New Jersey and The Big Apple

Trip Start Nov 28, 2011
Trip End Dec 18, 2012

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Well a car ride, a metro ride, an aeroplane ride, 2 shuttle buses and another metro train later we arrived at Hoboken, New Jersey.  George and I were both a little the worse for ware, a bit tired and emotional by this point, the stress and exhaustion beginning to show now. 

We called our host, George's friend who we were staying with and he came and picked us up at the PATH, a local rail link which gets you into Manhattan in 8 minutes! 

Lucia, Andy's wife, kindly made a delicious home cooked dinner of roast chicken, salad and rice and we just sat and chatted with a couple of glasses of wine before heading to bed.

The next day, Friday, we had set our alarm for an early start and headed into Manhattan to start our sight seeing in earnest.  We walked for miles and saw lots of the famous sights, which was really exciting yet some of them felt vaguely familiar as we had seen them in the movies so often.  First main stop was New York Public Library where there was an exhibition of the history of Lunch in New York which had amazing photos and displays of New York over the past 150 years.  We went to Grand Central Station which was amazing, huge almost like a hotel rather than train station and had the most amazing dining concourse, we didn't eat but I would recommend it as it all looked great and there was a market and deli that had everything you could want.  We saw the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Times Square, the theatre district, lots of amazing shops on Fifth Avenue including Tiffanys which was very impressive.  We finished up with a rest in Central Park before heading back to the train via the Rockafella Centre.

We arrived back at Andy and Lucia's lovely loft apartment at around 7pm exhausted and weary where we ate homemade lasagne and Russian salad and again enjoyed an evening of chatting and wine before popping down to Andy's local bar for a few drinks, a stroll home and then we retired to replenish our energy for the next days sightseeting.
Day 2 in the Big Apple (Saturday 18th)  we had a breakfast of tea and toast from a toaster with butter (real Irish Butter), the small things really make our day now and remind us of home more.  Then we headed over to Lower Manhattan to see Ground Zero and see all the areas South of where we had been yesterday.    We had a wander round the World Trade Centre area and checked out Wall Street, The Stock Exchange and then went to take our allocated time slot to see the Ground Zero Memorial, however we queued for about 10 mintues but both agreed we didn't want to go in.  After milling round the area for 2 hours waiting our alloted time to see the memorial it may seem odd that we just left but we both felt really odd queing to see what feels like a tourist attraction.  I can't explain very well but it just felt weird like some sort of Disneyland tourist attraction that we just didn't want to be a part of.  So we jumped on the New York underground and headed to the top of Grenwich Village and then spent the rest of the afternoon touring Greenwich, Soho (the place to shop)  Little Italy (the place to eat), Chinatown (the place to people watch) back down to tthe court area where the buildings are scaled up beyond necessary. 

We walked back to the World Trade Centre and caught the PATH back to New Jersey and back to the loft.  Lucia is expecting a little bundle of joy so is feeling a bit tired, probably due to the heat, so she just fancied resting with a film and a cup of tea so George, Andy and I left her in peace and headed to a local Indian Restaurant to enjoy a curry which was very yummy and again reminded us of home.  We drove back by the river to see the night skyline of Manhattan with all its twinkling lights. 

Our final day in the Big Apple was a bit of a strange one where we ended up walking for hours and miles and didn't really do much. We started off by heading to the theatre district and queing for Rush Tickets (they allocate some tickets which are sold at a set low price $31.50 in this case) to see a show however they sold out about 4 people ahead of us but we did have a lovely chat with a couple of New Yorkers who seemed keen to move to London.  We  spent the rest of the day walking the length of Central Park, accross and then back down whilst admiring the architecture and stopping in at the John Lennon memorial.  Had a pizza slice for a snack when we couldn't walk anymore then we caught the tube south for a drink the oldest drinking establishment in New York, apparantly it is the oldest continuously running bar/restaruant called Pete's Tavern where the bar staff where American and Irish, the greeter was a snooty student who should really realise she is front of house in a bar not bloody fine dining michelen starred establishment and the atmosphere is Italian Restaurant, it was cool but no great shakes!  From there we headed South to catch the ferry to Staten Island (free) for sunset where we could view Manhatten's glorious skyline and the Statue of Liberty at Sunset and back across in the dark with the glittering lights it was really, really beautiful and I would recommend if you go to New York catch the ferry to Staten Island for Sunset it is magical.

From there we headed home to the Loft for our last nights sleep in a comfy bed picking up some wine and chocolate as a small token of our thanks.

The next morning we set off on a tube ride and a bit of a walk to catch the bus to Boston.

Overall New York was an exciting place, lots to see and do, great weather and much cleaner and safer than I was expecting.  However George and I didn't have the best of times we are starting to get a little frayed at the edges after spending soo much time together, alone with not a lot of other company ,I'm not sure I would recommend it as a must do to keep yor relationship strong.  So during the course of the weekend we decided to split up, stay together, just be friends and then stay together..........................I personally think it is miraculous that we lasted this long without a major bustup!  Of course I blame George but that is the priveledge of being the author of our blog I can't write what I want tee hee!
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