After we checked into the hotel, we walked down to the Chelsea Market to get something to eat and explore for a bit. There are a lot of cool things to eat and buy here.
We chose a slice of pizza and it was so tasty!
After we left the Market, we headed up to the High Line to walk back toward our hotel. This is such a cool space in the middle of the city.
We got a popsicle from a cart along the way. I had pineapple mint and it was very good, especially during the hot afternoon.
There is a lot of construction around this area, Hudson Yards. I am amazed there is still space in New York to build, but it sounds like this was more an industrial/stockyards area that is being converted to condos and retail.
We went back to our hotel briefly and then we went over toward Times Square.
We had a reservation at Carmine's Italian Restaurant. It is a family style restaurant which I just thought meant suitable for families, but really it means that they only have family sized portions and you can't order individual meals. There was no way we could eat our entire meal, but it was very good and exactly the type of restaurant and food we wanted.
Cheers!! Rookie mistake ordering a beer before a huge Italian meal!
We had about 8 slices of garlic bread, 6 huge meatballs and a platter of pasta. We thought we should have found a couple of people in line to share a table and our meal with!
Then we walked over to Come From Away. I am typically not a theatre fan but Cindy wanted to go so I said I would go too and this was a musical I was interested in. After seeing this show, I think I may be converted to a theatre fan. It was an amazing performance and experience. If you have a chance to see it, you must! It's apparently coming to Toronto in the new year, so I will have to go again.
The next morning, Friday, we got up early and went to Rockefeller Plaza to see the Today Show being filmed and then to go to the Top of the Rock for some views. We also picked up some coffee and pastries at Bouchon Bakery.
The Lego version of Rockefeller Plaza.
Across the street is St. Patrick's Cathedral so we went in there to walk around. It was lovely.
Saks 5th Avenue
We continued down 5th Avenue to the New York Public Library. It is so beautiful inside, worth the visit, although we were hard pressed to find any books.
Then we walked over to Grand Central Station. This was another amazing building, and another icon of New York. We wanted something to eat and opted for fries from Shake Shack :)
From Grand Central we took the subway downtown to the 9/11 Memorial. The subway exit led us through the Oculus. This is part of the retail area down there and of course the photo doesn't do it justice, so look it up to see the true effect.
When Dave and I went to New York a few years ago, we had to wait in line to get to the memorial pools. Now they are just open and available to everyone to just walk up to them which I think is great. It was still a meaningful experience when Dave and I were there, but that people can take a moment to reflect whenever they want, without having to stand in line, I think is so important. On the birthdays of each victim, the memorial staff will stick a flower into the engraved name of that victim. I think that is so special to know that time is spent for each person on their birthday; they won't be forgotten.
The museum was not open when Dave and I were there so I was really looking forward to visiting it this time. We downloaded the audio guide beforehand rather than getting the guided tour. The audio guide is narrated by Robert DeNiro and includes audio of people who were there on that day. I would recommend doing this if you go. The museum is really well done and it stands on the site of the buildings, the foundations are exposed and you can touch the slurry wall that was built when the towers were constructed. We decided not to go through the room that had the audio/video/images of the day. We have seen a lot of that stuff before and it was a pretty heavy visit already.
From there we stopped in at Century 21 but like last time I was there we weren't in the mood to really shop and dig through the supposed bargains, so we didn't stay long. We instead hopped back on the subway to Greenwich Village. Cindy wanted a real slice of New York pizza so I took her to the spot Dave and I visited on our Greenwich Village food tour. The line up was out the door and the guy behind us confirmed it was the best pizza (and then took our photo).
After our pizza we went back to our hotel for a little break before heading to Chelsea Piers for a boat tour.
Quick snack at 'Wichcraft- wine in a can and chips :)
Cindy's boss had recommended this architecture boat tour and it was a highlight of the trip, I would definitely recommend this to others. We chose the Lower Manhattan tour which was 1.5 hours but we could have easily done the 3 hour tour that goes around the whole island. The boat was relaxing and comfortable, we had wine and a cheese plate, the tour guide was knowledgable, and it was a beautiful evening on the water.
Not crowded at all, and you could sit inside or out. The windows opened all the way if you wanted to get a clearer photo from inside, or you could walk around outside too.
Our guide - we actually saw him at the cafe when we were getting our snack and I said "if that guy (wearing pink pants, loafers, and clear framed glasses) isn't going on an architecture boat tour, then I don't know who is!" and then he was our guide! He was legit.
One World Trade
The Queen Mary was there!
This is where the Titanic would have docked if it had made it
Hudson Yards, the place I said earlier is undergoing a lot of construction
After our boat tour we walked down to the Meatpacking District for supper.
Chelsea Market at night
We ate at Dos Caminos. Dave and I went to this restaurant (different location) so I knew it would be good, and we were able to get a reservation which was even better.
Margarita and guacamole - my favourites
The next day was Saturday. We woke up early and set out for another beautiful morning. We walked up 9th Avenue from our hotel to a Starbucks near Central Park for some coffee and a yoghurt. Then we walked into the park. Since it was Saturday it was busy - we saw so many dogs and runners and others enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures.
The Sheep Meadow.
The Bethesda Fountain
The Loeb Boathouse where Dave and I ate brunch on our visit.
Croquet players, because of course people are playing croquet in their white clothes.
We had brunch reservations at Tavern on the Green, an iconic New York establishment. It was all very lovely - the food, the sparkling wine, the music, the patio.
After our meal we meandered through Central Park to the East Side.
I took a photo of this dog statue...
We just walked around, looked at the apartment buildings with their doormen, the architecture , and went to a few stores (like Bloomingdales where we both bought jeans). We went through Times Square on the way back to our hotel, but quickly left. There are just too many people and we don't even know what they are all doing, just walking around?! We grabbed a couple of slices of pizza at 2 Bros Pizza on 9th Ave. It was not as good as the pizza we had the day before but it was good and cheap.
After some TV and a nap, we took the subway down to Washington Square Park. It's a really cool space, lots going on and a lot of people. They had a neat playground and fountain that I know E would have loved! It was all I could do to stay out of the fountain myself!
Thanks crane operator for leaving the crane there to ruin the shot of the arch.
From there we walked into Greenwich Village for some photo ops.
This is a tapas restaurant where Aziz Ansari went on his show Master of None - Tertulia.
The Friends apartment
Carrie's apartment from Sex and the City.
Then we met up with Cindy's friend for drinks and supper. She and Cindy went to high school together and she has lived in New York for a few years now so it was a good opportunity to visit and we really appreciated having someone familiar with the area to suggest places to go to eat and drink.
First stop - Wilfie and Nell for a drink.
Second stop - Suprema Provisions for supper. We were so lucky to get a table right away and the food was so good. I had the lasagna made with pulled pork and a béchamel sauce.
Third Stop - The Spaniard for some drinks. I ordered "Straight to Hell", delicious!
On Sunday morning we went to SoHo for brunch. I just googled best brunches in SoHo and found this place - The Dutch. I thought I had made reservations but then we realized I had mixed up the AM/PM, but it was fine. We arrived 15 minutes before it opened so we had no issue getting a seat.
From there we walked around and did a little shopping - some Madewell shirts and treats from Dean and Deluca. We also found this delicious yoghurt place where we got a smoothie. Cindy knew of this brand from previous visits to the US but didn't know they had bricks and mortar stores. It was delicious.
We also spotted a few celebrities. Debi Mazar was shopping with her daughter at the Nike Store. Louis C.K. was walking down the street with his daughters (see below). And when we went back to Joe's Pizza to get a slice, Kal Penn was there. I tried to take his slice of pepperoni by mistake, and then I apologized and when I turned and saw it was him, I said "I hope you've been enjoying Toronto. I'm from there." (He films Designated Survivor here.) He said thanks and yes he has been. The friend that was with him seemed pleased that I mentioned it, so it was kind of neat. Unfortunately Cindy was waiting for me outside during all of this, but she did see him when he left the pizza place.
So that was it, we went to our hotel to grab our bags and then we took an Uber to La Guardia to get our flight. We really didn't know how lucky we are with our airports in Canada, but EWR and LGA leave a lot to be desired! The TTC is also head and shoulders about the NYC Subway. I know it's extremely less complicated to run the TTC lines than the NYC lines, but again, I didn't really appreciate the cleanliness of the TTC until I rode the NYC Subway, no offence.
While I was gone, Dave kept the boys busy with trips to the splash pad, a ride on the High Park train, a bike ride to the Lakeshore bike park, a visit with my cousin Emma, and lots of yummy food (I'm waiting for him to write his own weekend recap post...).
Phew!! Thanks for sticking with me through that marathon post! If you have any questions, let me know!