We’re a couple in our mid 50s, first to trip to NY, we have a short three night stay, phase 1 in a trip that was to take in Lake Placid, then visiting family in Albany, then heading west to Grand Tetons/Yellowstone and then on to the Canadian Rockies. Because we had only a short stay in NY, we had to prioritize what we most wanted to do and see. We weren’t interested in shopping, shows or museums this trip so that made decisions a bit easier. We stayed at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. Landed at Newark, got the Sky train then the New Jersey Transit to Penn and then walked 15-20 mins, with wheely bags, to our hotel. The cost about $25.
Sunday 26th May - Our first morning saw us up and going at about 7.30, I wanted to beat the crowds at the High Line. Stopped at “Europa Cafe” near the hotel for coffee and muffins, seemed to have a good range of sandwiches and wraps, salads etc. We then picked up our Metro Pass ($30), not too sure at this stage if it was worth any savings, but felt it would save the hassle of purchasing tickets at each ride.Took the subway to Penn and from there walked to the Highline. I just loved this Park. The trees and flowers were beautiful, the walkway flowing above the streets giving some great views and perspectives of the surrounding area. How lucky that someone had the vision and others had the funds to create this lovely Park. We saw a Mockingbird sitting high up on one of the balconies singing his little heart out. A lady stopped and told us of all the other birds and a car alarm he was imitating.I could have lingered here longer, but we had to keep moving.
Next we did a walk through Chelsea Markets, then we stopped in one of the first cafes and shared a Chicken Pannini ($8). Stumbled upon “our Lady of Guadalupe” church and stopped to admire its beautiful interior.
Back to the subway to Greenwich Village where we spent about 2 and a half hrs doing a self guided walking tour, saw many others doing the same, some with guides, others like us, with printoffs in hand. It was quite hot by lunchtime so we stopped and had a happy hour Frozen Marguerita, just the thing, and shared a Caesar salad at a sidewalk table. Absolutely loved walking this area, so pretty with hidden little parks, gorgeous trees, lovely housefronts...very nice indeed. A bonus for me was in Washington Mews admiring the cobblestones when I noticed sitting high up on the ledge of one of the buildings, a Red Tail Hawk, magnificent.While I was enjoying watching thru my binoculars, a lady stopped and we had a nice chat about NYs Red Tail Hawks and their struggle to survive against many odds.Maybe tomorrow Pale Male will show. From Washington Square I could see the chick on the balcony with the other parent. What a treat to see.
Back onto the Subway and over to the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, this area will be just lovely when completed and the trees and plants mature. The wooden walking platform, lawns and pathways offering great views of Lower Manhatten. We walked around and joined the long line of people waiting for an ice-cream. We then walked back up and joined the throngs of thousands walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. We were shoulder to shoulder all the way, not a pleasant experience unfortunately, just a busy weekend I guess. New York has some amazing architecture and its always worth looking up to see the detail on the buildings.At the end of the bridge 2 buildings took my eye, one City Hall and the other next to it, don’t know what it was but a beautifully ornate exterior.
Onto the subway againto Grand Central Stationto admire the ceiling, chandeliers....Grand indeed. Then caught the subway “shuttle” to T Sq. And back to our room at about 7pm.
Monday 27th May – Central Park day. We entered from the south end at about 9am and exited the north end at 3.30. Loved the woods of the Ramble and spotted a few really nice birds. A pair of Red Tail Hawks were flying over circling and we spotted the chicks in their nest on 5th Ave. Wonderful. Im not a mad “birder” but love our feathered friends and love the idea that they survive in such a big, busy city. I was on a mission to see as many bridges and arches as possible along the way, all being pretty and unique and loved the view of the city buildings above the tree line. The day was hot and there was people everywhere, suntanning, barbequeing, exercising, fishing! enjoying the Memorial Day holiday. We took the subway to TOTR then (went straight through) and I enjoyed the birds eye view of Central Park and seeing where we’d just walked.
So ended our New York stopover. We found the Subway fairly user friendly but did find it a bit of a trick trying to determine whether it was going in the direction we wanted, just asked someone before we leapt on. While staying in T Sq was “handy”, I wouldn’t again, just too crowded for my liking. We didn’t plan “eating”, just stopped whenever we wished or stumbled upon something...worked for us. Tipping is always tricky when unfamiliar but in general we tipped 20% for served food, if we sat at a bar and had a beer, $1 a drink to bartender, always dropped a dollar or so into tip cups on counter and left a few dollars for room maids each morning. No one complained so hope we did OK. Thanks to regulars for help when I was “lurking “ prior to trip. And so, on to Lake Placid.