Friday, June 26, 2009

Enjoying being New York tourists!

Central Park

Strawberry Fields in Central Park - "Imagine"

Tuesday 23 June
This morning we took the uptown bus tour. This included a tour through Harlem and past various sights of Central Park. The rain held off and the sun shone in patches and it was almost hot. Later we went on a 75min ferry trip, also part of our bulk tour tickets. This was a harbour cruise showing different aspects of NY sights from the water. We managed to catch a few good photos of the Statue of Liberty and the tall NY high-rise buildings and the contrasts of the very old and the very new. We were also shown Ground Zero from the water. We had glimpsed it from our downtown bus tour.

In the evening we walked to Little Italy for dinner in a lovely Italian restaurant. I had American white wine and Dave chose Italian white wine and to be perfectly honest they tasted very similar!

Wednesday 24 June
Today we caught a train to Battery Park where we took the ferry to Ellis Island (still part of our tour tickets) passing the Statue of Liberty and giving us great views on the way. Ellis Island Immigration Museum showed all the history of immigration to America from 1892 to 1954.
We spent some hours there but still could have seen more. It was fascinating. There were excerpts of people's experiences, fantastic photos and treasured items, clothing and bags that they brought over with them from their home countries. Over 5,000 immigrants passed through Ellis Island in a day. The museum gave a great insight into their experiences both on the long slow boat trip over and on their arrival on Ellis Island. Some of the dormitories showing their sleeping arrangements and the primitive conditions were pretty horrific. It also showed statistics of what happened afterwards and the procedures they had to follow before being permitted to stay in America. It really was a huge and fascinating museum.

The highlight of our day however was our meeting this evening with James who we met on facebook. He shares our surname spelt exactly the same way and we believe may be related to Mr B in the dim dark distant past. We met up with him at the Heartland Pub and had a meal together and really had a very pleasant evening. He was so interested in all the family history that Mr B has been pursuing and it was so amazing to meet up with him. He is such a lovely young man - surely he must be related!!

Thursday 25 June
Today was our last full day in NY - this time. However, we are returning on 4 July and will spend our last week here relaxing a bit more and also visiting a few more museums and spending more time in Central Park. The sun shone again today and it didn't rain at all. The temperature has risen to the low 30s and hopefully it will be even better when we return in 8 days. This morning we made the most of the weather and went for another run in Central Park. This time we went on the harder surface of the road. The road is divided into three lanes, one for the cars, one for the bikes and one for runners. It's great and so very pretty with all the lovely green grass and trees. It's just gorgeous out there. We ran to and from the hotel and the full loop of the park.

Total distance: 11km
We ran slowly (at least I certainly did) but I kept wanting to look at everything and take in the sights. There were quite a number of runners even for a Friday morning and lots of cyclists too. I really enjoyed it.
Later we took a bus to the fancy part of the city to look at the classier shops - soooo beautiful. I went inside and checked a few prices, some reduced by 80% but still expensive! One lovely Jimmy Choo bag was reduced by 50% from $1,650 to $825 (plus tax) - tempting!!!! Anyway, it was fun looking and we walked heaps today. In fact we've walked heaps every day - there's so much to see and do.

Tomorrow we are collecting a hire car (a Mazda 6 or similar this time) and driving north with the intention of visiting Niagara Falls and Pennsylvania among other places before returning to NY on 4 July to enjoy the fireworks!


  1. I know all about Ellis Island - I saw Hitch!

    Can't wait to see the Jimmy Choo bag - 50% off is a bargin.

    Enjoy your drive and the falls. Keep Dave on the right side of the road.

    Another lovely young man ;)

  2. i'm related to ewen. we came out of the same primordial ooze puddle.

    did you see Elf?

  3. If she's related to me, I'm related to Michael Jackson.

    Another lovely young man.