Cycling Central Park and seeing no stars.

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

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Where I stayed
West Village

Flag of United States  , New York
Sunday, July 3, 2011


We slept in very late today and we were just a tad exhausted… We had some breakfast and then Massimo, one of Ryans friends who we also met in NZ came over. He showed us his new edition on his phone.  She had Kahn (his Girlfriends face who is Vietnamese) and Massimo's (who is Italian) tall long figure.  Charlotte is definitely going to be a heart breaker!   He dropped us off at Union square and we took the metro to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (on the west cusp of central park), the crowds were huge and the lines were out the door (we should have gone in earlier…) One of the main exhibits was the fashion designer works of Alexander McQueen called 'Savage Beauty'.  When we first got there the line wait for one and a half hours… We didn’t have to wait for any lines to get in the museum itself as we still had our city pass.  We saw some Richard Serra sketches and paintings which were amazing and had a quick wander around before lining up for McQueen.  We started the line at about 4pm and reached the exhibit about 515pm.  The Museum shut at 6pm so we were quite lucky.  It was definitely worth the wait.  The collections were out of this world, we’re talking lady gaga looking shoes, incredible detailed gowns, provocative masks and sculpted armour clothing from the most bizarre materials.  Each room was designed right down to the lighting and the wall panelling as well as the music to match the garments.  No photos were allowed, however Andie was sneaky and took some photos for your pleasure on her Iphone…

We grabbed some pizza for lunch and sat and ate it in Central park, it was a bit of a stormy day so the rain started to fall a bit.  We had to get to the other side of the park in order to catch our metro to meet Ryan and Massimo in Brooklyn, but we totally lost our way and ended up walking to the bottom of central park rather than across! It ended up becoming a mission to get there because once again, due to construction one of the lines wasn’t working and the other didn’t run during the weekends.  We had to catch another line which left us miles away from our destination.  We ended up walking about 12 blocks down the road!   We eventually made it to Naruto Ramen for dinner.  We had some dumplings, teriyaki chicken and karage chicken, later led by a big catch up session down the road at a very hip bar, bookshelves and arm chairs and all.  We were all so tired after our first drink (since Ryan and Massimo had been drinking since they dropped us off at Union square!) so we headed back to West Village and were back in bed about midnight.


8am wake up. Ryan=hungover haha.  We all walked down Bleeker street because Andie had sussed out a crepe place to eat at for breakfast.  It was 4th of July, the birth of America haha so we were unsure if anything would be open, but all was well and it opened at 10am.  We were a little bit early so we walked back down to Magnolias Bakery (the original where sex and the city was filmed) and Andie admired all the cupcakes and layered cakes.  Back to the crepes place and four crepes later Michael and Andie headed off to Soho to do some last minute shopping. 

We dropped our shopping off at the apartment and caught the metro out to Brooklyn around 330pm to meet some kiwi kids that go to Andies architecture school, Fran, Mel, Patrick (Michaels Friend from his year) and Kevin.  We met them at the PS1 an extension of MoMA. 

There were some really interesting installations at in the courtyard which are then donated to the surrounding neighbourhood and community clubs.  There were some very odd installations inside the building, however we stumbled upon one of the most amazing artist and architectural exhibitions.   It was a room by James Turrell, named 'meeting’.  The space was a square room with a bench on all sides of the rooms, and about half way about was painted white to the ceiling, then the ceiling is basically a big square cut of out of the building open to the sky.  It was such a serene feeling to be in there as you watch you clouds roll past.   We walked through a couple more exhibits before closing time then headed back on the metro to Manhattan for dinner and the 4th of July fireworks extravaganza!

It was busy busy busy on the Westside.  Six barges had been set up on the Hudson River sponsored by the Department store Macys.  We found a spot (amongst a massive crowd) along the street that looked out to the second barge in from the left.  They ran from 23rd St right up to 50th Street.  We’re going to guess in those series of streets facing the river there were just a few couple of thousand of people….or more.

We arrived at our spot around 830pm, and it’s advised to arrive around 5pm in order to get a good position down near the river… We were quite far back from there, but could still just make out some water.  The fireworks hit off with a bang around 930pm.  They lasted for half an hour, and woah wee woah they were incredible.  We’re talking metres high into the air, so large they were connecting to the other barge’s fireworks and fireworks which made shapes such as smiley faces, hearts, and planets, not to mention amazing colours.  We don’t know what could top those fireworks, but they now have nothing on the Christmas in the Park displays. Insane.  We squished through the crowds and had a drink with Kevin at Penn Station before saying our goodbyes and heading back to the apartment in West Village.  

Michael arose very early this morning to kindly do some washing for us.  We had a busy day ahead of us! It was our last day in NYC, and we love this place.  We still have so much we could do as well…  First up, we trained to the Lincoln Centre- The most prestigious university for dance and performing arts.  Our main building of interest was the Alice Tulley Hall by architects, Diller and Scofidio- part of the Julliard School extension containing a large theatre inside.  This particular building is only recently completed.  We walked along to Columbus Circle, passing the famous Chuck Bass’ Empire building (from Gossip Girl tv series) and arrived at the South-west corner of Central Park.  Michael originally planned for us to go with a bike company that was in Central Park, however a man approached us with a quite cheap offer than the original.  He led us down to one of the many bike shops further down the street…

What we’ve observed in NY, if you own a bike, you need to be prepared for it to be stripped to pieces or just completely stolen when you chain it up.  Each time we hired a bike we made sure they offered insurance if it got stolen or damaged.  Unfortunately, not this place, and the boss was a complete jerk.  He tried to claim that no other company does this, which we knew was absolute crap and you couldn’t pay when you got back (because most people don’t know how long they will be).  Andie didn’t feel right about going with this company, since you’d have to pay $350 if anything happened to the bike, so she said no way hosay and we left and walked back to our original plan…And so glad we did, though it was a little bit more in price it was wasn’t worth the risk for the other company. The bikes had comfier seats, it was a lot more legit and we didn’t have to bike across crazy traffic to get our bikes back…

We cycled up the East side of the park to the Guggenheim by none other than Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.   The ride was so relaxing and it was super duper gliding with the wind in your face against the humid heat.  We arrived around 11am, and luckily, we got there early because once we’d finished the walk around the building it was jam packed at the bottom!  The gallery spirals up in a circle at a slight incline, it’s a very unusual building, but to combat some of the artists who don’t enjoy hanging their work on a curved wall, there are galleries off to the side of certain points around the spiral.  The whole building was restored in 2008, and it was boxed up for three years, as well as a tower addition to the back of the building.  Glad we weren’t there when it was closed up! The work that was in the building wasn’t amazing but then again we were more interested in the building itself..

Back on the bikes and we headed up to the North around the park.  It is such a huge place. They have a massive lake with row boats and there is a meadow named ‘Sheep Meadow’ where hundreds of people sunbathe. It is like a beach to them because the compact Manhattan lifestyle doesn’t allow gardens for the residents so this is their backyard.  According to Ryan it is constantly packed out, and during the summer people are still throwing Frisbees around regardless of the amount lying in the sun.

Back around the park and down the West side, we combated a few hills and reached the bike around 1:40pm. 

One thing that Andie was insistent on doing was going to a Macron shop.  No, not the coconut covered Macroon biscuits, but a French delight… Two parts of a crispy outside and soft on the inside meringue sponge sandwiched between a layer of sweet filling.  We walked along the bottom of Central Park to a café rightly named –Macaron Café.  There were so many flavours, cassis, blackberry, raspberry, pineapple, dark chocolate, mocha, strawberry, Rhubarb, the list goes on… Andie chose six, and woah wee they were melt in your mouth delicious! They have topped Andies list now… 1st, Macarons, 2nd Cupcakes…

We wandered around 5th avenue and Madison and stumbled upon this huge candy store/ toy store.  It was two levels, toys on top.  We managed to find some important presents here…We were also surprised at all the toys, we’re talking life sized soft toys, Barbie, Lego, Duploy, porcelain dolls, Harry Potter figures, Star wars, and much, much more..  It would be a child’s wildest dream in this place.

Once out of that playland we took the metro to Soho and walked along to the New Muesum by SANAA.  It was closed on this day so we couldn’t go inside. It was a very interesting building.  At night it also lights up like stack of light boxes, if only we were here for longer…

We got back to Ryans to start out massive mission of packing our luggage. Now we know we are overweight, but in America they have a strict 50 pounds (23kg) weight limit on your check in bag but your carry on bag can be as heavy as you like as long as you can lift it.

Michael ended up buying a carry on bag to disperse our weight, yet we’re both carrying about 30 pounds (14kgs) each and the carry on limit on an air nz flight is 7kgs…  Maybe someone could shed some light on whether they know if you get weighed going from Sydney on AirNZ flight to Auckland, but previously flying United from LA to SYD…  Andie thinks she might have to play the crying card because we don’t want to put our precious gifts in our checked in bags…

Anyway, once we were almost packed, we rushed off to the metro to go see the Empire State building again because we had spare passes we bought before we left.  These tickets had express passes to it though, so you could skip the line. We were up in 10 mins (the line was an 1 and a half long just to get to the first elevator) saw some awesome views at dusk then back down to meet Ryan for dinner.  He kindly took us to a cute Italian place in the West Village, because last time he was here, the whole gossip girl cast was in one of the tables beside him.  He thought he could try taking Andie somewhere to see some stars, but once again we were unlucky… The dinner was amazing and cheap, and the place had such a good atmosphere. It was great finish to our NYC trip.  Did the last of our packing and in bed about 1am, for an early rise to the airport at 6am.

Next stop, and last leg of the trip. CHICAGO


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Beverley on

Well done for completing all your blogs. It's been fascinating to read as an armchair traveller. Loved the fireworks.

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