Farewell New York

I’m sending this from a Free Library in Saranac Lake so won’t have time to upload pictures.  I’ll put them in later.

Tuesday, 24th May, 2016
We are in the Amtrak waiting room at Penn Station, New York. It is raining so we caught a taxi and were stuck in traffic for ages. My backpack is full of food. Eggs, oil, vinegar, avocados, spaghetti, rice, garlic, tea – just as well we are travelling by train.

Back to yesterday. The sky was blue so we set off for the High Line. One end of it is about one kilometre from our hotel so we decided to walk there. The area is undergoing massive regeneration and tall silver skyscrapers are replacing train storage yards (building over the top). The buildings along each side of the High Line (an old raised train line) have suddenly become valuable real estate, with views of grass and trees a change from grotty industrial scenes. As the High Line progressed there were more trees and plants with voluntary gardeners busily at work, people reading, sun baking and generally enjoying the space.

At the end we were in the Meatpacking District. Here we found a great coffee shop and bar where our cortados were served in glasses.

Where to next? We wanted to buy some Australian wine for our Upstate New York friends so set off for the Flatiron building where I read there was a good wine shop. The owner was very friendly. He had lived in “Brissie” he said and developed an appreciation of wine when in Australia. He had a selection of mainly lesser known wines although we bought a Shaw and Smith. The other was from Bendigo so we hope it is good.

We were now in Fifth Avenue so walked along enjoying the architecture. Past the Empire State we continued to our own 39th Street but then had to turn left and walk from 5th Avenue to 9th. On the way we checked out a number of places for lunch but ended up in a Pret a Manger. They are on nearly every street corner in the Times Square area. I had one of the best salads in my life for lunch followed by fruit salad.

We arrived back at the hotel with tired feet but after a short rest we were off again. It was too nice a day to sit in our room. Amazingly John’s foot was holding up so we walked back to 5th Avenue and down to Central Park.

On the way we stopped at Bryant  Park next to the New York City Library and settled on one of the many folding chairs to watch other people. Obviously hundreds of other people had the same idea. There was an outdoor library if you wanted to read a book. A couple of girls were spinning hoops expertly. Another group was unsuccessfully trying to make a human pyramid.

Onward we trudged. Near Central Park we went into the Apple Store just because I was curious to check out its design. It did not disappoint. On the surface is was a clear cube with a white apple in the centre. A circular glass walled elevator dropped to below ground level. Here hundreds of people were engaged in various digital pursuits. We ascended the curved glass staircase and were out of there.

I loved the way two new dark coloured skyscrapers accentuated the white gothic architecture of St Patrick’s Church.  Its not so obvious in this photo, unfortunately. We had used the subway so now we used a bus with the same metro card. It took us back to 42nd Street so it was only about another kilometre home. Now we really needed a rest.

We had booked dinner at an Italian restaurant over the road. It had one Michelin star but reviews on Trip Advisor were mixed. When we arrived at 7 it was almost full and very noisy. Our waitress was from Romania. She and the waiter were run off their feet while the owner was hard task master. We opted for salads and seafood mains. As soon as had I taken the last mouthful of my salad it was whipped away and the main arrived. In one hour from arrival of we had finished the whole meal. Efficient yes but not my idea of dinner out.

We didn’t get to do many of the things on my list but the plan was always to not try and do too much as John recovered his fitness. New York is such a great place to walk around with every area exhibiting a different vibe. Looks like we’ll have to come back again some day!

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