Monday, 8 October 2018

New York Stories: Tourists and Towers.

We had quite a list for New York, organised into days that made sense for midtown, uptown, downtown and the 'Fidi' ; this is a sense of some of those days, but these posts will not be in order (obviously - this is a random observations blog, after all).

After a long sleep and 24 hours in NYC, we started to feel a sense of place and location and struck out to see things. Our first biggy was the Empire State building, so it was along West 49th, right onto Fifth Avenue and then on we went until we saw the biggest, iconic tower we could find, and there we were! Jemma has been before and said the queuing was outrageous, so we were on the door for half past eight and it paid off, strolling straight through with our pre-purchased New York pass. The flip side of the early start was that the mist had not quite cleared, but the views were still grand.

We took a lot of steps after that to a location that had been on my list for a couple of decades: the Flatiron! Less attractive to Jemma but a beacon for me was our follow up to this, Forbidden Planet on Broadway, plus a constant smattering of photo opportunities for trucks, fire engines, bridges, buildings and geeky stuff.

Day 1in the city was a 12 mile walking tour de force of New York at full charge with the very long day ending on a lark about in Times Square. Fantastic!

Friday, 5 October 2018

New York Stories: written by Penn

In our middle weekend at New York we ventured on the train to Washington and Virginia! We had booked seats sone months ahead and took our trip to see Anthony and Heather and their Bassador dog Lionel (he is the same make and model as Boris!)

On a Friday morning I hopped out early to buy sandwiches at a long-line New York deli  and later we took our stuff, checked the map and walked West 49th and 7th to Penn Station.  The experience was much more like an airport visit than a railways station, and as much of a fan as I am of a UK train station, this one was just altogether less dreary.  Fun to ride the Amtrak with its ample leg room, uniformed Train Clerk and a purposeful, confident hoof through Philadelphia, Baltimore and many new locations.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

New York Stories: on Mulberry Street with St Pat'.

On another day in New York, and a few days after it all being 100 miles an hour, we ventured for a tour of 'little St Pat's', not knowing that there was a little and a big. This was a guided tour of St Patrick's Cathedral, the seat of the Pope when he is in town, and the seat of the first Bishops of New York. It is a small and fine building located in Little Italy. I liked Little Italy - it was so very like Easton in BS5, a place of immigration, hard work, strife and growth, that now sits well and flourished with a past.

We were early for our tour so we explored off plan and  without an agenda (which delighted me!) A cake shop, a Saint's feast day, and a mix of languages, foods, welcomes and people. We also walked up and down Mulberry Street, a rather fine check to some stylish New York movies.

'NOLITA', north of Little Italy was once the worst place to be in NYC, but now town houses and brownstones are $8m a pop...

New York Stories: Grand Central

We filled each day plentifully in New York, but rather than a journal, here is the first of some posts, written after the fact, to detail things that occurred.

I know of Grand Central from The Untouchables, from Apple TV adverts about their store, and from reading about Vanderbilt and American expansion.

We visited together by cab and had a tourist view, but a couple of days later, I made the effort to wake at 05.00 and see the commute from a quiet 06.00. It was worth it. The unfolding arrival of a city going to work against the political backdrop of a Supreme Court nomination and Donald Trump in town for a session of the United Nations.

What a great space that slowed time and lit it very well.