I thought I'd do a short, non-food related blog post (shock horror) in case any of my 12 readers are interested in what else NYC has to offer.
One the first two days of our trip we boarded the embarrassingly touristy, but seriously great for lazy people like moi, big red bus and toured the sights of The Big Apple from the comfort of our seat on the top of the double-decker bus. I really love these Hop-On Hop-Off buses as you get to see an entire city in a short space of time. It let's you get your bearings and for me always highlights areas I want to go back and explore further (or really it helps me identify the areas where good eats are)!
|Top deck is best - just don't stand up or you'll loose your head on a traffic light. Ouch|
|Hello Brooklyn, how you doin'?|
|Best part of this tour, jumping the LONG queue at Grimaldi's|
|Grimaldi's - packed to the rafters after being open for 5 minutes|
|That's no normal ferris wheel folks - look closely and you'll see the carriages "drop". Eep|
|Ta da...there she is!|
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is something that I REALLY wanted to do on my last trip but just didn't get around to it. I made sure we had time on this visit and I'm so glad we did this as it is an AMAZING thing to do (and it's free too). The views from the bridge are spectacular and the walk is quite short so it didn't interfere to much with my hectic eating schedule.
Look I think it's pretty obvious that I have a slight addiction to tours. In my defense though the 3 hour Circle Line cruise around Manhattan is a MUST do! There is nothing quite like seeing the island from the water - the buildings look massive, and the perspective you get of the skyline is really something else. The tour of the island also takes you right up to the tippy top of Manhattan - somewhere most tourists really don't venture.
On my last visit to NYC I spotted this weird little residential island in the East River called Roosevelt Island. So what I hear you say. Well, you can access the island by cable car - all for the measly sum of $2.25 of your MetCard. I'm SO there! Roosevelt Island used to house a Small Pox Hospital, Mental Asylum, various other hospitals and so on, but nowadays it seems like a nice little place to live. I seriously fell in love with this place. And if you're not into a cable car commute to work there is a subway station on the island AND a bridge connecting it to Queens. When can I move in?
|View of Roosevelt Island from my beloved cable car|
|View for The Highland - you can see the tippy top of the Empire State Building|
|Join the crowds and shuffle along The Highland - excellent fun!|
|The Boathouse - no Big or Carrie today, just loads of dudes making their ladies row the boat...WTF?|
When I wasn't being chauffeured around by private bus or boat I joined the throngs of locals and hopped on the Subway - it's probably the quickest way to get from Point A to Point B in NYC, though the buses aren't too bad really (at least the drivers stop and let you in unlike our lovely Sydney bus-drivers). We just bought a MetCard for the public transport and you can top it up at any ticket machine when you're getting low.
|Mind the gap peeps.|
|It's Harry Potter...with an American accent.|
|Let the show begin (we're in the 2nd back row - fancy).|
And last by but no means least we visited the site of the World Trade Center. I lost two friends in the Bali bombings years ago, so being at a place where over 3000 people lost their lives to terrorism also is very moving. The area is still a huge building site, but very moving none-the-less. American flags don the half-built Freedom Tower and throngs of builders buzz around the site protected by machine gun wielding military people and police. The whole area is sombre, yet a hive of activity at the same time. Although the reflection pool memorials are now finished you cannot go into the WTC site to see them unless you've made a booking - you need to pay a fee to see the pools and I believe it is booked out about 4 months in advance. We did head up to the second floor of the Winter Garden where we could peak at the pools, and also to the church that served as a base for workers and families during the months after the attacks is worth a visit.
|Looking over the memorial pools from The Winter Garden.|
|Photos of lost loved ones at the church - heart wrenching to see, but these people aren't forgotten which is nice|
|Grand Central Station...it has a food court you know!|
So there you have it - a post not really about food. Now, what's for dinner.