Get a bus from Boston to New York. Getting buses is difficult enough but when you have two large bags each it becomes very cumbersome! We arrive at the NYC bus depot and haul our gear through the terminal, up stairs grunting and groaning as we go.
Luckily it is not too far from where we are staying so at 34th & Broadway (how you speak in NYC incidentally) so we are soon out front of what looks like an office building. We head to reception and after getting no attention from the inept reception we make a nuisance of ourselves blocking the walkway with all our bags. Soon enough we are asked to move and hence gain the necessary attention to obtain the keys to our room!
We secured a serviced apartment with one bedroom and a sofa bed. We had our friends arriving for a few days of fun in NYC. We catch up before heading down to NoLita (North of Little Italy) near our other ‘local’ friend Deirdre’s hood which we got to know well on our reconnaissance mission earlier in the year. We find a french restaurant which is really tasty and one of the reasons NYC is so cool, you rarely find a bad bar or restaurant and there is so much choice.
We continue till late and wander back to our apartment. Jet lag for the others and a few days of little sleep in dorm rooms for us has us pretty exhausted so we get some sleep in the city that never does.
Next morning we do the tourist thing down in lower Manhattan. See ground zero which is still a mess 4 years on. See the bull in Wall St, get the Staten Island return ferry. We head over to Brooklyn and walk back over the bridge of the same name.
With tourist sights done we chill out back at the apartment before heading back down to Nolita area and meet up with Deirdre at Puck bar and then dinner at a Thai restaurant where we tip 15% and Deirdre puts in the remaining 5% saying NYC is more like a 20% type place! D’oh! This doesn’t stop us heading to an Irish bar named Scratches.
Navigating the subway
Now it may have been the many pints consumed but we did become a little lost. We seemed to be stuck in some sort of time warp loop where we couldn’t seem to access the subway station the way we came in to get the right line. Eventually we gave up and did our final tourist activity for the day in the form of a yellow cab. A few bagels later we were in bed.
A bit groggy in the morning and weather a little sketchy. We walk 5th Avenue and generally wander about town. In the evening head out to watch an ice-hockey game. New York Rangers vs Islanders at Madison Square Garden. It is only a pre-season game so not a full house but good to watch even if it was impossible to follow the puck at such high speed.
All American Diner
We finish at an all American diner which is an old art deco caravan made of polished aluminium set up in a parking lot. It was a good pick and simple but tasty food. Best of all it was finished off with a banana split which I claim is my favourite dessert.
Next morning we have the inevitable shopping journey down in SoHo (South of Houston St). For the non-shoppers we soak up the atmosphere and seem to notice an extraordinary amount of men pushing trolleys around. Like they were extras in a movie or something! We continue up through Greenwich Village, pick up some cupcakes and retire to our apartment for a Nanna nap.
In the evening head up the Empire State Building which is a pretty spectacular view by night. Forgot to take our camera though! We then get lost looking for an Indian restaurant we heard was good. It was worth the wait. We meet up with Deirdre again in one of her local hipster bars and continue till around 2am.
We wake up and proceed to pack up but seem to lose Allison’s wallet in the process. Unsure of what happened given previous evenings activities. But certain it was left on the window sill. We propose it may have fallen out the window which would mean some gravity defying actions on the part of the wallet. We head to the ground floor and locate our equivalent apartment some 20 floors below. No love from the occupant to let us in to see if it dropped on their back porch. So never uncover what actually happened except someone purchased $200 of subway tickets using the credit card!
Our last full day in NYC we cruise around and eventually lay in the sun on the grass in Central Park. Returning to Deirdre’s we choose a local Italian restaurant in Little Italy, you can hardly go wrong. We find one in the Zagat guide ‘Bianca’s’ which sounds good and of course it was. A fitting end to our final day in NYC.