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Published: September 25th 2012
New York City; if we can make it here we can make it anywhere… it really wasn’t that hard, Air Canada has direct flights from Ottawa daily.
We arrived in New York City in the early afternoon and took a cab from LaGuardia to the Pod39 Hotel in mid-town Manhattan; a 25 minute drive that only cost us a measly $24… Lesson #1: Cabs are cheap in New York City, don’t be afraid to use them! We got to our hotel and discovered where the “Pod” name comes from; our room was clean and new, but it was also about 9 feet by 10 feet with a big ol bed taking up about 90% of that space… we did also have a 4 foot by 4 foot bathroom (roomie). We popped our bags under the bed so we could walk from the front door to the bathroom and then hit the streets.
We started with the “Hop on, Hop off” double decker bus tour. These bus tours are available in most major cities around the world, but New York is one of the few that still uses a live person as your tour guide, no pre-canned audio soundtrack here,
So cool you can take pictures everywhere in here
a very nice way to see the city highlights and get your bearings. After some hours on the bus, a quick walk through Times Square, a burrito in Hell’s Kitchen and some tasty beverages we decided to call it a night.
Day 2 started with a free walking tour (offered by our hotel) that took us through the Meat Packing District, Greenwich Village, Soho, and included a jaunt through Chelsea Market. Some of the highlights included a visit to Carrie’s house and the Magnolia bakery from “Sex in the City” fame, watching the chess hustlers in Washington Square park and a tour of the new “High Line” park. The “High Line” is a former elevated railway that meandered through the Meatpacking district and beyond. To see it on your own isn’t that spectacular, but understanding the background and the enthusiasm from our guide helped us appreciate this new park. After the walking tour we stopped for a bite and a beverage (or 2) at “The Spotted Pig” in Greenwich Village, the meal and the beverages were delicious, we give this place 2 big thumbs up.
After gorging on food, we took the subway back to Times Square to
purchase some discount Broadway tickets at the TKTS booth. We opted to go see “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” It features the music of Gershwin and stars Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara. The Musical was fantastic, the plot was hilarious, and the show appeared to be sold out. If you get a chance to see it (especially in New York) we’d recommend it.
Day 3 was a hot and sunny Saturday. We slept in a little, but managed to make our way to the Empire State building by 11AM, we had heard the lines could be significant and may take us a substantial amount of time to make it to the top; luck was on our side, as it only took us a little over 15 minutes to get our tickets and make our way to the observation deck on the 86th
floor. While the deck was packed with people, the views are truly spectacular. Heading to the top of the Empire State is a must for first time visitors. Once back on solid ground we decided to jump on the subway and head to the 1PM Yankees game in the Bronx. We arrived just in time
to buy some tickets, and take our seats for the opening pitch. The game was an awesome battle with the Baltimore Orioles who took an early 3 point lead but eventually succumbed to the Yankees in the late innings. A baseball game on hot sunny day in New York is another strong recommendation. Neither of us are baseball fans, but there’s something magical about the Yankees, the fans and the stadium (don’t miss the opportunity to experience it if you can).
After baseball we headed back to Greenwich to find a bite to eat and then closed out the night by heading to Rockefeller Center to head to the “Top of the Rock”. Rockefeller Center is home of NBC studios and in direct competition with the Empire State Building. They offer outdoor observation decks on the 70th
+ floors. We had no regrets about seeing the views from both the Empire State and Rockefeller. Both are spectacular and it’s tough to pick between the two since one was in the day and the other we did at night.
Sunday started with a Subway ride to Central Park where we rented some bikes and decided to enjoy the park through
Our fist day in NYC
a leisurely ride. We weaved in and out of other cyclists, horse drawn carriages, rickshaw bikes and runners. Central park is a busy spot even when there is no motorized traffic! On the journey we saw the famous row boats, the Mall, Bethesda Fountain, the Egyptian monument, the remote control sailboats, the Alice in Wonderland Statue, Shakespeare’s Garden, Belvedere Castle, and the John Lennon Imagine memorial. The bike rentals were a little expensive and we wished we would have opted for an organized tour so we could better appreciate all the things we saw but it was still a grand experience. New Yorkers are lucky to have this beautiful space. Once we returned the bikes we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art).
The MET is truly an outstanding museum. They define “Art” loosely as you will see musical instruments, medieval armory, Egyptian tombs, Elizabethan Furniture, along with Greek Statues, Picasso’s, Van Gogh’s, Dali’s, Warhol’s, Faberge Eggs and thousands upon thousands of other fabulous pieces. The MET has so much to see you will never see it all in one visit.
After the MET we made our way back to
Soho to weigh in on the New York City “best pizza” debate. We decided to head to “John’s Pizzeria” which is usually mentioned alongside “Joe’s” and “Grimaldis”, while we didn’t try the other two, John’s lived up to our expectations. Thin crust and cooked in a wood-fired oven it did not disappoint!
No trip to NYC would be complete without a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. What a view of both uptown and downtown you get of the city from this iconic bridge. To walk across and back will take you approximately 1 hour (depending on how often you stop) and offer you some fantastic photo opportunities!
Andra’s favourite New York Experience = John’s Pizza
Chris’s favourite New York Experience = The Yankees Game
New York City…you should go!
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