East Village, Staten Ferry and Top of the World!!!

Trip Start Sep 07, 2009
Trip End Nov 17, 2009

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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, September 14, 2009

13/09/2009 - Packed up in a rush (woke up late) and hailed a cab to the other side of town...East Village. We had no idea how different it would be to Chelsea. We thought Chelsea was cool..how wrong we were! East Village can only be described as a mixture of both the best and the worst of NY...but that's why we love it! No tourism, no hotels...just locals livin life in NYC. The best bars and restaurants all seem to be in this area too, but also the roughest part of Manhattan (apart form Harlem!) is one block away..Avenue D. The local park, Tompinks Square, has got to be seen to be believed and sums up the EV area. In the couple of minutes it took us to walk from one side to the other we saw a punk/rock band smoking weed on the grass, Agness Deyn (I'm not kidding!) strolling purposefully through the park, homeless people queuing at a 'soup kitchen' truck, Hari Krishna's chanting round a tree, people breakdancing, skateboarders, the list goes on! The place was buzzing. The place we're staying (East Village Bed & Coffee) lives up to the vibe of the area. The communal living areas are great and there are lots of different people staying here from all around the world. On the day we arrived there was a street party, run by our host Anne, in the local community gardens (derelict land between buildings turned into gardens by locals in an attempt to regenerate the area) and our (hippy) room was filled with the sound of Jazz!!! 

After settling in, we jumped onto the subway down to the southernmost tip of Manhattan to catch the Staten Island Ferry, which supposedly gives great views of the island and Statue of Liberty. We were a bit disappointed because the particular ferry we caught didn't have any outside viewing decks, so most of our photos were taken through the glass! Finished off the day by visiting a lovely Mexican restaurant in Hell's Kitchen (and called Hell's Kitchen!) recommended by lovely Annie!. On our way home, we stopped off at a bar outside our lodgings and Jude Law was sitting in the restaurant opposite!! Two celebs in one day! (Actually three, I saw an actress from Friends on the subway, the woman who is the girlfriend of Ross's ex-wife, but Jim didn't have clue who she was!).

14/09/2009 -  Had a lie in and then took a stroll around the neighbourhood, stopped off for lunch at a cute little cafe. Another lovely sunny day. Walked up to Union Square and then jumped on the subway to the Rockefeller Center (a plaza complex designed by John D. Rockefeller) and bought tickets to 'Top of the Rock'. We had read on a blog that the views from the top of the building rivaled those from the Empire State, but without the queues....and we weren't disappointed! We arrived at sunset (the lift up 67 floors took 45 secs!) and the views were absolutely stunning (checkout the pics and videos!). I was a bit dubious about going up so high (I have a weird urge to throw myself off!), but once up there you are just mesmerized by the breathtaking skyline. Returned home knackered to find our street closed off and huge crowds gathering. There were about 5 police cars and the police had some guy on the floor in cuffs.We're not sure what he'd done, but he was screaming his head off ...it was just like a scene from Cops! Just another day in the Village......
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