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NYC, the city that never sleeps!

The Big Apple

View World trip 2019 on mslaurajade's travel map.

Flying into LaGuardia was wet!! I attempted a time lapse to get some good shots of Manhattan on the way in but it pissed down!

This will be my 3rd time visiting NY but this one is special as I get to show my family some of my favourite hangs!!!
My mum and Ken (mum's partner/my stepdad) are coming!!!!!! I get to meet them at the airport at midnight, so best I get a wriggle on!

I'm heading to Queens, super close to LGA airport and only about 15 mins on the subway to Manhattan. We are staying in a 2 bed apartment in a great location, close to the subway, but far enough away from the craziness! I've never stayed off the main drag of Manhattan so this will be a good test of NYC local life in the 'burbs'.
Waiting for them to get off the plane seemed like forever but eventually we were all reunited! I mean FaceTime has been amazing but nothing like having a big squeeze from family.

Surprisingly the next day's weather was gorgeous and so the first stop when in NY was Central Park. It had been over 20 years since I have visited, and it was winter last time so a very different experience but just as beautiful. There's still the old style carousel, hot dog stands, canoes, baseball field, zoo, squirrels and of course the famous fountain. Everything was lovely and green and spring flowers in bloom!
It still amazes me how big Central Park is, it spans 843 acres and was completed in 1876! From the northern end at 110th street to the south at 59th street!! Seriously you need a whole day just to cover it! When you're in the heart of the park cut off from traffic noise and the craziness that's NY its peaceful and you really could be anywhere. But I love the outer edges where you can see the concrete jungle through the trees!! Here's a few snaps of our time in Central Park.

The next stop was Times Square! We sat and had a cold beer to take it all in (and rest from walking Central Park). There's always a hype of activity with the dress up characters (also some undressed), ball drop, mass advertising screens, shops, main steps and ticket sellers chasing you to get on a tour! It's all part of it and I still love it!

Final stop on day 1 was Radio City Music Hall, we did a wonderful tour. I was particularly interested as I'd visited the Casino at Catalina Island off the Californian coast where Radio City's design was based on. The tour went underneath the stage, in the green rooms and even met one of the famous Rockettes!! They still hold award ceremonies and concerts here and the sound is amazing!

Well a big day here in NY, weary travellers must rest! But not before heading to a local queens Japanese restaurant for dinner! It was delicious and looked like family owned and run! Full bellies, off to bed!!!

Day 2 in NY and we are off to see the Statue of Liberty! A gift from France to the USA in 1886, carrying a torch in one hand and a tablet/book with the date 4th July 1776 (Independence Day) in the other.
I was lucky to see it from the air some 20 years ago in a helicopter tour. This time we are taking the Stanton Island ferry to see her from the water! And another magnificent day weather wise! Once we got on the ferry we headed to the upstairs outside level on the right hand side to get the best view of her. It didn't disappoint!
On the way back, again heading the the right hand side now gave us the view of Manhattan coming back into dock.
This is a free ferry and definitely get there early as it gets busy! It's a MUST if you are ever here!

Since the weather is so good we decide to head to the Brooklyn Bridge, this is a new adventure for me too as I hadn't walked over it before (just driven over). What a view! And construction I might add, erected in 1883 connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. Another must do especially on a clear day to see all of the skyline. And a sneaky selfie of course!!

Last stop for day 2 is Grand Central Station, I absolutely love this place! Still can't believe it has an apple store! Opening in 1913, it has 44 platforms and like Central Park takes up a huge area of Manhattan real estate being 48 acres in size. Again also famous for many movie scenes and the occasional flash mob!

Off to bed early, we have an early start tomorrow!!

Today is Anzac Day, something I've been doing the last 5 or so years is attending the dawn service, at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne or at our local RSL. It's become a lovely tradition with family these last few years. Just because I'm a long way from home, it doesn't stop me paying my respects to those who gave all for us (and still continue to do so today). There is a dawn service in NY held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza, down the south end of Manhattan near Wall st and 9/11 memorial. It was lovely service and there was quite a few people. A tea and coffee afterwards with an ANZAC biscuit of course. There were lots of Australian and New Zealand accents in the crowd which was nice to hear.

After some breakfast, we headed to the 9/11 memorial, its always a surreal feeling. Hard to believe it will be 18 years later this year.
I've visited the memorial before in 2017 so I didn't go through the underground memorial part again. I left Mum and Ken to go in and stayed around the outside memorial pools as they are called. I wandered around them, reading the names of those who lost their lives. It was about the same time of morning as it happened and it was oddly quiet. I've been to many sites of memorial around the world but this one always gets me with the white roses in the engraved names and the silence amongst the NY background. Almost 3,000 people died over the 3 sites (4 planes), many of them emergency services and first reponders.

After meeting back up we headed to the highland and Chelsea market in what's known as the meat packing district. I'd never done either of these so a first for all of us. It was raining slightly but it was still lovely to wander the old railway tracks and oversee some of the streets. Chelsea market was busy, we had a seafood lunch and headed back to have a rest before heading out again tonight!!

Each time I've visited NY, I've been to Broadway, falling in love with a musical called "Rent" some 20 years ago on my first trip with my Dad. Just before Christmas we went to see it again playing in Melbourne and I loved it even more than seeing it here.
We got some last minute tickets to "Phantom of the Opera", which we had all seen before, but it's Broadway! And Phantom, such beautiful music.
I think this is my 3rd time I've seen it. The previous times I took my Nanna, who always loved the music and if she was here, I'm sure she'd be pleased we saw it together in NY. Before the show we dined at Sardi's, famous for its broadway caricatures. It was lovely, a special evening indeed!!
Big day, off to bed xx

Another rainy day, but we are off again to visit the Guggenheim! Unfortunately the spiral walkway exhibition was closed for set up of something new but it was still fab anyways. What I liked about it was, on the top floor they had a primary school art exhibition which was great!
Art was displayed from grades 2-6 and some of it was outstanding, I don't think I could have done some of them!! So refreshing to see a gallery display children's art.

Mum received a recommendation to visit The Frick Collection, located in the upper east side of Manhattan (not far from the Guggenheim).
It is a stunning property built in 1912-1914 owned by Henry Clay Frick, whom collected several pieces of art, sculptures, furniture and porcelain. After his death in 1919, the property was turned into a museum and opened for public display from 1931. Understandably you can't take photo's inside except the inner garden courtyard which is magnificent. I'm glad we went it was great!!

We wandered further north west to Morningside Heights to visit the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. The views from the tower overlooking Manhattan are said to be one of the best, unfortunately we got our timings wrong and didn't take the tour up to the tower but we did tour through the cathedral which was beautiful.

On the way home, locally in Queens at the Astoria Studios we visited the Museum of the Moving Image. It featured early video gaming, to TV, movies and digital media. A walk done memory lane seeing old commodore 64's, Atari's , the first IBM and apple computers into todays modern Nintendo switch. One of the featured collections was on Jim Henson which was fabulous! From the muppets to the labyrinth and everything in between!

Our last day together we took the train to Coney Island! Famous for Luna Park and hot dog eating contests! Luna Park was closed but we walked along the boardwalk and ate a famous Nathan's hot dog! The weather held up but it was windy! Lots of fun anyway! I can see why its packed during summer!

Unfortunately it was time to say goodbye, Mum and Ken are off to LA and I am off to Russia!!
Only 6 and a half months til I'm home! Back to FaceTime chats... not the same but we has a great week and I loved showing them around the big apple!

Much love,
L xx

Posted by mslaurajade 10:18 Archived in USA Tagged bridges buildings skylines trees planes nature travel family nyc manhattan adventures photography blog

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