New York City

If the weather was great in Texas, it was terrible in New York City. I got unlucky, five cloudy rainy cold days wedged in between two lovely Spring weeks. I couldn’t complain though, I had to make the most of it. I only didn’t get to go up the Rockefeller centre, I had wanted to watch the sunset from The Top of the Rock but the cloud meant there wasn’t a good sunset to be seen. Being my second trip to the big apple, I’d already done a lot of things including going to the top of the Empire State Building the first time around.

Looking up 2nd Avenue


The day I arrived I didn’t do much, I got my laundry done, which was as easy task since I was staying in an Airbnb on the edge of Chinatown. I went for dinner in a cute wee Italian place and chatted to the chef.

The next morning I went to checkout the UN and got my passport stamped after the tour, the security council was in session but I didn’t get to see anyone important. It turns out Aunty Helen wasn’t in the building anyways.

UN General Assembly

I had Shake Shack for lunch at Grand Central station and then did a little shopping and wandered around the area I was staying in and did some window shopping in SoHo.

The sun came out for the most important day of the trip, the day I went to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Cherry Blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical gardens. It’s was spectacular! So many blooms and tulips too. I went to a tea ceremony and an Ikebana demonstration as well as taking hundreds of photos of the flowers. That night I got tickets to An American in Paris and wandered around the Upper West Side, around the ponds in Central Park and watched some young kids playing baseball. The show was excellent, singing and dancing and elaborate costumes and sets!

Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Sunday was very chilled out, it was quite wet so I didn’t really have the motivation to do a whole lot. In the morning I wandered around the Lower East Side, visited another Whole Foods and did some window shopping at expensive boutiques. In the afternoon I went to a Degas exhibition at MoMA (thanks to my Airbnb host for loaning me her members card) and shopped 5th Avenue.
I spent four hours on Monday morning at the 9/11 museum, it was such a moving, thought provoking and informative exhibit and I just couldn’t speed through it. I’d been to the 9/11 memorial before the last time I’d visited in 2012, but the whole site surrounding it was a construction zone last time and now they’ve nearly finished building the new World Trade Centre buildings and infrastructure. The museum itself was at the foundations of the original buildings with the main exhibit under the south tower memorial, right in its foot print.

I needed a pick me up after that experience so headed to Century 21, a cut price department store a block away for some retail therapy. Then I headed to Brooklyn to wander through Brooklyn Bridge Park and admire the New York skyline from the other side of the East River with views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. I sat in contemplation for a while – until it threatened to rain when I headed for DUMBO and the subway. That night I had cheap and cheerful Chinese from Chinatown and an early night.

Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge Park

My last full day in New York came far too quickly! However I had done most of the things I had wanted to do (and that the weather had let me do), so I spent the morning wandering the streets and had a truly magnificently hipster New York lunch of squash and quinoa salad with avocado and artichoke heart with a red juice. To continue with the hipster vibe after that I headed to Williamsburg. I shopped and ate (some New York baked cheesecake) and drank in the surroundings. I’m sure the rain and the fact it was a Tuesday helped, but it felt much more quiet and suburban than I imagined.

For my final night in the Big Apple I did two of my favourite things, I ate cheap pizza and saw my favourite show. The pizza really was cheap 99c a slice and the show was Chicago, the cast were great, and I stayed after to get autographs and take photos with the stars. It was my third time seeing it and definitely the best! Bianca MarroquĂ­n who plays Roxie Hart did an excellent job, the best I’ve seen, thoroughly recommend.

Williamsburg

Wednesday morning I had two tasks, see a friend for a coffee and pack. I was sad to be leaving, but I had to take all my new shoes back home. I crammed my bag shut and left for the airport, not before getting some serious help lugging my suitcase up the subway steps.

I’m back in Wellington now, and the adventures don’t end there, I’m moving house in two weeks and this weekend I’m off to Christchurch to see my family.

More next time,

Amanda xx