Yesterday was devoted to some very typical New York tourist attractions: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Both predictably impressive.
Then there was just time to pop back to the hotel for a shower before heading out to the theatre. Good thing we went via the hotel, since this route later led us past one of the opening events of New York's fashion week - a very glitzy, private party. True to form, there was a red carpet, lined with photographers jostling to get a good shot of the more famous guests. Some poor "losers" were not of interest to the paparazzi at all and were simply herded quickly along the carpet to make room for the more prominent guests.
While we watched, various characters from television programmes like "Project Catwalk" and "America's Next Top Model" emerged from black cabs, smiling and posing their way along crowd of photographers. Nigel Barker, "the renowned fashion photographer" and America's Next Top Model judge was one of the stars that we caught a glimpse of before hurrying on to the theatre.
Phantom, one of the longest running shows on Broadway, was being performed in the Majestic Theatre, a very grand building and the perfect setting for the musical. The music, singing and acting was superb, but what made the show perhaps most enjoyable of all were the amazing set and props used. There were some very clever disappearing and appearing tricks as well as a host of enormous moveable props. We had fabulous seats (bought half price the day before from the box office at the theatre) and were in a great position to admire all of this handiwork.
This morning, with the sun still shining strongly, we caught the subway from Grand Central across to Brooklyn, alighting just across the water at Clark Street, in the shadow of Brooklyn Bridge. We made our way down to the waterfront, stopping at "Cranberry's" on North Street to buy breakfast - delicious homemade scones.
We settled down on the grass in the shade of a tree in Brooklyn Bridge Park, eating our breakfast while enjoying a perfect view of the bridge and Manhattan beyond.
Then we began another long walk, first over the bridge, then to Pier 17 (waterfront restaurants and shops), Wall Street, Ground Zero (still not much evidence yet of the construction of the new Freedom Tower on the site of the World Trade Centre), City Hall, New York's Supreme Court (with, for fans of Law & Order, a very familiar facade and front steps) and Chinatown.
Too exhausted to wander any more, we returned to our hotel to rest, relax and re-energise. Still 11 more weeks to go, must pace ourselves. Tomorrow... Philadelphia!
While the media here is completely saturated with coverage of all the hurricanes and tropical storms that are threatening the United States, the sun shines on in New York. We make the most of it, since our paths will soon cross with that of the tail-end of tropical storm Hannah or hurricane Ike.