New York City Trip26 February 2019
Photo: Andy Crouch
A non-technical post this week as for the past week I have been in New York with my family. This was our first trip there but as I suspected, it did not disappoint.
We flew into JFK and had prearranged the Stewart Hotel on 7th Avenue. It turned out that this was an ideally placed hotel. Walk uptown along 7th Avenue 10 minutes and you are in Times Square. That walk takes you past Madison Square Gardens, the Pennsylvania hotel and Macy’s. The Pennsylvania is famous for being the place where the 1940 hit standard “Pennsylvania 6-5000” was written. Walk downtown on 7th Avenue and it will lead you down to Greenwich Village and Soho.
Right over the road from the hotel was Penn Station. This was convenient for getting the subway. The subway is really cheap. You can buy a 7 day pass for $31. I really recommend it as there is a station every couple of blocks. It makes getting around very easy.
We decided that there were a few things we wanted to see on this trip. On the whole, we got to see most of them. We were lucky with the weather. On our first main day, we hit lower Manhattan. We spent time walking around Battery Park and took the Staten Island ferry. This is free and allows good views of the Statue Of Liberty. We then walked up to Wall Street and had a look around the financial district. After stopping to see the Bull we headed over to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. That is equally impressive and upsetting.
We already knew that the city was due some snow on the Wednesday. We decided that we would head to Central Park which we did and the snow came. It was great fun walking around the south end of the park and the surrounding areas in the snow. We decided to spend the rest of that day on one of the many sight-seeing bus tours. We lucked out and had a great guide.
The final big attraction we went to was the Top of the Rock Observatory. This is within Rockefeller plaza and provides stunning views of the city. We decided to get tickets for the early evening which allowed us to be around for sunset. Well worth the entry fee.
The rest of our time was spent walking around and soaking up the city. We didn’t have enough time to do a lot of the things we wanted. Tours of Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx were on our list but we will go back soon to see them.
A couple of food places stand out as worthy of a mention:
- Browns Bagels at 132 W 31st Street. We tried a few different locations for bagels. This was by far the best as was their coffee.
- The Tick Tock dinner at 481 8th Avenue. This was a great, old school, dinner. Top food at much better prices that anywhere near Times Square.
I would add that we did eat at Planet Hollywood on Times Square. It isn’t worth the cost and even as a film geek (as accused by my wife) the cost is associated with the name, not the exhibits.
We flew back from Newark. The ride out from the island via the Holland tunnel provide a contrasting set of views. I suspect that given half the chance I will explore New Jersey in the future. My only comment about Newark is that there is almost no shops or restaurants once you have gone through security. There are a small Duty-Free, a small Bar and a newsstand. So if you like to grab a full meal before a flight, get it before you go through security.
I loved NYC. It was everything I suspected and more. I feel like I have only seen a tiny part of what it has to offer. We are already planning a return trip.