A Travellerspoint blog

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Autumn in New York

First full day in NYC!!

sunny 27 °C
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View from our lounge room

Our morning started by wandering down our street on the upper west side at West 83rd, to Broadway, we then walked down to W 72nd Street, where we headed across town towards Central Park. This gave Mum and Joan a feel for the area and practice trying to work out how to navigate NYC.
As NYC is a giant grid, it is a simple as moving uptown, downtown and across town. All you need to figure out is where you are and where you are headed. Both of them are experts now!
We walked by the Dakota building where John Lennon was assassinated, and then visited Strawberry Fields - the John Lennon Memorial, in Central Park to consider the great musician who once walked here.


We wandered through Central Park towards the East side, passing Bethesda Fountain, the Boathouse, Conservatory Pond - with remote control toy sailboats sailing on the water (scenes from Stuart little and Trainwreck, were filmed here). It is such a beautiful day here today, the sun is shining, there are so many out enjoying the park and the sunshine, having been here in the sparse, cold winter, it is great to see it at another time of the year. I love both visits for different reasons.



The top left photo is for you Michael! I know you love the Central Park lamp posts!



We got to the upper east side, and walked down 5th Avenue, seeing many familiar places along the way, The Plaza Hotel, the Apple Store, of course we stopped in at Tiffany's (not for breakfast), we wandered past a church where there were lots of people inside and decided to stop on, later finding out it was St Patrick's Cathedral, the church where the Pope is giving a service tomorrow evening.



Our next destination was The Rockerfeller Centre, where we had a beautiful lunch and made our way to 'Top of the Rock' where the views of the city were phenomenal, Joan and Mum were able to get a better sense of the city from this angle also.



Next lesson of the day - how to travel on the subway!
We purchased our 7 day unlimited metro card, then worked out how fast New Yorkers move when they are on a mission! We caught the subway one stop to 42nd St, exited at Bryant Park for a look here and at the NYC Library (where Carrie and Big didn't get married - for Sex and the City fans!).



Now 42nd Street is the place to visit as there are so many classic sights to see, we visited Grand Central Station - where we tried out the whispering gallery and the Aussie coffee shop Cafe Grumpy, for some decent coffee! We headed a cross the road to the foyer of my favourite building - The Chrysler Building, visited the Daily News building - Superman's workplace (and Joan thought I was kidding when I said we were visiting here!), then we wandered up to Tudor place for amazing views right across the city and of the UN building.

Joan and Mum in the corner - nah not really, they are having a turn at the whispering gallery where if you stand in opposite diagonal corners and whisper, the other person can hear you very clearly!



Today, there is a higher presence of police and barricades in the city. They were in Central Park, on the upper east and on 42nd Street. We saw big black cars with sirens, blacked out windows, security and motorcade - we thought it was all linked to the Pope arriving tomorrow, but asked a NYC Policeman, who informed us it was for the UN Summit of country leaders starting tomorrow. There were police on every corner, set of steps and bridges in the UN building area. In addition to this, there is the 'Global Citizen Festival' in Central Park that is organised by Chris Martin - this ties in with the meeting of the UN aims to fight poverty, hunger, and climate change. Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Cold Play and Pearl Jam are part of the performance list. It is nice that all of these important people joined us in NYC at this time!!

After all this walking, we caught a cab across 42nd street, through time square and back up to Zabars - an iconic upper west side deli/grocery store, (featured in numerous movies - 'you've got mail' being one). Here we bought some food supplies and treats and checked out what we can go back and buy for our dinners in the upcoming days - you can purchase ready made home cooked meals, salads, soups, pastas - and all you can imagine. If I lived in NYC, I would never need cook again!

Posted by Auggiesfamily 19:26 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Lullaby on Broadway........

Spoiling Ourselves!

sunny 27 °C
View Girls Trip on Auggiesfamily's travel map.


Today, we had a gentle paced morning, we got up slowly and meandered across Central Park to museum mile on the upper east side. Mum and Joan wanted to see the 'Woman in Gold' painting at the Neue Galerie so this was our first stop. We then walked further up town to see the building of the Guggenheim, then wandered down to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Egyptian art - in my opinion, this is the most beautiful part of the met. The we went to view the impressionists, Van Gough, Monet, Degas, Gauguin - it was beautiful to see their well known pieces of art in such an amazing building.





This photo is for you Dad - to show you some gardens of the posh side of the city!

Next, off to the boathouse for lunch, a table beside the lake, beautiful food, wine or Bellini's (champagne and peach nectar) to drink, a great way to spend an afternoon.



This is 'The Mall' in Central Park, I have put in a photo of me from this visit and of Mike and I on our last visit to show you the contrast of seasons.

Next, back to the east side for a spot of shopping at Bloomingdales!


Then back to get ready for a Broadway show at the Lincoln Centre. Tonight we are seeing 'The King and I'.


What an amazing building the Lincoln Centre is.


Ha ha! a funny thing happened, we caught the subway down and went up the escalator at the Lincoln Centre and arrived in the middle (literally) of a red carpet event. They hadn't blocked off the escalator and we came up onto the red carpet beside the photography screen!! Sadly no Hugh Jackman or anyone else important we knew, we were going to offer to pose, however the lady organising the event ushered us off very quickly!!

Quick note: We have seen the show and it was truly beautiful, as it has been a while since I have seen a theatrical show, I was worried it may be a bit cringey, however, soon I forgot there were others in the theatre watching it with me and that I was the only one drawn in by this beautiful show, music and singing.



Posted by Auggiesfamily 20:18 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Luck be a Lady......

sunny 24 °C
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We were up bright and early this morning, our plan was to catch the Staten Island Ferry before sunrise so we could watch the sun come up over Manhattan, however last night we adjusted this plan to early, but not that early!!


The Staten Island Ferry is free, it goes right past the Statue of Liberty and has great views of the lower end tip of Manhattan, it was a bit chilly this morning until the sun came up, but we enjoyed the ride!

Following this we decided to find Bluestone Coffee, an Aussie coffee shop that is bringing Aussie coffee culture to New York City. We had a true Cappuccino, not a NYC version of black liquid with solid froth, latte’s, an avocado smash and VEGEMITE!!!! Ok so they didn’t get the vegemite spreading right but is was still a welcome change to sweet bread and sweet topping. The staff are mostly Aussie too, so it’s nice for a change.
We then wandered the financial district to see Wall Street, the NY Stock Exchange and the Bowling Green, along with the Charging Bull.



From here we wandered from Battery Park up to Tribeca, along the Hudson. We fell upon 'The Laughing Man’s Coffee and Tea' (Hugh Jackman has shares in this cafe which provides opportunities for bean growers in under developed countries) in Battery Park. We confirmed with the guy behind the counter, that Hugh pops into the other store in Tribeca, 'not this one, is that right?' He said "yep, but Leo calls in now and then” we waited…… but no Leonardo Di Caprio today!



The bottom right photo is to show the Halloween decorations in a bakery window.

We kept on wandering up towards the High Line and as we were the crowds and police barricades increased, the Pope might be coming this way - we were told. Joan and Mum thought they would wait a bit, while I walked up to Hugh’s other shop to get a selfie with Hugh if he popped in. Mum and Joan caught up with me and no Pope, and I had no luck with Hugh. Will have to formulate another plan!


We caught a cab up to the Highline in the meatpacking district and explored up here. After Mum catching my cold, her and Joan decided to head back for a quiet afternoon, while I wandered the area. They navigated the subway all by themselves - and did a great Job!!


I explored Chelsea, the West Village and Meatpacking and here is what I found:

Maxed out the credit card……sorry Michael!! (just kidding - I don’t think that security guy/doorman would even let me in!)

Carrie’s apartment and had a Magnolia Bakery cupcake (yep cliche, I know, but I don’t care!)

Then the Friends building.

Then I kept exploring, some vintage shopping and stopped in at another Bluestone for a snack.
This is a really great area, on my next NYC visit with Michael, this is where we will stay - very Surry Hills style atmosphere.



Made my way up to the Museum of Modern Art (top photo above of the sculpture garden) via Subway and spend some time here before heading to Zabars to buy an $8 home made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Life is just too easy IN NYC - cooking would not be needed!
Moma was good, but not as good as the Met, still my favourite so far. I will explore the Guggenheim over the weekend.


After dinner, we couldn’t resist dessert of Peach Pie, Coconut Cream Pie and Lemon Tart at Cafe Lalo

Posted by Auggiesfamily 19:29 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Oh what a night!

A New York City Weekend.....

sunny 24 °C
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Welcome to the weekend in New York City. The sun is shining, there is a little chill in the air, families are dropping children off, in baseball and soccer uniforms, on the corner with a parent, runners and walkers are out, many walking the dog or their children in a pram.

New York is a city for dogs! There are dogs everywhere, dog pampering shops, dog bowls of water at cafe’s and another trend we have seen is dog shoes……yes dog shoes! We asked a man about this mystery of dog shoes, as in the winter perhaps we could understand the dogs needing to protect their feet, but in this beautiful weather?
Mystery solved - he told us that NYC is a dirty city. His wife said if he wants a dog, and they take their shoes off in the house to keep the floor clean, then the dog does too, plus his dog is white - keeps the dog clean….. lastly in the summer, the tarmac is very very hot to the point of melting…… so doggy shoes it is!


We had an easy morning and walked along Riverside park, which is on the west side, we started at the 91st street garden where Tom Hanks and Brinkley the dog meets Meg Ryan at the end of 'You’ve got Mail” and walked down to 72nd street which was my last home in NYC when we were here last. We had a second breakfast today in this area, at Pier 72 Diner - it was a fabulous breakfast of eggs with corned beef hash - real comfort food, considering it was our second breakie of the day - we devoured it!

Mum and Joan decided to use the day to visit the 9/11 memorial, while I wandered the shops on the Upper West Side and caught up on a nap!


They did a great job finding their way downtown and back, despite the interruptions to the subway network…….
In relation to the memorial, they described it as very moving, it is hard to imagine the area, impact and size, but when you are standing there, the sheer magnitude of the buildings, location and families impacted, hits you. It is an emotional experience, people all around the world recall where they were on that day, watching in horror and empathy. We will truly never forget those impacted.


Below is a picture of the survival tree, the stump was the only tree rescued from the rubble and has been nurtured and replanted - a symbol of hope and survival.


Tonight we have tickets to ‘Jersey boys’ on Broadway! we caught the subway down and explored the crazy busy/hectic but atmospheric time square - there are people everywhere - suffocatingly so, you have to walk slow amongst the crowds and crowds of people…… but at the same time, the atmosphere is euphoric - after all it is NYC!

Below is an only in NY moment........ If you could have seen the face of this character........picture the face of a 90+year old wrinkled face, very fill of character!



We had a giant Pizza for dinner and then enjoyed the show - it was great, the singing was amazing and the performance really told me a lot about the history of the 'Jersey Boys’, explaining the story of them being from Brooklyn - we were able to piece the picture together more clearly, being over here. The show did not have the same impact as 'The King and I’ had on us, that was truly fabulous, however we enjoyed it greatly.


Posted by Auggiesfamily 20:59 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Where the streets have no name......

Harlem and Brooklyn.

semi-overcast 26 °C
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We started our day with a trip to Toms Diner for breakfast, the diner from Seinfeld.
The USA serves the fluffiest, lightest pancakes I have ever tasted. This breakfast set us up for our day walking the Brooklyn Bridge, but first, while we are this far up (110th st) we decided to visit Harlem's Apollo theatre where many greats started off. Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and even Elton John.



The above photo is of Cathedral Church of St John the Devine - is the largest place of worship in America - Louis Armstrong's memorial service was held here.


There are squirrel's everywhere in NYC - there were two chasing each other around this tree today, totally oblivious to humans.

Harlem had some great shopping, GAP - on sale!! The demographic of people was different and the streets a little less clean. We were made more offers of shopping here on street stalls by people wanting to share their music or products. But it was a great visit and you can understand why many are moving to this area, as the rents are lower in these parts. Mount Sinai hospital is up in the 110's and Columbia University is up this way also.

Next the subway home to drop off our goodies, we looked for the flea markets near The American Museum of Natural History (the museum in night at the Museum), but no luck, so got a hot soft pretzel to eat instead (they have to be hot and soft or they are gross!) then got back in the subway to get the train across to Brooklyn!


Once there, we explored DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass), by wandering along the water back towards the walking path on the Brooklyn Bridge.



The walk across the Brooklyn Bridge was beautiful, busy but lovely views of Manhattan. The Bridge is a very artistically creative structure - great for taking photo's of, as you will see.




After we finished our walk, we watched some street dancers who were amazing - it was like watching a gig from step up!



Then back to the subway to make our way to Alice's Teacup for afternoon tea - scones, sandwiches, Irish breakfast and Peach flower tea - with a dash of Alice in Wonderland magic!


Later that evening, Mum and I went to see a movie (Joan rested her bones) at a cinema near the Lincoln Centre - where we later found out held a premier of 'The Martian' while we were at the theatre - celebs in the next room! Sadly no Matt Damon though, even though he stars in it. Anyway back to our movie, we watched 'The Intern' It was amazing - such a feel good, great movie - Robert De Niro was brilliant in this role - go see it!


Following our movie - we popped into Grays Papaya for a hotdog - a must when in NYC!

I have left you with this image as I forgot to include it last night's blog....... here is a ferris wheel, it is INSIDE the Toys R Us building in Time Square, yep inside!


Posted by Auggiesfamily 18:55 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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