I got back from my fourth trip to NYC this morning. The previous 3 were all in winter (one in November, one in February and one in March) so this would be my first time in the city during summer, albeit very late summer, but the heat was enough for me.
This trip was conceived about 5 months ago in a London pub when my friend mentioned he would like to see a game at Yankees stadium before they move to their new stadium. So, by the end of that week, I had got tickets for the Yankees game against the White Sox on Tuesday 16th September and flights and hotel booked for Friday 12th September to Wednesday 17th September.
So, the highlights to come in the next few trip reports are: walking the streets and parks, my first trips on the subway, a trip to Coney Island, TOTR, sitting in the Guggenheim lobby, sitting in 12 pubs/bars and drinking lots of beer, watching lots of sports in pubs/bars, taking lots of photos, only 2 shops (yes, I’m the anti-shopper), 3 hot dogs eaten, hot, hot weather and, of course, the Yankees game.
So here is the first part and the rest will follow over the next few days.
Friday 12th September
I had to go into work first as the flight from Heathrow wasn’t until 6.05 pm and it didn’t seem worthwhile taking a day off just to pack and go to Heathrow. I got in early and my boss kindly let me go at 3 pm to get the tube and Heathrow Express to Terminal 5. No problems at T5 as I had checked in the day before, so had to queue for a few minutes at the Fast Bag Drop, picked up our currency from Travelex (commission free if you book online) and then we were through security in about 5 minutes. I just hope it stays like that when the rest of BA flights transfer across.
The flight was a little bit late leaving and we landed in New York about 15 minutes late at 8.45 pm. We were at the back of the plane and a couple of other flights had landed before us which meant we were at the back of a long queue for passport control. It took about 40 minutes to get through but at least our luggage was waiting for us.
It was raining which I think contributed to the lack of taxis and hence a long queue. There were taxis turning up, despite all the touts telling us there weren’t any taxis because of the rain. Err, well what are these yellow things then that keep pulling up every few minutes then and has the word Taxi written on them.
We had about a 20 minute wait but then we were on our way to the Hilton New York on the Avenue of the Americas between 53rd and 54th Street. We were checked in shortly after 11 and were in the Oldcastle pub on 54th by 11.30 having our first pint. I had researched brew pubs in New York as I do like to try different American beers and this was the nearest to the hotel. It had about 8 or 9 different beers on draft but I settled for a pint of Sam Adams and then 3 pints of Bare Knuckle Stout.
Now, when ordering a pint in this pub, it is an American pint i.e. 16 fl oz which compares to the British pint of 20 fl oz. So, at $7.50 for a small pint, it isn’t the cheapest pub in NYC. There are places where you can get a 20 fl oz pint (i.e. a proper pint) for $6.50.
Whichever way you look at it, I think that the price of beer is one thing (maybe even the only thing) that is generally cheaper in London than New York. We did find a place that did $3 pints (that's the smaller American pint measure) on Sundays and Mondays so all was not lost. The dearest we paid was $10 a pint but that was at least the larger British pint measure but still way overpriced. In our defence for paying this, it was a hot day and we wanted a cold beer.
Anyway, we called it a night at about 1 am as we had now both been awake for over 24 hours.