Joey and I arrived in New York on 7th September 09 on the first leg of our journey, this was to be a very gentle introduction to the travelling lifestyle as I stayed with my cousin Kelly and her husband James in their home in Hoboken, New Jersey whilst Joey stayed with her friend Corinne in Whippany, NJ.
As we were only in town for 4 and a half days we decided that we needed to pack in as much sightseeing as possible so started early on the Tuesday visiting Central Park after a quick coffee in the American embassy, Starbucks, to wake us up! After passing the horse drawn carriages outside the plaza on the entry to the park we visited strawberry fields and played homage to John Lennon. This time around I was determined to find the Alice in Wonderland statue on the east side of the park and after a few wrong corners turned and a quick walk via the children's zoo we found it. We had to wait quite a while to take our photos on the statue as it was surrounded by hoards of children, but we managed it in the end. After walking around the park for hours we decided that we had seen enough and we went onto the Rockefeller centre and following a brief history of the building we went up to take in the spectacular views, I would recommend anyone going to New York to take in the views from there rather than the empire state building, far less queuing and you get a better view of the park from there too. Some more walking along 5th avenue later and we made our way to Grand Central station and the Public library, the viewing of the outside of the library was a little disappointing as it was completely covered in scaffolding as they are doing renovations but the inside was truly beautiful and we had a good look around the various wings of the building.
The following day was our Sex and the City tour day. I took this tour with Kelly the previous year but as it was so good I decided that I would love to do it again this time around, luckily they also changed it to allow for scenes filmed in the first movie which was great. We were also fortunate enough to see the film crew for the new movie out and about on location, but not fortunate enough to see any of the stars! When the film comes out and we see snow and 80's flashback scenes we will know that we were close by! We went for a yummy cupcake at Magnolia bakery in Greenwich village (and bought ta few more to take away with us, sooo good) and had a cosmo in Aidan and Steve's bar, all before lunch time...... We went back to visit Greenwich village in the afternoon as its such a great, busy area and took in some window shopping, damn space and money restrictions, very hard to go to New York and not be able to partake in some retail therapy! That evening saw us go along to a gig in 'Arlenes Grocery'.
After the frivolity of the previous day we got onto some more 'educational attractions' and went over to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, we opted against the Ellis Island audio guided tour and as such were subjected to a ridicules group of women who kept exclaiming that they were looking at something, but the audio was referring to something else, how hard it can be to follow the audio tour I don't know! But it was rather amusing for us to witness their frustration. As it was September 10th there were a lot of memorials around ahead of the remembrance service on the 11th around the World Trade Centre, very sobering moment. The following day I had a quiet morning watching the remembrance service on TV.
Kelly and I battled the galeforce winds and rain and went along to the Music Hall of fame exhibition in the afternoon on my last full day in NY which was wonderful, you walk around different exhibits and screens from people in music over the past 60 years or so and the headset plays the music of the appropriate person on the exhibit. There was also a special exhibit on John Lennon's New York years which was really interesting, it had been put together by Yoko and included some of his clothing, personal letters and letters from fans along with screens showing different music videos and interviews from them over the years, really glad that we went along, very different to other exhibitions that I usually go to on the tourist route. That evening Kelly, James and I had a wonderful dinner at a Maxwell's in Hoboken, they have really cool music playing (and a live venue out the back that up and coming acts play at) and I was introduced to 'light beer', it's quite nice