08.10.2013 - 17.10.2013 16 °C
View from Central Park
We had been looking forward to our 10-day stint in New York. There are few other cities, which dish up such a vast smorgasbord of attractions to gorge on - not to mention the food. Oh lordy, the food.
The Highline - it was a railroad, now its a park!
Fun at FAO Schwarz toy store
As above...Novelty chocolate found all over the USA
A Coney Island sunset
Grand Central Station
We invested in the New York Pass, which allowed us to access said smorgasbord (all the attractions you can eat in 7 days). Couple this with an alarm clock and a certain dedication to the cause, you will think you are actually making money on that thing.
Lady Liberty herself
We biked around Central Park on a very miserable and wet day
Manhattan from the top of the Rock
The 9/11 Memorial
They have done a great job at the memorial - we also visited the tribute centre which was a pretty harrowing experience
The volunteers at the memorial go round every morning and put roses in the names of victims who would have been celebrating their birthday on that day.
New Trade Centre one
We based ourselves in the far off land called Brooklyn in an economical airbnb.com accommodation. The interesting part about this neighbourhood is predominantly populated by a Hasidic Jews – a branch of Orthodox Judaism.
We didn't take this pic
This was interesting to us, firstly because it was unforeseen but mostly as it gave us an introduction to a community we were unfamiliar with and to be fair our time in Crown Heights raised more questions than answers, but of course that’s nothing the interweb can’t assist with.
The commute into town
Quick stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge
Prep for Halloween in Brooklyn
Dumbo! (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass)
Interspersed with our heavy-hitting schedule of attraction-hopping, was a heavy-hitting schedule of food consumption. Of course the usual suspects were ticked off – Shakeshack burgers, bagels, donuts, ramen, xiao long bau and so on and so forth.
Getting back on the Xiao long bao wagon at long last
What a treat it was to catchup with long lost school pals in the Big Apple - thanks Rach, Joanne, Amy and James!
One tried and true method of finding a top spot is when you can see a queue out the door. New Yorkers love a good queue – and to be fair we have be guilty of queuing like chumps in an attempt to appease our ever-more-demanding stomachs. But one has to draw the line somewhere. Now, you may or may not have heard about the ‘cronut’ - the love child of the croissant and doughnut. It was born (and promptly trademarked) out of a bakery in New York circa May 2013 and since then - every day of the week, a queue forms outside from 6am until the shop opens at 8am. They sell out mid-morning every day so you have to be in to win. Seeing my mind calculating what hour we would have to rise to get to Manhattan in time to get in that queue, Hayley swiftly put a pin in it and bought me a consolatory doughnut instead.
Chumps lining up for cronuts outside and down the road from Dominique Ansel Bakery (we nicked this pic from this blog)
We did, however get to the front of the queue for the New York institution - Momofuku, for their legendary ramen bowls which were delicious.
Whilst we powered through the headline attractions like the Empire State Building, Central Park, Statue of Liberty, Rockerfella centre, MoMA, The Met etc etc - we thoroughly enjoyed some of the more unorthodox activities like going to a cosy improv show in Chelsea, a dance competition in NOHO, doing a tour on slavery as well as one about gospel music. We even went to church - yep, this congregation of 10,000 in Brooklyn don't muck around - the choir has won a Grammy and also sang at Obama's inauguration!
Our Gospel Tour Guide gets his laces done up by a token group mother hen
And - breaking into song
By the end of our 10 days of perhaps some of the most intense touristing experienced this year - we were exhausted, but certain we had consumed as much as that great city had to offer and then some. We will however, be back to get our damn cronuts.
Next up in this now somewhat tardy blog series - city-hopping in Eastern Europe.