Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of.

Trip Start Jun 03, 2011
Trip End Jul 11, 2011

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Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, June 24, 2011


Up at 5:30am to get to the airport on time. We caught the Powell/Market BART train then hopped on the air train.  Giving ourselves about and hour or two before our flight.  Once again- hardcore security... this time we went through xray machines and had to hold our arms up high.  eek. Lucky we weren't hiding any drugs!  We boarded the plane at 10:15am and the lady beside us was from New York. She was helpful in giving us tips on things to do, but she really did have no idea about New Zealand. She asked us if we get Island fever and just want to get on to some mainland... She used an example of her friend who lived in Hawaii who got island fever and just wanted to come back to America... Definitely a new one.  Due to the time zone difference, we arrived 5 and a half hour later at 7pm.  Michael's friend Kevin came and met us at the airport and we got on a series of metro trains to his house in Greenpoint Brooklyn.  We're situated in a Polish community which is pretty interesting. Brooklyn is pretty cute.  Lots of scenes out of the Flight of the Conchords were filmed around us.  We ordered a regular(massive) pizza freshly made on the spot from down the road and then hit the hay a few hours later...


 Up at 9am and we caught the metro to Hoyt to wander through Brooklyn Heights (pretty tree lined streets)  and the new Brooklyn Park.  It's VERY hot and humid here, and it's also about 29 degrees... very different to the dry weather we have been having. Feels like we're back in Auckland!  We then walked the WHOLE Brooklyn Bridge to Chinatown.  We had lunch in Chinatown where we had an array on things that Kevin chose for us which were very delicious... Soup Dumplings were Andies favourite, there were 5 spiced beef, sticky rice balls, chicken buns. nom nom.  Next door is an ice cream factory where they sell lychee ice we took advantage of this as we needed to cool down... We walked through SOHO- so many shops!!! The likes of Prada, MOMA store, Sephora, Phaidon book shop, Apple store, and the list goes on... 

 We also reached NOHO then up through to Washington Park.  The great thing about the parks here is that everybody uses them and they're always busy! So much is happening there too.  For example this one guy had a line for relationship and sexual advice.... and for some reason it looked to us as we walked past, a guy filling up his drink bottle with what looked to be Gaterade from a normal water fountain...whhaat?! We reached the NYU area and stopped for a rest at Amity Hall for a beer before hopping back on the L-line back to Brooklyn.  
We had dinner at a place called Du Mont where we sat outside in a courtyard. It was very Ponsonby, but really chilled out.  The food was awesome.  Now you'll prob laugh when we say What Andie had, but you have to realise that it was a bit gourmet that what you could imagine it to be... Michael had a burger, Andie Macaroni and Cheese, and Kevin Mac n Cheese too... Delicious... with gourmet cheeses haha.  We walked through another park, and back to Kevins.

We went out later that night into Downtown to a bar called Sway bar where we met up with our friend Ryan and his friend Andrew for a couple of drinks, but everybody was pretty exhausted and we all ended up back home at 1am!   You're going to have to excuse our slack writing because we get home late and run out of time to write the blog!


Up later today, definitely no time for sleeping in! Walked along in the humid heat of 31 degrees to the Williamsburg Flea Market. Andie wishes she could take so many things home.  It was a vintage dream.  Amazing old pieces of furniture, jewellery, all 1980s attire, and up and coming young designer clothes.  We caught the L-line through to Union Square where we walked up to West Village, now we don't know if you have seen on the news recently, but New York has just passed a bill to allow same sex marriage.  Just in time for Pride Week and the Pride Parade which was on that day.  Definitely one of the more interesting parades we've been to in our lives...

Hunger pains arrived and Kevin took us to a place called Salt and Battery for some takeaway fush and chups.  nom nom.  Did a bit of window shopping with a series of Pride stalls on the way.  We reached one of our favourite architecture places.  The Diller and Scofidio + James Corner High Line.  It's an old abandoned raised railway line which runs up the West side of Manhattan and it's been regenerated into a long landscaped foot path with a series park features and vegetation.  Possibly google it. very cool...It was also convenient that the Stage 2 part of the line had opened so we got to walk along this too.  Part of the High line follows underneath a Hotel called the Standard, where they have a very rad roof top bar.  Tennis theme, fake grass and all, and the casual double jacuzzi in the corner- the bar girls wearing semi see through tennis skirts...and guys all in their sweet tennis gears. Enjoyed the view over a sneaky drink then back down on the to High Line and off to Michaels main destination for the day.  

 B + H video.  A huge warehouse sized photo and video shop with every gadget you could imagine and it's all run by one family of jews. The best part about it is you order from one point in the shop and then you go to the counter where your item is sent down on a massive conveyor belt.  Andie wants one in her house, but maybe it could take people rather than just small objects!

We were very tired people so we got home about 5:30pm.  Grabbed a few things from the market and Andie made a roast for dinner, whilst Michael went down the road to do some washing. It all felt oh so Flight of the Conchords in this area...


Up at 10am and took the metro in to Union Square, where we walked to see the Flatiron Building, one of the tallest skyscrapers in Manhattan back in 1902.   Back down Broadway and a bit of window shopping in Union Square, then we went to find some lunch.  As we were walking to a sandwich shop Michael spotted Neil Finn strolling out of a restaurant.  Kevin and Michael couldn't work out whether it was him or not, but they walked back around the corner to re-check and are pretty sure it was him.  For those of you who don't know him, he's a famous kiwi musician from the band Crowded House.  Typical- we're in USA and we see famous kiwis rather than famous American celebrities.   After lunch we took the metro to South Sea Port to initially take the Circle Line tour which circles the whole of Manhattan Island but turns out Michael had read the map wrong and it was a different pier haha. 

 Kevin headed back to Brooklyn while we went and did the Bodies exhibition. Definitely an exhibition to see! They had all real bodies out on show and dissected, we have no photos as no cameras were allowed.  They almost don't look real because they've been so well preserved.  Some parts were pretty gross, such as a smokers lungs, or cancerous body parts.  There was a stress test game apart of the exhibition that you could do where you both put a head band on and it measured your brain activity.  It was a game where a ball would move from the centre either way depending on how much brain activity there was.  However in order to win you had to be the most relaxed, Michael won that game...

Afterwards, we popped down to Wall street to check out the Bowling Green Bull where people were all rubbing it's private parts... and that's why they're so shiny...It was pretty packed, and is apparently like this 24/7.  We ventured down to the 9/11 memorial which is still boarded up and the memorial building is about 3/4 of the way constructed.  Pretty eerie feeling. Couldn't believe there were two large towers originally there. Didn't stay too long as we were exhausted wee children so we took the E to the G train back to Brooklyn. 

Once back at Kevins, we had dinner, which was delicious.  Kevin kindly made us a japanese curry. nom nom. Also Andie was kindly greeted by a delightful waterbug staring down at her whilst at the toilet- like a cockroach but with wings. It was about 80mm long. eww.  Michael saved the day though. Good ONE!  


Off to the right pier this morning where we hopped on the Circle Line ferry.  It was a really good ride. 3 hours took you right around the island of Manhattan.  It was amazing the variations in the different sectors of the city as you went around.  From the high rise financial district to  the Bronyx on the other side of the river. As we reached the top of the island it was just purely green, considering how compact the lower island is it was pretty weird seeing so much greenery.  We were also lucky enough to get quite close to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  It was jam packed with tourists so lucky we didn't do any of those tours. 

 Once back to shore we caught the bus down toward Bryant Park, we got our fist glance of Times Square but decided to do that part later...First we checked out the public library. Andie was pretty excited because it's where they filmed SJP in sex in the city movie going up the stairs in her dress to get married.  Obligatory photo of course...  Stopped at a small Pizza place and we orders some slices for lunch.  It was pretty delish surprisingly.   

 Next we came to Grand Central Station which was quite an amazing place. So busy and the building was awesome.  Andie happened to spot a Magnolias Bakery down in the station and we stopped for some red velvet cheese and Andie bought a cupcake.  Magnolia Bakery is quite famous for its cupcakes.  The main shop is in West Manhattan.  

 We rolled out of the station and walked our way toward Times Square.  It was so overwhelming with hundreds of people and intense smells, not to mention the heat was insane. Very humid in NYC right now. We first came to a TOYS 'R' US ad Andie wanted to go in because it brought back many memories of the UK. Her Nana would give the kids some money and you got to go choose a toy or board game of some sort.  We're talking Pictionary, Monopoly, Operation...90s awesomeness.  Just because it's America, there was a a huge merry go round in the store and a massive dinosaur display. So bizzare.   We checked out the Hersheys shop and the M&Ms store.  Very overpriced! It got late so we did a little shopping then headed back to Brooklyn, had some dinner, then off to bed!!  


First up we trained back to B + H photo and video so michael could order his camera.  Turns out if you send it out of NYC you can get cheaper tax, so we sent it to DC as we were going in a couple of days. Michael bought a polarising filter at the shop just so she could watch it come down the conveyor belt.  She thought it was pretty awesome.  Afterwards we headed toward the Seagram Building- one of Mies Van Der Rohes buildings.  Very sexy building indeed.  We walked along the famous 5th Avenue to reach one of our exciting destinations (probably only for us) the 5th Avenue Apple store. Only to our disgust they had it all boarded up (probably revealing the new iphone 5 soon) Google the building. It's a Glass Box out on the street corner which houses a circular elevator and staircase winding around down to underground where the shop lies. Pretty radtastic.  Everything we seem to hit is under construction in some way. boo.

Our next stop was towards MOMA and the Folk Art museum.  Unfortunately we have found out that the Folk Art Museum is not making any money and MOMA has bought the land and will demolish it soon. WHAT!?! they're crazies. We saw lots of interesting work at MOMA, ranging from some pretty famous Picasso paintings, Gordon Matta Clark, old apple mac computers, and some Joan Miro. We bought a few things from the MOMA design store and then off on our merry way to the Rockefeller Building with our city passes.  It was quite a balmy night so we weren't too cold at the top.Even thought we had these city passes, it was still a long process on getting up to the top.  A series of security, two different elevators up, and a long line to outside. All in all though the views were stunning, amazing 360 degree views of New York. We timed it so we got up there just as the sun was nearly set. Back home on the train to Kevins and off to bed.  Apologies for not keeping up to date with the blog but we've been getting home so late each night... more blog to come soon 


 Today we got up and packed up our gears as we were moving places.  From Brooklyn to West Village we caught a big bad yellow taxi and dropped our bags off at Ryan's apartment and made our journey to the Empire State Building, The security was pretty intense but the view was amazing we also only had to wait about 20 minutes in the line! Once back to ground we took the metro to the American Natural History Museum, where first up we did saw a show in the Planatairum- Journey to the Stars. Holy moly it was amazing. The graphics were out of this world, and what was funny was that Whoopi Goldberg! If you're ever there, go see that show. Amazingggg.  Learnt about how stars are formed and all about our huge galaxy and beyond! We wandered around the rest of the building, not realising that there were 4 floors worth of exhibitions and it was about 445pm and the building shut at 5:30pm so in a panic we rushed around as much as we could and went straight up to see what we really came for...the DINOSAURS Rawwwww.  To name a few, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus and the odd Velociraptor. Once closing time arrived we merrily took the metro down to Union square to get some food for dinner then back on the 1-Line to Ryans.  Exhausting day, so in bed about midnight where we dreamed about the dinosaurs battling each other back those few billion years ago.  

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Nadine on

I miss New York! So much fun! Let me know how you go with Amanda - she's awesome.

Beverley on

Looks like you are both having a stupendous time seeing all the famous sights. You must be keeping fit doing all the walking. How are the feet holding up Andrea? So much to do in NYC!

Beverley on

I would say you have certainly done the sights of NYC. What about the Guggenheim (art gallery?). Have you been there? Such funny pix. I laughed. You can certainly capture a moment. Love the photos of food. Yum yum is what our "older generation" say, not nom nom! Great weather you are having. Not sure if I would like the humidity. Will play havoc with Andrea's hair. Keep on rolling out the stories. Livens up my day.

Beverley on

Just read your 29 June blog. You must be so busy! Should put those staircases into our townhouses! MOMA looks awesome. Wonderful paintings. Keep safe.

Naderino on

Subway is great - so quick and cheap!!! And it goes EVERYWHERE. Auck and Wlg need one.

rtsquared on

Gosh you are packing a lot into your trip!!!! And finding the time to let us all know what going on!!! Keep it up

Beverley on

Andrea, you've seen those dinos before at the London Natural History Museum. Must be their coussies!! Bet Michael hadn't seen them before. Planetarium show sounds awesome but of course you have also been to one of those before in London (but you probab can't remember).

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