New York has the honour of being the only place in the US that I have been to twice. It is, of course, the sort of place you can visit 10 times and still not see it all. At the same time, it invites familiarity after a delightfully short period of time. The combination of famous landmarks and nicely numbered / lettered streets makes navigation easy, and walking delightful.
The drive from New Haven to New York was our last driving stretch. I generously
offered allocated it to Mr Bite. In order to avoid driving into Manhattan itself, we dropped the car at LaGuardia airport and made the rest of the journey by bus. As a consequence, the drive wasn't that bad (said by the person who was a passenger) but it was still long enough. New York drivers really like to beep!
|Our apartment building (the lowest window visible at the front,|
half underground, was our lounge room)
We stayed on the Upper West Side in a basement-level apartment. If you are in New York for 4 or more nights with 2 or more people, I would really recommend this accommodation approach. It's something we try to do anywhere we stay for a reasonable period of time, but New York accommodation is expensive and self-catering apartments really provide comparatively good value.
|There's that front window - you get good views of people's feet!|
|Upper West Side architecture.|
Truth be told, I was really looking forward to showing NYC to Mr Bite. He's been all around Europe and seen many more countries than I have, but had never visited North America. It was the first time we'd travelled somewhere I had visited and he had not. New York, in particular, I wanted him to like.
|Just part of a casual New York stroll.|
Happily, he did like it. I'm not sure that there can be many people who do not like NYC. I don't particularly wish to live there, but to visit? It is wonderful.
On our first evening, we visited one of the many small grocery stores in the area to buy breakfast provisions and snacks, and food for that night's meal. I appreciate that self-catering while in New York might seem like a waste. However, sometimes travel is tiring and familiar and easy food is appealing! Plus, New York is expensive. Eating in was a nice change in lots of ways.
As the above picture shows, we had baked potatoes. Mr Bite wasn't praying; his hands were clasped in delight rather than reverence. My husband is a big baked potato fan, and his potato with tuna and cheese probably pleased him far more than a restaurant meal could have (perhaps his hands reflect potato reverence). I was also delighted to load up on tofu, which is taking up a full third of my plate in the image above!
|Central Park reservoir.|
The next morning, our first full day, we walked through Central Park to the Upper East Side, in order to take advantage of the 'pay what you will' system applicable to The Frick Collection on Sundays. Central Park really is deceptively large. It seems like you ought to be able to cross it quite quickly, but of course it is enormous and our walk took over an hour. It was a lovely hour, but a good initial reminder of the scale of the city!
|Spot the wedding dress in the distance... (Central Park)|
Once we reached it, The Frick Collection was wonderful. It is housed in the former residence of Henry Clay Frick, and includes European paintings, sculptures and furniture set in beautifully decorated rooms. As Mr Bite noted, it benefits from someone (Frick himself) picking the best works from various artists and bringing them all together. Unlike standard museums, there are no constraints around what gets presented where or with what. Every piece was clearly chosen for its beauty, and arranged for maximum effect.
Photos weren't permitted, but if you find yourself in New York, particularly on a Sunday - visit.
After The Frick Collection, we walked south to wind our way down to Times Square and Broadway. On route, we stopped for a late lunch at the deli where I bought those vegan soba veggie noodles. We didn't dawdle, because we had an appointment with the Shubert Theatre at 3pm!
I have't been to many musicals, but can say that Matilda was excellent. The theatre had a roughly even split of children (it was a matinee) and adults, and everyone seemed to enjoy the show. Roald Dahl's original book was wonderful in its own right, and The Royal Shakespeare Company and Tim Minchin have produced an excellent play and musical pieces from it.
By the time we exited the theatre, it was approaching 6pm and we were approaching tiredness. Still, we couldn't leave the area without taking some obligatory Times Square shots.
You just can't help yourself. The lights invite photography!
We also walked past the Rockefeller Building before winding our way home, with an impromptu stop at Saks Fifth Avenue so I could use their bathrooms.
And with that glorious ending, our first 24 hours in New York were done.
Do you have favourite NYC memories or sights? Or a favourite musical?