Monday, November 1, 2010

New York

Ok, so it's October 31st (November 1st by the time I post this) and I have yet to blog about the AMAZING time we've had in New York City. This past week and a half has been GO GO GO, and unfortunately we haven't had access to the internet in any of the hostels we've stayed in...until now...

We arrived in NYC on Thursday 21st October around 11:30pm. The plane ride up from Charlotte was short (we got here about 20 mins early) and I spoke to a woman who has lived in the city her whole life. She is also a twin tower survivor. She gave Kerry and I some tips i.e. things to do, areas to avoid etc. and I'm glad we had a chance to talk. Once we landed we headed straight to our hostel (the New York Loft Hostel) located in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We were booked in here for the next week except for the coming Saturday night as they were all booked out. To solve that problem Kerry and I booked a really cheap overnight trip to Niagara Falls with a tour group from Chinatown. Best decision we made so far and I'll mention why back to the hostel! The hostel was nice, the room was big, but the area wasn't the best - it was dull at night time and a few blocks down was Bedford-Stuyvesant which is one of the worst areas in NYC. Kerry didn't want to stay there but I was reluctant to leave and lose the deposit we paid (about $30 each). Then I thought "what would my mum say if she saw this area?" GET OUT came to mind!!! So we only stayed one more night.

We joined a tour group Saturday morning and headed upstate on a 10 hour drive to Niagara Falls. Along the way we drove through three different states - New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania - and we also stopped off at the Corning Glass Museum (pretty cool, just be careful not to break anything). By the time we got to Niagara it was dark and raining, but we still got a nice view of Horseshoe Falls before heading to a hotel in Buffalo, New York for the night. The following morning we were taken back to Niagara Falls to join the Maid of the Mist boat tour. This is the one where they give you a poncho and take you right up to the falls to get very WET! Now, here's the reason why booking this trip was the best decision we made...the Maid of the Mist tour runs from May to October each year, and it turns out this was the LAST tour of the year!!! Whew, the ride is definitely worth it so I'm happy we got a chance to experience that.

Back to NYC...Sunday night saw us checking into a new hostel on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This is a much better location and we had a private room and a TV. I felt like I hit the jackpot! Since then things have gone from good to great. The "set-up" of Manhattan is fantastic - all roads that run horizontally are named 1st street, 2nd street, 3rd street etc. (1st starting in lower Manhattan) and all roads that run vertically are named 1st avenue, 2nd avenue etc. (with the exception of a few i.e. Broadway, Amsterdam, Madison). It's REALLY EASY to get around and the subway system is so good that you barely have to wait for a train. Day or night Manhattan is always packed with people and, like Starbucks, there's cops on every other corner - you NEVER feel unsafe. Kerry and I have been lucky enough to visit Central Park, Rockerfeller Center, Times Square, Empire State Building, the Amercian Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Sex, amongst other things. We've also done the Sex and the City tour (so much fun - went for about 3.5 hours) and seen two Broadway shows (Mary Poppins and West Side Story - fantastic!). One of the highlights of our stay in NYC has been the Circle Line Tour. It's a 3 hour boat ride that takes you right around the island of Manhattan - we had terrific views of the Statue of Liberty and got to get a real feel for just how big the city is. We passed ground zero (where they are currently rebuilding), Madison Square Gardens, and plenty of bridges (including the Brooklyn Bridge). Well worth the $29 we spent.

We were set to leave NYC on Friday 29th October but decided there was still too much to do, so we checked into the YMCA on 63rd street (even better location, and cheaper too!!). We'll be here until Wednesday 3rd November. A couple of other tours we have done are the "TV and Movie Tour" (visiting tons and tons of locations where TV and movies were filmed) and my favourite the "Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour." We spent the afternoon in Brooklyn and got to eat some of the BEST pizza in NYC (or in the world for that matter). We also saw a few movie locations and visited Coney Island (an amusement park built in the south of Brooklyn - it's not an island). We did the tour on Sunday, and on our way there we were redirected to another area as the road around us was closed for filming. Of course, Kerry and I (amongst many other people) stopped to take a look. They were filming a stunt scene for a new movie starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. Tea Leoni walked right passed me. My first celebrity sighting - yay!

NYC has been very good to us these past 2 weeks - I would love to spend another 2 weeks here, but unfortunately my money is going down quicker than excepted so we will be leaving on Wednesday :( I could go on and on about this place, and there are so many more things we have done (just too much to write about) but I will try and get some more pics posted soon. 

Stay tuned...
Kerry and I outside the "Friends" apartment

No comments:

Post a Comment