The Big Apple

15 Apr

We have now been back from our holiday about the same length of time we were away on it…crazy but the weird thing is that this week went by much faster than the one in New York. It felt like we were there for a month for some reason. Our new apartment is slowly coming together a few items/furniture pieces at a time and we are getting there. I think we’ll need a few more weeks yet until it’s in order but we’ve got what we need so now it’s just the extras that we are getting sorted out. We still have the nursery to do but will probably give ourselves a little break before we start on that as we’re a bit over furniture shopping and assembling.

Our trip to New York was good. It was nice to get away to an English speaking city but it was anything but relaxing. After we landed on Easter Sunday we had to wait in line at customs for 2 hours for these totally incompetent officers talking their sweet ass time letting anyone through and it wasn’t because they were being extraordinarily thorough, no, it was because they were the laziest and most procrastinating employees you would have ever seen. When they came in to start their shift they would take at least 20 minutes to set up their booth before they saw the first person. Seriously a booth! All they had to do was switch on the bloody computer. Since it was lunch time there were guys finishing their shift left, right and centre and they were out of their little booth as quick as anything but getting started seemed to be a whole other story. Then they had to catch up with their mates for a while and talk about how ah-maz-ing their sandwich was or some similar sort of BS and it was honestly just the rudest most inconsiderate thing I’ve ever seen. The lines were packed with people who had just gotten off a long flight no doubt and now had to wait even longer for these jackasses to get their heads out of their, well, asses.

So we finally got through and we could have taken the train but we were a little over it and just wanted to get to our rented apartment so we caught a cab from JFK airport to the place we were staying just a few blocks away from Times Square. I had actually wanted to get a place in Soho but didn’t have much luck and seeing as though it was Markie’s first time visiting NY I figured it might be quite cool to stay right near the thick of it. We arrived and checked in and just had a bit of a breather before we headed out for some lunch/dinner around 5pm.

We found a typical American eatery…Heartland Brewery…and sat down for some hot wings (YUM!) and a burger. Once we’d devoured our hugely nutritious meal we walked up to Times Square. Mark got the beer sampler which he drank pretty quickly and was probably about 1.25 litres of beer all together so he was quite happy walking around. It was cold that night but not Europe cold so it was fine to walk around for a while and check out the sites. We went and saw Grand Central Station as well and I got to my Hershey’s store to buy some Twizzlers 🙂 I love those things and Mark just couldn’t understand why after trying them. We got back to our room around 8pm and just crashed out as we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. With daylight savings switching the day we left we got an hour less sleep on top of an already long night of packing and then with the jetlag we were ruined.

Tuesday we woke up relatively early and just took our time getting out the door for breakfast. On the list for Monday was a trip to the Upper East to walk through Central Park and have a look around there. It was a beautiful day and the temperature was probably about 16 degrees and sunny. We were coming from Europe where it hadn’t really hit above 13 deg and that was only one day with it still being mostly under 10 and cloudy so 16 and sunny was spectacular. I had to strip down to my t-shirt because I was heating up too much. Central Park was nice and it still had the ice skating rink going but unfortunately the time of year that we came resulted in the trees being bare and the grass not being lush and it was all a bit dead looking. I remember when I lived there years ago how beautiful the park was so it was a bit sad to see but in a few months it should be nice again.

For lunch we went to Carnegie Deli…the institution of a restaurant (if you can call it that) where they serve the world’s biggest sandwiches. We sat down next to the world’s biggest people and Markie ordered the Woody Allen – a two level sandwich with pastrami and roast beef or something like that and I got a 3-tier (hey I’m eating for 2) sandwich with chicken salad and letttuce and tomato. Mine was really good but I only got through about 2/3 and Markie, well, once his eyes adjusted to it’s size and he got started he struggled a bit as there was literally just piles of meat stacked in these miniscule pieces of bread but he did well and ate about the same amount as me. We waddled out of there and then headed back down to our place stopping for him to get a haircut on the way.

Our first meal out was at Balthazar which I had a friend book for me a few weeks before we went there as they are always busy. It’s a French brasserie and is really cool looking inside and had great food. If you’ve been to Felix in Sydney…it is similar to that but a fair bit smaller. We were both pretty tired so conversation was a bit of a challenge and Mark was still full from his lunch so he wasn’t really “feeling” the dinner. After we finished we walked around the corner the the bar at The Crosby hotel which were told to go to for a drink but seeing it was pretty quiet and I can’t drink we just had a look around inside and then got a cab back to our place. I think we made it to 11pm before we crashed that night so we were slowly getting there.

Tuesday morning we met a friend for breakfast down in Tribeca and then walked past Ground Zero memorial to his place to have a look at the view from his apartment. I think he is on the 40 something-th floor so it was a pretty spectacular outlook as even though it was freezing that day, there were clear skies. We then wandered back up towards our place and walked (I think we hit about 12km that day) through Soho, then up to Union Square, past the Flat Iron building and then to the Empire State where we went up to the top of which was glowing a gale. It was such a gorgeous site up there when we were able to slide in and look out between all the people. We finished up about 5pm and had a bit of a rest before it was time for dinner out again.

I won’t give you a blow by blow of each day but we did all the touristy things that you’d expect us to do – Statue of Liberty by ferry to Staten Island, Ground Zero Memorial, High Line walk from 30th street down to Meatpacking District, Chelsea Markets, Madison Square Garden, Rockerfeller Center Guggenheim, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Little Italy, etc etc etc. We had some good meals out but were pretty happy after the last one as going out for 3 meals a day just gets really old after a while. We had a couple of nice days in terms of the weather, and a couple of awful ones. One day I was so sick (with a cold) we spent the day in bed watching tv and just went out for dinner and then Markie had to leave one day before me to fly home and back to work so I used the day which hit 22 degrees to walk to the lower east and then go see a movie and do a little shopping and eating before it was time to go to the airport and fly back to Zurich.

All in all it was nice to get away and spend some concentrated time with my husband as it was been a while and to be in a country where we don’t have to think about what we’re asking for or talking about, but New York is not how I remembered. I was pretty underwhelmed and Markie felt the same. After living in Sydney and experiencing the sensational food and restaurants we have there, as well as the great cafe culture, the laid back atmosphere, the weather and most importantly the beaches we have to say that New York is really no comparison. There are way too many angry people as well. Even though we were happy to leave Sydney and the little angry drivers everywhere and be in Europe where everyone is much more civilised on the road, it still doesn’t even come close to the aggressiveness of New Yorkers.

So now we are back to business as usual and probably no real trips again for quite a few months. We might try and get away for a long weekend some time in June but we just have to see if Mark is given permission to have time off. My sister and brother-in-law will be here for a few weeks and they arrive the weekend after next which I am super pumped about. I think I’ve finally gotten over this cold, for the most part, that lasted 2.5 weeks so I’m back and exercising and discovering the trails and hikes on which to do my dog walk. Found one this morning and completely killed myself as it was all up hill…until I turned around the come home but it felt good. Just discovering the new city and seeing what is available to do to keep us entertained and I will need to start the social connections soon as well since we’re back to square one there.

Have a great week everyone. I’m going to! The sun is shining and I’ve been able to do my yoga out in the sun on the balcony today. Bliss!

Till next time…..xx

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