Category Archives: New York

MNew York to Washington, DC Day 27 of 43

New York to Washington by train

We are off to Washington today and, for the first time since we arrived in NY, it is raining. It’s not the sort of torrential rain of a tropical downpour. Its more of an English drizzle. Anyway – it’s not too penetrating so raincoats will cover it. The rest of my party decided to wrap their suitcases in plastic bags to keep them dry. It was not necessary in my opinion, due to my packing all my clothes in those bags you suck the air out of to flatten them. I figured if the rain got through the vinyl on the outside of my case, it wouldn’t matter anyway. I did cover my camera bag though.

So picture it if you can, four adults pulling their suitcases, covered in plastic, which are being rattled and pulled at by a fair gust or two of wind as we hold the hoods on our raincoats down to cover our faces, while trying to see, and dodge umbrella covered New Yorkians who keep to the right, mainly, at a reasonable pace. This whilst we avoid puddles, wait for the lights to change, dragging our beasts behind us, trying to miss the kerbs so that the wheels will remain in contact with the pavement at all times. Lucky it was only a three block walk.

We arrive fairly unscathed at New York’s Pennsylvania (Penn Station) in spite of the escalator ride down to the waiting area. Once we had waited, we were herded into another area to head to track 9West to go to Washington. All loaded on the train and we were off. See below the route we took which lasted almost 3 hours. Great to sit and relax and watch the world go by.

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New Jersey,NY – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Wilmington, Delaware – Baltimore, Maryland – Washington, DC

Accommodation

We are staying at the very lovely Hilton Garden Inn 815, 14th Street, North West DC.

We arrived early so had to wait for our rooms to be prepared. One thing I will say about the place is that it has old world charm, with thick carpets and heavy drapes.  The bed is sensational. The lighting too is exceptional.  Sounds pedantic I know, but really, whoever designs lighting in hotels, must do it to avoid the clients seeing anything that may be faulty.  This hotel has lighting that lets you see whatever you want to.  Its glorious.

Our hotel
Our hotel
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Had dinner at the hotel Grist Mill.  Shared a beautiful steak with asparagus and mashed potato.  So yummy!  Sigh.

 

 

 

New York NY, USA Day 26 of 43

We have been having breakfast at our hotel and today I tried the ‘oatmeal’. It was beautiful..They had three containers of ‘sprinkles’. There was sugar, sultanas, and  slivered almonds.  There was also cinnamon and another something that I cant remember but had not used. Very yummy.

Today was the first day we have used our raincoats and we needed them for the 3 block walk to Macy’s the worlds largest store.  Amazing place and the range of stuff in terrific. The temperature has dropped a little but its refreshing. Not a problem.

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After we had been there for a while we needed to eat of course so we went to a lovely restaurant on the 6th Floor called Stella. Then of course we needed sweets afterwards – well I only had roast chicken soup so I was not full. So we found  Bon du pain – a pastry smorgasbord! Yummo !

After we had been to Macy’s we walked home and I wanted to go into the Post Office to see how much it would cost to send home some of my paperwork.  One does collect a lot of crap along the way and I love maps so have heaps.It was raining quite softly but consistently and it was getting colder.  Found the prices were to high so have managed with the cases I have.

The post office
The post office
We are heading out to Washington tomorrow by train so after arvo sleeps and blog time we are packing.  Dont know how we are going to fit all the crap into the bags we have.  Sigh,  but I do like a challenge.

We’ve had a great time in New York and there is so much more to see and experience. Looking forward to doing it again in the future – may have to win lotto though.

 

New York, NY Day 27 of 43

Very long established famous place - it was very exciting.
Very long established famous place – it was very exciting.

We were a few sights short and as I was travelling with a foodie in Didi – I decided we should use our Metrocard (Bought it for use on trains and buses for a week and it earned its keep – big time!! – great investment)

So we headed for Broadway and 80th Streets to the famous Deli called Zabars!!!

We caught the M7 bus and it was heading in the right direction.  It takes ages to get from one place to another on the bus, bus the views in and out of the bus are worth it.  Its nice just to sit back and watch the world go by, especially when it is so frenetic where we have been staying.  The noises are continual, jarring, educational and interesting.  We watched as emergency vehicles with their woop woop noises which were blasted at street corners.  People pay them very little attention – I saw a guy walk across in front of a turning ambulance today – he hurried a bit but the van had to wait for him to get out of the way. Unbelieveable!

Anyway we sat on the bus and watched the people, like the woman with the trolley basket, she hugged to her knee in the middle of the aisle.  There was a seat nearby which was a single seat with a space beside it where the basket could have gone perfectly.  Eventually she worked it out and moved.  Another women, young and huge sat down on my right across the aisle and the seat groaned. She had the most perfect skin, and was probably only about 20 if that. Later a woman in orange got on with a walker and a 4 pronged stick lying across it.  She approached another woman on her right and asked her for the seat.  There are signs everywhere and constant announcements about giving up your seat for the elderly or disabled. Anyway as she approached and asked for the seat to be relinquished the owner said “Ma’am, I’m disabled too!” but did get up cross the bus and sit down.

Bottom of screen M that is where our bus decided to go along Avenue instead of Broadway.
Bottom of screen M that is where our bus decided to go along Amsterdam Avenue instead of Broadway.

So we are heading for 80th and Broadway but end up one block east of where we want to be.  So we cunningly – after Didi’s suggestion, asked a courier – where we should be for Zabars.  He told us and off we went.

As per the recommendation of the Lonely Planet guide – it was everything and more.

Cheeses
Cheeses
Olives
Olives

Upstairs was a kitchenware area and the stock was phenomenal.

Kitchenware and some!
Kitchenware and some!

We had been told again in the guide that there were Knishes to be had here and that if we wanted a real one this was the only place to get the authentic ones. They are round pastry covered snacks.  Inside there is generally potato and another vergetable.  Eg, spinach, brocolli, or mushroom.  They are served hot and taste delicious.

Image of Yonah Schimmel's Knish Bakery - New York, NY, United States. Mushroom knish
Image of
Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery – New York, NY, United States. Mushroom knish

The weather has been  cooler than usual and there is rain coming.  Its a little cooler but not unpleasantly so. Went all retro and mono today and took some picture of the area we were in.  Much more ‘mellow’ from 50th street north, in Manhattan.

Building decorations
Building decorations
skywards
skywards

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New York City, NY Day 24 of 43

Today started slowly and a much needed rest was in order.  We did not get out of the hotel till after 11 and had an early lunch at a very casual Italian around the corner in 9th Avenue.  Had Penne Marinara. Not much in the way of seafood but it was certainly authentic with a rich tomato sauce.  It really was lovely and for $7.25 and enough for two – it truly was a bargain. Before we got to the theatre we went to the Disney Store

Me and my Stormtrooper:)
Me and my Stormtrooper:)

and the M&M’s Store.

M&Ms
M&Ms Store

 

 

 

 

 

We had and early lunch to get to Kinky Boots for the matinee at 2pm.  Fantastic show.

Kinky Boots at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre Broadway 302 West 45th Street Between 8th and 9th Avenues New York NY 10036
Kinky Boots at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre Broadway 302 West 45th Street
Between 8th and 9th Avenues
New York NY 10036

After that we went to Planet Hollywood for a milkshake.

Planet Hollywood, Times Square,NY
Planet Hollywood, Times Square,NY

There are some real characters in Times Square so I took a few pics of the peoples.

Times Square characters
Times Square characters
More characters lol
More characters lol

After we wandered for a little, then A & B left us and we went over to the Schubert Theatre to see Matilda – music and lyrics were written by our Tim Minchin.

Schubert Theatre
Schubert Theatre

The curtain before the show Matilda.

The curtain before the show Matilda.
The curtain before the show Matilda.

We enjoyed the show, the lyrics were clever but not cringeworthy like some of his stuff.  The kids were spot on, very well trained and not bratty. The lead was one of four they cycle through and she was lovely and well rehearsed.  By the end of the show she was showing signs of being a little tired.  But for a kid it is a long show and Matilda was in most scenes.

I wanted to have dinner at Sardi’s while I was in New York. I had not done any research as to where the restaurant was so hadn’t really expected to find it. But, as we came out of the theatre into 44th St, there in front of us was Sardi’s. I started heading over, telling Didi that I just wanted to look inside.  I had no plans to eat there, I thought it would be way too expensive for us. So I walked in with Didi asking under her breath, “What are we doing here?” “I just want to look” I said. At which point I was looking towards the Maitre di – and over his shoulder at the portraits. Then it started to feel like a movie script.  The MD looked at his bookings and without lifting his gaze said “How many?” I said two, and suddenly we were being lead inside with a flounce and a “This way please Ma’am.” – I looked at Didi and she looked at me, I wondered if she knew more than I about the prices in this establishment. I just followed the MD and sat at a table for two just inside the door on the left.

Within moments a waiter(server) arrived with water and  menus.  Again in a short time after we had glanced at the prices and worked out what we wanted, he returned with a selection of breads for us, white, multigrain or french.

Inside Sardi's - check out the hundreds of hand drawn pictures of actors around the walls. Amazing!
Inside Sardi’s – check out the hundreds of hand drawn pictures of actors around the walls. Amazing!

It was not long until he returned and we enjoyed a lovely supper there of Canneloni pork and lamb, and porcini mushrooms in a crepe, slathered in cheese bubbling on the plate as it arrived on the table on our crisp white tablecloth.

Inside Sardi’s – check out the hundreds of hand drawn pictures of actors around the walls. Amazing!

Sardi's outside
Sardi’s outside

I had a lovely Merlot and we left a reasonable tip and were not feeling ripped off at all.  Not expensive by any means – reasonable prices.

We then walked home about 7 blocks from the theatre to the hotel, via the supermarket – bought some Crest 3D whitening toothpaste, and arrived home safely around 11:15pm.

Beautiful weather here everyday – in the 20s and cool at night but not cold.  Lovely.

 

New York NY, USA Day 26 of 43

Central Park – We caught the train to 81st and found our way to the surface at the Natural History Museum.

The station at 81st Street
The station at 81st Street

We forgot that we did not have to pay the required price to get in, so decided not to go in. It was a humid warm day and we wanted to see Central Park.  So we left the airconditioned comfort of the museum and wandered along a path outside towards the leafy trees ahead.  We passed a dog run where dogs were allowed ‘off leash’ – because this is not allowed in the park generally. There were squirrels all around and birds.

Bridge in Central Park
Bridge in Central Park

People use the park and sit on the benches and enjoy the quiet and coolness.  There are nannies everywhere – the obvious ones are the black women with the white babies, but we saw a collection of asian women yesterday too with a gaggle of children under 4 with them.

We wandered on and walked towards a bridge that was being guarded by a young woman who told us there was some filming going on over the bridge.

No crossing the bridge in the park.
No crossing. The bridge in the park where there was a young woman asking us not to cross – because “they are filming” on the other side of the bridge. We obliged happily, but an older woman from New York was wanting to cross the bridge.  The conversation went like this.

“I’m sorry, do you mind going around the other way, we are filming up ahead?”

“Yes, I do mind , I have to get to work.”

We didn’t hang around, but when we got to the other side we did see the film crew.

Film crew - filming
Film crew – filming – notice the body in the leaves at the feet of three standing on the right.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

“The Met” The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Went into this amazing building and saw wonderful artifacts and objects of great worth.  We wandered around for awhile and found our way to a marvellous exhibit called Cafeteria;  Some of the objects here were familiar to us.  One of the assistants there even provided ‘hot sauce’ on request.  Some of the stainless steel exhibits were found to be quite handy and not so ancient at all. We ate there and enjoyed the airconditioning again.

Later we caught the train again and popped up out of the subway at Fifth Avenue and Broadway.  Intriguing building.  Bigger than I expected.  Designed by Daniel Burnham and built in 1902.  20 storey building was the world’s tallest building until 1909.

FlatIron Building

Flatiron Building
Flatiron Building

Trains were our main transport on this particular day, and even though they are efficient to and from places the stairs are hard on Didi’s knees. It can be hard when you don’t know which line you should be on and you go up to the street and back down again only to discover you are where you started, it can be frustrating and tiring.  lol.

The heat has been infrequent and its been mostly cool.  The heat is humid heat and is not much fun but does not last long. We have brought too much warm stuff and the weather has been beautiful, generally. 23-25 degrees most days.

Sacks 5th Avenue

5th Ave Saks Store
5th Ave Saks Store
Perfume counter.
Perfume counter.

It was beautifully laid out and interesting to see

Displays in Saks 5th Avenue
Displays in Saks 5th Avenue

New York, NY, USA Day 24 of 43

Today, we started late.  Due to our 8 kms we walked yesterday – there were feet that were tired and needed rest.  So after breakfast we went back to bed until about 10:30.  We then went for a walk looking for a hairdresser.  We found one and her name was Betty and she has been cutting hair for 32 years.  She loves her job, you can see it in the sway of her hips and her genuine smile. She is Russian and has lived in Brooklyn and Colorado.  She loves New York.  She was sure of her ability and she talked to me about how she was cutting.  Fabulous woman. The cut makes me feel like I look good and it is a fantastic cut.

The weather in New York is humid and it has been cool with good cloud cover to avoid burning.  I have coloured a little but not so anyone else would notice.

Enough about me. We took off in the afternoon to Times Square by foot. Once there we went into the Bubba Gump’s store.  image

Bubba Gump's
Bubba Gump’s

Bought a T-shirt and then went upstairs for dinner.

Our first time in Times Square!
Our first time in Times Square!

We had New Orleans Shrimp and a Caesar Salad.  We had a very fun server and he is very talented exhibit A: Click on this link to see just how clever he is.  Tiandre McGee

After dinner we walked around Times Square

Times Square from Bubba Gumps
Times Square from Bubba Gumps
Times Square
Times Square

and took pictures of Radio City Music Hall

Radio City
Radio City

then went up 44th St to the Rockerfella Plaza to head to the 67th Floor – the Top of the Rock.  The view is fantastic and I have included a few here.

The view
The view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New York City NY – Day 22 of 43 Part 2

The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty

 

 

We arrived by train the day before yesterday and walked the 4 blocks from Penn Station to our hotel on 37th St.  By the time we had arrived we knew we had too much stuff, but what can you do – if it fits in the bags it comes for the ride. The traffic for a Friday was what we expected.  Only that is not true – I had no idea what I was epecting and so I enjoyed every aspect of the scene.  Even the grime, the aged tiles in the station and the homeless pregnant girl or our corner. The noise was an assault on the ears at the same time exhilarating.  I know this place has been done to death in movies for decades but the reality is different, yet not. I am enjoying the constant noise, split between muffled sounds that filter through the thick glass in our room, past the double blinds and my ear plugs.  Actually its not noisy in our room.  We hear sirens , but 8 floors up we are off the street, well and truly – as my mother would say.

Our balcony, 8th floor West 37th
Our balcony, 8th floor West 37th
The stations in the train. Gotta get the right one though. Got jumpy and lept off one train and bak on again when we checked - we did go to the front of the train after consultation with a guard.
The stations in the train. Gotta get the right one though. Got jumpy and leapt off one train and back on again when we checked – we did go to the front of the train after consultation with a guard.
We had to catch the blue line A C E
We had to catch the blue line A C or E

 

 

 

 

 

We went back to Penn Station and headed to Lower Manhattan to the Financial District towards the 9/11 Memorial.  Very confronting and saddening.  I looked at the pictures of some of the people who had died and their employers were listed on screens near one of the memorial pools. We signed the wall in the street along with thousands of others. I took a photo.

We signed the wall near the Memorial
We signed the wall near the Memorial

We then walked to a new shopping centre called Brookfield something and on our way we passed thousands of runners who had been involved in a Tunnel to Bridge run.  Every type of personnell were represented.  Firies Nurses, Police, Army, etc It was amazing!

New York's Finest
New York’s Finest

After this photo we went to the newWestfield where “millions have been spent on it” We saw three coloured polished marble tiles and sweepeing stairs.  There were about 15 20 metre tall living palms too.  Beautiful.

After our snacks with a view of the water – we headed to Wall St, then the Bull and then to Staten Island and back.image
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The street names make you smile.

 

 

 

 

 

Dont know if I will eat the offerings here but one could I’m sure.

 

 

 

The little bull with the Big Bull.

 

 

Wall Street.image