New York! New York!
NYC was everything I'd hoped it would be and more.
We flew into JFK on Monday (2nd June) and found a shuttle from the airport claiming it would take us straight to our hotel for the bargain price of $15...cut to one hour later and Olly and I are stood in Times Square battling our cases through the crowds! When we finally found our way, we realised it would be a 50 block walk we hailed a cab to The Royal Park Hotel...don't be fooled by the name, there was nothing Royal or Hotel-like about the place. Our room/oven was horrific. It contained one small, uncomfortable double bed, an inch of floor space, one cupboard and one very small toilet (no sink!). It was safe to say that the lack of space/oxygen left us less than amused. We dumped our stuff asap, and made our way out onto the streets of NY to explore the area. We walked a total of 115 blocks that evening, but got to see the whole of the west side, and the wonder of Times Square at night. On our way home we went to the local movie theatre to see Sex and The City. The movie was fabulous, and it was a great feeling to watch it in NY.
On Tuesday, I enquired about having a fan put in our room. Thankfully, the staff were very friendly and immediately moved us to another room on a lower floor. This time, we had a ceiling fan, a large window, a better bed and actual floor space! It was such an improvement and we both felt much more comfortable. We then decided to walk through Central Park to the Upper East Side. Central Park was beautiful, with lots of trees, great views and beautifully ornate bridges. The UES was fabulousy like Gossip Girl, and as we continued to walk we found ourselves on Madison Avenue. We did a lot of window shopping (for fear of being too poor) to even enter the likes of the Armani and Gucci store. We headed down a side street into F.A.O Schwartz which is an amazing, mega toy store full of huge stuffed toy animals and $250,000 giant pianos! Across the street is the Apple Store, which is one of the most incredibly structured buildings I have ever seen - all chrome and glass. We went in and played on the i-touch and mac book air (i want one!) having a cheeky little facebook update.
Wednesday, we went to see 'The Country Girl' on Broadway starring Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher. We headed down to Times Square to the TKTS booth, which sells discounted theatre tickets for matinee and evening shows. We got 50% off the premium rate, and with the dollar being so weak, it was a real bargain. The play was incredible, and it was insane to be watching 2 oscar winning actors on stage! After the show, Freeman came out the stage door, and it was baffling to think such an A-lister was stood just feet away from us.
On Thursday we took the Subway to Wall Street and saw the Brooklyn Bridge and Ground Zero. There was a lot of construction on the World Trade Center site, but it was an interesting experience and very thought provoking. We found a nice art installation nearby and spent some time sat by the fountains in the sunshine. We then explored the nearby streets and found lots of souvenir shops selling all the I <3 NY stuff we had alreaby bought...for half the price! Typical.
Friday was our last full day in New York so we decided to go and see another show on Broadway. We went to an evening performance this time to see the musical 'Hairspray'. We had heard lots of positive feedback about the show and knew about the various Tony Award nominations it has recieved. As we were sat waiting for the show to begin I was gutted to see that one of my favourite actresses Laura Linney was playing on Broadway at that very moment and I hadnt realised! Again - typical. However, the musical was fantastically staged, very entertaining and had a very talented cast. On our 10 black walk back to the Subway Olly and I simultaneously realised that we had just walked past Malcolm McDowell - aka. Linderman from Heroes and Alex from A Clockwork Orange! We ran back to catch up with him and his bodyguard took a photograph of the three of us, and we shared a nice conversation. Needless to say we floated home after that, completely buzzing off the fact that we had bumped into a celebrity on our last night in the streets of NY!
I <3 NY!