Last full day in the Big Apple

I never quite understood why New York city was called the Big Apple, and did not find out this trip either. Not in the last place because of the fact that I didn’t bother to go looking for the answer anyway.
Oh well. The last full day. Only one more night of sleep and we’ll be heading to the airport to go to the next destination.

But first today. As we have visited most if not all of the items on our todo list, today has been a day of relaxation and trying to do stuff wedding not think of beforehand. This meant we started off at a restaurant which was recommended to us by a couple of friends.

Little Italy. Or SoHo. Or NoLita. We actually don’t know. All we know the place we had breakfast is called Balthazar and is located on 80 Spring Street. That’s on Spring Street and Lafayette Street. And it’s not Italian. But French. And really good. Actually, really good. It’s where the locals also go. And where we had our breakfast. 🙂

With our stomachs filled we headed off to nowhere actually. We ended up touring SoHo (Wooster Street, aka Woostah!) only to find quite a lot of hipsters and really stylish stores with furniture, kitchens, interiors and designer clothes. After this, we went back to NoLita and also Little Italy (Grand Street) to get a good taste of what this was like. As we were there around lunchtime, the restaurants were literally begging us to get a taste of cannoli and pasta. We politely refused.
We can definitely recommend touring these three districts as they are both historically important for the city itself and really fun!

Trying to find our way back towards a subway station we ended up walking through Chinatown (Mott Street) which was a true blast. This was not the tourist’s Chinatown, this was Chinese Chinatown. Brimful of little shops with fruit and vegetables, weird spices, and fish markets, this is the place where the NY Chinese live and go grocery shopping. No common letters around. Only Chinese script. What a sight! We have been wandering around getting amazed at every corner on the streets.

With a small loot of cherries we headed to 34th in the neighbourhood of our beloved Empire State Building to eat those and enjoy being there. Eventually, we ended up doing some more shopping and buying as spending money on clothes is something all travellers to NY seem to do, we were definitely not an exception. 🙂

Heading back to the hotel, we figured we didn’t want to go far to grab a bite which meant we were going to eat at the restaurant directly adjacent to the hotel. Also serving Italian food, it was good but not too much. And at 23 degrees it was really nice to have dinner at a table outside.
Our last trip of the day included riding the 6 and the 5 all the way down to Fulton Street tosee the Brooklyn Bridge at night. Just lovely!

Unfortunately, we are destined to leave New York tomorrow. We have come to really like this city and the bustling atmosphere. We however disliked the smell. If only this could be dealt with. It’ll probably not be why we’re not going again! 🙂

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Empire State shopping

After yet again a meal at our local SubWay, we started making our way up to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to see for ourselves what my brother recommended us to go see.
On the outside, it’s like a lot of buildings we’ve encountered here in New York: under construction. The entire façade of the building is wrapped up in fabric and scaffolding. Only the higher parts of the church are truly visible.

The inside however is something completely else. While only the organ is under construction the grandeur of the cathedral is plainly visible. It’s a great sight, and makes for some lovely pictures. Also, the atmosphere is really mellow and inside it is nice and cool. As the temperature is rising outside and with clear skies this is a welcome refreshment.

Not too far away from the cathedral our destination for today is located. The Empire State Building. We bought tickets and got the advice to come back later and go see the sunset. Which meant we had some time to spare and spend on something else.
Central Park!

We got off the MTA at 72nd Street and started crossing the park in the slowest way possible. Whenever you go to New York, you should definitely do it like this. Don’t go to Columbus Square. It is too busy, and there are too many people trying to sell you something there. Get off at a station a little higher up in Manhattan and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Right after our little visit to the park we went back to 34th street and had a quick meal outside. We then went up the building. And up we went. Through the airport style security where we had to put our stuff through the scanner and take our belts off again. Up to the 88th story and the observation platform.
Just check out the pictures!
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