09.05.2017 - 13.05.2017 14 °C
Arrived at La Guardia Airport New York about 12.30pm on Tuesday 9/5. An uneventful flight and airport experience but our taxi ride to mid-town NYC was eye opening to say the least. Our hotel is in 39th street and we made it to that street reasonably quickly. But the trip up 39th was unbelievable. Don't know if it has changed since we were here in 2011 but I have never seen traffic like it. And no one; drivers, pedestrians, cyclists; obey the rules. It took us more than 20 minutes to travel the 20 blocks to our hotel.
New York is just crazy. People; noise; traffic; police everywhere; emergency vehicles, sirens blaring, passing on a regular basis; it's just insane. I know it was the same last time but it just seems worse.
One of Laura's friends works at a restaurant, "The Smith Downtown", and made a reservation for us. It was a 45 minute walk form our hotel but we walked any way. The restaurant was great (very busy) the food was plentiful and good, but our "connection" meant we received some complimentary "treats". the most interesting being a bowl of baked brussels sprouts. They weren't bad but???? Didn't want to walk back so we tried Uber New York. Ten minute ride, price $5.10.
On Wednesday 10/5 we did a tour of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Wanted to go there and see this and could have done it independently. But doing the tour was the right thing to do. The guide, Daniel, gave us a lot of personal perspectives of 9/11 and New York City in the days, weeks and months after. The memorial is tasteful, understated and amazing at the same time. It is very respectful but the Reflecting Pools are massive and, to me, absolutely appropriate. The museum is also amazing, much of it in and under the foundations of the Twin Towers and the Memorial.
Tonight we went to see "The Book of Mormon" at the Eugene O'Neill Theater. I love musicals and have seen quite a few but this is one of the best. It was just brilliant, You just need to see it.
On Thursday 11/5 we took the subway to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall station and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (with about 5,000 other tourists), to Brooklyn. It was good to walk over this famous bridge and there are a lot of great views as you walk. But the people, all taking selfies and getting in each others way........
Once over the bridge, it got a little less hectic. We quickly found a pizza shop in Dumbo and had a couple of slices each, which weren't bad, and then had a look around the area. It was a nice day so there were a lot of people in the riverside parks just relaxing or strolling around the shops in Dumbo. But it was very quiet compared to Manhattan. Took some photos in the area and then hopped on the subway back to Manhattan.
For dinner went to Carmine's Italian Restaurant on 44th Street, right in the middle of the Theater District and a very "happening" place. Our Brazilian friends Marilia and Marcel took us there for lunch on our last visit and we were keen to try it again. It is really big and busy and crowded but the service is great, the food is excellent but the servings are ridiculous. Dishes are served in only one size, HUGE. Two normal people can only eat one dish between them but there is really enough for 3-4. A lot of people take half of it with them in a "to go box" when they leave. Crazy, but a real New York experience.
Friday 12/4 we walked the High Line which is a walkway/linear park along a disused elevated rail line on the lower west side of Manhattan next to the Hudson River. The area is undergoing major redevelopment but the walk takes you through some very old parts of Manhattan and the views along the way are very interesting. The park itself has kept its railway heritage with much of one of pairs of tracks remaining in place. A very enjoyable morning.
The walk ended in Chelsea where we met Meghan, a New Yorker friend of Laura's and had lunch at "The Park" restaurant.
Feeling a little tired after our walk and lunch so we had a little rest and watched the golf on TV. Dinner at a local Chinese restaurant.
Saturday 13/4, our last full day in NYC, we went to the wonderful Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET). It was a rainy Saturday so we decided to get there early. We arrived just after opening time and the lines to get in were long and intimidating. But as it turned out, it was just security that caused the line and shortly we were inside. The MET is the most amazing art museum. This is our second visit and we were not disappointed. Everywhere you look there are priceless and wonderful artifacts. It is just too rich to describe. We spent nearly five hours there and that is not enough time to take in all that is on offer. It is truly remarkable. My favorite place in New York.
Fortunately, we went early because in the afternoon the museum started to become really crowded (the rainy day and it being the weekend probably contributed to the crowds) and we were ready to leave by the time it became uncomfortable. So we took the subway back to Times Square and then back to our hotel.
We have become comfortable with the New York subway this visit and have found that you can go almost anywhere using it. Last time we used taxis a lot but this time we haven't needed to.
Back at the hotel we spent a couple of hours watching the Players (Golf) Championship on TV and then went to "Tir Na Nog", the Irish Pub next door, for a great dinner.
Tomorrow we head for home so this is the end of this blog. I hope you enjoyed it.