bit early ut were treated to the humour of the doorman until we were allowed into the Majestic Theatre where we saw Phantom of the Opera. We met a lovely couple, Lily and her partner, aged about 90 (he remembered the war), I told them how to get cheap tickets and the show began. All I can say is that it was absolutely amazing and I would go every week if I could!

Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock

The Library Hotel turned out to be an amazingly convenient and central place on 41st and Madison. (I even picked up the lingo!) which meant that we didn’t have to worry about getting trains and buses to places because we were only really 5 minutes from anywhere.

So here we are at the ‘Top of the Rock’ with the Empire State Building creeping into view! We decided to head up early as the queues can get crazy and with all the tourists around we decided that the advice was probably good. So after an amazing shoot to the top in a rather speedy elevator (I think it did 80 floors in 20 seconds!) we stepped out into the freezing top floor of the Rockefeller Centre. The views were spectacular. We had Central Park on one side, the Hudson River on another, Empire State on the South side and Brooklyn across the final side. We really could see for miles!!

Panoramic over Central Park

Panoramic over Central Park

That afternoon we went to the world famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and saw every last piece that they had, including Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’. That evening we strolled through Saks on Fifth Avenue (definitely best to tackle it store by store) and made it back to our hotel for cheese and wine. We had dinner in an expensive Italian pace but it was tasty.

The next day was definitely one I was looking to forward to massively!! We went to Central Park and took our picture on the edge of the sheep’s meadow with the NYC skyline behind us – an fabulous recommendation from a guy at the hotel.

Sheep's Meadow

Sheep’s Meadow

From here we went to the Natural history Museum and were taken to the stars and back as well as to the dinosaurs and under the sea. It was absolutely incredible and definitely worth a visit whether you have children or not. We even sent a video of ourselves diving with sharks to our nephew and niece!

From here we went on to my favourite and most glamorous part of the holiday: Afternoon Tea in The Plaza. It was everything the films show it to be and after pink champagne and little sandwiches, as well scones and little fancies I was definitely ready to retire to my private room and float away on the feather filled beds…

Afternoon Tea at The Plaza

Afternoon Tea at The Plaza

After a bump back to earth and having explored the hotel fully, we decided to go over to Times Square where we visited Toys ‘R’ Us and their indoor ferris wheel, M and M’s world where you can print your own M and M message, and of course the Hershey store. We also saw the naked cowboy in his tighty whiteys and avoided  a dance with him!!

Later that evening we were off to Radio City to see The Rockettes. Apparently Christmas in New York is not complete without a visit to see them and I would fully agree. They were spectacular!

So after all that excitement we had a little lie in the next morning, and the hotel were very generous by extending breakfast for all guests until 1030 as it was the weekend! Phil definitely stocked up on energy as he knew what was next – Macy’s!! Only the world’s biggest department store!! I was actually very good and only bought three things, none of which were for me.

Macy's

Macy’s

So, having seen and believed we ventured on, back to Central Park to fight for a horse-drawn carriage ride. There’s no rules, just try and catch one on his way round. Luckily I’m quite good at not getting pushed past and I soon had the measure of things. We got a great carriage, horse and driver and were soon gently making our way round the circuit.

Carriage Ride in Central Park

Carriage Ride in Central Park

After a quick hot dog for sustenance and warmth, we headed into the Metropolitan Museum of Art and this time chose to just visit three things that interested us. I chose musical instruments, Phil chose the armoury and we both decided on photography. It was very interesting and the building itself was absolutely incredible.

Our final evening was spent as high as we could possibly get without flying, 86 floors to be precise, at the top of the Empire State Building! We went up at about 8pm and there was no queue or pushing for space for the views. Although it was definitely minus temperatures, the audio guide was interesting and you could see a lot of it from inside the very nicely heated viewing area. Again, the skies were clear and we could see twinkling lights and skyscrapers for miles.

On our final day we headed over to Brooklyn. We decided to walk across the bridge and although t was only drizzling we got decidedly wet! Still, it was worth it and we even found the flea market as well as a delicious place to have a late lunch.

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge

And that was it. New York New York. What a place. There’s so much more to say; how friendly the people are, the amazing subway system… And of course there’s so much more to do but we just simply didn’t have time!

There’s always next time…

 

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