Last day in NY

I’m in Yellowknife now, where it is currently minus 22. A little colder than New York, or even Edmonton for that matter! Yesterday was our last day in the big city, though we really only had half a day.

After packing we stopped at Starbucks on our way to Bar Americain, the Bobby Flay restaurant that Sharon had been hyping for weeks. We arrived right at 11:30 for brunch and were seated right away. Bar Americain is pretty fancy, but perhaps not so much as Gramercy. The food was pretty good, but I am not sure it lived up to the high expectations we had for it. I’d probably go back again, but I wouldn’t order orange juice! It was $4.50 per glass!

At Bar Americain NY Trip NY Trip Waldorf Again

We took our time getting back to the hotel, stopping at yet another shoe store! Still no shoes were purchased heh. Eventually we made our way to LaGuardia and had a relatively uneventful trip home, minus a slight delay in Ottawa. We were kinda sad to be back in Canada, but happy we had such a great trip.

I’d definitely go back to Manhattan – it’s my kind of place! All the photos from our trip are here. I have a few more to upload but they’ll have to wait until after Xmas so they don’t give anything away!

NY Day 5

Don’t have much time this morning, so I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet. We’re leaving soon for Bobby Flay’s restaurant Bar Americain. After that, off to the airport 😦

Yesterday we went to Clinton Street Bakery for breakfast. Took us a while to get there, but it was definitely worth it. The blueberry pancakes that Sharon ordered were awesome! After breakfast we basically shopped until late afternoon. We were on fifth avenue during what Sharon claims is the busiest shopping time of the year (2-3 PM on Dec 21st). It was pretty insane.

After dropping all our stuff off at the hotel, we ventured out for a hot dog! Had to order something from a street vendor! We ate them on the way to Wollman skating rink in Central Park. Sharon was pretty terrified, but she did really, really well! It wasn’t too cold, and our timing was perfect (arriving to skate just as the Zamboni was finishing up). I really enjoyed it, and I think Sharon is happy she conquered a fear! Heh.

NY Trip NY Trip NY Trip NY Trip

While skating, I asked Sharon where we were gonna go for dinner. She said Gramercy Tavern, as she had read online that it was good. Cool, I asked her what kind of food they had. She said American, like burgers and stuff, but not like Denny’s. So off we go. And we arrive…at the fanciest restaurant we’ve been to. Turns out Gramercy Tavern is the kind of place where they don’t clear dishes until everyone is done. The kind of place where you tip the person who takes your coat. The kind of place where they serve on the left, clean on the right, and never give you utensils you won’t be using!

Heh, it was actually really very good. I had Bacon Wrapped Trout, and Sharon had the Stuffed Meatball. We did feel somewhat underdressed though. I mean there were other people in jeans, but I still think we looked out of place. Oddly enough, they seated us right by the front of the restaurant, so I guess they didn’t mind that much.

Today is our last half day in NY. I have been seeing Kim’s Facebook updates about YK being -35 degrees, and I’m really not looking forward to that kind of weather! It’s been cold enough as it is here! Heh…okay, gotta go!

NY Day 4

More photos uploaded from today, 41 to be exact! There would have been more but some of them turned out kinda blurry. I guess we miss the image stabilizer from my camera. Our day kinda started and ended with interesting Subway stories.

We walked to Grand Central this morning, stopping at McDonald’s on the way (which, again, was really fast). We were planning to go to Times Square to pickup our ferry tickets for the Statue of Liberty from Madame Tussauds. Instead, we ended up across the river in Queens! Heh, wasn’t a big deal, just took the train back again, but it illustrates how confusing the metro can be, at least compared to London’s tube. Either that, or we’re really daft.

We eventually made it, and I snagged a picture with Samuel L. Jackson. Pretty cool! We hopped back on the train to head to Wall Street. We made it just in time for the free walking tour, which was kind of interesting. We didn’t actually walk very far at all, but the tour guide sure knew her stuff. And she liked to talk. After a quick lunch at Au Bon Pain, we headed for the ferry.

Mack with Sam Jackson NY Trip At the Statue of Liberty Sharon with the NYSE tree NY Trip

I have lost count of how many security checkpoints we’ve been through here in NY, but enough that it’s no longer annoying. It’s almost expected…sad isn’t it? We finally got through and on the ferry to Liberty Island. It was freezing! Wimpy Canadians huh? We walked around the island a bit, took some photos, and considered going up to the observation platform of the statue, until we found out that you needed to book that two days in advance! Again, blame the planner 😉 I’m glad we went to see the Statue of Liberty, but on the whole, it was kind of underwhelming.

Once back on Manhattan, we walked around the World Trade Center site. It was completely fenced off, with active construction behind the walls. We did a bit of shopping, and then got back on the train to go to Union Square (by this time we had it all figured out). Again, did some shopping and then walked to a restaurant called S’Mac. All they serve is macaroni and cheese! It was pretty tasty, and very filling.

The famous Wall Street bull Mack on the ferry NY Trip Mac & Cheese

While waiting for the train to come back to the hotel tonight, we spotted two rats on the track. I figure no trip to NY is complete without seeing a rat, so I was somewhat excited. Sharon…not so much! We watched them until the train came, expecting them to scurry away as it approached. Except they didn’t. I’m not sure if they got squished, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did!

Tomorrow is a shopping day, with not much else planned. Should be good, after I get some rest!

NY Day 3

First, some sad news. My camera took a bit of a tumble at the Gershwin Theatre and isn’t working correctly anymore 😦 Something with the lens. Kinda sucks. Only uploaded 36 pictures today, but we still did quite a bit!

We got a late start this morning, mostly because we didn’t get to sleep early yesterday as planned. We discovered that the walls are quite thin, and our neighbour liked to chat on his phone. We learned his name, his job, his recent travel history, and that he apparently has pink eye (eewwwww!). He said some stuff that was just too funny and I couldn’t stop laughing! Anyway, we didn’t get to sleep very early.

Inside traffic control NY Trip Sharon @ The UN NY Trip

We started this morning by walking to the UN Headquarters which is about five minutes from our hotel. We didn’t do the tour or anything, just walked around the building and checked out the gift shops. Kind of a neat place, but I think you need to do the tour to really see it. After that it was back to Times Square to kill a few minutes before Wicked! Sharon thinks we’ve been to Times Square too often heh.

Wicked! At Wicked Darth Maq Mack @ Trump World Tower

I really, really enjoyed the show. It was, um, wicked! Very entertaining, with really amazing sets and sounds. It was actually quite funny in places too, thanks to some clever dialogue. When Sharon told me how much the tickets were a month or so ago ($130/each) I was a little worried, but I can safely say now that it was worth it. I’d definitely recommend Wicked, even for those of you who aren’t into theatre.

After Wicked we did a bit of shopping on the way to a restaurant called Becco. We had reservations and got in right away. Dinner was excellent, even in very tight quarters. The place was packed, and the tables weren’t very big. That’s pretty much the only negative to the whole experience though! I was just amazed by the bus boy in our section – he was a machine! So efficient, doing just about everything. I had the all-you-can-eat pasta they are famous for, and was not disappointed.

At Becco At Serendipity

We then walked quite a distance to Serendipity 3, for a second dinner! Heh, we had a reservation there too, and it just so happened that we had to do it on the same day (blame the planner…kidding Sharon). There was a crazy line for the place, and we had to wait a few minutes (even with the reservation), but not too long. I really wanted to go there as it is one of the key locations in Serendipity, one of my favorite movies with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. We had french toast, followed by the main event, Frrrozen Hot Chocolate (like a giant bowl of ice cream, hot chocolate, and cream with four straws and two spoons). It was quite tasty.

Needless to say, I am stuffed. I think eating today made up for our smaller meals the last two days! Tomorrow we’re off to the southern part of Manhattan to see the WTC site, among other things.

NY Day 2

I don’t think we did as much today as we did yesterday, but for some reason we’re both far more tired. I think all the walking is catching up to us! Not as many photos today…just added 47 to the set.

We decided to do the Top of the Rock in the morning, and that turned out to be a really good decision as the weather was wonderful. A little nippy, but sunny and mostly clear. Made for some excellent photos. I think given the choice I’d prefer to go to the top of Rockefeller Center again instead of the Empire State Building. It was really great to see NY from above.

Sharon & Mack NY Trip Throwing a penny NY Trip

Our next stop was the NBC Studio tour, but since we had a little bit of time in between, we stopped at McDonalds for a quick lunch. And my goodness was it ever quick. Honestly, I ordered, and barely had the change in my pocket by the time someone brought the food to the counter. It was insane. The place was also overrun with kids. Seems like there’s tons of field trips going on. The studio tour itself was kinda neat, but we couldn’t take any photos. We got to see Conan O’Brien’s studio, as well as the SNL studio. My first and lasting impression of Conan’s studio is that it is absolutely tiny. It looks ten times bigger on TV!

We stopped at McD's Radio City NBC Studios NY Trip

Our plan was then to go pickup tickets for the City Lights cruise. Which we attempted to do. The instructions on the marketing material are absolutely useless, and it took us forever to find the place. When we did, the ticket office was deserted. There wasn’t anyone in sight. This is despite the fact that it should have been open for another three hours or so. We gave up on that, and headed back to Macy’s for some shopping. I have never seen that many shoes in one place before! We also checked out the main Post Office building (to get stamps) before heading to Times Square for dinner at Ruby Tuesday. We checked out Bryant Park again, which had a special event going on tonight – something related to The Simpsons Movie.

NY Trip Rockefeller Tree NY Trip Skaters @ Rockefeller

Other than that we just wandered around a bit, saw the Rockefeller tree at night and the light show on the Saks building. We’re back at the hotel a bit earlier tonight, to get some rest for tomorrow – Broadway! We’re going to see Wicked.

NY Day 1

I suck at coming up with titles for these kinds of posts, so I figure I’ll just go the boring route and number them (unless something really sticks out). I just uploaded 115 photos to my New York set on Flickr. I am kind of amazed at how much we accomplished today! I’m also ticked that none of my txt updates to Twitter worked. I know it’s not my phone, because other text messages were working. Stupid Twitter.

Inside Macy's Inside NBC Experience Store Rink at Rockefeller Sharon on the roof

We started out by walking to Rockefeller Center to pick up our Explorer Passes. We saw the tree, and the skating rink, and stopped across the street at Dean & Deluca for coffee. We spent most of the rest of the morning wandering around Fifth Avenue, checking out some stores like Saks, FAO Schwarz, Barnes & Noble, and the Disney store. We also stopped to pickup tickets to the Sex and the City tour. Clearly, one of Sharon’s choices for activities! We went to Macy’s (which was a complete jungle) and stopped at Pax for lunch on the way back uptown.

Empire State Building They have snowboarding in Ontario?! Dean & Deluca Mack on the roof On "The Stoop"

I kind of wish we had something like Pax in Edmonton. London had the same kind of little places with fresh sandwiches and salads. Aside from Quizno’s and Subway, we don’t have anything really similar back home. Speaking of Canada, we stopped at Bryant Park where we found a giant glass dome advertising Ontario. Yes, Ontario. Inside were two people with snowboarding gear. Riiiight, because Jasper & Banff are in Ontario?!

Eventually we got on the bus for the SATC tour. It was a bit of a gong show at first, but once we got going it was alright. I actually wasn’t as bored as I thought I’d be, and there were clips of all the places we saw, so I could at least make sense of what our tour guide was saying. I think Sharon enjoyed the tour! Apparently our tour had an abnormally large amount of guys – seven out of fifty-five people or something like that.

Inside the Disney Store The Pleasure Chest Start of the SATC tour Grand Central Light Show

The tour bus dropped us off at Grand Central Terminal, which was cool as we definitely wanted to check that out. The place is amazing! Lots of people bustling about, everywhere. We ate dinner at a pizza place called Two Boots on the “fast food” level of the station. Afterward, we finally used the subway to get to the Empire State Building. All the way up to the 86th floor observation deck we went, and it was quite a sight. Part of it was closed, unfortunately, but the views we had were still pretty amazing. A very touristy thing to do, but I’m glad we did.

Market @ Grand Central On the Observation Deck View from Empire State Building Times Square

Our final stop of the night was Times Square. It was everything I was expecting and more. Lights, buildings, people, excess all around. I loved it! We checked out a bunch of stores, including the really awesome Toys ‘R’ Us, the Virgin Megastore, and M&M’s World. Very, very cool places. We’ll be back there again for sure.

Mack @ Times Square Times Square Times Square Sharon @ Times Square Lego Empire State Building

I’m pretty tired at the moment, no doubt from all the walking we did today. We spotted a souvenir shop at one point that had 18 postcards for $1. Thinking that was damn good, we bought them, only to find two blocks later another shop that was selling 30 postcards for $1!! I am determined to not get ripped off like that again! Heheh.

Though it seems like it’ll be hard to top today, I am looking forward to the rest of the week. I could spend months here and not run out of things to do!

Ah New York :)

We arrived in NY tonight with no problems – not even a delay! Even though it was more expensive, we opted for the taxi in from the airport over the shuttle or public transit. I think it was worth it. We’re both feeling a little claustrophobic, but not because of the hotel room (it’s bigger than we anticipated). It’s the buildings! We were walking down the street and I said, “hey look it’s Trump Tower”. Then we looked up…waaay up. Everywhere you look, there’s another building! Kinda neat, but kind of strange for a couple of kids from the prairies. Heheh.

We went to The Burger Joint for a quick dinner. It’s an interesting place, like a fast food diner in the middle of a fancy hotel just off Fifth Avenue. Kind of expensive, but tasty. We also checked out the Waldorf Astoria, a Starbucks of course, and then we headed straight for the Apple store! It was just as I imagined. We browsed around inside, used the free Internet, and then I bought my iPod touch. Thanks Santa!

Ah I love free Internet…missed it in London! We’re back at the hotel, obviously, which is quite a bit nicer than I expected. I guess I didn’t trust the pictures 🙂

Here are some photos of our evening. Lots more to come! It’s gonna be a great week!