Looking back, the amount of ground you can cover in New York City with a $31, seven day unlimited Metro pass, a sun hat, a good pair of walking shoes and an adventurous spirit, is amazing. It would be a mistake to think you could see it all in five days, and I think you would struggle to accomplish it in five years.
What we did manage to capture was a flavour of the culture, the recreation, the vista and the culinary. New York is such a culturally diverse city. I guess it’s the ultimate melting pot, offering up a little bit of everything from everywhere for everybody.
For those who didn’t realise it, New York City is made up of five “boroughs”, most of which you will be familiar with, or at least heard mention of. They include the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan. Manhattan is an Island, measuring 21.6 km long by 3.7 km wide, and it was here where we spent the majority of our New York visit.
I’m not going to try to cover it all, but rather, give you a sense of our city adventure. It started with the High Line. This would have to be our favourite spot in downtown Manhattan, and a credit to those locals who fought long and hard to preserve it for others to enjoy. The High Line is a 2.33 km long New York City park, built in the meat packing district of Manhattan along an elevated section of the disused West Side rail line. The park comprises art works, gardens and greenery, lookout and relaxation spots, original sections of rail line, and a waterway for cooling your feet. The views across the city and out to the Hudson River from the High Line were fabulous. It would have been very easy to spend many long hours on the High Line, just enjoying the views.
To help us take in the vibe, and better understand the City’s layout, we took “ the Best of New York” cruise on board the “Circle Line”.
What a fabulous tour that was! In 2.5 hours the cruise completely circumnavigated Manhattan Island, providing full audio commentary along the way. The highlights from the cruise included a close encounter with the Statue of Liberty, an uninterrupted view of downtown Manhattan and the financial (Wall Street) district, and wonderful vistas of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Rockefeller Centre and the new World Trade Centre. Manhattan offers up such an amazing and recognisable skyline. An interesting fact about Manhattan is the grid like street and avenue layout. Streets run across the 3.7 km width of the Island, whilst the avenues run down its 21.6 km length.
Adjacent to the Circle Line departure pier is the Intrepid Air, Space and Sea museum, all enclosed on ,and around the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier which was taken out of operation during 1974. The museum features a war birds aircraft display on the flight deck, a Space Shuttle pavilion containing the USS Enterprise (the original Space Shuttle prototype), and a British Airways Concorde displayed down on the pier.
Anne has already written about the cultural exposure through our museum and broadway show attendances. What she didn’t mention was the Time Square and BB King Bar and Grill outing. Following our night out at “Beautiful”, the broadway show about the life of Carole King, we lingered in Time Square taking in the sights and sounds, and dined at the BB King Bar and Grill on 42nd Street, getting a great dose of modern Blues music by the resident band. Their rendition of Etta James’s “I’d Rather Go Blind”, was a real treat.
Our New York adventure culminated with a bike ride through Central Park and down along the Hudson River to cross over the Brooklyn Bridge. We were joined on this ride by our good friend’s daughter, Chelsea, who is a Brooklyn resident. The stand outs from the ride included a visit to Strawberry Fields and the John Lennon memorial, “Imagine”, and crossing over the timber walkway constructed on top of the vehicle carriage way of the Brooklyn Bridge. We finished the day with a Caribbean dinner of Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork and Goat Curry in Brooklyn, Chelsea, and her partner Spencer’s, neighbourhood.
Thank you Chelsea and Spencer for sharing your city with us – we loved it. I think Anne now wants to move in.