...so good I'm going to have to go there twice.
Our trip seems like it was a busy one, based on how much we saw and did, but really it didn't feel that way, which I think goes back to the thing about how everything is closer than you think to everything else. Even so my blisters got blisters and are only just nearly gone so we walked loads. It is the best way to see a city I think.
Our first couple of days were pretty packed when you look back on it.We got in fairly late to our hotel from JFK after our flight, but we made the most of it. We got to the subway and got our weekly ticket for speedy movement around the boroughs & headed to Times Square. My first thought when we got out of the Subway was literally "That's Daylight!", it was really that bright!
There were a few things we wanted to buy in New York, a couple of which were in stores near Times Square so after wandering around and getting total neck ache looking up at the billboards, we did our shopping and walked the dozen blocks home, wandering the theater district, which was a nice way to stretch our legs before all the walking we'd be doing the next day. About half way back was a brilliant little ramen place I had read about on buzzfeed Totto Ramen, so we had a massive bowl of fantastic noodles each.
We were staying at Hudson New York as we got a cheap deal, and honestly if I got a similar price I'd stay again. Minutes from the Subway, a block from the park and fairly close to pretty much everywhere I'd be going back to it is great for location. For the price we got a room that wasn't much smaller than our old flat, so we could handle it, but also included breakfast buffet that we filled up on each morning so were able to start early (we left each morning about 8.30) and not feel the need to stop for lunch until mid afternoon - missing everyone's lunch hour which is always a bonus in a big city.
Starting early also meant we were able to walk to things and see sights on the way, but still make the most of opening times. On our first morning we walked to Fifth Avenue for Tiffany, going via the fantastic 6 1/2 Avenue before walking to Moma. 6 1/2 Avenue is a walkway between 6th and 7th going 6 blocks, that honestly you have to walk to believe. We couldn't find it at first because you actually have to go into buildings which we didn't realize. I felt a bit like I was in the Adjustment Bureau walking out one door, across the street and then opening doors into another building. It took alot less time to walk than we thought so we ended up on Fifth Avenue before anything opened and I was literally waiting outside Tiffany for it to open. No danish and coffee though, and I've never been able to perfect the beehive look.
Tiffanys was, of course, fab and I felt like a million bucks walking around. Of course, I had to get something and in true tribute to Holly Golightly we got me an engraved ring. Trump tower was next door, so we snuck in for a quick look before heading to the Museum of Modern Art. One word - gaudy. Orange marble and gold or copper fittings it just made my eyes hurt.
MoMA was another world entirely. There are no words for how much I loved walking around the gallery. The art was fab, the gallery had hung and lit the pieces really well and I loved being able to get close to the art and see the texture of the paint. They of course don't want you to touch the paintings, but they seemed alittle more relaxed about you getting close (as long as your hands stayed on your camera or by your side anyway). Sadly they were in the process of refreshing an entire floor so I didn't get to see everything I wanted but I saw the most important bits. Starry Night, and Van Gogh in general are loves for both me and my dad, so it was really emotional to get to see it. Another fab thing was a self portrait of Frida Khalo, hung next to a decorated mirror that she painted to match the frame on the portrait. She gifted both to a friend so they could be together, and as hung you can put yourself in the mirror which is kind of cool.
I could have spent the whole day in MoMA, but knowing I needed to come back to see the pieces I wanted to that weren't on show, we weren't there quite that long. Not yet hungry after our carb loading breakfast, but with the day warming up, we headed back to the hotel to leave a layer behind and then went down to wall street for a look around and then got the Staten Island Ferry.
Of course we wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, but honestly we had no interest in going to Liberty or Ellis Islands, so the free Staten Island Ferry seemed like the perfect thing to do. We picked up a few cakey bits at a street market on Bowling Green then grabbed the Ferry for the free view. It was worth every not-paid penny.
It's about a 40 minute round trip, and as well as Liberty, on the way back you get to see the approaching Lower Manhattan Skyline. After docking back at Battery Park, we headed up to Shake Shack for some lunch, and then to the World Trade Centre Site. First we headed up the new building before heading to the memorial. Going up to the top of the new One World Trade was really cool, an amazing view over lower Manhattan and the sea. I was expecting to get totally emotional and upset but the memorial and the museum were actually as uplifting (in the stories of survival and recovery) as upsetting and really rather interesting. Before I realised it we had been in the building for over 2 hours.
It sounds like a crazy amount of stuff to do in one day right? and maybe it was a little as we were out a long time, but then we just didn't head back to the hotel to change before heading out to eat. The next day was a bit more sedate - a walk in central park and around the upper west side sites before heading to the Guggenheim and a foodie festival... but more on that to come.