Sep 19, 2012
Jenny and Rosie headed off to the Museum of Modern Art just around the corner from the hotel and spent a bit of time in the gift shop! Jenny bought a necklace for Catherine, salt and pepper shakers and a rather attractive bracelet. While they were at the MOMA I spent time walking around 5th Avenue and on my way back to the hotel stumbled across the New York Apple store. It was packed with people and I think it was just one or two days before the release of the iPhone 5. Despite that there were hundreds of people inside. The architecture was interesting. There was a large glass cube at street level and a spiral staircase down to the shop. I can just image what it would have been like at the release of the iPhone 5 into stock!
In the afternoon we took the subway to High Street, Brooklyn and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge towards Manhattan. There were lots of people walking and cycling along the bridge and the views of the Manhattan skyline were well worth the walk. We had originally planned to do it at twilight so that we could see Manhattan at night but it didn't turn out that way. At the end of the day we all returned to the outdoor restaurant on the corner of 7th Avenue and West 53rd Street for a pleasant evening.
Tuesday 18th September
Next morning we decided to take the ferry to Statten Island. We took the subway to Whitehall Avenue and walked a few steps into the ferry terminal and we were soon on our way. There's nothing to do at Statten Island other than exit the ferry and get on the return ferry back to Manhatten. However the views of the Statue of Liberty were worth the trip alone. When we got off the ferry there was a mini tornado which was blowing hard and we got plenty of dust in our eyes. We stopped for some lunch ahd then walked back to the subway and back to the hotel.
The others had booked to go to the ballet at the Lincoln Centre (we did not get tickets because of the same misunderstanding about the jazz). I guess we could have booked but instead we decided to have dinner at one of the restaurants that Cindy Orchard had recommended in her excellent notes about what to do in New York (see the attached notes at the end of this post). We booked Molyvos, a Greek restaurant, which turned out to be right next to the Wellington and could be entered from the hotel foyer. Very convenient and very good food. As it turned out the weather was appalling and there was the most horrendoucs storm outside. Luckily we didn't need to leave the hotel to return to our room.
Wednesday 19th September
We planned to go on a tour of Grand Central Station which takes place every Wednesday at 12.30pm. The station was a little way from the hotel so we walked along West 55th Street towards 5th Avenue and then along 5th Avenue. We wandered into the Rockefeller Center and generally sauntered along to the station. We arrived a little early and had some lunch across the road before walking into the main building. The station was built by one of the Vanderbuilts in the early 1900's and was opened in 1911 and you can see the history of the station by clicking on the link above. There were about thiry to forty people in the tour group and the guide was excellent. We stayed for the first hour of the tour and got to know a lot about the building and its restoration before we all went outside to look at the facade, At that time we decided to slope off and take a taxi back to the hotel.
For our last evening we met up with the others and went to Birdland to eat and listen to some jazz. It was a tribute to John Coltrane and the pianist had played with Coltrane when he was alive. The food, atmosphere and jazz made for a very pleasant evening.
We got back to the hotel, said our farewells and prepared ourselves for an early trip to Newark to catch the plane to San Francisco on the following day.