Monday, March 29, 2010

Trip Report June30 to July 5

This was my second trip to New York. Last August my family went for five nights, so we did Statue of Liberty, Empire State, whole day in Central Park last time. I think this is going to be v. long, so apologies, I want to get everything down while it%26#39;s all fresh.

Day 1 Friday

10.30am flight with Delta from Manchester. Passed very quickly, no problems, and touched down safely at JFK at 1.15pm. Took about an hour to get through immigration, it was very chaotic, and not as well organised as at Newark, where we flew into last year. At one point, after queueing for half an hour, the whole top half of the queue (we were at the front) were shepherded by an official to the very back of another line! Leading to another half an hour wait, which was a bit frustrating...

Nevertheless!! Once we were through and in our cab heading for Manhatten, all this (inevitably made to seem worse because of the grumpiness a long flight brings on) was soon forgotten as we headed for the Shelburne Murray Hill hotel on Lexington and E37th street.

Checked in fine (later that night I did ask for a new room, because of the noise from the hotel%26#39;s rooftop bar. Which I got, no problem, and the new room was very quiet).

We then went out to explore the surrounding area (last year we stayed at the Salibsury, W57th street, so it was nice to be in a different part of town.) Had dinner in the Old Bridge Deli, and stocked up on drinks to keep in the frdges in our rooms. Then we all had an early night.

Day 2 Saturday

Woke up at 5.30am ready for action! Left the hotel at 8am and walked up 5th Ave, via the Rockerfeller Centre, to the new 24-hour Apple store, which looks very dramatic - a glass cube, which you go downstairs underground to the shop.

At 10am I got to see the opening of FAO Schwartz, which was fun. There was a big crowd of people waiting, and then three British-style guards came out, rolled out a red carpet, played a tune on a trumpet, then declared the store open. I was sat there with a silly grin on my face - do they do this every day? Even if no one is waiting? Why don%26#39;t ALL shops do this? I then went inside (and was greeted by a mad scientist, a fairy princess and a safari guy) and saw the staff play Chopsticks on the big piano, which was another lifetime%26#39;s ambition ticked off the list.

Then we all walked to Times Square, planning on watching the England game at ESPN Zone, but the queue was out the door. I%26#39;m glad we couldn%26#39;t get in as we got a cab back to our hotel, and watched the match in a little irish pub called Dillons, which had a great atmosphere. The landlord said we could bring food in, so ate pizza and salad while watching the match, and we all know how that ended.... :(

Then my dad went for a nap, and me and my mum walked to Macy%26#39;s, where I stocked up on Benefit make up. We looked in various other shops in the area too before walking to Grand Central Station and eating in Juniors. I had a pastrami sandwich (what is with the bread to meat ratio in NY?! It%26#39;s insane - in a good way!) My mum doesn%26#39;t like cheesecake, and having had it here last year, I knew not to tackle a piece by myself...a decision I%26#39;m now regretting as I didn%26#39;t have dessert all trip, and a slice of carrot cake cheesecake from Juniors would hit the spot right now...

That night I went to see Wicked at the Gershwin (I love musicals so decided to see a couple in NY, and my parents wanted to see a baseball game). I bought my ticket months ago on Ticketmaster so I just had to collect it on the night. it was right in the middle of the very back row of the rear mezz... and the view was great! I loved the show, couldn%26#39;t believe the sets/costumes etc. I%26#39;d been looking forward to seeing this show SO much, and it didn%26#39;t disappoint.

Day 3 Sunday

left the hotel at 9am, and walked to Greenwich Village, via Union Sq and Gramercy Park. There was a big street market, stretching all down Bleecker St, selling exotic food, bags, soap, jewellry, it was great for browsing, and I bought two soaps, cucumber and chocolate and vanilla. They smelt gorgeous. I also got a Greenwhich Village t-shirt, as did my dad. We then stopped for brunch at a pavement cafe. It was $12.95 each, and you got a cold drink, a tea or coffee and your food. I have pancakes with strawberries and maple syrup. My mum had omlette and my dad had eggs benedict. It was the nicest meal all trip, and was lovely sat there outside in the sun, eating, watching the shoppers at the market. I couldn%26#39;t stop thinking ';I%26#39;m having Sunday brunch in Greenwich Village, how COOL am I?';

We then walked to Bedford St, to find the %26#39;Friends%26#39; building, before walking to Chinatown, where we browsed all the shops. I bought two necklaces and an NY tote bag. There was a street parade going on for 4th July, with decorated limos and Chinese dragons. all the different associations were marching down the street, waving American flags and throwing streamers. I felt very lucky that we had been there for that sight.

We then walked down Mulberry St/Little Italy, and stopped for a drink in one of the bars there. Mulberry St looked lovely, all decked out in the Italy flags.

That night (apart from a quick wander around Murrary Hill to find somewhere to pick up a sandwich for tea) I stayed in as I was shattered (felt asleep at 9pm, which I%26#39;m ashamed at!! Er hello Kate, you%26#39;re in the city that never sleeps you lightweight!). My mum and dad got the subway to watch the Mets v the Yankees. Their tickets had cost $100 each, but were in the part right next to the pitch, so they said it was well worth the cash. They had waitress service and everything. The game didn%26#39;t start until 9 because of thunderstorms, so my mum and dad didn%26#39;t get back to the hotel until after 1am.

Day 4 Monday

Today my dad was booked in to the Morgan Library for his work, so my mum and me headed to the southern tip of Manhatten to brave Century 21. I managed an hour and a half in there before I bailed out (I did get some great beach towels, and two pairs of really really cute little slipper sock things, and some bubble bath ($5, later seen selling for $12 in Dylan%26#39;s Candy Bar).

My mum, who isn%26#39;t as fazed as crowds of crazed bargain-seeking women as me, wasn%26#39;t done yet, so Iwhile she carried on the hunt (she got a lovely Kenneth Cole wallet for $15 reduced from $40 and lots of boxer shorts for my brothers) found a nearby comic store and picked up a couple of comics for my boyfriend, before walking to St Paul%26#39;s Chapel to look at all the exhibits there. I was there at the time of their daily prayer service, so when that began I slipped into one of the aisles to listen to the chaplain. Afterwards I just sat on one of the benches outside, reflecting on what I%26#39;d read and seen in St Paul%26#39;s.

By this time it was 1.30pm, so we got a cab up to Times Square, and did our shopping at Virgin, Hershey%26#39;s etc. I wanted to see another show that night, so tried to get a full price ticket for Spamalot at the Times Sq info centre (a fool%26#39;s errand I know..). The TKTS booth had moved from its old spot as a new one is being built, and we eventually found it under the Marriot Hotel. Amazingly there was no queue, and I bought a ticket for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, reduced by 50% from $111 to $56.

After a couple of hours rest in the hotel, and tea from the Old Bridge Deli (chinese food sold by the pound, fab). I got a cab to the theatre. I wanted to see DRS mainly for Jonathan Pryce, who I%26#39;ve loved ever since he was in the original Miss Saigon cast, so I was nervously waiting to see if he would be on that night...and he was phew! He was brilliant, and the show was very very funny, and my TKTS tickets were a great bargain, right near the front of the mezz.

Day 5 Tuesday/July 4th

Got up and walked along Lexington to Bloomingdales, via a cafe were we had pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Hit Bloomingdales (picking up a free tote bag from the visitors%26#39; centre for spending over $100 - well it was my mum who spent the money, but I claimed the bag! - which was black, with Bloomingdales written on it in tiny blue writing, and is lined with blue and pink swirls...v. nice, I loved it! Macy%26#39;s no longer do a free gift btw). Then went to Dylan%26#39;s Candy Store, which I had to return to after buying BlackJack chewing gum from there last year. This was a huge hit at home with everyone I knew, so I had a massive list of people who wanted a pack! Also bought a few packs of Razzles for me and my sister (we%26#39;ve wanted to try them since watching 13 Going On 30)

We then met up with my dad outside the Apple store, and my mum and dad went to the Met, they also had lunch there and said the food was lovely and reasonably priced). I walked around Central Park and found a nice spot under a tree, where I just sat and read my book (and people watched), and had a hot dog for my lunch, for a few hours. The park was v.busy with people enjoying July 4 picnics etc.

At 7pm we headed out from the hotel and walked to FDR Drive to find a spot for the fireworks. It wasn%26#39;t too busy when we arrived, so we got a great spot, and sat down and had sandwichs for dinner that we had bought from a deli and taken with us. The area soon filled up with people, and there were lots of policemen around too. At 9,20pm the fireworks started, and they were spectacular. I feel very lucky that I can now say I%26#39;ve seen the July 4th fireworks in New York.

Day 6 Wednesday

My dad was booked in at the Morgan Library again today and we had a late check-in at the hotel until 3pm for one of our rooms. After packing myself and my mum headed to Times Sq again to get last minute pesents for people back home. It was POURING down, but as it was the first rain I%26#39;d seen while there, I couldn%26#39;t complain, we just bought umbrellas for $5! Bought t-shirts and Hershery store stuff, before heading to Bubba Gump%26#39;s for lunch. We enjoyed it here last year, and it was nice to eat lunch overlooking Times Sq on our last day. This trip food-wise had been mainly delis/pizza slices and pavement bistros/cafes, so it was nice to have that kind of huge portions-type meal. I got 10 trivia questions asked about Forrest Gump right, which the server said was the best he%26#39;d ever seen! Was very proud ha ha....I got a BBQ pulled pork sandwich, which was gorgeous, and lemonade, which came with fresh blueberries floating in it. We paid a bit extra so I could collect a Bubba Gump%26#39;s souvenier glass to take home with me.

Then it was back to the hotel, check out and head to JFK. We had a night flight home, which was SO bumpy, but got us home safe and very tired.

Finally, I%26#39;d just repeat a couple of tips I%26#39;d picked up from TA, that I can%26#39;t agree with enough.

a) Take two pairs of comfy shoes - no matter how wonderful a pair is, at the end of a long day of walking you will not be able to wait to kick them off, and put a fresh pair on for the evening.

b) Take a big pack of baby wipes. it was very hot, and they were great to have to wipe hand,face,arms etc. Very refreshing.

Oh, and I also have developed an addiction to Grape Snapple, I%26#39;ve brought four bottles home in my case, which won%26#39;t last long! So if anyone in the UK knows any shops that sells it PLEASE let me know ha ha!

I%26#39;m now saving up for a return trip December 2007! I want to see NY in all its festive glory next! Wow, this is much longer than I thought it would be. If anyone is till readng, thanks for all the advice.

Trip Report June30 to July 5

That wasn%26#39;t too long at all. I love all the detail. You really did get to do a lot. I like the idea of splitting up so everyone gets to do what they really want.

I love Black Jack gum too! Very unusual to find another fan, all my friends think I%26#39;m strange for liking it.

Have fun planning for next December!

Trip Report June30 to July 5

Wow! What a great report. I felt I was with you on the trip!

Can you tell me more about Bubba Gump%26#39;s please?

The free gift in Bloomingdales, how do you get it? Can the spend include cosmetics / perfume?

Thanks for sharing!


Sounds like you had a wonderful trip, and I am happy you got to see the fireworks, they were spectacular.

What a great report for a great trip! Thanks for writing. Loved the details. Great reviews and advice.

When you come back in December, you must go to Economy Candy on the Lower East Side. It%26#39;s about 100 years old, family business and better prices than Dylan%26#39;s.

I%26#39;m sure you%26#39;ll love NYC during Xmas!

It was a wonderful trip, Im already through on packet of BlackJack gum, and am wondering if I can get it shipped over to the UK when I run out. How could anyone NOT like it I wonder?!!

NYCFan, you get a free gift (a tote bag or keyring) from Bloomingdale%26#39;s if you spend $100 or over. Just take your receipts to the visitor%26#39;s centre, on the mezz level of the ground floor - there%26#39;s loads of signs for it. It does count with perfume and make up yes, that is what we had bought. Macy%26#39;s used to offer a similar deal, but they do not anymore. I think it is brilliant that you get a gift like this.

Also, prior to starting to shop in Macy%26#39;s or Bloomies, take your passport to the visitor%26#39;s centre in either store and you can get a 11% discount card (but this is not valid on perfume and make up).

Bubba Gump%26#39;s ( is a Forrest Gump-themed restuarant in Times Sqaure. It has great views out above the square, and shrimp/bbq food. There are props/costumes from the film all over the walls, and the waiters ask you trivia questions about the movie, which is great if you are are a show off like me! If you want your waiter then you put a %26#39;stop Forrest stop%26#39; sign on your table, but if you don%26#39;t need help then you flip the sign to %26#39;run Forrest run%26#39;. If you are a fan of the film then I think it is a must do! You can also buy Bubba Gump merchandise like t-shirts etc

QueensBoulevard - I will definitely go to Econony Candy next time, I did mean to go this trip, but I couldn%26#39;t remember where it was and as Dylan%26#39;s was right next to Bloomingdale%26#39;s, it was easy to nip in there.

A great thing about NY is there%26#39;s always something you don%26#39;t manage to squeeze in - so you have to go back.

My list for next time already includes:

Economy Candy,

Magnolia Bakery

Papaya hot dog

Pomme Frite fries....

Thanks Katey! Much appreciated!

Oh I can%26#39;t wait until October now!!! :o)

Katey, I%26#39;m interested in hearing more about your dad at the Morgan Library. I%26#39;d like to see it when I visit this fall. Is booking necessary if you want to use the library?

artslover - the general section of the Morgan Library is open to the public, but my dad needed to study (he is doing an MA in art history) a number of specific medieval pieces that are housed at the library. He did this last August, and again during this trip.

Both times he had to arrange with the library time slots to work with these pieces in the reading room. He had to ask for permission to get access to the pieces, and once this was granted ( I don%26#39;t think it was hard to get permission) he arranged dates to come via email with library staff. Once booked in, on these days, he just turned up with his passport, and had from 9.30am to 4.30pm with the pieces.

I hope that info helps you, sorry it%26#39;s a bit vague. I guess it depends what exactly you want to see at the library, how much arranging you will have to do. This website should also help:

black jack gum sounds so yum- i love black jacks- im going end of next month and could bring u back some supply katey - your report sounded fab and that you had lots of fun..about the grapple have you looked in a health shop? holland and barrat might stock them?? i have seen a butcher shop in town stock them lol

  • soft lips
  • No comments:

    Post a Comment