Tuesday 16th September
Another bit of a lie in today followed by another trip to Connolly’s for breakfast where we were hoping for another fry up (well, we’re on holiday). Disaster struck as there was no Irish breakfast listed on the menus we were given. Upon enquiring, we were informed that they only do Irish breakfasts at the weekend. Pretty stupid if you ask me so it was a club sandwich instead for me and we would take our custom elsewhere the next day.
Our only plan for today was to be in a pub by 2.45 to watch the Champion’s League games and to go to Yankees stadium in the evening. Once out on the streets again we decided that we would just walk west and see what’s on that side of the island. So off we trundled along 53rd Street on a slightly cloudy day but thankfully dry. We took a slight detour north one block to look at an interesting building and then continued along 54th Street until we came upon the northern part of the Hudson River Park called Clinton Cove.
There is an art installation here called Private Passage that is a large wine bottle containing an interpretation of a stateroom based loosely on photographs of the ocean liner R.M.S. Queen Mary. So you look inside and there are seats, beds and other facilities you would find in a stateroom. I haven’t got a clue what it’s meant to represent but it is there for all to admire.
We walked a little bit further north, past the NYC Sanitation Department garbage truck depot and we found ourselves in Riverside Park South. As the name suggests this is an extension of Riverside Park southwards from 72nd Street to 59th Street and very nice it is too. You’re not completely away from all the noise of the city as the West Side highway runs above the park but there’s a boardwalk, seats, remnants of old burnt out piers, old parts of NYC industrial history and an old locomotive and great views across the Hudson to New Jersey and further north, the George Washington Bridge. It was also a cloudy day but there were some interesting cloud formations.
We soon reached Pier I which has been renovated and bought back into public use so you can walk along this and look back at the city. If you like the Trump Place towers then you’ll love the view from Pier I. There is also a café at this part of the park so we took advantage of this and had a coffee.
At 72nd Street, Riverside Park South stops and Riverside Park starts. We continued as far as the 79th Street basin and then decided to call it quits and go in search of a pub to watch the football. A quick check of the travel guide and we were heading out of the park for the Dublin House pub on West 79th Street.
We got to see a little bit of the Upper West side as we walked along 70th Street and I would like to get back there and see more of it. I might even stay there next time. We were soon ensconced in the pub, drinking Guinness and watching the Champions League football. I like the Dublin House pub as it appeared to be a typical local and the bar maid know how to pour a Guinness and made sure we weren’t left waiting too long for our next one.
When the football had finished, it was time to head for Yankee stadium so a quick check of the subway map and we were off to 81st Street station over by Central Park. We knew the B line would get us there but thought we would double check with the ticket clerk. He said take the B train to 125th Street and switch to the faster D train. Looking at the subway map though, it didn’t look like the D line stopped at 161st street and in any case it only stopped at 2 less station than the B train. I didn’t fancy having to change trains if we were already on a train that would get us to where we were going. So we asked the clerk will the B train get us to 161st street and all he would say is go to 125th and change. Eventually we got him to answer the question being asked and we were on our way on a B train to Yankee stadium.
At 161st station, we just followed the crowds out and there was Yankee stadium just across the road. We walked around a bit soaking up the atmosphere, bought a hot dog to really get into the spirit of things and then decided to head into the stadium. This was when we saw the sign stating that no bags were allowed into the stadium. We were pointed in the direction of a nearby bowling alley (which is a few doors sown from the subway station) where we could leave our bags for $5 each. A nice little earner for the bowling alley that. I’m guessing the same arrangement will apply with the new stadium.
Once inside the stadium, we headed up to the upper tier level and got settled into our seats. The steps were quite steep so I volunteered my friend to go back down and get us another hot dog and drink. Although we were quite high up, we had a good view as you can see from the photos. Whilst sitting there though, I began to wonder if we were in the right section. This has happened to us once before at MSG where we only found out when the true occupants turned up and kicked us out of their seats. Not wanting the same to happen here, we sneakily looked at other people’s tickets and realised that either we were in the wrong section or everyone sitting around us was. As it turned out, it was the former (no surprises there) so we moved over to the next section and got in our right seats.
As with most American sports, the national anthem was played before the game and once one of the American Olympic swimmers threw the ceremonial first pitch, the game was on between the Chicago White Sox and the Yankees. This was the game where Derek Jeter broke the record for the number of hits at Yankee stadium – a record that will stand forever given that this is the last season at Yankee stadium. He got a standing ovation from the crowd when he broke the record.
There was a great atmosphere and the crowd seemed to be more spontaneous with their cheering and chanting (i.e. not waiting for the screen to tell them to make some noise as you get at some sports). By the end of the 4th innings the White Sox were leading 4 -2 and at the bottom of the 6th (see I getting to know the terminology) they the whole crowd got to their feet as the Yankees had the bases loaded so a home run would see them take the lead. Alas it was not to be and the innings ended with the White Sox still 4 – 2 down. There then seemed to be a bit of a mass exodus from the stadium as people left early to beat the traffic.
The game ended 6-2 to the White Sox. There was a it of drama towards the end in our section as a White Sox fan was ejected by a policeman presumably for celebrating too much. It seemed like she got into a, let’s call it a lively debate, with some Yankee fans who took objection to whatever it was she said.
I enjoyed the baseball game and much prefer it to basketball and will return again. I still think though that when it comes to sports with a bat and ball, cricket is far superior.
We waited around after the game to let the crowd die down a bit and were able to stop off at the lower level to take some more photos before the stewards politely ushered us out. Apart from the obvious crowds all trying to get into the subway station and my friends metro card refusing to work (not good when you have a large crowd behind you) we had a fairly easy journey back to our hotel. There was a D train already on the platform when we got there and were soon back in Midtown.
Wednesday 17th September
Our last day in New York but we didn’t need to make our way to JFK until about 3 pm. So this morning we went to the Oldcastle pub for breakfast as they do an Irish breakfast 7 days a week.
The previous day we had walked west so today we headed east along 54th Street. At the very end if this is Sutton Place which has a series of little parks called Sutton Place Park when you can get views looking along the East River, Roosevelt Island and the Queensboro Bridge. We walked north along Sutton Place, making little detours to see each of the parks until we reached the Queensboro Bridge. At this stage we decided to call a halt to our tourist activities and so headed for PJ Clarke’s to have a final couple of beers.
We got back to the hotel at about 3 pm, picked up our luggage and got a taxi to take us to JFK. 90 minutes later we finally arrived!! The traffic was terrible but our taxi driver did try and avoid the worst of it in Manhattan by using the less congested streets to make his way across town.
The BA check in and security all went smoothly and quickly and we were soon ‘enjoying’ another $9.90 beer at the same bar we had drank at on our way home in March. An uneventful flight back to Heathrow bought another New York adventure to an end.
I don’t know when I will be back to New York as there are so many other places I want to see and not enough money (I really do need to win the lottery). I am back in the US next April but that’s to see Chicago, Vegas and DC. Who knows though, if a really cheap flight becomes available I might not be able to resist (credit crunch or no credit crunch).
So to end on a positive note, here’s the photos from this part of the trip. I’m off now to start on my Rome trip report. Ciao everyone.
There was one other thing I forgot to mention which was a bit odd (well to me anyway). As we walked up 6th Avenue after the baseball game at about 11 pm, there was still one street vendor (at about 52nd St) selling hot dogs, pretzels etc. and there was a queue of about 40 to 50 people. Either he sells the best hot dogs or he's very wise and has discovered that people still want a hot dog at 11 pm!!!
I really liked your photos, especially these last ones. They portray a different side of New York, something else than Midtown, Soho, Central Park etc. Interesting to see other parts of the city as well, less touristy in a way.
I'll make sure that I get to know at least some parts of the riversides on my next visit.
i like taking pictures of signs as well
they look good on dvd when yuo do slideshows to music.
Great report mick,
also used the oldcastle pub myself last year,
We are in nyc next month but like yourself it may be the last trip for a while as we have booked vegas for next july,
icf- have you been to vegas before?
have you booked your flights and hotel yet?
Will be first time in vegas,
Staying at circus circus hotel,july 7th-13th,
we are going to vegas next oct we are getting married. and our honeymoon after is niagara falls and new york city.
Sounds a fantastic honeymoon,
I was in Vegas last year and we decided to include it in our next trip so we could have a couple of days of just slouching around the casinos getting free beer :) (well it's free as long as you're gambling).
I've been to NYC 4 times now since I went to Chicago and I'd always wanted to go back. And I'm going back to DC because there's someone there who owes me a few beers :). That and I want to see Arlington Cemetary which I missed on a precious visit. I'm sure I'll be back to NYC at some atage.
I'm sure you'll both enjoy your trips.