We woke early, with some difficulty, breakfasted and showered, and left the hostel at 9am, with a big day planned.
We had scouted out all the different passes you can get for touristy stuff in New York (there are quite a few, and good deals), but we ended up buying the CityPass, which is entry to 6 tourist places for I think it was $109usd. It can be quicker to use the passes, you can often skip lines for tickets. The other was the New York Pass, which is twice the price for 5 days, but you can choose any up to 80 different attractions. We didn’t think we would have time for that/didn’t want to be that rushed.
The other useful purchase was the 7 day transit pass/card. All you can ride, for 7 days, for $30usd. Is great, we can
just come and go as we please, with no need to worry about buying tickets. Also useful, as we are staying a half hour
subway ride out of the city, in Brooklyn.
We had our first experience of the busy time on the subway – packed like sardines on a subway train. It was interesting, on the subway I saw so many people with actual books. In fact, most people were reading actual books, rather than e-readers.
We got off the subway, climbed stairs, and emerged, finally to New York City. How Exciting! All the subway trains have the USA flag on them.
We wandered down the road, marvelled at all the people, the tallness of the buildings, and the sheer amount of taxis, and came across St Patrick’s Cathedral. Ok, sounds good, I said. It is huge and amazing. I am not a church person in terms of religion, but man, they built some amazing buildings. They are currently cleaning the place up, so unfortunately much of it is covered in scaffolding, but the bits we could see were pretty amazing. Massive pillars, carvings on all the walls and grottos, massive stained glass windows, and great arching roofs. Lovely. The scaffolding was a little sad, but I guess they have to clean it up at some point.
Next we wandered down to the Rockefeller Centre, where we spent a bit of time trying to figure out if 30 Rockefeller Plaza
is an actual place… Turns out it is the main building. We wandered around the plaza, ice rink, Lego Store, and all the
We then headed over to the Museum of Modern Art, where we viewed many things, including Starry Night, by Van Gogh (one of
my favs), a number of works by Picasso, my favourites of which were the water lily walls and agapanthus flower.
It was very interesting, but we didn’t manage to see it all. It is like 6 floors and massive. The cafes have queues to get in, but are quite yummy. Also, tons of people. I guess tourists don’t care that it is mid week. Quite a line up to see the popular artworks, and some of the exhibitions were quite crowded.
After MOMA, we headed to the Rockefeller Center, where we zoomed very quickly up the lift to the top. Fastest lift I’ve ever been in. They had a full security check, with metal detector and bag xray, and security guards everywhere. It was starting to rain, but we still had a decent, if slightly misty, view of the NY Skyline in both directions: Central Park to the north, and Empire State to the South.
We zoomed back down the lift again, and headed off through the Rockefeller Plaza. Unsure what to do next, we came across a Ben and Jerrys, so I spent 10 minutes ummng and aahing over what I wanted. We shared a sugar coma inducing sundae, with masses of icecream, hot fudge sauce, and brownie. Yum. I think I was too distracted eating it, as I don’t seem to have any pictures.
We had a bit of time to kill, as we were going to a Broadway show in the evening (excite!!!). We headed over to the NY Public Library. Which is the fanciest library that I have ever seen. It is massive, and all marble and pillars and carved walls and sconces and fancy roofs… Took a while to find actual books, but the building itself is very impressive.
Next stop was Grand Central Station. And again, massive! So very, very, big. When we were in Vancouver a few days ago, we were in the Central Station there, where apparently the guy who built it was keen to imitate the Grand Central in NYC. He did manage that, if he was building a small model. Grand Central NYC..huge. and so very many people. People everywhere.
And 2 or 3 layers of trains. Who knows. We saw trains, then walked down and saw more trains. And people. Ridiculous.
We ate dinner in Grand Central, decent amounts of turkish.
Finally, to the best part of the day, back on the subway, and off to our Broadway Show! We had chosen to see Wicked, for various reasons. It has been on for 10 years, therefore must be good; visually pleasing; good reviews. and a NY type one.
It was marvellous, I really enjoyed it. The stage and setup was all very interesting, the costumes were wonderful and made me miss all the skirts and dresses I got rid of before I left NZ, and the story was great. I’m not sure how it compares to other Broadway shows, as I haven’t seen them, but this twas totally up to my expectations. All it really did was make me want to see all the rest of the shows.
Finally, another visit to the subway, then home and bed by 11pm. Eek.