New York is our final stop in the states. It took some bribery to get Lachy there for an extended period of time. He was not keen on visiting the Big Apple for longer than 24 hours. But I managed to talk him round. That - and I booked the flights there so he didn't really get a choice.
The hostels were super expensive in New York, it ended up being cheaper for us to get a private room in an Airbnb, which suited us! Also meant better sleep for the jam packed itinerary I had put together... I do like making a good plan.
Our first day was spent at Yankee Stadium. It's pretty tough to get into a baseball game. We went through a high tech security station with metal detectors and bag checks. My bag got checked and inside it I had a can... It was can of spray on sunscreen. A highly dangerous weapon, against sunburn. I was told I couldn't bring it in. I was also told I couldn't take in the tiny (and I mean tiny) like 20cm long tripod. While we were paying some entrepreneurial lady to keep the goods in her plastic tub outside the stadium, another Aussie approached. He made a valid point about the security levels...
"In a country where you can purchase guns over the counter and carry them on your person, you can't take a selfie stick into a baseball game". Oh the irony.
The game itself was a tonne of fun. Made all the more exciting by hot dogs and beer. I barracked for the Yankees, but Lachy was going for the Colorado Rockies, as we had just been there. It was a close one. But the Yankees pulled through with a one run win in the last innings. Please note - I have no idea if I am describing that correctly. I don't know much about baseball. Lachy had gotten good and proper day drunk at the game, so I took full advantage of his state and knew I could get away with a brief bit of shopping before heading back to Brooklyn.
The following morning, after slightly too long a sleep in, we ventured to the Brooklyn Bridge ready to start a day of immense walking. Coffees in hand we started our walk across the bridge, staring at the huge city the other side of the river. It was a great way to see the city, and settle some arguments. Lachy was pretty certain that the Chrysler building was actually the Empire State Building. No matter how much I told him otherwise, he didn't believe me. But the city layout carved in bronze backed me up. I love being right! We continued our walk past the City Hall and down through Wall Street on to the famous landmark Bull - where copious tourists were. So we left pretty quickly. Bloody tourists... We then headed north again to the 9/11 memorial. This was quite a sobering experience and we are glad we went, as originally it wasn't high on the list.
We continued north to Soho where we met up with Francina (you may remember her from the Montevideo or Buenos Aires blog posts). This was the fourth country I would get to see her in as we hung out in Chile as well! After lunch, some wandering the streets and a couple of drinks, we farewelled her before wet met up with our dinner date. My cousin Charlie is living in New York so we met him for some delish Italian to catch up on the family gossip and then walk the High Line. This used to be an old elevated railway that has been converted into a garden walk. It's pretty cool to walk through and see some sites. Charlie dropped us off at our late night show of Sleep No More. This had come highly recommended by several people. It's a performance where you wear masks,- and follow the actors through an old hotel. Different parts of the play are happening in different rooms. The way you got lost and/or stumbled across things was bizarre. Lachy and I had lost each other in the first minute. I thought it was a bizarre yet cool experience, although I still don't really know what was going on. Lachy liked the sets, but got a bit over the performance towards to end (it was nearly three hours long). Exhausted after the long day, we ventured back to Brooklyn.
Friday we had set aside to see the Natural History Museum. Okay - Lachy wanted to see that. After I had dragged him to Sleep No More, it was only fair. So we jumped a train and ventured into Manhattan. The museum is located off the west side of Central Park, so we thought we'd start at the south east corner and work our way across and up. Was a great plan, but we didn't take into account just how far we might walk. First, we wandered about ten blocks from the train station to the park. There was a reason we got off earlier and walked the streets. But neither of us can remember. So it's going down as lost time... Then we wandered through Central Park. Which was beautiful. Full of New Yorkers trying to catch some summer sun. We walked to Strawberry Fields, which is a small area dedicated to John Lennon. He was assassinated out the front of his apartment building/hotel across the road. There was a busker singing "imagine" which made us wonder if he sang any other Lennon tunes, or if that was on repeat most of the day.
Next stop, and most anticipated was the Natural History Museum. By the time we got here, we were already tired from so much walking! But we wandered through and admired the taxidermy (especially the elephants), learnt about gemstones and crystals (pity I didn't have this knowledge for the yoga in Colorado) and watched a brief movie narrated by Liam Wilson - seriously, can you get a better voice and accent than that guy? *swoon*!
We decided to visit my favourite overseas shop. Okay, I decided and Lachy was being patient. But it was located under the Rockefeller centre, where they have NBC studios, shopping centres, the works. While in the vicinity, we visited "top of the rock" for the monumentous views of New York. Allegedly most people tend to visit the Empire State Building for their views of the city, but why do that? It means you can't see the grand building! No sense. It's amazing to look over such a skyscraper and concrete filled city to see the giant Central Park too. It's an excellent view, a bit of nature in a big city. After getting that, and myself a couple of new outfits, we headed for a well deserved beverage so went to an Irish Bar not far away. We had two drinks before Adam turned up (you might remember him from the first Cuzco blog. He looked after us on the Inca Trail with copious snacks). We had a drink and a great catch up with Adam and even scored a fourth free drink from the staff at the bar. Again, think it was the accent. We grabbed a bite on the east side before heading back to our Brooklyn home for the second last time.
Our final full day had arrived. We thought we had given New York a fair crack. So decided to just do a few things on our last day. While Lachy slept in, I went across town to meet up with one of my next door neighbours from Tassie. Simon and his wife Portia had moved to New York for work a year ago. Always nice to see a familiar face in a foreign place. Was great to catch up over coffee. While we wandered the streets, they pointed out Magnolia Bakery and Carrie Bradshaws apartment building (both from Sex and the City for those of you who aren't fans).
I then mat Lachy at the flatiron building. As I approached it from a different angle. I couldn't see it, which made me look very foolish in Lachy's eyes. But he turned me around and set me face to face with the building. Another landmark ticked off. We followed it up with Grand Central Station which is also very impressive then another Central Park visit for a picnic and a nap before meeting some more Tasmanians for dinner and a show.
Newlyweds Sam and Amanda were in New York too, so the four of us went to see The Book of Morman. Highly recommend. Inappropriate and intelligent. We enjoyed it even more after numbers us pre show cocktails. Visited Times Square after the show, the found a 1920s style bar down the street to continue shenanigans before the departure to Iceland the following day.