Rather than making one really loooooong post about my time in New York City, day 4 and onwards of our trip can be found right here! If you have ended up here and not already read part one, then click here.
Day 4 -
I was really looking forward to what we had planned today, as we were going to check out the site of One World Trade Centre, as well as hopefully taking a wander across the Brooklyn Bridge.
But, like the past couple of days, the morning had to be started off with some pancakes!
After we had finished at breakfast, once again, trying to embrace the public transport system, we headed to Grand Central Terminal and caught a train to the nearest station to One World Trade Centre.
It was opening day for the New York Yankees against the Blue Jays, and the MTA New York City Transit sent a special “Nostalgia Special” non-stop from Grand Central-42 St to 161 St-Yankee Stadium. This was totally unexpected for us so it was cool to see the platform full of Yankees fans and then the train arriving.
As we all know, the World Trade Centres were an iconic part of the New York City skyline, and New York City itself, but are sadly no longer there, however, where they once stood is a very impressive memorial, and within metres is now the One World Trade Centre.
If you do anything with your time, or have a few hours to spare in NYC, then please check out the World Trade Centre Memorial and Museum, it's an absolute must do.
We spent a good few hours in the World Trade Centre museum, and I didn't use my camera here, just my iPhone, and in all honesty, I don't want to post too many pictures or spoil it for anyone as it really is just one of those things you need to check out in person.
You must remember that the World Trade Centre Museum is built underneath where the Twin Towers stood, and much of their foundations remain here, as well as staircases, and girders, etc.
So it is pretty damn eerie, and upsetting in some parts, but it's a must do, as for many, what happened on September 11th 2001 is firmly imprinted in our memories forever.
After spending a few hours at the museum, and making our way around all the exhibits, we headed out and wanted to go to the Brooklyn Bridge next, but first, we took a detour down Wall Street.
From here, I think we may have taken a few wrong turns as it turned out to be a bit of a detour to get to the Brooklyn Bridge but we eventually made it... after stopping at Dunkin' Donuts that is!
Once we managed to navigate our way onto the pedestrian walkway, we took a wander across the bridge, but we definitely underestimated just how long it was!
We left my mum and sister at one end, but I was desperate to get to the other side and try and take some pictures looking back onto Manhattan. The sun was just starting to set also!
The area just across the bridge is Dumbo, and I wish we had longer to check it out, and also stay and catch the sunset, but we just headed down to the riverfront to snap a few pics.
Next time I make it back to NYC, I'll be sure to spend some more time this side of the river for sure!
Anyway, back across the bridge we went.
As you might have realised by now, we planned very little in the evenings, and just left them as time to grab some food and chill, as by the time we were getting back to the hotel, it was 8pm or so anyway, and man, we were tired.
I'm sure we just grabbed something to eat from one of the Five Guys which was just a block or so away from our hotel, then my dad wanted to have a pint of Guinness at P.J. Clarke's on 3rd Avenue.
DAY 5 -
In a lot of my posts about travel, you'll notice I've got a bit of a thing for sightseeing buses, and I get that from my mum and dad, so it was inevitable that there'd be some of that in NYC... I'm just surprised it took until the 5th day before we got on one!
If you don't already know about City Sightseeing, then click the link and check those guys out. There's a direct link to their NYC page here, where you can check out all the sightseeing tours they offer. I can't recommend them highly enough, and you can hop on and hop off the majority of tours which is perfect.
I developed a bit of an obsession for Snapple while in NYC, and that pink lemonade flavour is the one, so I stocked up for the day. Sadly, the Snapple in the UK isn't nearly as cheap, it's a bit of a rip off to be fair, and the flavour selection ain't great.
The first tour that we went on with City Sightseeing was their Uptown Tour which visits Manhattan's northern region, and goes through Harlem also.
As you know, Central Park is huge and has a lot of crazy real estate around it, so the fact that these sightseeing buses go up either side of Central Park is great, definitely one of the best ways to check out how the rich and famous live, and also get a point of view which you wouldn't usually get if you were walking.
If I remember correctly, the tour was around 2 and a half hours long, but there's plenty of sights along the way, so here's some shots below -
The tour ends in Times Square where you're able to hop on one of the other available tours.
Trying to squeeze in as much as possible, we waited at one of the City Sightseeing bus stops just off Times Square and hopped on the Downtown Tour loop. We had already checked out most of Downtown over the previous couple of days, but once again wouldn't hurt anyone, right?
After all, sights such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre, One World Trade Centre, Flatiron Building and so on are pretty special, but I'll try avoid posting those pictures below as there's plenty above and in my previous post.
Day 6 -
Our last full day in NYC, and our tickets for the City Sightseeing tours were for 48 hours, so of course, after doing the Uptown and Downtown loops the previous day, we were going to do a couple more. Gotta get your moneys worth and that!
First up was the Bronx tour, as me and my dad wanted to see Yankee Stadium, and this seemed like an easy way to get to it.
However, to get to the Bronx tour, you needed to get to Grant's Tomb on 122nd Street, so we took the Uptown bus to get there.
The above picture is of Grant's Tomb, which is where the Bronx tour bus dropped us off. No shame, but most of us were absolutely bursting for the toilet, and there was a church across the road so we went there in hope of finding a toilet.
Thankfully there was one, but moving on from the toilet scenario, the Riverside Church is pretty spectacular.
I'm sure you'll agree, a pretty amazing spot, and one which we stumbled upon purely in sheer desperation for the toilet, I'll certainly take that.
In terms of pictures from my DSLR, that's pretty much where they ended, but I have some iPhone shots left over, so I'll be ending the post with those.
From the Riverside Church, we headed back by foot to the Natural History Museum because I've wanted to visit this since forever, and I still have NEVER been to the one in London.
I said we should walk from where we were to the museum, but I totally underestimated how far away it actually was. Apologies to my mum, dad and sisters, it was a distance, my bad! This meant we arrived quite late, and it was closing soon, but we started from the top, and rushed around as much as we could see, and grabbed a quick look at the HUGE blue whale there.
Whenever I make it back to NYC, I'll definitely be coming back to the Natural History Museum and spending many hours here, so much amazing stuff in this place, feels like we only managed to check out a tiny amount!
We literally couldn't walk any further, so we hopped on the subway and headed back to Grand Central Station and then the hotel. After we grabbed some food, I had some plans to meet up with a bunch of guys I know through sneakers. It still amazes me that something like sneakers has given me the chance to meet so many great people, whether it's in the UK, Europe, or the US.
After getting lost on my way, I eventually made it to Brother Jimmy's where we grabbed some food, lots of beer, and spent a few hours chatting about everything and anything. A big shout out to Lou, Dennis, Adrian, Marcos, Nicky, and Doe for making the effort, you guys are the shit!
The next day was our last, and we were flying back to London overnight, so we just done some last minute shopping, well, my dad and sisters did, I just got a long lie!
It was inevitable that our first trip to NYC would be filled with all the tourist things, but I can't wait to come back as there's still lots to check out. Need to visit all the stores I never got round to visiting, and also need to get to some sporting activities... Basketball, ice hockey, baseball NFL, need to experience it all!
Until next time New York City!