Well, what can I say. New York was just out of this world. I can’t believe I’m home already and as I sat here today looking through the photos the memories are still so fresh. I can almost smell that warm New York air coming off my screen.
We honestly had the most amazing trip. Right from the moment we arrived at the hotel (where we checked in right next to the one and only Brian O’Driscoll!) we were on a holiday high. The view from our room was breathtaking – over looking the meat-packing district towards middle Manhattan – the Empire State stood proudly dwarfing any buildings between us and it. See the 2nd shot down on the left for a shot from our room window. Our hotel straddled the High Line – the famous abandoned railway that now serves as a purpose built park which is a beautiful place for evening walks and people watching.
I’ll not bore you with every detail of our trip as for one I’d be here typing for a very long time and two, well, see the first part of this sentence. What I will tell you about is some of our highlights for anyone who may be making a visit and should check out.
Things we loved
The Hotel! We stayed at The Standard and it thoroughly lived up to it’s expectation as one of New York coolest hotels. Everything about this place oozes style but the rooftop bar has to be seen to be fully appreciated. Dee and I did our own little happy dance when we first set eyes on it. Unreal!
The Standard Grill – Just one of the restaurants at the hotel. They do the best breakfast I’ve ever tasted served by the best cofffee in New York and by the friendliest table service. Top notch!
The High Line – If you’re visting NY you just must go and take a walk on the
Wild Side High Line!
Top of the Rock – I missed this opportunity the last time I visted NY and really it one of those things that has to be done. Stunning view. My only regret was doing up in the evening and not during the day. Nighttime lights are pretty, but I’d have loved to have been able to spot a lot more.
Tribute WTC Visitor Center – It’s been 10 years and we’ve seen the videos of that horrible day countless times since then. But you’d need to have a heart of stone or no heart at all to not become very emotional when visting this centre. There’s a deafening silence as you walk through and read eye witness reports or look at artifacts gathered from the rubble. Myself and Dee, who don’t have an ounce of American in us could hardly talk to each other as we left. We were so choked we just needed some time to reflect what we’d just seen.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner on Broadway – It’s cheesy but it’s good. Wannabe broadway stars sing and dance as they serve up you’re big tasty burger and fries. An experience.
The Boat House, Central Park – A lovely restaurant situated right on the lake of Central Park. Be warned though – Go here for lunch or dinner, not breakfast! We made this mistake and it appears that the ‘real’ boathouse opens at 12 noon. We might as well had went to a greasy spoon cafe for what we got. Oh and be sure to hire a boat to work off/work up to your big slap-up feast.
Grand Central Station – Has to be done and when you walk into the main hall it’s breathtaking. I’d loved to have been there back in the day when it was filled with filthy smoke from the trains. Still, amazing. And you have to see the foodhall downstairs!
Ellis Island – We went here on our last day and it was well worth the wait. The audio tour of the Immigration Museum is the best way to experience it as it guides you from room to room explaining what it must have been like for those arriving in New York all those years ago. Quite moving. As Dee and I came to the end of the tour, looking up at those three doors which would have determined an immigrants next move (Accepted and Staying in New York, Accepted and moving to another part of the States or Rejected and to be deported back to their homeland) we could both feel ourselves well up (seriously, I’m getting so soft in my old age). We gave each other a hug and as we turned we realised we were at the Kissing Post. Quite apt as the The Kissing Post is a wooden column outside the Registry Room, where new arrivals were greeted by their relatives and friends, typically with tears, hugs and kisses.
Six Flags New Jersey – Anyone who knows me knows I love amusement parks and few parks get better than Six Flags New Jersey! Home to the worlds tallest rollercoaster (and up until last year it was also the fastest) Kingda Ka! 450 feet tall, 128 mph! I waited in line for my front seat ride and I can honestly tell you I could hardy see! This thing rips through the air at a frantic speed and peels you eyelids back. I kid you not. Next time your driving down the motorway at 65mph, stick your head out the window then double that feeling in terms of speed. Actually don’t… That sounds silly and dangerous. Get a friend to drive and then do it…
B&H – Probably not one of Dee’s highlights but hey, this my blog! A photographers dream superstore. Like cameras? You simply must go.
Eating out – Slap bang in the heart of the Meat Packing district the The Fig and Olive served up the best Lamb Cutlets I’ve ever had (served up a glass cloche with burning Rosemary). And just around the corner STK Rooftop Restaurant was a gorgeous place to have our last proper meal of our stay. Romantic, great food, great service and with a great view look right across to the High Line and our hotel. Word of warning – if heading out in NYC on Friday or Saturday, make a reservation. We didn’t but got very, very lucky!
Mary Poppins on Broadway – No trip to New York is complete without a trip to a broadway show. We wanted to keep this light and breezy so Mary Poppins was the perfect note to end our stay on. The New Amsterdam Theatre is fabulous and as for the show itself, well, sheer eye candy! A feast of colour with all those songs you know and love and a few new ones to boot. Mary Poppins flew right over our head! Oh yes she did!!!
A few Meh moments…
The Guggenhiem – Nice building but only half of it was open and quite frankly some of the work in there is, in MY opinion, drivel.
MoMa – Amazing building but again, the majority of the exhibits in there are laughable. The window bling lying on the ground (no I’m not joking) took the biscuit. Taxi!!!
Okay. I’m rambling. Here are the photos!