Big Apple

Trip Start Feb 07, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, September 24, 2007

New York has had us so mesmerised that I got seriously slack with writing my entries...

We rocked into New York on the subway, popping out amidst the tall buildings of Down Town Manhattan. We're lucky enough to be staying with a friend during our stay in New York. From the 14th floor of her building there's an awesome view of the Up Town skyline, perfectly in line with the Empire State Building. How lucky are we? We get to stay in a brand new Tribeca apartment on Broadway with a bed bigger than most of the hotel rooms we've been staying in AND we also get the company of the lovely Michaela! This city makes an awesome first impression on you - you just know you're not going to want to leave. We spend our first day wandering around the local area and getting a bit of a taste of the Big Apple before diving in. We've struck it lucky with the weather - blue skies and high temperatures for this time of year (Fall having just begun). The next two days we spend on double decker buses doing the sight-seeing routes. We don't usually do these, but they are a great way to get your bearings and decide what you want to see in New York. You see so much that your head starts spinning! Some of the highlights were the mesmerising Times Square (replete with Naked Cowboy) , the Theatre District, Macy's, the gorgeous Flatiron Building, Soho, the fabulous Greenwich Village, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Brooklyn Heights and its lovely brownstone buildings, the old tenement buildings in the Lower East Side, the apartment buildings on Central Park and the list goes on, and on, and on...

The subway in New York is fantastic, though I've absolutely loved walking around the city too. The streets look so iconic with the steam rising from the middle, and the fire escapes hanging down above the sidewalks. You feel like you've seen a movie filmed in every street and at every landmark. It's all so fascinating - Wall Street with its super security, Central Park with its endless pathways and patches of bedrock that still show signs of glacial movement across them and the Brooklyn Bridge that feels like an old friend as you walk across it and admire its stunning views (it was so good we did it twice!). And that's just the streets! I managed to fit in a major art fix at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim (I could have done more given more time!). We also managed the American Museum of Natural History where we saw meteors, dinosaur bones  and pre-history artefacts. We hit the 86th floor of the Empire State Building on the day for perfect views of the city. We spent a day at the lively Atlantic Antic (a street festival in Brooklyn) sipping a few beers and sangrias whilst enjoying local music. We got a peek at the stunning lobby of the beautiful Chrysler building. We even found ourselves at a weird free dance performance at the Flea Theatre.

We did spend one day out of New York when we went to visit some relatives on my mum's side of the family (originally from West Ireland). Kitty is in her 70's and has had 8 kids in all and now has an incredible 20 grand kids. She lives in New Jersey in a town called Verona, which is where we went to visit her. We were blown away by the size of the houses once we left New York. The big traditional wooden houses all have porches and perfectly manicured gardens. Many of them have big American flags flying and flamboyant Halloween displays out front. After catching up with Kitty (who I only met when I was little)at her place, she took us for a drive and we visited a local viewpoint which has a tribute to the local 9/11 victims. Apparently many people watched the Twin Towers burning and falling from the hillside which has great views of the New York skyline. We got to meet a lot of the Mulroe family later that day as we were invited to Kitty's daughter, Pat's place just a few doors down to dinner. It's our first experience of American hospitality and we felt completely at home with the Mulroe's.

Our last day in New York is spent on the Circle Line boat, which takes you around the bottom part of Manhattan Island. We get some great views of the Statue of Liberty and a different perspective on the buildings that make New York so famous. We have our second diner lunch at the busy Empire Diner, sitting at the counter where we're entertained by the catty-camp waiters who make comments about the diners and bitch about each other. On our last night we head out with Micheala to Chinatown - just a hop, skip and jump from her apartment. We have dim sum, then visit a tacky-but-cool karaoke bar called Winnie's where we suffer a string of terrible renditions of 80's songs (Tim somehow restrained himself). After a dizzying 10 days we're completely besotted with this city and it is with great regret that we say goodbye to Michaela,
her apartment and New York...
There are heaps more pics in the album for this entry......
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