Friday, 25 December 2015

Day 4 - New York 2015

Day 4

OK, so this was actually Wednesday, it is now Friday.

My day started off with a tour of Greenwich Village which was with Foods of New York.I was running a little bit late but managed to catch up with the group. It was 3 hours and we visited Joe's pizza, O & Co olive oil shop,Faicco Italian, Rafeles, Milk and cookies, Murrrys cheese shope and Roccos. The tour guide was great, her name was Maria and she was full of energy. The group consisted of one lady from Boston, couple from Amsterdam and the majority was from Australia There is a lot of Australians here. I usually bump in to you guys in Thailand or another part of South-East Asia. Your obviously committed to New York because I know your journey is not quick and easy like us from the UK.

It was a rainy day and I think it went on all day long so I had initially planned to stroll around after but decided to come back to the hotel for my daily rest.

I then went to a Brooklyn Nets vs Dallas Mavericks. It was amazing!!!!! I had so much fun. The game was equal pretty much and there is such an amazing vibe there. They have regular little breaks and there was people in the stadium dancing in their seats to get on the big screen, they threw t-shirts into the crowd and lots of entertainment on the center court during the breaks. My section was boring so we did not make it onto the big screen, in fact I think i was the most hyped up person in our section and I tried my hardest. There was a family a couple of seats away from me and two of them spent majority of the time staring at their phones....why spend money to go to a game and not watch it!!I I had a couple of Brandy's  and I had I think will be my best night in New York! I think I may even start to watch Basketball. I will not tell you who won as you will see it from the pics but by the end in overtime I had a headache from the screaming and shouting (from me) and it sounded like my English accent was on top of all the other voices. I had a few looks with smiles on their faces when they looked up at me so I think I was  a bit loud. If you go to NY, please try and go to the game regardless if it is your sport or not as it is just an awesome atmosphere.

I then jumped on the Q and headed back to the hotel and decided to pop over the road to a bar. I sat at the actual bar, ended up talking to a Canadian doctor who lives here now, I was asked to move my seat up a bit to make more room for people and for obliging the security guy brought me a drink. I then happened to mention it was my birthday and a another round or two came my way plus a couple of shots. The bar is literally across the road so I did not have any concerns about getting home. I think it was one my best birthdays ever...even though I was by myself, it did not feel like it!

I have not spelt checked this so excuse me for any spelling mistakes.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Day 3 - New York 2015

Day 3

Oh my gosh! I am in love with this place and I want to become an American Citizen but I will not bother to try as I hear it is tough!.

Today was a slower day, it rained for the first half of the day and I had planned to go to Soho and Little Italy and that is exactly what I did. I left the hotel roughly 9:30am and made my way down to Soho by catching the N train to Prince Street. My first stop was to be the Converse store but I thought it would be a lot bigger and all the sneakers that I liked they did not have in my size! I then moved on to the Dr Martens store and again I struggled to get my size again, only by chance I decided to try a smaller size, which is a UK 3 so yes, very small feet but chubby and bloody annoying but it worked out. I popped into H&M's, Bloomingdales....(think I expected more from this store, just looked a bit run this the only Bloomingdale's store in NYC? Sure I have to be missing something here!
Anyway, I pottered around for a while, had lunch at Balthazar (French restaurant), which has a great vibe and just busy and buzzy! I did enjoy my time around Soho, although I do not think I made it further than Soho and then I decided to get the Subway up to Tiffany's....its my birthday tomorrow!

I got off at 5th and 59th and walked 5-10mins to the Tiffany’s store and I purchased myself some earrings. I have not worn earrings in years but feel that I need to as my hair is usually up. Once I finished here, I made my way towards Saks and treated myself to my first pair of Loubiton....t(this was planned), although probably cheaper if I had purchased in France and maybe England but I do not plan to go to France for a while!! and regarding England.....well, it is just not the same as buying them in NYC!!! They was the very basic black shoes that you can wear to work. I left Saks, came outside and realised I was opposite Rockefeller and noticed quite a big crowd and I wondered why they was all staring at the sky...that’s what it looked like to me but they was watching the Saks holiday show. It was really good, but bloody loud! I then walked the 5 blocks and 2 Avenues to my hotel and had dinner at Daniels later on.
Daniels was very nice, very up there! I initially had planned to have a 7 course tasting meal but opted against that due to me not being very hungry and the price!!!! So, I went for a 3 course meal instead. This place is really nice and if you go you need to book 1 month in advance and men have to wear jackets if dining in the main restaurant. The waiters was very professional and also remained down to earth. Daniel, who has a 2 star did come out of the kitchen and walked around a few tables but not mine which suited me fine!
As I mentioned above it was a calmer day but the characters came out in true form today. First of all taking the subway up to Tiffany's a man got on and started to sing "santa clause is coming to town", I had initially thought that maybe he wasn't very well so i tried to block him out as i found him entertaining. He got on and started with "your better watch out, you better not ......., then he got to the part when you say "santa clause is coming to town" and then there was a dum dum dum,"santa clause is coming to town", dum dum dum, "santa clause is coming to town". The parts where there was a dum dum dum was when he would hit the floor of the train with his i guess he knew what he was doing...he had rhythm. Once he finished this song he moved onto "walking in a winter wonderland". He was so sweet, he was a black man, with not all his teeth but he had the biggest smile ever! I realised he did not have any issues when he started to give his speach after the first song!

Another time today, I was standing outside a shop in Soho looking on my phone for directions and this random man just came up to me and said "this is why I dont come to Broadway, cause you got to walk up all these buildings"....he then gave me a dirty look and walked off!!!.

In Mid-town, a man went to cross the street in front of a taxi and i guess the taxi jerked forward or beeped him, so he slammed his fist on the car and said " God Damn you, why you not gonna let me cross, its not like your about to get through the next set of the God dam traffic lights until the middle of the next God damn week".

Finally, in the Tiffany’s lift there is an employee who as he is operates the lifts as you entered the lift he sad, “ welcome, welcome, come in, come in. No squishing, no squashing, no rushing means no crushing”….I guess you probably had to be there to see it.

PS; It is my birthday today! Will update later!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Day 2 - New York 2015

Day 2

So my day started with breakfast in the hotel restaurant, nothing great but OK'ish basic options. I had scramble egg (there was no other choice of Egg to choose from), Water Melon and some coffee.

I then made my way down to One World Observatory for a 9am reservation. There was a tiny queue before security (airport style) and we was up there in very little time.The footage in the lift as you go up i thought was quite good but the footage after you leave the lift sort of gave me goosebumps, I will leave it at that as I do not want to spoil it for you. I like the OWO, I think you really do get to "see everything", I have only been up the TOTR last Dec and will be doing so again so I will let you know my thoughts. I did not understand though why one the employees was discussing Pizza and the best type of Pizza, this was an official guide so to speak but I guess they are not just there to discuss OWO and what you can see. People have mentioned before that you cannot get to the glass to take pics sometimes as people sit by the glass but on this particular day it was fine, maybe because it was the first appointment of the day. After I left OWO, i moved onto the 911 Memorial pools, i noted that it would have been I think it was 4/5 victims birthday today and that was from one pool alone. I had an 11am reservation for 911 museum and I was actually dreading this part of the day as I had heard how emotional draining it could be. The queue was long even for us ticket holders but once they started to let the 11am folks through it moved quickly. I was impressed with how they have set it up. From the minute you walk in, the information is constant and the scene befitted that days events, everybody was quiet as they walked through, except a couple of teenagers. I think everybody should try and visit here if you have the time and if you feel that you can handle it, if you find that you cant handle it you can always leave. I spent roughly 2.5hrs here so be warned you can spend sometime here.

I then walked to St Pauls chapel, there was a childrens choir group singing and it really helped lift your spirits as they sang in the background whilst I walked around the chapel reading mostly positive things mainly about how the general public volunteered their time to help the rescue workers in the coming months after 911.

After the chapel I jumped on the subway and ended up in 42nd Port Authority, I was supposed to be going to the New York Public Library so i had to walk a little bit, I walked up 5th and then noticed Grand Central Terminal so I realised I had walked to far, I asked someone for directions and I basically had walked 2 blocks to far, in fact I walked right passed the library...I was even on the same side as the library. Anyway, I popped in the library and went into a couple of the reading rooms, everybody had laptops and I spotted one person with a book.

I then walked to GCT and headed straight to the Oyster bar, I was going to do a self guided tour but my feet was aching by now and i just wanted to sit. I ordered a beer and some fried oysters, I wasn't quite brave enough to try the raw ones but somehow I managed to pluck up the courage and ordered Sea Urchin....I liked it. It had a sort of earthy taste to it and there was some sort of gritty stuff in there, I would order this again. I enjoyed my little time here, I sat at the bar and just watched the workers doing what they do best. After an hour here, I walked to the main concourse and took a couple of snaps, the ceiling is just amazing and I plan to go back at some point. I went to the Apple store in there briefly, it has a setup in GCT that I have never seen anywhere before.

I started to walk back to the subway and on the way I popped into Bryant park, I did not see the ice skating rink there but saw a couple of the holiday market shops\stalls....again, I need to come back here when I have more time.

I came back to the hotel and rested, I was tired and I kept dosing off, at around 9pm, I decided to get back out there but went online to Opentable and decided to book Murray's Cheese bar in Greenwich Village. There was a great atmosphere in there, again I sat at the bar, spoke briefly to an American couple and had another beer. WOW, Greenwich village is very different to mid-town, so much quieter down there, I did not spend time roaming after Murrays as I will back there on Wednesday to do a tour.

I made my way back to my hotel and sat in the lobby and had a glass of white wine....I need to get my $35 per day worth.

That was my day, I was in my hotel room by 11:30pm, could not sleep until 2'ish and you guessed it by 5:30am i am awake again.

NYPL beautiful tree

Chrysler Christmas Tree

Sea Urchin

Murrays Cheese Bar

Ellis Island