New York City

E is for Empire State Building

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MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z BLOGGING CHALLENGE

One of the most famous images in the New York City skyline is that of the Empire State Building and of course I wasn’t going to visit the great city without a trip up to the top of the building to view the spectacular views.IMG_5015

The state of New York is nicknamed the “Empire State” which is where the building got its name from.

One thing to note when you stand out like a tourist in the area of the building which sits between 350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets, is firstly don’t stand out like a tourist.

We did and ended up buying tickets from a vendor who promised us an avoid the crowds ticket, plus and this is the main thing, a trip to the Statue of Liberty. We snapped these up as we were still to do the boat trip to Liberty Island. Our nice young vendor informed us that the boat would stop and allow us to walk around Lady Liberty ( no it didn’t – it drove straight past it) – Oh darn!

We did however get a fast pass entrance to the lifts and scaled the eighty floors up to the viewing platform.

I could have stayed there all afternoon as the views from the platform were immense. It literally took my breath away as having a great view of all of the buildings in the same visual picture.

The building has played a part in  so many famous films. Not only does it feature greatly in King Kong, Sleepless in Seattle and Elf but also in The Amazing Spiderman, Shaft, Friends with Benefits and Percy Jackson to name but a few.

 

 

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D is for Diners

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MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z

The back street diners in New York are the absolute dogs. In British terms that means that they are very delightful, the food is plentiful with very generous portions and they don’t dig into the spending money too much.

During our five days in NYC we dined out for breakfast and lunch at typical New York diners.

Our first morning in the Big Apple we arose at 4am, showered and headed out for breakfast at 6am.

The City that never sleeps, does indeed never sleep and our first diner was Café Edison which was close to our hotel at the back of Times Square.

Firstly, the first thing you should know about diners in New York City is that coffee is unlimited. UNLIMITED. Not only that but when you get to the final dregs of a cup, the waiting on staff come round with the coffee jug and give you refills without you having to ask for it. I had died and gone to coffee heaven.

Secondly, when you ask for pancakes and bacon for breakfast. You get pancakes fit for a King and plenty of them.

I’m not saying that the other American cities that we visited didn’t have the same portions or amazing food, but New York was our first leg of a trip which took us to Connecticut, Boston, Toronto, Seattle and Vancouver so everything after this we compared to NYC.

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C is for carriage ride around Central Park

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MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z

good central parkAny huge fan of Sex and the City such as me, has romanticised many times about riding in a carriage drawn by a horse through Central Park just as Carrie did with Mr Big.

Doing it with your son in tow isn’t quite the romantic scene that I’d envisaged, but nevertheless it was on my list of things I wanted to do while visiting the fabulous city of New York.

I won’t lie, it’s quite a luxury viewing the park in this manner costing us $90 for the hour but we got a detailed tour by the gentleman who was our host. We also got to stop at the fountain which features in the opening scenes of Friends and he took our photographs next to the fountain, and next to the horse and carriage.IMG_4728

A couple of days later we visited the park again and decided to spend half of the day there. This time we hired bicycles and managed to cycle around the park twice drinking in the fresh air, racing the people who were either jogging or on rollerblades and taking lots of photographs.

Cycling through the park was one of my highlights of my visit to the City. I don’t think I’ll experience such diverse sights, sounds and smells as in that two and half mile circuit on that beautiful August day in 2013.IMG_5230

Central Park is a must see destination for every visitor to NYC.

The part I find so surreal is that there is this huge green space within the city and surrounding it are sky scrapers. Where else in the world would you see that?

Central Park has it all, spaces for picnics, iconic images from films and TV shows, a track for running, a lake, Strawberry Fields, monuments and statues, a zoo, an ice skating rink in winter, adventure playground and much much more.IMG_5264 IMG_5250

B is for Bagels, Blisters and Brooklyn Bridge

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MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z

One of the best things about New York is the bagels that are on sale at most street vendors that are scattered around on most corners within the city.photo

Prior to visiting last summer, I had never ate a bagel…..ever.

On my third day there I visited a typical New York diner and ordered yourself a bagel with cream cheese and grape flavoured jam. Wow, I had died and gone to bagel heaven. Anybody visiting NYC has to experience the New York bagel, and I guarantee that you’ll never east anything that comes to close to it once you leave the city. The Tesco “New York Bagels” failed in comparison.

Spending five days sightseeing each day with a 6:00am start and finishing some fifteen hours later meant that I was not prepared for the blisters that surfaced after the first day.

I cannot stress the importance to anybody reading this who will be visiting NYC for the first time to make sure that you invest in some decent footwear.

I ended up with my feet in bits, and purchasing expensive trainers at the Nike shop not minding how much I paid to feel like I was walking on air, instead of hard concrete. One thing you can guarantee when visiting the Big Apple is that you will walk……a lot. Look after your feet and bring comfortable trainers with you, or be prepared to buy some when you are there like I did. The price of them wasn’t too bad and the staff at the Nike shop were ever so friendly, and very knowledgable about their products.

Finally, a must do when visiting the city that never sleeps is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

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We got the subway into Brooklyn and therefore walked across it from Brooklyn into Manhattan. I was advised by a friend who had lived in NYC that this was the best way to view the city. Boy was she right!  IMG_4861

 

 

The Bridge connects two great New York City boroughs: Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Whether you walk it, bike it, drive across it or like me just admire it at a very slow pace. One things for sure, the Brooklyn Bridge soaring over the East River is one of New York City’s most famous routes, both for tourists and New Yorkers.

 

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Happy New Year

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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged on here, and to be honest I feel a bit bad about that.

A couple of reasons really, I’ve been busy writing two plays and continueing with all the other writing commitments that I have. I’m struggling with an ongoing back problem which has made it just bareable to carry on working, but leaving me exhausted in the evening and just being damn right lazy.

I’m still to blog about my trip to NYC, the saga with my ailing back and my Christmas radio play.

For the person who read a review I did about a certain play that I endured at The Lowry who went on to say that I was a frustrated writer and hadn’t finished anything. Well I have and I had a radio play broadcast four times over Christmas. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve. I’m also well on my way to writing two out of six episodes of my comedy drama “The Starr GIrls” – yes you read it here first. Determined to get those finished and hopefully graduate this year with my MA in Television and Radio Scriptwriting, unless my back gets in the way. It would be a fabulous achievement to have completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in my thirties.

With the new year comes those awful new years resolutions. What is it that a different day, brings with it a time of reflection and the need to change things about oneself.

I don’t like new years resolutions – I much prefer to set myself targets. That way if I fail miserably I won’t feel like such a failure which I think with resolutions you do. I know, it’s the same thing really isn’t it?

What are yours? I love finding out from people.

I’m going to be joining weightwatchers again on Thursday – along with half of the population I suspect. I don’t know what’s happened to me in the past 18 months but my will power got up and left me, and with it it’s left some extra flab and a horrendous sweet tooth. I managed to lose a couple of stones before I started the job where I am now. But overtime it’s slowly crept back on. Not helped with having to decrease my exercise when my back started giving me hell shortly after returning from holiday in September. So back to fat club I will go, back to counting points, being hungry and if I am a grumpy cow at the moment it will get worse when my belly is screaming out for snickers and custard creams.

Facebook. Oh yes indeed this one rears it’s ugly head as I realise how much time I spend reading posts every day. I have eased myself off posting things on there other than posters, captions etc but I do need to stop reading it before I get up in the morning. It winds me up – full of attention seekers, show offs, baby bores or moaners. I much prefer twitter and have a fondness for a number of my followers, but just love the way I can watch TV and find out the opinion of others who are watching the same show as me. Powerful stuff.

I’ve already mentioned trying to pass my degree this year. I’m also going to try and not be a doormat that certain people in my life only contact when they want something. In future I am going to put myself first, and to stop tieing myself in knots to try and please folk.

Every payday I am going to treat myself to an item of clothing. Over Christmas I have looked through my wardrobe which is full of clothes which I never wear anymore, clothes that are faded and tattered. I have a couple of pairs of shoes and that is all. I realise that I really need to invest in making myself feel better about myself and it starts with clothes. A woman of my age should not live in converse, and work shoes – have no clothes to go shopping in other than jeans and a hoodie. No more, I wouldn’t think twice about spending money on my kids so it’s time to spend a little on myself.

And that’s it. There’s enough there to keep me going in 2014. We’ll see how many I actually achieve by the time I reach the end of this year. But, no matter what I do or don’t achieve this year one thing I did do was finally go to New York City. If I never do anything more with my life at least I have the fabulous memories of that wonderful city.