NYC Day Two

Trip Start Jun 12, 2012
Trip End Oct 18, 2012

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Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, September 14, 2012

Howdy folks,

After all that walking around NYC, we had a big sleep and woke up with sore legs and feet. But we were determined to make the most of Central Park so after we got ready; we caught the 9:20am 165T bus into the Port Authority Bus Terminal. We walked down into the subway and caught the C line train to the American Museum of Natural History. The museum is full of lifelike displays of various creatures in their natural habitats and was the inspiration for the film Night at the Museum. It was unbelievable to walk around and see the various displays which appeared to almost jump out at us. In one room was a life-size blue whale with different marine mammals surrounding it. We had planned to stay for only two hours, but we had only properly checked out half the museum so we had lunch in the expensive food court and went upstairs to check out the dinosaurs and other cultural displays. We also saw a planetarium show which was reflected inside a dome and quite impressive.

By 1pm, we hadn't seen everything, but enough to move on. We walked across the road and into Central Park which is a sprawling patch of urban greenery designed to be the lungs of the city. New York definitely needs fresh air and room to move and the park attracts many runners, cyclists, skateboarders and nature lovers. It was quite dry at the end of the summer, but we went to the boat house to rent some cruisers so we could ride around the park boundary. There is a neat one way road that draws a figure 8 in the park and allows easy access to each corner. Starting on the east side at 5th Avenue, we rode up to the ice rink on the north east corner before climbing the hill at the north west corner and cruising down to the 'castle’ and puppet house in the middle. Nearby was the famous Dakota building where John Lennon was shot in 1980 and just inside the park lies Strawberry Fields which is a place of reflection. There were a number of people sitting around the ‘Imagine’ mosaic and singing Beatles songs which was a very sombre moment. It’s great to see that in spite of his death, his music and legacy still continues.

Having been riding for over an hour, we cut through the middle of the park past the Bethesda Fountain and back to the boat house. After a quick rest, we continued along to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Avenue which was buzzing with activity. It was quite busy and the museum is just huge so we knew that we wouldn’t get to see it all. The museum was quite different to other ones we have been to in the fact that there were quite a few feature rooms that were themed to a certain time period or place. It was really well done as each room you went into transported you back to 18th century Parisian hotel rooms or Austrian palaces.

After walking through the art galleries and past the famous huge painting of George Washington crossing the River Delaware, we had a look at some antique musical instruments and past the tiny photographic collection. The contemporary art collection was so great so we mostly skipped through it and being Friday night the place was getting crowded with functions. I would definitely recommend spending a whole day at either of the museums instead of trying to squeeze them both in.

We stopped at the bus stop out the front to go back downtown, but they stupidly don’t allow you to buy tickets on the bus (WTF!). With the sun setting we made a quick walk along the underpass that goes through the middle of Central Park and back to the subway. Luckily we didn’t have to wait long for our bus to come and soon enough we were back at the hotel room. One more day to go!
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