United States
City Hall Park

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10 travelers at this place

  • Day92

    Wochenende in New York

    January 16, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Dieses Wochenende haben ich mit Sarah in New York verbracht denn wir wollten ihren Geburtstag feiern. Also ging es heute um 5 Uhr früh wieder an den Flughafen und mal wieder habe ich die Nacht durchgemacht. Gegen 10 Uhr kamen wir dann in New York an und haben uns gleich auf den Weg zum Central Park gemacht. Sind dort dann etwas umher gelaufen und haben ein paar Fotos gemacht.
    Dann ging es weiter die 5th Avenue runter und etwas bummeln, vorbei am Rockefeller Center und am Empire State Building. Zwischendurch waren die dann noch bei der Magnolia Bakery mit ihren süßen, leckeren Cupcakes und sind in ein paar Vintage Läden gegangen.
    Zum Sonnenuntergang sind wir dann Richtung High Lane und Meatpacking Distrikt gelaufen. Die High Lane ist eine Stillgelegte U-Bahn Strecke und auf der kann man dann ganz gemütlich schländern.
    Am Abend ging es dann zum Times Square wo unser Airbnb nur eine Seitenstraße von entfernt war. Ich will gar nicht wissen wie viel er für die Wohnung zahlt. Jedenfalls haben wir uns dann umgezogen und haben uns auf den Weg zum Broadway gemacht um das Musical Beetlejuice zu sehen. Welches echt gut ist 🤗
    Danach ging es dann was essen und zwar die 1$ Pizza und dann haben wir in Sarahs Geburtstag gefeiert im Hard Rock Cafe.
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  • Day0

    Ewan and Tracey's Excellent Adventure

    December 12, 2011 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Ewan and I arrived into New York on Thursday 8th Dec. at 10.30 pm. It was touch and go for a while there - we had issues with our tickets in LA and it took us 4 hours to get the problem rectified which it was with Ewan and I being paged to take our seats on the plane and we had separate seats rows apart but anyway we made it. Caught a yellow cab and was let into the apartment by our nice landlord at 11.30 pm. We made it but very tired.

    The next day after sleeping in made our way out and found a place to eat breakfast. We didn't do a lot that day just getting use to where we are going to be living for the next three weeks.

    On the Saturday we went to the Tenement Museum which is in this neighbourhood. Very interesting.

    On Sunday Ewan and I actually built up the courage and caught the subway to uptown. We went to Times Square and there is a massive poster of Angry Boys which is about to premiere here. This is very close to Broadway - the theatre district. We then braved the shops - the streets are very crowded here during this holiday period and it was also very cold.

    Planning to catch the subway again on Tuesday and planning to go to Central Park. Saving all the big attractions for when James and David get here.
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  • Day2

    David and James' Excellent Adventure

    December 14, 2011 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    The day finally came.

    David and James were on their way to New York! Thanks to Margaret for dropping us at the airport, we were so keen we were the very first people at the front of the queue to checkin for Virgin Australia flight 1 to LA. We ended up with 3 seats between us and there were lots of movies to watch. In all the flight was excellent.

    Landing in LA was exciting. We could see some spaghetti-like freeways and big channels like in the car-race scene from Grease or where Arnie rode the motorbike in one of the Terminator movies. It was very flat and a bit hazy.

    We had to change planes in LA so we made our way off the plane to join the first queue, this was the queue to join the queue to then join the queue to get through Border Protection (not joking!). Some of the people carrying guns looked very scary. The same ticket mix-up Tracey had meant David and I sat for 2 hours watching the cars drive past LA Airport and trying to work out what model/make they were. This meant we had a sprint to the plane, shove through security checks (full body scan not just the metal detectors!), and run to the gate. We weren't sitting together and the flight was chokkers. It was also a white knuckle flight being very bumpy going over some of the mountains.

    After 5 hours we finally landed in New York!

    It looked fantastic from the air, lots of lights. We found the baggage claim, dodged some of the people offering us a lift, and hiked out to the Yellow Cab rank. The they have a fixed fare system which is good and bad - good in that it meant we weren't going to be ripped off, bad in that it meant the cabbie aimed for warp-factor 5 on the trip in. I thought he was talking to us in Klingon but he was actually asking what cross street we wanted, I remembered Linda saying something about Grand Street and that seemed to sound right to him. He dropped us on the corner and we found the unit with no problems.

    It was great to see Tracey and Ewan again. The unit is fanastic, very comfortable and very warm though the weather was cool but not that cold.

    We crashed!
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  • Day3


    December 15, 2011 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    It was great to be a family again!

    We went for breakfast at a neat little cafe just up the road from the apartment, really small, very trendy, and good food. We seem to have befriended the Jewish man who runs a mens wear shop just up from Linda's place, he comes out and says hello everytime we go past.

    We walked around the neighbourhood. Some huge blocks of flats with schools at the bottom, not a lot of open space to run around and the ones we saw had lots of people and a few squirrells. We found the Doughnut Plant and indulged - actually quite nice - Tracey had a vanilla bean one the boys and I had chocolate, Ewan has already tried the peanut butter and jelly one.

    We hit the subway. The B-Line goes through the Grand Street Station and we headed towards Times Square. The subways are really great - fast, cheap, everywhere, and very popular. The trains are single deck and are a lot rougher to ride than the Sydney ones. I would hate to try and drive in this town, cars and people seem to be going everywhere!

    We got off at Bryant Park and walked up to Times Square.

    Seriously ***WOW***!

    It's everything you hear about. Lots of people, lots of lights, lots of shops, and lots of cops!

    We wandered around taking heaps of pictures - Angry Boys is coming on TV and has a big sign up ... not sure the locals are going to understand the humour but anyway - and then it was up to the Rockerfeller Centre to see the ice skating. Right next door was the Lego shop, a lot cheaper than in Oz that's for sure! We wandered down 5th Avenue then caught the subway to Columbus Square on the south east corner of Central Park. The park looks amazing with no leaves on the trees and everyone rugged up. I don't think it is cold but it is a little cool. We wandered around there for a bit and then headed home.

    Tracey and I had bought tickets to Godspell for that night which was in a small theatre off Broadway. We went into the theatre and found it was an in-the-round show (ie stage in the middle of the audience) and we were in the back row which was only about 12 rows back anyway. Then the lady came up and asked if we would like to move closer which we considered carefully and then agreed so we ended up about 6 rows from the front. The 4 guitarists were scattered throughout the audience and I ended up sitting next to one of them so I could watch while he was playing away.


    After that we braved the subway home. Still lots of people around and very safe at 11pm.

    Tomorrow ... a night at the museum!!!
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  • Day4

    Hello Dum-Dum!

    December 16, 2011 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    Friday was the Museum of Natural History so there are a few 'Night at the Museum' lines!

    The outside is the same as is in the movie but that is about it. There are dinosaurs in the entry foyer but not the T-Rex, the real entry foyer also as some fine examples of what the Americans seem to love - queues.

    The museum is on Central Park so it was another simple subway ride that dropped you at the door and we were there in about 15 mins. We joined the queue and admired the inefficiency of the people behind the counter, perhaps it was deliberate to slow people down but they faffed around so much it took a lot longer to get in than it had too. They also have a 'suggested' donation as an entry fee which we calculated as being $67 so we gave her $70 expecting change but she protested and said we have given her too much so we took $20 back and she was happy ... Klingons again.

    This museum is fantastic. The photos below of the animals look like paintings but they are really highly detailed dioramas showing the animals in their natural habitat. There was the African Mammal hall, Indians, minerals, human evolution, gems, fossils of mammals, fossils of dinosaurs, info about forrests, info about sea creatures, everything you could think of. I liked the way they showed the categories of different creatures so you could see how different species were related.

    We have invested in a couple of mobile phones so we split up and we were in there for hours. To me the best bit was the ancient mammal and dinosaur fossils.

    There were a few things in the museum that came up in the movie, the herd of elephants and the Easter Island statue (dum dum) were the two I noticed. We were looking for mentions of Australia and there were a few in the gemstone hall and some aboriginal art - though the map they had was missing Tasmania.

    We came out when it was starting to get dark but I wanted to go to Strawberry Fields and see the Dakota Building where John Lennon was shot. We walked south besides Central Park and went past the Childrens Museum, I tried to convince the kids they had stuffed children in there from different times but they didn't believe me, Tracey said they only had a stuffed Juvenile James in there. So rude.

    The Dakota Building is an amazing building, gothic style with a very informative doorman who explained what happened and where he died. Just across the road in Central Park is Strawberry Fields and the Imagine mosaic. Someone had put roses on it and there were a few people around taking pictures.

    Then we wandered down to Times Square to go to 'Famous Daves Steak House' for dinner. The boys had t-bones,Tracey had chicken and I had ribs. In true US style it was a massive feed.

    We experienced rush-hour US style on the way home. Nothing else to do except head down and shove, people don't wait for you to get off the doors open and it is a free for all. They open and close the doors a few times to make sure everyone fits in and then lurch off, you have to hope someone is holding on as we were jammed in so tight we couldn't reach a hand hold. Luckily we made it home OK and turned in for an early night.

    Tomorrow - Carnage on 5th Avenue!
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  • Day5

    Carnage on 5th Avenue

    December 17, 2011 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    I guess when we first talked about going to New York I knew in my bones this day would come.

    The horror.

    Yes it was carnage on 5th Avenue.

    Tracey and I went shopping.

    The day started off normally enough with a visit to the Pathmark Supermarket which is about a 10 minute walk away. Pretty much like any supermarket you would get in Oz except there was a great big display of Heineken beer and another one of Coronas - both on special at $12 for a 12 pack so we came home with a box. They are really big on their coupons and we were stuck behind a lady who was wanting to go through each thing she had to make sure she was getting the full discount possible - groan.

    We left the boys to make their own way up town (the subways are really very safe and they know their way around pretty well now) and Tracey and I hit the streets. We started in 5th Avenue - Tracey bought a new coat in Benetton, I bought a jumper, a shirt, and a scarf as it was pretty cold. Then we swung past St Patricks Cathedral before hitting Tiffany's - thankfully the rest of New York was in there so we escaped that shop unscathed.

    There were a few other big brand shops before we found Bloomingdales which is sort of like David Jones on steriods - lots of smaller shops focused on a particular label within the Bloomingdales building. We bought a Bloomingdales Bear to help charity and then we wandered up the street to Naturalizer where Tracey bought a new pair of boots. I also bought a shirt and a jumper from Banana Republic. There are soooo many shops here, some we had heard of and some we hadn't. The really big Aussie thing over here at the moment are Ugg brand ugg boots, everyone is wearing them and the queue out the shop was massive.

    We covered 5th Avenue as well as Park Ave, Lexington Street, and various number streets in between. Park Ave is definitely the posh end of the city, very la-di-da.

    The crowds on 5th Avenue were horrendous - so much for walking on the right it was just a big shoving match.

    The boys hung out around Times Square and then headed back to the apartment where we met up with them. It was a quiet evening.

    To all the ladies reading this, the shopping here really is exceptional - massive range, lots of brands, and even when they aren't on special the prices are excellent. It is far and away better than Sydney and Melbourne combined.

    To all the gentlemen reading this ... be afraid.

    Tomorrow - build a bridge!!
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  • Day6

    Build a Bridge

    December 18, 2011 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ -2 °C

    Today we went for a walk in the downtown area. This means wandering around down the southern tip of Manhattan Island, not far from the apartment. I should add Sunday was easily the coldest day since we have been here with any water lying in the gutters remaining frozen all day. Even though it was cold it was also very bright and sunny.

    We went through Chinatown and down to the Brooklyn Bridge. This is the one where the footpath is above the trafic and appears in a lot of movies, it is the New York equivalent of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We walked across and back along with a number of other people and cyclists - heaven help you if you wandered across the line down the middle of the walkway into the cyclists' side.

    We took a heap of pictures and then headed further south into the Financial District.

    We found a hamburger joint that was open and called in for lunch. Next door was a guitar shop that David had to have a look in. Lots of Stratocaster guitars selling for about $800 second hand. Dave also saw an old Mustang, a really nice one that was white with blue stripes.

    We found the memorial to the Twin Towers and have booked in to go there on Wednesday. It is free but very popular so you have to book.

    Then we wandered further down to Wall Street. It is a very tiny street that is closed to traffic, it is also very historic with the building George Washington was sworn in as President being there as well.

    As we went further down Wall Street I had a horrible feeling come over me. Sick, dizzy, and generally unwell. Before I could do anything we found out why, there is a Tiffany's in Wall Street and despite my trying to point out points of interest on the other side of the street Tracey sensed it and was in there like a shot.

    Being a Sunday this shop was virtually deserted. Tracey came away with a silver Tiffany's bracelet that will be her Christmas present for the next 10 years.

    Then we walked down towards the East River and back towards the apartment. It was great walking along beside the river, some good spots for photos and there were a few interesting shops around as well.

    In the afternoon we went visiting a friend I went to school with who is now the Head of the Reserve Bank of Australia's New York office he and his partner, who works at Macquarie, live on the Upper East Side which is roughly in line with Central Park. They had great views from their apartment.

    As we wandered back to the subway we did some more shopping - this place really does never sleep - and what was even more surprising was that David did some clothes shopping. One of the true New York Christmas Miracles.

    We caught the subway back and were walking through Chinatown when we stopped to look at a shop that sold really ornate chop sticks. While we were looking these 2 New Yorkers came along and one of them walked straight into the glass door of the shop. He didn't hurt anything except his pride but the funniest thing was his mate's reaction - head back and roaring with laughter as they went down the street.

    We then headed down Mulberry Street which is in Little Italy and had a sensational Italian feed before heading back to the apartment.

    Tomorrow we are getting high in more ways than one!
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  • Day7

    Getting High

    December 19, 2011 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 5 °C

    Monday was another cool but clear day here in the Big Apple.

    No sign of any snow and none has been forecast so I think we are going to miss out on a White Christmas. The locals say it just isn't cold enough yet.

    Tracey and I went for breakfast at the local cafe while the teenagers organised themselves and then it was off to 34th Street to that quintessential New York land mark that everyone recognises instantly ... a queue!

    ... I mean the Empire State Building.

    It really is a sensational piece of art deco architecture. The picture of the building in the foyer is really huge and visually stunning. Outside on the street the shopfronts were amazing to look at and even the staff were dressed in uniforms in keeping with the style of the building. The building had been refurbished recently to make it a 'green' building and thus saving millions in electricity costs.

    We joined the queue. This was the mother of all queues, easily eclipsing anything that went before or is yet to pass. It lived and breathed, snaking its way left and right, up floors, into and out of elevators, even when you think you are at the top ... it still lived! A seriously amazing Queue. For a mere $40 each you could jump to the front of the queue but even then you still had to queue.

    We finally beat the queue and made it to the top. It was a fantastic view.

    While we were there someone shouted out 'She said YES!!'. I thought she was just happy about getting through the queue but Tracey explained he had proposed. There were a lot of people up there and lots of security as well. That's all I'm going to say about the view, the pictures show things better than I can describe them.

    By now it was after lunch so we dropped into Macy's and bought a sandwich. This shop was seriously packed so we didn't get to look around. Tracey and Ewan went there when they first arrived and Ewan is still scarred by the experience.

    We headed to Maddison Square Garden to see what was on. The bloke in the ticket booth must have thought we had landed from another planet as we asked what ice hockey games were coming up and was it going to be any good. The next game is between the New York Islanders and the New York Rangers which is the equivalent of their local derby and is a big event with fierce rivalry between the 2 teams and their fans. I was told today the joke 'I went to this fight and an ice hockey game broke out' could be very true in this case. Anyway that is going to be Thursday evening's entertainment.

    Then we wandered down to the Chelsea district trying to find the High Line. This is an old elevated railway line that was scheduled to be removed until some enterprising locals persuaded the government to leave it and turn it into a public garden and walkway. Stuart said it was worth a look and it was. A great way to turn something ugly into something much more useful.

    We wandered from about West 10th street down to West 4th street on the High Line and took some great photos. Someone was doing a modelling shoot while we were walking past ... must have heard I was going to be there (sorry but you all knew that comment was coming!).

    Chelsea is a very trendy area and is on the otherside of Manhattan Island to where we are staying so we had a bit of a walk to find the subway station home. The streets were very narrow and quaint, a really pretty part of town. The teenagers were ecstatic about the walk and begged to be allowed to walk further but Trace and I were a bit tired and directed them to the subway.

    A feast of steak sandwiches at the apartment for dinner.

    Tomorrow a quieter day!
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  • Day8

    Lower East Side

    December 20, 2011 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Today I actually had to go to work.

    I had a meeting down on Wall Street with one of NAB's data vendors so we left the Teenagers to their rest and Tracey walked with me down to Wall Street. The meeting only went for an hour and we were soon making our way back to the apartment.

    It was an overcast day but at least it wasn't raining.

    We collected the Teenagers and went up to see what tours they were offering at the Tenement Museum which is just up the street from the apartment. We signed up for their Then and Now walking tour which takes you around the neighbourhood talking about how it has changed over time. We were the only ones on the tour so we set off with our Guide, Judith.

    The Lower East Side has had a rather chequered history from nice neighbourhood to slum and back to up and coming neighbourhood again. There have been Germans, Jews, Italians, Chinese, and Hispanic populations who have left their mark as well as changes in policy of the City. Below is a short history of the Lower East Side according to James - no guarantees on the accuracy!!

    The Lower East Side started as mostly single family wooden dwellings, this changed to brick builings, then to multi-storey tenaments, then came the massive apartment blocks, and more recently trendy apartments like the one we are in. Many places of worship have had different lives as well with some starting as churches, evolving to synagogues, and then back to churches - some of the photos below show the result.

    A tenement is a block of flats. In the late 1800's on the Lower East Side these blocks were 3 or 4 floors high with 4 extended families living on each level - this could be up to 12 people. A flat typically consisted of a bedroom, a kitchen, and a parlour. The parlour faced the street and was the only room with windows. Back then of course there heaps of kids so they often ended up sleeping in the kitchen. There was a communal toilet and bathroom for each level in the building and the neighbourhood was so dodgy you didn't go out of the flat at night to go to the toilet you used a chamber pot and pitched it out the window. On top of this the Government lobbed in the American version of the White Australia Policy just to increase the stress on the new immigrants.

    The children were lucky to get any education and often had to start working very young to help support the family. Many families had street carts selling fruit, cheese, meat, fish, and other essentials. The government decided these were not good and so created a central place where these people could sell their wares, the local version of this was the Essex Street Market which is close by and still offers a range of gourmet foods.

    In 1950s and 60s these areas became real sums and definite no-go areas but then the artists and trendies started moving in and this started to change the neighbourhood to being a hip place to be.

    The government were also changing the city, building bridges that meant tenements had to be demolished to allow access, train lines came and went, open space policies meant tenements were demolished, and more recently big money arrived. All this means the current Lower East Side is a real mix of buildings and people.

    I think it is a fascinating place. There is the little Jewish shopkeeper who comes out and talks to us every time we walk past - we got his life story on the first day, Chinatown is a few blocks away, there are some great pizza places close by, and some really hip shops offering things like customised leather jackets and really trendy clothes. There are still a number of community support places around helping Chinese and Hispanic migrants who have come to the area.

    The pictures below show some of the different builings, shops, and people that inhabit the area. It is great just walking around.

    After our walking tour we went up to Rasarios' pizza place and collected a couple of really nice pizzas, one cheese and one pepperoni, before walking back to the apartment in the light drizzle.

    Tomorrow it is all about a certain green lady!
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City Hall Park