Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 39 - Noho and Wicked on Broadway

I then continued to wander and proceeded to get myself completely lost… and found myself at 14th Street at union square so a quick stop for water and some birthday cards (since I was there) so I wanted to explore more but I was running short of time because it was now 2pm and I had to get my butt back to the subway eventually and I was determined to see more of the neighbourhood while I was here. 
Union Square 
So I wandered further and further towards Greenwich but then I found Bleeker Street again but it didn’t have Greenwich Village feel and as it turned out I was in NOHO. 
Great neighbourhood and this is somewhere else I would consider living.  I stood there with my map trying to work out how to get to the subway and magnolia bakery. 
This is where I had a chance encounter… standing there looking like a tourist with no makeup on and hair not straightened I met someone.  Strange I know. At first I was bit frightened of this very tall man but he was a big teddy bear and such a sweet heart.  He said are you lost?  “No” came my reply just trying to work out where I am. He liked that one and offered to take me for a coffee and at first I said no but he talked me into joining him at starbucks across the street. 

So I had a coffee (hot chocolate with NO marshmallows in my case) and got to know this crazy man who took pity on a lost tourist. We exchanged details and went on our merry ways and me not really expecting to hear from him since I wasn’t looking my best but I had fun that is the important thing right? 

I found my way along Bleeker Street to magnolia bakery!  Wooohooo and I strolled along some of the shops and if I had known that we would have shopping time on the tour tomorrow I wouldn’t have made shopping stops. 
Found it finally and channelled sex in the city because this is the one that they stopped and ate at.  So I grabbed my cupcakes and then made my way to the subway since it was now 4pm and I needed to get back. It was an area of NYC that I hadn’t really seen and it was along 14th street which borders on Soho and the Meatpacker areas. 
So caught the subway back after finding the right stop – public transport is so easy in this city.  Made it back in a quick 20mins from the bottom of the island to almost Harlem – gotta love it.
Found it - Magnolia Bakery  
It Would take you hours to walk it and my poor feet were feeling all the walking I have been doing the past 5 days.  One of my friends were right … NYC is such a massive walking city so comfy shoes are a MUST. 
Magnolia Bakery 
Got ready for Wicked… I was really looking forward to this … but quickly checked email and sure enough the man I had just met mere hours ago had sent me an email… so I was surprised … 
Cobblestoned Streets of Greenwich 
First time in about 2 months I had put on a dress and high heels my feet didn’t really like wearing non walking shoes.  Even though I put band aids on my feet screamed about wearing high heels and mind you they weren’t very high. 
the awesome set of Wicked 
So made it to the Gershwin theatre which was amazing in the d├ęcor that they had decorated the foyer with.   Word of warning – going to buy anything from the bar?  You need cash they don’t take card.  I had to go out and get cash out sooooo annoying !  like really annoying!  More walking in my shoes that my feet screamed about it. 
they dress them up good in NoHO
Took my seat and just enjoyed… the set was amazing …  I was a bit concerned that the play had been talked up so much – like a movie that is talked up so much it usually means it is not as good.  The play started a little bit slower than I thought it would.  I was beginning to wonder if this was a good decision but then the whole mood changed and it really stepped up. 
the Foyer at the Gershwin 
It really is a fantastic production and I would love to see it again and again.  It puts a whole new spin on the whole evil witch of the west thing.  I won’t give too much away but it was amazing and I really loved it.
All dressed up and ready to go out ..  
I had forgotten how much I loved going to the theatre with seeing Mama Mia in August with my mummy and then this…  I can’t wait for Mary Poppins to come to Brisbane. 
Tiles of America 
Note to self – don’t drink water at the theatre those toilets are vicious… couldn’t believe how rude people were!  And the room attendant was shocking.  I found the crowds very pushy and rude … 
WS Park 
I was going to go have dinner but to be honest it was freezing and my feet were killing me so I decided to head straight back to the apartment.  My feet were so glad to be sans shoes!  I don’t think I will be wearing anything else for the rest of the trip other than my merrells. 
Yum Yum Cupcake 
When I got back to the apartment I chatted with my new friend on MSN with him trying to get me to change my plans for tomorrow – hell no I am not missing this tour…  tourism before hormones!  But getting to know him better which was the important thing. Not sure he is someone I would end up with in the long term – too demanding for me …  very authoritative and I don’t like that in a boyfriend.  It is like my opinion doesn’t count with guys like that… as I am getting older I am understanding myself better in a relationship and I seem to be rebelling against those qualities. 
The amazing set of Wicked 

So off to bed … excited for the following day… giving my feet a break and doing 3 tours back to back with the Sex in the City tour, Harlem and Upper West/East Side then do the night-time open bus tour. 

Day 39 - Greenwich

Given how late I was up and the fact that my feet were killing me I decided to have a slow start and finally caught the subway at about 11ish and give that I hadn’t really eaten since yesterday lunch time I was surprised I wasn’t more hungry. 
ESB in Sunshine 
But first things first … booking the Sex in the City tour for tomorrow!  Woohoo can’t wait! 
ESB from 5th Avenue
But there was a vendor on the corner of the street and central park west so I could grab an apple and headed to the subway … first stop empire state building – to collect the tripod. 
Looking towards the Flatiron District 
Made it there finally and had to pass through about 4 security check points but I got to go into a part of the ESB that most people don’t get to go because the security lady was too busy to take me all the way down. 
Flatiron Building 
It was pretty cool to be allowed down there and the security was tight, as I was told in a very stern voice to stay there and they would get it for me. 
The amazing architecture - I love the colours and textures 
So I caught the big red bus again and headed down to Greenwich since the weather was nice I decided I wanted to be outside all day today and enjoy a beautiful NYC day. 
I love the feeling and the look of the buildings 
I got off at Greenwich and found my way to an awesome pizza shop where I had the first experience of a New York pizza slice.  OMG so yummy and didn’t realise I was so hungry… but one slice was enough!  I was so full afterwards….   Very bad for my body but still very yummy.  
my first slice of NYC pizza 
I walked along Bleeker street looking for a certain bakery but as it turned out I was going the wrong way or I didn’t go far enough – can’t remember. 
One of the many thousands of parks in NYC 
Found a cute shoe store!  Shoes! Hello! Found a cute pair of boots that actually fitted but they were brown. 
looking towards the accident along 5th Ave 
I wanted black and slightly higher heel but at least I knew I had found a pair that fitted but decided not to buy as it gave me hope that I could find a black pair.    
Lest we forget 
So I strolled along and enjoyed the feel of the village.  So far after the upper west side this is one of my favourite areas. 
they were just as eager to get to sephora as I was 
I stumbled on Christopher Park which was where the first stand about Gay rights at the Stonewall Inn which is right outside the park. There a crackdown in 1967 on gay establishments and there were 13 arrests at the Stonewall Inn that night.
Christopher Park - where the movement of gay legitimization 
The following day there was a protest to legitimize gay rights.  The first real success for the gay movement and this is how Christopher Park was established because it was on Christopher street and right outside the stonewall. 
the memorial towards the Gay movement 
From there I discovered the tiles of American monument which was so poignant as it is one of the last real memorials to 9/11 left in the city. 
Montage of the Tiles of America 
The city has removed all of the memorials as a sign of the city coming back to life and reinventing itself through moving on from those tragic events that Tuesday morning 10 years ago but they kept this one created by children around the USA and the world.   
the picture doesn't do these streets justice 
So I continued to wander in the hope of trying to find Magnolia bakery but never ended up finding it during this stage of my adventure. 
in Greenwich Village on W 4th Street 
I just strolled along the amazing streets with the beautiful brownstones and cobbled stone roads.  It was so amazing … this is what I have always envisioned when I was here in New York and it was perfect. 
the beautiful streets 
The only thing that lacks in NYC because people always abuse the privilege is a toilet!  So I had to buy a drink at Maccas to get access to the toilet so annoying. 
One of the cool eateries in Greenwich 
I finally found 5th avenue and then eventually Washington square park which is the official end of 5th Avenue which is one of the few avenues that ends before the tip of the island. 
the End of 5th Ave at Washington Square park 
So I sat and enjoyed and soaked the sunshine in….  I loved it with the uni students the nannys ‘s and tourists it is a great park.
Washington Square park
The park is surrounded by NYU and most of the buildings are owned by NYU. It used to be farmland, graveyard and then finally a solider marshalling area.  The famous arch was built to commemorate the inauguration of the then new president in George Washington.
Washington Square park 
It was a big meeting place for many musicians during the beatnik area in New York and I think that is why it has a real laid back and even bohemian feel – I was channelling August Rush which is a very music focused love story – one of my favourite New York movies. 
Washington Square park 
As I walked from the park I made a quick stop at the Washington Mews which is the oldest residential street with many of the homes preserved from a bygone era. 
Washington Mews 
I loved this area of NYC – I was falling more in love with this city with every day …  the reality that I was leaving in 9 days was sneaking up too fast for my liking! 
Washington Mews 
I did some shopping while I was down there with some great shops which seem to mainly cater to the uni market but I got some cute tops from Loft which is now my officially new favourite store. 
Washington square Arch and the end of 5th Ave 
I wandered along I think it was Broadway or 4th Avenue I can’t be sure…  and found myself near the beautiful grace church which is a beautiful French Gothic Style church …  Sooo pretty
Grace Church 
Then the Strand Bookstore; If I had more time and money I would have been there for hours and spent a LOT more money. 

The fountain at WSP 
Angela from my Rockies tour recommended that I make a stop there and I am so glad she did…  I probably would have missed it otherwise. 
looking from the Uni across the park 
So I made one purchase… Breakfast at Tiffanies by Truman Capote … my airplane book for next week L
University buildings 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 38 - Empire State Building - see dreams do come true !

See dreams to do come true… why can’t I seem to make other ones come true!

I decided to go to the empire state building but wanted to wait for the night time crowds to clear I ended up browsing through Macys and surrounds for an hour or so until they all started to close.

But the one thing that I found was that while I was hungry I wasn’t really finding anything to inspire me to buy. Argggh  how was this possible.  I didn’t feel like sitting by myself and waiting for dinner… 

So made the decision at about 10pm to just head up to the empire state building and made my way through the 30’s designed art deco lobby.  I loved it! 

Then went through security but I had to leave my tripod!  Aarrggghhh so annoying!  Then through to the ticket box … 

NOTE: if you choose the film option as a extra do it BEFORE you go up! 
Also the 106th Floor is not really worth it… you can’t really see that much because you are inside.
Note to self!  RECHARGE the battery on the camera!!!!!! 
When I got up onto the viewing platform… not only did the cold take my breath away but also the amazing view!!!!  Wow wow wow wow ..Nothing really prepares you for it! I did the happy dance as I walked down the ramp to the viewing area... It was truly overwhelming and you really get a idea on how big this city really is...  it is nothing short of awe inspiring.   
I managed to get a couple of photos off but it was hard because it was windy and no tripod so I just enjoyed the view. With the audio commentary it was great.  I really enjoyed it.  The view was nothing short of awesome. 

So I eventually tore myself away and the fact the camera had a flat battery.  It was so much fun!  I highly recommend doing this one of a night with the view to the Chrysler building. Do the rock during the day because of the view to the park. 

I took myself back to the apartment I think about midnight or later and it was along that trip that I realised that I forgot my tripod!  Doh!  That means I have to go back for it in the morning.
I was still wide awake when I got home but had a chance to catch with friends in Australia!  Finally got to bed around 1am … still realising that I was hungry …not only forgot to get the tripod … I forgot to eat!  Bedtime and ready for wicked tomorrow!