Monday 6thAugust 2018
We had a slightly later start today and headed back into the city. Today we caught the subway on our own up towards the Empire State Building. We couldn’t find anywhere to eat and decided to have ‘lunch’ (breakfast in reality) at the Heartland Brewery. Phil decided he wanted to go to the top of the Empire State Building (well the 86thfloor anyway).Our New York City Pass included the Empire State Building, so up we went. The line was so long. We’ve come to the conclusion that most tourist attractions in August have long lines. We waited (well we had no choice really) and got up to the 80thfloor where they had an exhibition about how the building was built. Phil was fascinated. This whole building was built in just 13 months in 1931. An incredible feat at the time and still amazing by today’s standards. We travelled up to the 86thfloor and stepped out to see New York in front of us. This was an open air area (with a lot of fences) but no glass to take photos through – yes! It was a little hazy due to the heat (again!). Summer in New York – just like our hot summer days in Sydney. This was fabulous. We had a look at the view and took some photos. It took us FAR longer to line up than the time that we spent at the top.
We headed down the lifts and decided to walk up 5thAvenue. We stopped and got some souvenirs along the way. Phil wanted to see Trump Tower and Central Park. We took some photos and did some window shopping (especially the more uptown we went). We checked out the Rockefeller Centre, which was gorgeous, and the NBC broadcasting area across the street. I wasn’t feeling so great so we found some water and sat down in the shade for a spell. After that, we kept heading up 5thAvenue. We found Trump Tower and people campaigning for him to be re-elected as president in 2020. We kept walking and found the Plaza Hotel. Phil wondered how much it was to stay there – way more than we can afford.
Central Park – wow! It’s so big, so green and so beautiful. We were approached about a pedicab ride and when the guy explaining it to us told us how much it was for an hour ($225 USD) we politely declined and explained it was a lot more than we wanted to spend. He ended up chasing us across the road and offered it to us for $100 USD (including getting dropped back to Times Square). We decided to accept his offer (we were exhausted and this was the only way we were going to get to see different points of Central Park. Our driver was Becks (named after Beckham). He took us to see the monument of Balko commemorating the sled dogs who got medicine back for the fledgling community. He pointed out the different areas of the park, including the sailing lake (featured in Stuart Little). Becks also pointed out the different locations that have been used in various movies.
We then went to the Bethesda fountain (also known as the Angel of the Water) in the middle. We got out here to take some photos of this area. It is so beautiful. An oasis of cool green roads, pathways and areas right in the middle of the city. We went around to the John Lennon tribute area. This section is called Strawberry Fields, with the Imagine tribute. It was just beautiful. Becks pointed out different buildings and sites all around Central Park. He then took us into the New York traffic! Crazy! He dropped us off near Times Square. We caught the subway back to Delancey Street. We found our way back ‘home’.
We got back around 6pm, had time to relax, get changed and headed out again. We are off to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway!!! I had never seen it before and it is one of Phil’s favourite musicals. We got an Uber back to midtown. We had originally planned to have dinner beforehand, but we ended up chatting to Marc and Carol and relaxing longer than we had initially thought. We decided to grab something snacky at the theatre and have dinner after the show – after all we are in the city that never sleeps. We were a little early at the theatre (so we could get our snacks). We found our way to our seats and got organised.
This show was just beautiful. A classic love story with amazing music, acting and singing. It was fabulous. We headed towards some of the restaurants that were recommended by Carol and Marc. We found them, but on Monday nights they close at 11pm. (It was 11:05pm) So much for the city that never sleeps. We headed back to Broadway and found some restaurants that were open. We found a little Italian restaurant. It was open and had customers. We were so hungry, so we thought we’d give it a go. It was ok. I had a lasagne and Phil had a pepperoni pizza. Phil enjoyed his pizza and my lasagne was ok. We ended up sharing a chocolate mousse cake – now that was amazing. We jumped in an Uber back ‘home’.
A little sleep in tomorrow – if possible.