New York - a week full of highlights - October 2016
Yay, finally holidays again. We booked one week NYC as we have never been there before and time has come to discover a new city . The only thing we
prepared before was booking our flights, hotel and tickets for a broadway musical (will come back to this later here) as well as a 2 days trip to
Niagara Falls and dit a bit of a research of what to do in Big Apple.
We arrived late afternoon and after checkin we went to the first subway station to get a metrocard. First advice here: if there is a ticket office: Ask for the subway map. It’s free and it’s the best one for getting to know in which direction you have to go but you have to ask for it. Unfortunately we got that advice a bit late when we almost knew it by hard where to go. Until then we struggeleld with other maps from the hotel or SubwayApps but the best is the one you get from the ticketoffice although it is huge.
So, first destination after the long travel was Central Park and it was perfect for a relaxing afternoon in the sun after the overseas journey. You can also rent bikes there and this is something we would have done but we were too exhausted and unfortunately we didn’t have time to come back another time. Walking back we ended up the first time at 5th avenue surrounded by the skyscrapers, some of them owned by a guy who is trying to become president of the United States- let’s see what will happen J. Update: Everyone knows he succeeded -let's see what will happen.
Day 2 started with a delicious breakfast at a café with a lovely conecpt, check out „The butcher’s daughter" for more details. After a stroll around SoHo we made our way to the station of staten island. A trip I can highly recommend as the Ferry is free (something very rare in NYC) and you get a wonderful view from the ferry to the skyline and, probably more important, to the world famous state of the liberty. The ride takes about 15 minutes and you can go back immediatly with the next ferry if you don’t have any plans for staten island. Back in town we walked to the memorial of 9/11 where we decided to visit the museum the next day too and walked up to the wallstreet. I have to say everyone said NewYorkers are in a rush and they can’t stand tourists who don’t move forward – for whatever reason I had the impression that we walked much faster than all the others on the street J
In the evening it was time for another highlight. Thanks to the recommendation of friends we got introduced into the world of the so-called speakeasy bars. The Attaboy was close to our hotel and we decided to check it out. Getting in there is a special experience already. I don’t want to say too much here. Once you get in, you don’t get a card with the cocktails – instead the barkeeper are asking you about the tastes you like and based on the information you get, you will get your personalized drink. As I love ginger spice, I got soon on Cloud Nr. 9 J . If there would have been more time, we would have for sure checked out another speakeasy bar., especially the barber bar sounds interesting.
Time goes by so fast! Sunshine on day 3 too and by coinsidence finding a good place to eat something before exploring the town we passed Katz’ Deli. I remembered the name from some online recommendations and so we decided to go in for having a sandwich. This place was also part of the famous classic movie „When Harry met Sally". Ok, ok, honestly I only heard about the film so far and haven’t seen it. But luckily on our flight back home we had the chance to see it (thx SWISS) and I absolutely loved it. Highly
recommend it to everyone who has not seen it.
Later one it was time for a more serious thing. We visited the 9/11 museum. The museum is quite pricey (24 USD per person) which led to discussions in the US as mueseums should be mainly free. However, it is a chapter of recent history which changed the entire cityscape of NewYork and had an affect to the entire world. I have to say the museum is worth the money. It’s a re-construction oft he day of which everyone remembers excactly what he / she has done at that moment you got the breaking news on 9/11/2011 and we spent more than 2 hours in there. Also the memorial for the victims where the twin towers used to stand is worth to see. I think everyone goes mentally into hisself at that moment and appreciate the beauty of life.
On the way back tot he hotel we took once more the wrong subway, went out somewhere and landet at Grand Central Station which is impressive. That’s what I love so much about NYC, no matter where you get out of a Subway, you will dsicover something new wihtout having the need of a map with all the places.
In the evening it was time for the broadway musical I was sooooo much looking forward to it – Alladin – and I didn’t got disappointed. The voices, the genius genie from the bottle the costumes and the scenery, just breathtaking! Highlight of course was the scene with the flying carpet. It was a magical night. When you leave the musical, you can rubber the lamp and make a wish - we were checking out super crowded timesquare by night.
After so many impressions it was time taking a break from the big city life – we started our bus tour to the Niagara Falls. It was a looooong ride in the bus with many interesting information we
got from the guide about the country and the falls with typical american food inbetween (not my favorite) and beautiful landscape thanks to Indian Summer. We were lucky and could pass the boarder to Canada quite quickly as this was the first stop (before we had an after lunch walk at GlensFalls Park which was
pretty nice too). At the falls we had another wow-moment. Seeing the power of water in that dimension – Mother Nature is beautiful. After dinner we
had another view to the falls by night – but the colorful lights were not really my taste.
Early morning we were lucky again and the American passport control went quick too (sometimes you have to wait more than 1 hour to get through!)as another highlight was waiting for us. After a walk along the falls where you get really close to the water. But the real touchpoint and experience with the falls you get only on a ship ride with the famous Maid of the Mist. Jeeez that was fun! Trying to get the best pictures of the fall but getting in the meantime the chilly spray-like mist into your face made it difficult to see anything but we had a blast on this 15 minutes ride and definitively worth to do it!
Before heading back to New York, we got first stopped by the police, our car drivers name was Speedy Gonzales J Nothing tragical, but we lost 30 minutes which meant 30 minutes less time for shopping at the Outlet. All in all it was a great tour and I can recommend it to everyone who needs a change of the City Life, no matter if from NYC or Toronto.
Saturday, hello weekend! Time to do some touristy things in Manhattan again as we are tourists and there is so much to see and to do! For gaining energy oft he day, we decided to check out Russ& Daughters close to our hotel too. After some waiting time we got a table and we could try out mainly dishes with fish we wouldn’t eat normally but it was delicious and I like the surroundings there. Check it out when you can, they don’t take reservations only walk-ins – rather be early if you’re hungry J After the yummy breakfast we bought a day / evening ticket fort he observation deck oft he Rockefeller Center. Of course we could have done different towers, but we wanted to see the Empire State Building and Freedom Tower from the top. Both times it was worth going up – the view up there is amazing and we really enjoyed the windy view on the top of Manhattan. After tons of pictures we enjoyed a nice Brazilian Dinner.
Sunday, Funday, Shopping!
After sleeping in we went to direction Chelsea to the Chelsea Market. The Marketplace is a huge old factory wall with different food places – my paradise
J Also here we found a good place to eat something but I reckon you will find there everywhere good food.
With a full tummy it was time for a walk and we walked down the closeby High-Line which was another Highlight! A great park in a great area. Would definitively come back there.
Shopping time! Beeing almost a week in NewYork withh almost no shopping beside a few pieces and around a ton of M&M’s I was getting a bit nervous. What can we do against it? Yes, watching out for a shopping mall. We didn’t wanted to go to large outlet malls outsite of New York so we checked out alternatives and decided to go to Queens where prices are lower than in town and and where we were supposed to get there by subway. Surprise Surprise, construction working ongoing – but hey, it doesn’t really matter if we walk 2 other km’s after walking 20 km’s per day – we don’t care anymore. So finally, a little bit of shop till we dropped and then time has come to pack our belongings to be ready for the flight to Switzerland.
But before heading back home we enjoyed other highlights at the last hours in New York too: 27 C , sun shining, another shopping round and my first Uber ride to the airport. WhoopWhoop. But as mentioned previously, the flight back home was a highlight form e too for 2 reasons: I could see when Harry met Sally with the place we had sandwiches. Second highlight, I finally managed to become a millionaire in the Airplane Game. Believe me, after the shopping sessions this is excactly what I could use the most now J