New York

Underground

Posted on Updated on

U is for Underground

MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z BLOGGING CHALLENGE

I hold my hands up, this is a bit of a cheat for todays letter U. Of course New York City doesn’t have an underground, they have a Subway.IMG_4783

But, I’m British and we call it underground so I will stick to my Britishness.

Most big cities now have undergrounds. Think London, Paris and lots of other European cities. It’s the best way to get around quickly in my opinion.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t like the underground in London for two reasons.

1)    Rush hour should be named sardine hour, as the crowds on the underground is just ridiculous. You can’t be a prude about personal space when encountering that.

2)    Nobody looks at each other.

The underground in New York City seemed perfectly fine to me. We didn’t venture into it in rush hour, apart from being transported to Flushing Meadows.

It was a really cheap way to travel around the city so we stuck to the underground mostly, apart from a cab ride in a yellow taxi which we took for two reasons.

1)    I would have been late for my Mad Men tour as we were travelling from Greenwich village.

2)    The cab drivers really do just beep every few seconds.

NYC2

Advertisements

Times Square

Posted on Updated on

T is for Times Square

MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z BLOGGING CHALLENGE

A blog challenge about New York City would not be complete without an entry about Times Square.IMG_4675

We ventured into Times Square several times whilst in New York as our hotel was just two minutes away from the famous landmark.

It’s certainly the place to be in the evening, once the sun has retired for the evening and the bright lights come out in all of their glory. Times Square comes along at night and it really can be an extremely place to visit.

There are dozens of famous cartoon characters dotted all around the place, superheroes, Sesame Street and also a naked guitar playing cowboy. A word of warning though, if you want your photograph taken with any of them you have to tip them afterwards.

We fell foul of this, just not thinking that this was what you were supposed to do. So after inviting the Cookie Monster and Minnie Mouse into our photograph, thanking them we were then chased down the road by a very angry Cookie Monster and Minnie Mouse who demanded a tip. Whoops! We totally messed that one up.IMG_4860

Although hilariously, when I was on the Mad Men tour I was telling my guide about this experience and he told me that the previous year that Big Bird and Elmo got into a scrape over tips resulting in arrests. Hilarious!

There was also a really freaky thing occurred as dozens of girls started screaming and taking photographs. Being the nosey git that I am I was dying to see who they were screaming at, so made my way up some seats to have a nosey and asked someone who it was. It was a young, good looking lad surrounded by big, burly security staff. I overheard someone who said it was just a publicity stunt to see if girls would scream over anyone who they think is famous.

I don’t need to say anymore about Times Square, I will let my youtube video do the rest of the talking, and be warned, there is some dodgy singing 53 or so seconds in.

Times Square singalong

 

Skyline

Posted on Updated on

S is for Skyline

MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z BLOGGING CHALLENGE

These photographs say it all.

IMG_5038 IMG_5039 IMG_5102 IMG_5103 IMG_5106 IMG_5114 IMG_5118 IMG_5122

Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall

Posted on Updated on

Today it is the letter R.

MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z BLOGGING CHALLENGE

The first evening in New York City, my family and I dined out at TGI Fridays in Times Square as it was the first place to eat that we came upon leaving the hotel.

After the meal we decided to check out the local area. Our first stop was the Rockefeller Centre.

As a fan of 30 Rock I was in my element. I had season 1 of 30 Rock on my Ipad so showed my son the opening credits on the flight over so that he could see some of the iconic buildings and landmarks that New York has to offer.

We spent about forty minutes in the Lego shop which is next to the plaza. My son was in Lego heaven for the entire time.

I was astounded by the sheer amount of flags on display around the plaza. I discovered they were all of the flags of the United Nations member countries.

That’s another I noticed that Americans love – is their flags!

We spent a bit of time inside the concourse at the Rockefeller Center. There are a variety of shops and places to eat inside there.

We also walked past the Radio City Music Hall but by that time we were really exhausted. Although it was only 9pm in New York City, in our time it was 2am and we had been up for 18 straight hours.

When I go back to New York City, that’s right – not an if but a when. Three things I want to make sure I do next time:

1)      The viewing station in the Rockefeller Center. My husband wanted us to go up on that night, in the dark and stupidly because I was so tired and couldn’t face waiting, I said no. We never went back again in the evening.

2)      Visit Radio City Music Hall. I have since found out that they do a really good tour around the radio studios there, who knew? Not me back in August 2013.

3)      Get a ferry that stops at Liberty Island.

NBC3 NYC3 NYC2 NYC

Q is for Queens

Posted on Updated on

Whilst we were visiting New York City last summer we only ventured into Queens twice.

The first time was landing at JFK Airport which is situated in Queens, and we did see a little part of Queens as we got on the bus to the City.

We were able to see some affluent areas, but also a number of areas which appeared deprived. However, these could be just the perception of our own version of what a deprived area looks like where we live.

The second time was via the subway as we went to a New York Mets game on our final night in the Big Apple. The Mets play at Citi Field in the Flushing Meadows Park.

It was only a short walk from the subway stop to Flushing Meadows.

I’ve mentioned this in a previous posting. None of us knew anything about baseball but we’d decided we wanted to try and experience as much of the American culture as we could.

This included American sports. Ideally we would have loved to catch some NHL hockey whilst on our adventure, but we were there in the off season. So, baseball was the only sport we could experience during the month of August.

IMG_5194

P is for pancakes

Posted on

I love breakfasts in New York City.

My favourite breakfast of all time is pancakes, bacon and maple syrup.

I have this breakfast at home quite a lot as my husband is the best at making pancakes the proper way, just like in the States.

So, my first morning in New York City we found a diner near to our hotel. I was amazed that diners are open at 6am when we ventured out, but they were and we weren’t the only people up at that time in the morning.

I couldn’t resist ordering pancakes for breakfast. I was adamant that I would experiment with food while we were aware and come out of my comfort zone. But I just couldn’t resist pancakes and coffee.

However, I was not prepared for the size of the pancakes that I was served. Huge, and I mean huge in that they completely filled the plate and there were three of them.

Three giant pancakes, lashings of bacon done just the way I like it and smothered with maple syrup. As I am typing this I can vision it myself, and my mouth is watering.

What a delicious start to my stay in New York!20140403-234333.jpg

O is for Other Things

Posted on

MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z BLOGGING CHALLENGE

There are a couple of things to bear in mind when visiting the Big Apple.

The food is very cheap, and I have already marvelled at the “all you can drink” coffee that gets refilled for as long as you sit in a diner/restaurant, but what I didn’t mention is tipping.

The waiters/waitresses are paid minimum wages which is really low and they rely on tips to pay their bills (or so I have been told).IMG_5376

We always put a tip of between 10% and 20% onto the food bill no matter how good/bad the food was. The reason being as above, but also because the staff in New York were always so friendly, polite and helpful. If you need tips to pay the rent then of course you will be polite, but nevertheless it was a fraction of the normal food bills we have on the rare occasion we dine out in Manchester.

Prior to going to America I was told a few stories (surprisingly by people who hadn’t actually travelled over the Atlantic so no doubt were confusing  their facts with television). One story was that New Yorkers hate us British.

That may be so, but in no part of my five days in the City did I experience anybody being rude to us. In fact I found the opposite. Whenever we stood on a street with our map in front of us trying to find our next destination, every single time a New Yorker would stop and ask if they could help us.

Let me tell you if you were standing with a map open in Manchester you would be ignored and would end up having to ask for directions. As for London? – well the folk in London would never notice you as they never look up from the ground to make eye contact with anyone. And yes, I have experienced this in London where the code on the underground is to stare at the floor.

Secondly, I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to make sure you have decent, comfortable shoes for walking around in. I didn’t fully appreciate how large New York City is and how much walking we would do, and I got blisters, sore heels and swollen feet. Thank goodness for the Nike shop who kitted me out with trainers that felt like I was walking on cushions.

Finally, plan your days. We didn’t end up doing half of the things we wanted to as we misjudged how much we could fit into a day.

But for anybody reading this who hasn’t been to New York yet – I am really jealous. It is fantastic, the most exciting city I have visited so far on my journey and I will certainly be back there to see her again.IMG_4777 - Copy