Wednesday, 29 April 2015

New York part 2!

Saturday 4th April

We walked onto 8th Avenue to catch the Hop on Hop off bus down to Soho where we were heading for the Vans shop (present purchase for Dominique's friend Mia). First we had breakfast! 

And watched them make pizzas!!

We hopped on the bus downtown to Soho. Hopped off and got just couldn't find the Vans shop....for ages! After eventually seeking help (and warmth - it was windy and chilly) in a very friendly store we were pointed in the right direction and eventually found it and made a succesful purchase!!!

We then decided to walk downtown to Ground Zero. The last time i was in NYC the visitor's centre was under construction and the area was fenced in. Now One World Trade Centre is completed the Ground Zero's waterfalls are accessible from the street. It is not an easy place to visit and the names of all those who died are engraved around the waterfalls where the footprints of the twin towers were. A sad place. 

We decided to walk to Battery Park and catch the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. The queue was huge and I mean we kind of found ourselves accidently (!!!!!) in the VIP queue with a load of English school kids and their teachers...and a 2 hour wait became 10  minutes!!!! Big tip - if you plan to go to the Statue of Liberty go early!!!!!

The ferry trip gives you a great view of the NY skyline and Lady Liberty. We decided not to visit Ellis Island but go straight to the Statue. The weather was windy but sunny and we spent an enjoyable hour or so wandering around taking selfies!! Then we ate cheesy chips. As you do. (Note - this was the last time we ate cheesy chips - there is only so much of that orange plastic stuff called 'cheese' in America one can take.... It was becoming a cheesy chip too far!)


We then made our way back to the ferry and before we knew it were back in Battery Park. We hopped on a bus and made our way back uptown.

Dominique had decided that she wanted to go up the Top of the Rock on her birthday the next day so we got off at the Rockafellar centre stop to get tickets for the next evening.

The ice rink was still going!
Before heading back to the Hotel Dominique bought the world's biggest gherkin!!!!

Next to her phone for scale!!!!

After a shower and a rest at the Hotel (read here...a few hours of American TV!) we went to Ruby Tuesdays for our evening meal for Dominique's birthday. It was packed so we had to wait by the bar for a while and people watch!! The food was delicious - prawn starter, steak main and cheesecake pudding!! Yummmmmmy

Sunday 5th April - Dominique turns 19 

After a great breakfast at our favourite cafe oliviero we jumped on the tour around Central Park again! Today's weather was a lot better than last time we tried this!

Central Park

We decided to have a walk around the park before heading to 5th Avenue for the Easter Day parade and jumped off the bus outside the Guggenheim.

And a lovely Sunday morning stroll through Central Park with a visit to Strawberry Fields.

We then hit 5th Avenue where the annual Easter Day parade was in full flow. Loved some of the outfits but my favourites had to be the dogs!!

Just brilliant!

By this time we were peckish so decided to head down to Grand Central Terminal (built in 1913 and on E 42nd Str and Vanderbilt Ave) - not only is it absolutely beautful but there is a food hall underneath! 

The ceiling of the main concourse has a beautiful celestial mural painted on it - excuse my rubbish picture. 

After filling up on hotdog/burger/chips and milkshakes we headed back to the hotel for a rest! 

We had tickets for the Rockafellar Centre Top of the Rock for 6.45 and as it was only a short walk from the hotel headed there just before - the aim was to get sunset picture of NYC. You have to go through security before being herded into the lifts. Some Swiss tourists had left rather a fancy army knife in their rucksak which they were extremely upset to have confiscated. I couldn't quite believe their stupidity.

The lift is fast but the lights and effects happening around you take your mind off it if you are a little bit claustraphobic like me!

The views are amazing of downtown Manhatten and of Central Park and of course of the Empire State building!

Trying to get all that in on a selfie was interesting!!!!

After staying at the top until the sun had set we headed down to earth and had a wander around the Rockafellar Centre itself which had a lovely display of flowers to celebrate Easter.

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