This is my second post on New York City, the first one is here.
This post is going to be about:
- More sights
- A scary bike ride
- Aerial views
- Evening entertainment
Let’s start with the scary bike ride shall we? We decided to hire some Citi bikes. They are a bike sharing system and are located all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. We bought a 24 hour ticket and off we set down 6th Avenue towards Central Park. I haven’t ridden a bike for a few years due to the fact that a certain someone nicked some parts (like a wheel) from mine, which is now hotly denied by same said someone. Anyway, I was a tad wobbly to start with and timidly rode my way right down 6th to Central Park, trying to avoid being hit by cars and trucks. I admit to being slightly terrified.
It is lovely to have a bike in Central Park, as you can see so much more in the time. Here is a view of us with our bikes in tow taken from the park.
Sadly I didn’t get a single photo of me on the bike with fear on my face, but never mind. But back to the photo. How did we get this shot? Well here is a clue…
Archie bought a drone to pursue his passion for photography.
He took a couple of shots and then we were told by the ranger that it was illegal, so that was that. Archie had checked the website for no fly zones and this spot was supposed to be legal, so who knows? The drone can go to a scary 6,000 feet, but this is what you get from a couple of hundred feet.
and here is a view across the park
Once we finished we had to ride back up 7th Avenue and I have to tell you that I was Boss of the Bike! I weaved (wove?) in and out of the traffic, and Mark claimed I got quite bolshie! I certainly felt that the adrenalin was running high by the time I finished.
These Citi bikes are great, but there is a message for the unwary – they have to be docked every 30 minutes or fines are imposed. We had our bikes for around 3 hours and didn’t dock them once, so this was a really expensive exercise. Central Park doesn’t have docking stations in the park itself so we would have had to leave every 30 minutes. It’s such a silly system.
Whilst I’m talking aerial views, we took a helicopter ride. I last did this in 1987 and went right over the top of Manhattan, which was amazing, but I did notice how many derelict buildings there were. Since 9/11 they have moved the flight path over the Hudson River. It was still wonderful though, and the city has definitely improved in almost every way.
Archie had never been in a helicopter and was filled with trepidation, however, he soon got into the views and was snapping away without a care in the world
Yankee Stadium from the air
A little montage of some views from the front of the helicopter compliments of Mark
Ellis Island from the air
This is a wharf which has been turned into a sports complex. Note the golf driving range on the right. If you look carefully you can see the Highline running behind the white building.
And the obligatory tourist shot complete with life jackets strapped attractively to our waists!
We were so lucky. We booked the flight for the following day when rain was forecast so I changed it and we got the best day in two months, with really clear views and no smog haze.
We took the cable car to Franklin D Roosevelt Island, which is a little known tourist destination in New York. The Metro card used on the subway can be used to access the cable car, so it’s basically free if you have the card (sort of!)
The cable car runs alongside the Queensboro Bridge and once on the island, it is a shortish walk to a gorgeous park, and is well worth the visit. The now derelict smallpox hospital is a beautiful building.
We also went to the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Centre) at sunset on a glorious day – what wonderful views, but so cold!
This is one of Archie’s photos of the sunset
We were all wandering about on the rooftop when a woman suddenly saw her family. After many exclamations she turned round to find her boyfriend on one knee ready to propose. I have to say that it took her ages to nod “yes” possibly due to the copious amounts of crying going on!
First up was the MOMA. What can I say, it is a wonderful museum. I took quite a few photographs, but this is my favourite exhibit 🙂
This is the most amazing museum, with massive exhibits, but the favourite for Bridgette and me was the costume exhibition
Here is a small sample of the amazing clothes in this exhibition.
We also went to the Guggenheim, and I have to say that I think this is my most favourite museum ever. There is something so appealing about the way in which all the art is set out over the spiralling walls so that you can stand on one side and look out over to the art on the other side.
I loved the view from the bottom, looking up to the glass roof, seeing the floors unfolding in that gently sloping spiral.
Not really an attraction, but this glass box is the entrance to the underground Apple store in New York. Please note the weather. This was our only day of rain in two weeks.
I always think that New York City Library is a must visit when coming to NYC and I was disappointed when Archie came a couple of years ago and didn’t make it, so I ensured that it was on our itinerary this time. My photos don’t do it justice, but here are just a couple – Tom in front of their Christmas tree
One of the ceilings
Lion King. Bridgette bought me a ticket for this show for Christmas, and she and I had a girls’ night out whilst the boys went off to a hockey (ice hockey) game. There is really something special about seeing a show in Broadway and this one is just so good so I am grateful to Bridgette for taking me
Sleep no More: I have no photographs of this “show” as it takes place in almost darkness and flash photography was forbidden. It is a piece of interactive theatre which takes place in a derelict hotel. This is an interesting activity to attend. The audience is quite limited and can wander around several floors which have some amazing props. There are actors who do a modified version of Macbeth, and can involve the audience. It is really hard to describe, so I suggest following my link if you are interested.
The Knicks: Archie bought tickets to this game at Madison Square Gardens on Stubhub and when we got there we found they had already been used by someone else. This was a real shame as it was our last night in NYC. Archie spent 30 minutes on the phone to Stubhub whilst I tried to buy tickets ($1400? not even sitting together? no thanks!), and shout out to Stubhub because they came through with better tickets and we were all together and we made it in time to the pre-game.
I didn’t manage to take any photographs of the actual game, but this is a pic of the cannons that fire t-shirts into the audience, complete with smoke.
Mark and me in our Knicks caps.
These are the best of the restaurants we ate at. I can recommend them all!
- Charlie Bird, King Street, Soho – best gnocchi
- Momo fuku, 1st Avenue (I will leave you to determine the pronounciation of this!)
- Hometown Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn
- Hard Rock Cafe, 42nd Street, Times Square
- Larb Ubol, 9th Avenue
- Emily’s Pizza, Brooklyn
- Pizza Moto Brooklyn
- Hell’s Kitchen in Hell’s Kitchen – Mexican
We had to move out of our apartment into a hotel on our last day in New York, and the Uber driver dropped us at the wrong hotel. We had five suitcases and three of us to move them nearly two blocks, so this was Tom’s solution to wheeling three suitcases down the road – ingenious I thought!
When we left New York I ordered a Suburban to take us to the airport. We had five people and ten bags, so we always thought it was going to be tight. However, the hotel sent us in a stretch limo, which sounds glamorous, but we had the three men all fighting over the two windows because the trip is long and the car was very stuffy!
As this is my last post on New York I thought I would leave you with this rather terrible photograph of the Empire State building dressed up in its Christmas colours
Sorry about the very long post. It is now Christmas Day where I am, so I would like to wish you all a wonderful festive season.