Brooklyn, Uptown, the High Line and Night Tour

Trip Start Sep 21, 2012
Trip End Nov 11, 2012

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Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Up at 8:40 this morning, got dressed then down for breakfast just after 9. I had a Vegemite bagel, yoghurt and a banana.

Back to my room to finish getting ready and plan the day then left to head out just after 10. Walked the block to Times Square and bought a ticket for the sightseeing bus. Got on board and there were some problems with the microphone so we had to wait for a replacement. The tour guide was Japanese and didn't speak very good English so I bailed on the tour at Macy's and made my way to the metro around 11:15 to get to Battery Park to catch the Brooklyn tour.

Caught the number 1 at Penn Station and got off at South Ferry. Found the 12 o'clock bus for Brooklyn and got a seat up the back. There was a problem with the back speaker on this bus too, so the guide sat up the back with us.

He was pretty good and showed us around China Town before we headed across the Manhattan Bridge and drove all around Brooklyn. We saw South Street Seaport, Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Old Fulton Landing, Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Public Library and Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Flatbush, Juniors Restaurant and Fulton Mall.

Some interesting sites and some nice places to go for a feed. Would be nice to wander around on the river front when they finish doing it up.

The bus dropped us back to Battery Park around 2 so I made use of the toilets in the Staten Island ferry terminal and bought a chicken ciabatta for lunch. I then caught the subway back up to Times Square to get on the Uptown bus tour.

The Uptown tour left around 3 and did a route that hugged Central Park and also saw Columbus Circle, Lincoln Centre, Dakota Apartments (where John Lennon was killed), Cathedral of Saint John the Devine, Riverside Church, Apollo Theatre, Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park Zoo.

The tour finished at just before 5 at Times Square. I was pretty shattered and found myself nodding off in parts of the tour, lol! I walked back to the hotel to use the toilet then headed back out to go to the High Line.

It was after 5 when I hoofed it downtown to the High Line. It was a bit of a hike, I walked from 6th Avenue down to 9th Avenue then walked along here from 46th Street to 30th Street then across one more to 10th Avenue to the stairs to the High Line, arriving just before 6.

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan's West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. The first section of the High Line opened on June 9, 2009. It runs from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street. The second section, which runs between West 20th and West 30th Streets, opened June 8, 2011.

The High Line is 1.45-miles long, with one mile currently open to visitors. Freight trains ran on the High Line beginning in 1934. The last train chugged along the High Line in 1980, carrying three carloads of frozen turkeys.

It was surprisingly busy, lots of people out enjoying the nice weather and the impending sunset. Such a nice spot with lovely gardens and surprisingly tranquil in amongst the busy streets of New York. Also some nice views looking out towards New Jersey.

There were a couple of places to eat and a small bar near the far end of the line, but it was pretty full and it started to spit a little rain when I arrived here, so I opted out of getting something here.

I made my way back to 23rd Street and decided to go and have a look at the Flatiron building. On my way along the street I noticed "Eataly" a place mentioned to me last night as a good place to go and have something to eat. I went inside and had a wander around the market atmosphere.

Eataly is a high-end Italian food market/mall chain comprising a variety of restaurants, food and beverage stations, bakery, and retail items. The first Eataly opened in Turin, Italy, in January 2007. The New York City Eataly is over 4,600m2 and opened with a large amount of press coverage on August 31, 2010. Batali has described the place as a grocery store with tasting rooms. Two weeks after opening, there were still lines extending down Fifth Avenue to get into the store and it has since been very positively reviewed by the press.

With an Italian theme, there were market like stalls selling fruit and vegies, cheeses, salami, seafood, pasta, beer, wine, kitchen utensils and all sorts of cooking items. And interspersed between these were restaurants selling fresh meals of different genres, seafood, pasta and pizza, antipasti, vegetarian, meat etc.

I got myself a seat at the bar of "Le Verdure" and ordered the spinach and ricotta cannelloni and a beer. It was all so nice, just what I was chasing! After dinner I made my way up a few blocks to see the Flatiron building, got a couple of photos then onto the metro to try and catch the 8:30 night tour.

I arrived just as a bus was leaving and thought I had missed it, but there were still a lot of people there, so they were still sending off buses. The bus left at about 8:45, and we started the tour travelling through Times Square then past the Empire State Building. We passed Madison Square Park then the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy. We crossed the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn.

We were over in Brooklyn at about 9:30 when it started to spit. We put on the ponchos the tour guide gave us, but then it started pissing down, lol! The bus pulled up and we all went downstairs out of the rain. We drove past other tour busses not long after, pulled up on the side of the road, unlucky - they didn't have a downstairs section like ours lol!

The bus continued on the tour, but it was too hard to see anything out of the windows. I slept most of the way back to Times Square, it wasn't very comfortable! It had stopped raining when we arrived back, and only a short stroll back to the hotel.

I had a shower and got ready for bed, it was about midnight when I finally turned off the lights for sleep!

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