September 25, 2017

First Bite at the Big Apple

We were near finishing a job in Canada, when my friend Sam suggested that if I was going traveling for an unknown time, we better have some sort of “leaving doo”!  And as we were going to be flying back via New York, the plan was hatched to stop over for a few days and see the Big Apple!  Cue some bad singing… “I want to be a part of it, New York, New York!”

 

New York, New York!

We’d booked a pot luck hotel somewhere in Times Square using www.hotwire.com and as we were only going to be there a few days we though we might as well get a good one!

And the Chatwal certainly was that – they even had remote controlled toilet seats!

 

On the flight over, we hatched a basic New York Bucket List using films like Home Alone 2, the Ghostbusters and Big as a reference:

Time Square

The Empire State Building

Rockefeller Center (and the big tree)

F.A.O. Schwarz (the toy shop with the Big Piano)

Walk though Central Park

Along with a few other things if we had time like eat an American breakfast in a diner, see the Ghostbusters fire house, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, go to a Broadway show, and of course buy loads of Peanut Butter M&Ms…

 

I went to New York expecting it to a brash, unfriendly, and even intimidating place, but it was just the opposite.  I was captivated by the whole place, and as we walked around Times Square, the words of one of my best friends came back to me:

“The whole place, its like walking around a massive film set!”

 

Always looking up!!

Another friend told me she knew the tourists because “they spend all their time looking up”, but no wonder!  I was no exception!  Coming from a small rural village, seeing the skyscrapers of Manhattan was awe inspiring stuff.

And I never felt threatened.

 

Times Square…

Both pretty tired, we had an easy first day and were lucky with the Empire State building on the first night as we hit it just on sun set.  It was a cold but spectacular sight.

 

The following day was far more full on, we were up early and going for it.  After spending far to long looking for a traditional “Happy Days” type of diner we finally had breakfast and headed for the toy shop and big piano in F.A.O Schwarz which was enroute to Central Park.

 

I considered how big my bag would be if I ditched my clothes for toys on the way home… we were in the shop early, around 9am, so it was still quiet, and both me and Sam were gutted we hadn’t taken the time to learn the Chopsticks routine from the film Big…

 

Sam on The Big Piano…

Next up was Central Park, and honestly I had no idea just how big the place was.  During the walk North through the park we stopped and watched as they shot a scene for the new tv series “Pan Am”.

 

Central Park

Carrying on we noticed the Guggenheim Museum… now I’m not much of an art critic so I’ll keep my opinions to myself, but it certainly gave us something to talk about.

 

We also made the mistake of going into Trump Tower… but there’s nothing there!  It’s just apartments and offices I think, so don’t bother going on.

 

Past lunch time, and our legs getting tired, we past The Plaza Hotel so Sam managed to do his Home Alone impression, and headed for the Rockefeller Center for lunch, and the big tree.

We both thought the view from the Rockefeller Center was better than the Empire State Building, and if I could only do one again, it would be the Rockefeller.

 

“Top of the Rock” – Looking out towards the Empire State Building from the Rockefeller Center

As it was turning dark the tree was now lit – with 5 miles of lights!!  And after numerous attempts among the hundreds of people there, we managed to get some pictures.
Later we met up with a friend of Sam’s for some drinks, and had an excellent, although incredibly expensive, night out around some bars in Manhattan.

 

The next day, with our flights in the afternoon, we didn’t have as much time, and after breakfast in the Hard Rock Cafe on Times Square, we walked past Ripley’s Believe It or Not!  A collection of the worlds weird and wonderful… and we had a good laugh going around some of the exhibits.  As sad as it is to say, we both enjoyed it more than the Guggenheim.  Sorry.

 

On the walk back to the hotel to get our bags and check out, Sam wondered if I’d managed to eat all the worlds peanut butter M&Ms, and if not where we’d get some? And as we turned the corner on Times Square, there before us was “M&M World!”  A whole shop full of them!  Good times.

 

Rockefeller Center with the ‘Big Tree’

I was so taken by New York, that by the end of the trip, we were discussing moving there for a month or six!  It truly is one of the “must see” cities of the world.

 

Hotwire Discounted Hotel

www.hotwire.com

 

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