This blog is the second part in my series of 2 blogs about what we did, over 6 days in New York. 3 days done, 3 more to go!
Our first 3 days in New York were packed, and we ticked off quite a few experiences from our list of things to do. If anyone is curious about the first 3 days, a quick glance here would be a good idea – https://swathirishi.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/lets-hear-it-for-new-york-part-1/
My attempt to list out the most memorable and fun experiences continues. I will also share some tips about what made travelling easy for us and if any of our learning were to help you, the time taken to write this blog was definitely well spent 🙂
We had already committed a fair amount of blasphemy by pushing a dedicated visit to Central Park to Day 4. While we did walk till Central Park from our hotel on the first day, we decided to come back to when we could actually dedicate adequate time to the experience itself. Frankly, we were a bit sceptical about being sucked in to the experience and we were time bound by a lot of things the days before.
We decided to have breakfast at Central Park and simply walk around a rest if we wanted to, pay a tribute to John Lennon and a visit to the Bethseda Fountain for blessings from the angel. There is a zoo at the park too, but we gave it a miss. First things First, we went to look for breakfast. We found a “Le Pain Quotidien”. At first I was not very thrilled at the prospect, because we have 3 in Mumbai and I go there often, but thankfully the Menu was completely different, and a delight-full breakfast at that! A Vegetable Mozarella Salad and a Brown Rice Porridge with blueberry Compote. They also serve Organic Beer, so a fulfilling Organic Breakfast in more ways than one.
We did the usual lazy walk towards Strawberry Fields. As we walked down the lane, there was a musician sitting with his guitar and strumming Lennon’s songs. You really cannot feel any moment because it’s filled with so many tourists all wanting to take the same picture. A thing to tick off, it is. But Frankly, I don’t know how emotional this is for a Fan!
The Bethesda Fountain is a very pretty place, and makes you feel like you are in a Rom Com. Central Park was also having a week long movie screening at the park and we were terribly dissapointed that we could not make it to any of the screenings as we had plans every night till the day we left.
Pomander Walk Fail!
Sometimes too much homework can be a bad thing.Thanks to recommendations and extensive reading I chanced upon Pomander Walk which was supposed to be an undiscovered part of New York. Two lanes that are probably the quaintest looking lanes in all of New York, lined on both sides with Tudor Style Homes. It is also apparently one of Woody Allen’s favorite places in new York! So I landed up there, marked it on google maps and uber-ed it. There is a reason that it’s not discovered and that is that it is a “gated” community and unless you know someone who lives there you cannot walk in! Super Fail as it is in the middle of a neighborhood and unless you actually have work to do there, it’s a futile journey!
Statue of Liberty
The next day, we saw the Lady of Liberty in the cheapest way possible. We took a ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island. The boat ride is about 15-20 minutes and if you sit on the correct side, you get an unadulterated view of the Statue. Unless you are particular about getting off and walking around the island or up to the crown, I felt it was a good way to see the statue without wasting too much time. But if that’s what you are doing then you should be prepared to rush out of the ferry and get back in, to the other one real quick. Because one leaves within minutes of the other coming in. If you do miss the ferry, be prepared for a half hour wait!
Our very first Food Truck experience happened here. I had a multigrain bagel, and I must confess that, it was the best one I had during my entire trip. I actually went back for seconds, but he had run out of them, by the time I went back. There was none like that again through out the trip to my dismay!
Street Cred Goes High & Hello to the Yankees
My street cred soared on this day. Our evening plan was to catch a Yankee Game, now it cannot get more American than this… or Can it? We had time to kill before the game began, so we decided to go catch a little snack before. We walked through the Bronx, and years of being messed up with shady music, all I could think of is “Jenny from the block”. It has it’s charm, in a very different way. We saw two fights, one man shouting in to the phone and the other two were spewing expletives outside the stadium. It’s just like you see in the movies, an underlying aura of aggression. A random garage sale, where it was evident that the guy was selling scraps he “collected” and a lot of his old stuff.
The baseball game itself was An All American Experience. So much Foooooood! A lot of it obviously Junk. However in the midst of all this junk, My Sister -In -law and me managed to find the healthiest sandwich from “Parm Mulberry Street” who had a counter there. We had an Eggplant Parm which had a generous helping of Mozarella as well. I did try and follow the game, but the sheer energy of the place, is enough to get you all excited. I was hoping husband dearest would propose again or something like that, or at least some name flashing and I love you on the score board, but nothing of that sort happened. :(The Yankees Lost to the Houston Astros – FYI amidst all the othe excitement on the field.
Breakfast at EJ’s & Tiffany’s 🙂
Breakfast was at EJ’s Luncheonette in Upper East Side, Bagels and Eggs and the customary flapjacks that we decided to share. Word of warning, if you do not like American Coffee, like me, then ALWAYS remember to ask for a Cappucino, because I find regular American Coffee pretty intolerable!
Like most girls I love “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” . Frankly I love the book more than the movie. But it is one of those movies which you cannot disassociate from the book, thanks to years of visual bombarding of the film! Husband dearest, pretended to take me for a walk and voila we were right in front of the house where “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” was shot! If you did not mark it, you would miss it, but there can be little, that could be more special to a true fan of the movie – So we did some creepy hanging out around the house and I was pretty happy about, just being around where the movie was shot!
Wicked at Broadway
Wicked at Greshwin theatre, is rightfully one of the popular shows on broadway. We had very conventional parameters whilst choosing a show, we wanted a popular one, and one where there was enough potential for Sets, and dance and drama – all to get our money’s worth. Yes I can be very Indian in these matters 🙂 .
It was definitely a good decision. For about 3 hours we were transported to a Oz, and what a sheer delight it was. The story challenges every theory that the original Wizard of Oz has taught us over the years. For instance the Wicked Witch of the East, is not really wicked & Glinda is not really nice! Surprise Surprise! This may just shake the foundations of childhood belief. And yes, it’s an experience to treasure forever. It makes you laugh, it makes you sad at times, the best part is it also makes you think!
Good tickets cost us about 138$ each. However, when you do plan to go, probably looking at GroupOn deals could help, but when we were looking we did not see any for the top Broadway shows, but you never know. You can also take a chance with picking up tickets on that day, but it’s a hit or miss. But if it is a hit you can get really good seats for cheap! So keep an eye out for those deals. We do hope that over a lifetime we are able to catch more shows, and all kinds of shows at Broadway.
Some Essentials that helped us!
1. Go Mobile at 60$ with AT&T: We got our own numbers in the US at 60 $ for a month, unlimited local calls and data. Helped us, because we could stay connected all through. I must mention though that you cannot make International Calls on this plan!
2. Metro Pass for 7 days: Buy the Metro Pass at 30$. It’s valid for 7 days and you can use it as much as you want. Really helped us, especially when we did crazy things like hang out in Mid Town, but went for breakfast to East Village. It’s good for small routes
3. Location: depending on things you want to do, Invest in staying at the right location. We stayed at Club Quarters Midtown, and the location was a blessing like none could ever be. Close to the metro station, 500 metres from 5th avenue, walking distance from Rockerfeller and Central Park. We felt we could do a lot more and saved time.
4. Forex Cards: America prefers plastic! You do not need to carry too much cash on you, a Forex Card can be used to pick up a tab of 3$ too. I’ve now realised that all I need to carry is a small pouch,say good bye to those bulky leather wallets that add to handbag weight!
5. Carry a weighing scale – This is important especially if you are taking domestic internal flights! And the reason is pretty self explanatory!
And to end this blog, I will leave you with my other favorite song about New York!