Tag Archives: usa

Central Park Take 2 – Last Day in New York

Monday 11th, October. Our last half day in New York still had quite a bit packed into it. The day started with check-out. When we checked out we also booked an airport transfer and put our bags into storage for a few hours. We wanted to post the prints and the drawing of us back home before we left the country so that was a priority for the morning. There was a UPS store just up street so we went in there first. They looked a little dodgy to me but we had no other option other than to go with them. As it turned out they were very good and the parcel made it home safe and sound.

After we had taken care of the parcel we went back to the subway station and caught a train to 72nd street and headed into Central Park. We hadn’t seen much of the park on the first day so we hoped to see a bit more on our last day. We wandered through Strawberry Fields and walked further into the park. We came across a hotdog stand and bought Kim a dirty water dog and a pretzel. The dog wasn’t great and I think Kim was sick later because of it. The pretzel was over salted but once we removed some of the salt it was quite nice. Much better than what we had in Toronto. We sat next to the lake eating and when we finished we headed around the lake towards Bow Bridge. We walked forever through the park after Bow Bridge, and it seemed like we were getting lost in there. We eventually came across Belvedere Castle and the Turtle Pond. From there we headed west towards the outer fence line. Kim was turned around and wasn’t sure where we were, but I had some idea. We came out of the park at 81st street and caught the subway to the Tutankhahmun exhibit. The subway cars this far up Manhattan were older than those we had been used to. They were more like the subway cars you see in the movies and TV shows.

We didn’t get to see everything in New York but we certainly crammed a lot into the short stay. One of the things we missed in New York was American Museum of Natural History. As we look back at google maps of our trip we realised that the American Museum of Natural History was right next to the 81st subway station. This was just one of the many things we came so close to during our honeymoon, but didn’t visit or see it. We will come back to New York one day and see more of this wonderful city.

The subway journey to the Tutankhahmun exhibit was pretty quick. I was thinking that it would be wonderful to photograph all of the artefacts on display, but the reality was completely different. As we entered we had to check our bags, which included all of our photography equipment as there were no photos allowed. In total there were two bags checked into their baggage counter, my camera back pack and Kim’s sling bag. I was a little disappointed, but it did allow us to actually enjoy the exhibit without trying to capture it on camera. The exhibit started with a dark room and a video display, before the large doors opened and we were presented with the first of many rooms of artefacts. It was amazing to see the craftsmanship and artistry of all the artefacts. Kim was thrilled to be seeing it all because she has a fascination with Egypt and Egyptian items.

The exhibit finished in the gift shop where we got photos of ourselves along with some other items. We then went back to the bag check area to claim our bags. There was a young guy behind the counter who looked a little out of it. I handed over our ticket and he went to grab our bags, which were on a high shelf. As he grabbed my camera bag he didn’t grab the sling bag. Due to this the sling bag fell to the ground from over six feet and landed on the floor. Kim’s sling bag had the Canon G10 and the video camera inside it, along with her other items. The guy was sort of sorry, but he was so out of it he didn’t really pick up on the sarcasm I was giving him. I was very annoyed about it all, but everything seemed to work so I didn’t worry about it.

As we left the exhibition and walked towards the subway we came across a small police car which is used by traffic cops at the side of the road. Kim wanted to have her photo taken with the car. I told her the cop would probably pose with her, but she didn’t want to ask, but we still got a photo with her next to the car.

Back at the hotel we had a little wait for the airport transfer, but we just sat downstairs in the hotel lobby. We did get a drink from the bar down there but the price of the soft drinks was insane. We only had the one drink. I was starting to get tired at this point, it was a case of stopping and letting myself rest. Once our car arrived and we were on our way, I pretty much passed out. Kim stayed awake to take photos.

Again, I can’t remember much about the airport. We sat in the terminal waiting for the flight in an area across from the departure gates, but still in our view. We took the time to go and freshen up in the toilets and then Kim went off and found some souvenirs. Once time had passed a little we went around the corner and got something for dinner. The place was packed and we were finding it hard to get somewhere to sit down, but finally a table opened up and we had dinner. Eventually the flight was called but due to our seats being near the front (on the exit row) we were one of the last to board. There were some people that tried to get aboard early but they got held to one side until it was their real turn. Because we were flying into Scotland there were plenty of Scottish people on the flight.

My seat was on the window at the exit row. There was room to stretch out in front of me but the door jutted out on my legs and made it a little tight to my left side. A huge thunder storm passed over as we taxied out onto the runway. This caused delays all over the airport as planes couldn’t take off in it. We were in a large line up of planes on the ground waiting for clearance. The lightning was fantastic to see and the rain was coming down in sheets. At one point the plane was parked over a puddle of water and the engines made the water spiral up in intricate patterns. I never take my camera out on planes because I don’t want to cause any problems, but I wish I had on this occasion. After about an hour of sitting and taxing up and down the runways we finally took off for the UK. It was sad to leave North America behind us as we had so much fun during our stay, but we had the UK to come so we were also excited. Goodbye North America!


St Paul’s and Century 21

On our way back towards the hotel we stopped at a shoe store so Kim could have a look. I took off while she was waiting to try and get some shots of St Paul’s Chapel which is next door to the hotel. I got my shots and came back to Kim quickly. She wasn’t having a good time with the sales clerks who were very unhelpful. We both went to the church after that and took some photos. We also went inside to see the memorials which were very moving. Kim didn’t take many photos as she felt it was the wrong thing to do. I took a few, but I was being very thoughtful with regards to what I was photographing and how often I was shooting.

When we left there we didn’t go back into the hotel, we decided to check out the Century 21 Department store. It was supposedly a very big store but it was cramped. We needed to get another bag for the flight to the UK and this seemed to be a good place to find one. As I said the store was cramped. It was as if they were trying to fit too much into the store. We found a bag and headed to pay for it but the check out was in a very narrow area and people were lined up for as far as the eye could see. Of course other people felt this was a good area to walk through, so we had to try and let them through while we stayed in line. After we bought the case we went upstairs to try and find some travel underwear for Kim. We found some and that was fine but the line up to pay for them was unreal. It seemed to take forever and they were about to shut down our line but thankfully they served us before they did that. We got out of the store as fast as we could after that.

Upon our return to the hotel we decided to go for a swim in their pool to relax and cool down from all the walking we had done during the day. There was a so called life guard on duty but he looked severely bored and more interested in his Iphone. There was a small family there as well wading in the shallows. The pool was nice and the the view was interesting. We were looking at tall building and the church spire next door. It was a good way to end the day. We were exhausted after everything we had done that day!

That afternoon/night we packed. Well, Kim packed and I rang some internet friends from the states. It was good to hear their voices. That night we ate in the hotel restaurant downstairs. I had a burger which came with a small bottle of sauce which Kim just loved. She brought it home with her.

City Hall Park and Brooklyn Bridge

From here we walked up Broadway towards the City Hall park. We came across some squirrels being fed by a local which Kim loved. They were very friendly and she was able to get close to them. We were heading in this direction because I wanted to walk out on the Brooklyn Bridge. We found our way to the start of the walk way and followed everyone else that was heading that way. There were a lot of people there and the going was slow. The idea is for people to stay to the right of the right side going out across from Manhattan and on the way back be on your right of the left side. The other side is for bikes. Unfortunately with that many people there are bound to be some dumb asses and they strayed onto the wrong side of the paths. A couple times the bike riders had to yell out to get them to get out of there way.

The bridge was wonderful to walk out on, it is another place that we can say we have been. The architecture of the bridge is really something to see. We made it out to the first upright and took some photos there. I got some shots of Manhattan bridge which was further to the north on the East River. Kim got a shot of a large bike rider resting, it was a funny shot. I would have loved to go all the way across the bridge or maybe to the middle but that would have taken quite a lot of time so we didn’t do that. We headed back down into Manhattan. Once we got back onto the island we found a photo stand with some really nice prints of New York. We had been seeing plenty of these sorts of stands around New York and this time we decided to buy some prints.

Lower Manhattan and Wall Street

Upon our return to the Manhattan terminal we walked along the water front of the East River until we couldn’t go any further due to an overpass. At this point we headed back in towards Wall Street. We came across a ceremony which we respected and stayed still until they finished. It was a bunch of bikies paying respects to fallen comrades in the military. When we got to the other side of the ceremony we found a pink painted convertible which look pretty cool.

It didn’t take us long to find Wall street and the financial district. We were trying to find the Bull statue which we seemed to be going around but never actually seeing it. (we were always on one street over) We did eventually come across it and Bowling Green. The bull was swamped with tourists touching it and having their photos taken. They were even climbing on it to get photos. One kid was climbing underneath it and holding its balls in his hands. We managed only a few shots that didn’t have people in the way.

New York does a good job of supplying parks for the people. It seemed that if there was a spare bit of land, there would be a park on it. Bowling Green is like that. Stuck in the middle of the financial district between two streets, Bowling Green was a little oasis of green and flowers. We took a small break here before we headed of again. Kim got a photo of a very tight parking job here made by the smallest of cars. I got a shot of a red cap stretching his back on the park fence.

Staten Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty

We walked to the Staten Island Ferry terminal after looking at Battery Park. Brian had told us that this is the best way to see the statue of liberty as it is free and less crowded. It was early so getting on the ferry was fairly easy, but it was still a bit of a rush to get on. We headed to the left and went up to the top. We found it to be quiet on that side because it is the wrong side to be on to see the statue of liberty. I did head across to try and get a shot, but there were too many people to get through to see anything properly. I did manage to get a quick shot of her, but it is out of focus. Kim stayed on the left side of the ferry, so I returned to her and we sat there for the rest of the trip across to Staten Island.

On the Staten Island side we either had to rush to get onto the other ferry to immediately return to Manhattan, or wait for about 30 minutes for the next ferry. I started to walk towards the return ferry, but Kim didn’t want to rush, so we spent some time at the terminal. The terminal building was quite nice. We spent some of the time outside on an observation deck taking photos and taking a moment to stop and relax a little.

On the return trip we made sure we were on the right side to see lady liberty. I did get a good shot of the statue this time but it was from distance. It was the best way to see her quickly and without much hassle, but it would have been nice to get up close and personal. Perhaps we will get closer if we every return to New York. Kim’s mood was improving by now as she was waking up fully.

Battery Park

Like the previous day we got up a little late again, but we needed the rest. It was also another fantastic sunny day in New York. Once we were up and moving we headed towards Battery Park and got some photos of the globe that was in the world trade towers. This is probably the best memorial New York has for 9/11 (this has now been surpassed by the Memorial Pools, which have been opened at Ground Zero, but it took ten years for them to be constructed). Kim wasn’t in a great mood this morning, but she kept going.

Top of the Rock

The day was getting late and we decided not to explore Central Park anymore that day. We thought we might get back there on the last day for a while before we had to leave. We started towards Rockefeller plaza. We were both getting tired and there was still plenty to do and see. While we lined up to get tickets for the top of the rock we noticed we could get tickets for the Tutankhahmun exhibition. Kim didn’t want to get the tickets because we didn’t have time to get there today. I got them anyway which didn’t please her. She was very tired but kept on going. We made our way into the building and up through the many cues. We had our picture taken on a RSJ with the New York skyline in the back ground. A very cheesy shot, but that is what you do when you are in these types of iconic places.

Once we got up to the top there were a lot of people around making it harder to take photos. Kim had pretty much cracked it by then and was in a mood. I took a rather good photo of her while she was sitting on a window sill looking fed up with everything. I thought I had taken the photo without her noticing, but she knew I took it but didn’t care. She likes that photo now, but she might have taken my head off at the time. We didn’t stay at the Rock for long. We grabbed the subway and returned to our hotel.

Upon returning to our hotel I got the tickets and reservation receipt from the concierge. I also got directions to the restaurant (Capital Grille on 51st Street). We wanted to rest but the time frame was too tight. We got changed and immediately headed back out for dinner and got lost up town. The map that I was given wasn’t correct which put us well behind time for dinner. Once we got there they had given our table away, but I asked them if they could possibly fit us in and they found us another table. We mentioned that it was our honeymoon and when we got to the table they spruced it up with some love heart decorations and gave us a free wine. We didn’t have the heart to tell them we didn’t drink. We told them that we had tickets for Jersey Boys and they got us fed in a very fast time. It was a shame we had to rush as the steak was the best steak I have ever eaten. And the mash potatoes were just as good, smooth and creamy, every bite melted in your mouth. It was a wonderful experience. Considering we were late, they really looked after us. They showed us what real service should be like, which is something we lack in Tasmania.

Jersey Boys was fantastic! I’ve never been a big fan of musicals, but I was blown away by the performance. We have an amateur theatre company in Launceston that does a pretty good job at musicals, but I doubt they could ever do Jersey Boys justice. Kim had seen Jersey Boys in Melbourne with the Australian cast and thought they were a little better. I can’t make that claim. But if they were better then they must have been good.

During intermission we were approached by a couple who were sitting in separate rows. They wanted to know if the seats around us were taken. The tickets they had purchased were as close together as they could get, but they couldn’t get two right next to each other. We said that the seats are probably reserved for hotel reservations, so if no one was in them by now they are probably empty. As a result we moved along one seat so the couple could sit together.

At the end of the show there were limos waiting for patrons outside the exits. I contemplated getting a limo back to the hotel, but opted for the subway instead. I figured the experience of travelling on the subway at night would be better than spending a heap of money on a car ride. I was a little on guard as we entered the subway. Nothing happened, but I was well aware of everyone around us.

The first full day in New York was very good, but it was a very long day.