Published: November 30th 2008October 16th 2008
After being back for a month we have finally got around to typing up our New York blog. Only one more blog to go, Long Beach and the Queen Mary.
We arrived in New York early on the 16th, the QM2 docking in Brooklyn in sight of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Sadly the QE2 had left us and sailed on to dock elsewhere. It took a few hours to disembark, pass through customs and find a cab. The cab took around 45 minutes to travel to our hotel Inn414, which we found was only a few minutes walk from where the QE2 had docked!
After checking in we found we only had 20 minutes to make it to Central Park where we were to meet Susan and Chris as we had booked Tavern on the Green for lunch prior to leaving Australia. We thought we would be fine as it would only be a short taxi ride, but trying to get a taxi proved to be difficult. We started walking in the direction of Central Park, the first cab we approached told us he was off duty, a second cab stopped and after we got in
and told him where we wanted to go said he was also off duty. The only thing we could think of was that as it was only a short ride the cabbies weren't interested in such a small fare. We ended up walking as quickly as we could to as not to keep Susan and Chris waiting too long. We were all a little disappointed with the Tavern on the Green, we were given a table near the entrance in the path of arriving guests, we found the food couldn't compare to the QM2 and it was very expensive.
After lunch we all strolled back through Central Park past the skating rink and stopped to look in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel which starred in the movie Home Alone. Ron and I continued our walk down Fifth avenue, when we arrived at Times Square we decided to line up for half price tickets. We found there were a number of shows we would have been happy to see, we picked three and asked the ticket salesman which show had the best seats, he suggested Gypsy. Patti LuPone played the lead roll as Rose the mother of Gypsy Rose
Lee, Patti had a powerful voice and we both really enjoyed the show. The only difficulty was Ron fitting in the small theatre seats, we did have centre balcony seats in a good position but all the seats in the theatre were quite small.
After the show we met Carla and Scott (Ron's nephew) in Times Square for a coffee and cake, we all felt it pretty special to be able to catch-up in New York so far from home. We were pleased to hear they had been having a great time travelling around America, they had already been to Disneyland and Las Vegas and had spent a few days in New York and were soon off to San Francisco. We were lucky Inn414 was only a ten minute walk from Times Square so we were soon tucked up in our fourth floor (more stairs) room.
We arranged to meet Carla and Scott the next day at our hotel, both of them were impressed with our small hotel and our very clean large size room. Carla was impressed with the crisp white sheets and Scott with the large plasma TV, they had been staying in the hotel Pennsylvania
and were a little disappointed with the rooms.
Around noon Robin who we had met in Egypt arranged to meet us at our hotel. We had met Robin on our Lake Nasser cruise where Robin had been travelling by herself. Robin was the life of the cruise boat, she has an infectious sense of humour and made everyone around her smile. Robin had insisted on taking a day off work while we were in New York to show us her home town.
Robin's partner Rome had driven her to our hotel and was kind enough to drop us off in the financial district close to where Robin worked. After showing us the "Bull" Robin took me to a shoe store, where I purchased two pairs of shoes while Ron patiently waited. We then went to another hidden discount shop where Robin purchased a leather jacket while I bought a jacket for work.
We then caught a free shuttle to the South Street Seaport, which lies just below at the base of lower Manhattan's financial district area. Here we sampled "dunkin doughnuts" while drinking coffee while sitting overlooking the Brooklyn bridge. While we sat admiring the view the
idea formed in Ron's mind to walk the bridge the next day, think he wanted to add another bridge walk to our list.
Robin had arranged for Rome to pick us up and go to one of their favourite Indian restaurants for dinner. Ron said it was the best Indian food he had ever tasted and we both enjoyed the company over dinner. Rome and Robin certainly showed us hospitality and it was lovely to be shown New York by a wonderful friendly couple, we were certainly very lucky. We only hope we can show them Melbourne one day.
The next day after our hotel breakfast of croissants and bagels we decided to sightsee by foot. First stop was Grand Central Station, followed by the Chrysler building. We decided to brave the long queues for the Empire State Building, it took an hour to reach the elevators to ascend to the top. The view from the top was spectacular, even Ron who had been to the top before seemed to enjoy pointing out landmarks. It only took under half an hour to descend which according to Ron was much quicker than the last time he had visited the
We walked to Greenwich Village where we ate in a little cafe before catching the subway to the city hall station near the Brooklyn Bridge. I must admit walking over the Brooklyn Bridge was a lot easier than walking across the Sydney Harbour bridge but it was still quite a distance, instead of walking to the middle and back Ron insisted we needed to cross to the other side and then walk back so we could add the bridge to our list. I could have disputed the need to walk all the way across as we had only walked half way across the Sydney bridge and back but it was a lovely day and the view from the bridge was interesting.
We caught the subway back to Times Square, exhausted but well satisfied with our day's exploration. We both opted for a beer and pizza in our room that night so we could relax and pack ready to leave the next morning for our next adventure on the old Queen Mary in Long Beach.
There are more photos below