Wednesday, 28 October 2015

NYC Day 4 (2014) | Up Close and Personal with Lady Liberty | The Charging Bull | Brooklyn Bridge at DUMBO

Our NYC trip would not be complete if we had not visited one of the most iconic and significant monuments in the world - The Statue of Liberty. Liberty Enlightening the world, as the statue is officially named, was presented to the US in 1886, as a gift from France. 

On the day of our visit, the Sun is shining brightly and the sky is a deep ocean blue. We head to Battery Park to collect our Crown Access Tickets which we booked 3 months in advance online and we're so glad we did as tickets are limited. (if you're planning to visit NYC, I highly recommend that you book the Crown Tickets)

We board 'Miss New York' and wait on the top deck of the ferry. In the distance we can spot the famous copper green silhouette across the New York Harbour and as we approach closer to Liberty Island, the spectacle becomes even more magnificent. We see helicopters flying over head, American flags are waving in the gentle breeze and cameras from other tourists are clicking away. The profile view of Liberty Island and New York's skyline is simply just incredible. You would think you've seen all there is to see but you really haven't. Seeing the lady up close gives you an appreciation of what she represents, enlightenment and freedom. 

We disembarked the ferry, passing the wooden walkways and glanced at the gift shops. Needing a bite to eat we tried the Fish & Chips (not that there was much on the menu).Being British we assumed it would be your regular fish and - instead, we got Fish Fingers and a packet of crisps :|  We did have a chuckle to ourselves.  Well, we didn't come here to try out the food, we came to see Lady Liberty! Standing at 93 metres tall, her torch in her right arm raised high and a tablet evoking laws in her left, she stands magnificently on the pedestal.

Our Crown tickets allowed us to climb the narrow spiral staircase leading us up to her head and it was incredibly insightful to see the interior of the statue. There are 377 (146 steps inside the statue staircase) steps from the main lobby to the crown platform. Once we reached the top, we were able to peer out of the small windows located in her Crown. It is a small space but it certainly gives you the amazing vantage viewpoint from the crown of one of the world's iconic statues. Many photos later, we descend the spiral staircase....did we just actually go inside Liberty's head?! Who can say they've been inside the Crown of Lady Liberty!? Sooo incredibly privileged to experience this opportunity.

Back on the ferry; we make a short trip to Ellis Island, visiting the immigration museum and then returning to Battery Park. A short walk away, we head towards the Financial district. Passing Bowling Green to visit the bronze Charging Bull (Wall Street Bull) close to the New York Stock Exchange.

The evening's activities were spent at Brooklyn, specifically in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). The sun began to set and the glitzy lights from the buildings dazzled their way across the East River. it was one of the most beautiful and memorable evenings we spent in New York.

A slow paced walk along the pier we hear noise emanating from an outdoor Cinema, people are laughing on the green, sitting on picnic blankets as they are watching great British comedians on the big screen -  Monthy Python and the Holy Grail! We love this atmosphere and we settle briefly to enjoy the moment with them. It just tops off a truly enjoyable day.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Day 2 and 3 (2014) | Spot of shopping, Remembrance at 9/11 Memorial | US Open | Grand Central Terminal

The next morning, we woke early, sun was shining, the air seems fresh and looking out from the hotel room window, we knew it was going to be a good day all round! And the first thing that popped into our heads was pancakes!  We had numerous eateries to choose from so we popped into Kava, round the corner from our hotel to try out their freshly made Ricotta Berry Pancakes for breakfast and it certainly did not disappoint! 

We spent the first half of the day at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets (an hour's drive from NY) where we shopped till we dropped! It is a huge village with over 200 outlet stores.  In fact, Kevin outdone me on the shopping front! I mean, he seriously went for it! On the way to the outlet, we were able to see an beautiful hazel-ey silhouette outline of the Manhattan skyline from the freeway.

Later in the day, we headed to the 9/11 Memorial Museum to commemorate the lives of the victims who lost their lives on that fateful day. It was a heartbreaking and solemn experience but it also heightened our NY trip.  The exhibition within the museum tells the story of what happened on 9/11 as well as exploring the background leading up to the event and the aftermath. The footprints of the original fallen towers that once stood is now occupied by a  large spectacular cascading fountain. 

The following day, we attended the US open, which conveniently coincided with our trip. We never attended a tennis match before, not even Wimbledon, so we knew we had better snap up tickets to experience a tennis tournament at least once in our lives. We watched Sloane Stephens (USA) vs Johanna Larsson (SWE) play the women's singles match at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. It was one of what felt like the hottest days of the trip and I do ask myself why on earth did I wear  ripped jeans and a black scalloped top on such a beautiful day?!  Well, I paid the price as at the end of the day, I had dark patches of sun tanned skin where the holes were! *fail*  The day was wonderful, it was such a lovely sporting event and we certainly had a memorable day despite the inappropriate fashion faux pas!     

We had dinner plans with friends in the evening but had some time to spare in between, so we headed to the renowned Grand Central Terminal to take a few snaps. The main concourse offers a celestial Muriel ceiling and if you are an appreciator for all things grand, give this terminal a good mooch around. Whilst standing in the concourse near the stairs, all I could think of is the scene where Dan Humphrey bumps into Serena Van der Woodsen! Gossip Girl (and SATC) fans, you will be in your element in this gorgeous city!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

NYC Picture Diary Day 1 (2014) - Times Square and On Top of the Rock

That’s right, NYC has been officially ticked off my bucket list! We made this epic trip to New York in August 2014.

New York is everything I expected it to be. Being there in person was surreal yet it felt familiar at the same time. It has always been a dream destination for us and I coincided this holiday with my birthday so it was definitely a birthday celebration to remember! 

We arrived to our Hotel (Yotel) located a only couple blocks away from the hustle and bustle of  Times Square. As first timers in New York, we wanted to be placed in the hub of all the action. Just off Times Square slap bang in the centre of midtown Manhatten and a couple blocks from the main train terminal we felt we made an excellent choice with our hotel for our needs. The hotel is super modern yet futuristic - there is even a robot that stores your luggage for you.  The room is a good size,  cleverly designed with mood lighting and everything was operational with a touch of a button.

Our first evening was spent at the Rockefeller Centre to soak in the magical view of the City. We took a stroll along a residential area passing all the pretty New York apartments that you would see in the movies as we made our way to the Rock, passing Radio City as we approach. Being surrounded by colossal skyscrapers was totally worth the neck ache and it just made it even real that we made it to the concrete jungle! So exciting! Our first night was just perfect.