I was embarrassed to leave my trip report because it had taken me so long (back to work blah, blah) but then I saw Stacey's!!!!
I really wanted to leave a trip report , partly to give advice to others but mainly to thank all of you who helped me so much whenI was planning my trip.
Thursday 25th March - arrived JFK late in the evening and got yellow cab to Hotel Jolie in Brooklyn. Boy was that a scary ride - talk about no lane discipline.
Hotel Jolie was lovely. The manager was extra friendly and helpful. The room was small but clean and very cosy and stylish.
Friday 26th - got subway intending to go to ferry landing for Ellis island but got lost and as if by a miracle came out in front of Century 21.My daughter, who is 20, was obviously delighted. Several hours later, we emerged to walk the streets, only to come across a Duane Reader - she had to go in search of false eyelashes etc.
It was mid-afternoon by now and we were hungry so we got a cab to Katz deli - loved it.!!! Loved the Harry met Sally part but the atmosphere is very neighbourhood and friendly and the pastrami on rye absolutely delicious.
We then walked along Beechers for about an hour and a half with the intention of going to Magnolia bakery (we like our food) but began to tire and got a cab back to hotel . However we enjoyed the walk and all the lovely vintage, vinyl shops (as always people were lovely).
I would recommend anyone to stay in Brooklyn -you feel like you're in a neighbourhood where real people live rather than a tourist destination.
Friday night - Bamontes in Brooklyn - lovely fresh homemade pasta -however, it was probably not a good idea to have a pastrami sandwich only a few hours before!!. A tip - ask for a table near the kitchen - it's nice to look through the glass wall atht echefs making your dinner.
- walked to Williamsburg and looked around shops, had pizza slice etc. Visited Fleas and Artists. Very nice, trendy atmosphere. My daughter loved it and she got some bargains from some young women having a garage sale. I did notice some children and old people contrary to what I'd read!!
Taxi over to Hilton (mid town).
Hilton was lovely - big and very busy but the standard is very good and the room was HUGE. It felt like luxury and I wasn't expecting it. You'd pay a fortune for a hotel like this in London.
Walked around the block onto 5th Avenue.
Got kebab from halal guys (recommended on this site). Maybe they were imposters but the food wasn't worth queing for. My daughter licked some chilli sauce that she'd spilled from her hand and nearly had to go to hospital - it was so hot.!!! I had to get her an icebucket - I laughed....she did eventually .
Weather started to deteriorate - drizzle.
Did tour of WTC - would definitely recommend. All of the people taking the tours were affected in some way. Our guide was one of the first volunteeers on site and another lives in residential block right next door. It gives you a moving personal account of the events of that day. I was especially moved by the AmEx memorial.
Taxi to ferry landing for Helicopter trip. Now it was a shame that there was low cloud and drizzle but it was still amazing- worth every penny. He took us around Manhatten and circled the Statue of Libery twice.
Then we got the subway to Tribecca and had a late lunch at the Tribecca grill. I had one of the best steaks I have ever eaten and the service was impeccable.
Subway to Union Square - i know it had been recommended for shopping but I found it disappointing. The fact that it was pouring with rain may have had something to do with it. We couldn't find anything we liked in DSW or Filenes.
Onto Grand Central Station - beautiful, gorgeous and fantastic cheesecake at Juniors. Got one to bring home which I shared with friends on Good Friday. I am a keen cheesecake maker and this had a just the right denseness/ creaminess ratio.
Chrysler building- again beautiful architecture, painted ceiling - I love the style of that era.
Times square (in the rain) - fantastic, (New York just like I pictured it skyscrapers n everything).
Got our 15 seconds of fame after buying some t-shirts in American Eagle - great fun. They take your picture and you get it put up in Times Square for 15 seconds - a nice photo opportunity with the yellow cabs passing below.
Torrential rain and we had booked a Real New York walking tour. We were soaked by the time we got to the meeting point and I almost cancelled.....I'm so glad I didn't. The only negative I could say is I wish I'd been able to do it earlier in trip because it really orientated you and helped you use the subway.
If anyone is reading this and planning a trip - you MUST go on a Real New York dozen apple walking trip.
Our guide Jimmy was so witty and knowledgeable. We walked the city for 6 hours (mostly inside the first couple of hours to avoid the rain) - financial district (loads of history), WTC (although we'd already done a tour - this added to the one we'd done), Little Italy (drank in a bar that Frank sinatra used to go in - it had an old fashioned jule box), Chinatown (underground tunnels) and Greenwich village (Wah bar and the Friends building) .
Jimmy had interesting facts/ jokes/ antecdotes every step of the way. It really was worth every penny and then some.
Basketball at Madison Square Garden (NIT semi-finals)- it was fun. the atmosphere was good and the cheerleaders were amazing. Basketball was pretty good. Chatted to some lovely guys from New Jersey. Sort of wish I'd gone to see a show instead though - it was a similar price.
Didn't book a show in advance and couldn't face queuing in the TXT lines in the torrential rain - never mind - something to do next time.
Got a manicure on 5th avenue
Did more shopping - queued for Abercrombie and Fitch - the most beautiful perfect store assistants I have every seen in my life. Nice sweatshirts too.
Victoria's Secrets, Nike and the M&M store (my daughter loved it for some reason)
Got patzi's pizza, again on the recommendation of this forum - wow just the very best pizza I have every tasted. thin crust, crispy but not dry with fresh sliced tomato and basil on top. I want some right now!!!
Went for a walk around Greenwich village in the evening and had dinner at Knickerbocker grill . Again, nice friendly neighbourhood restaurant - lots of families etc. Lovely food and enough to take home for a picnic on our last day
sunshine at last!!!!
Top of the Rock - shame we couldn't do it earlier in the week but the weather wouldn't allow. Outstanding views with great photos.
Walked the Brooklyn bridge - again great views/ photo opportunities.Do it Brooklyn to Manhattan for the best views. Easy to get to Brooklyn end on subway - just ask anyone.
Central Park - was crowded (was it Passover?) had a picnic of last nights ribs and some fruit we'd bought in the sunshine while lsitening to a jazz quartet - perfect.
Dakota building - paid our respects to John and then along the street for cupcakes at Crumbs - really lovely but honestly so much food in one week???!!!
The overriding feature of the week was the friendliness of the New Yorkers. I have been telling anyone who will listen how helpful everyone was. They not only were glad to help with directions etc, they stopped to chat for a few minutes.
and safe - we felt very safe all week.
We bought a week unlimited use Subway Metrocard and rode the subway up and down- the post on using the subway really helped (uptown/ downtown, express/local) - absolutely easy.
Thank you all so much for your help - your tips definitely made my trip much better than it would have been otherwise. I can't wait to come back.
and if any of you care to explore North-East England.........................
riday 26th - Day onEdited: 19 April 2010, 21:18