Thursday, July 09, 2009

Why I Love New York!

We left Pennsylvania on Saturday and headed back to NYC in time to celebrate Indpendence Day. What a difference a week makes. The temperature had risen and the sun was shining as we drove into town in the late afternoon. We found out the best spots for viewing and later we walked along the Hudson River along with half of New York and watched 25mins of absolutely amazing fireworks, the most fantastic display we have ever seen. We had a really good spot and were so glad we had decided to return on time to see them.
Next morning (Sunday) we updated our week's laundry and walked round Central Park enjoying the sunshine. Dave queued up for tickets for the free showing of Shakespeare in the Park which is held each evening but it turns out that people arrive to queue for tickets from 3.30am along with sleeping bags and lots of supplies. The queue by mid morning goes for miles. There are 1800 tickets given out plus 50 standby tickets after 1pm but people still stay there until 8pm in the hope that people will hand their tickets back. It's extremely popular and the queue is the same every single day - not much chance of us being successful with those tickets!! I think we draw the line at a 3.30am start which may involve at least a 10 hour wait!
In the late afternoon we went for a run - yay, at last - back to Central Park where we ran from the hotel and the loop of the resevoir a couple of times. After a week of NO running it was hard work but it was still so good - definitely slow and very hot as the last time we ran there was no sunshine!
Total distance: 7km
Monday 6 July
Today we walked heaps exploring the city and our local area. We investigated a Runners' Shop but didn't buy anything (honest) except a triathlon magazine! We also discovered Alice's Teacup, a delightful little cafe based on an Alice in Wonderland theme. The choice of teas was seemingly endless - pages and pages and a lovely selection of scones and cakes. We had a look at the Natural History Museum with the intention of returning there and just generally had a lovely day of walking and rediscovering NYC.
In the evening we took the subway to Times Square and were sucked into attending a stand-up comedy act which lasted about an hour and a half and only cost us $10 each. The catch was that we also had to buy 2 drinks minimum each! It was fun though and something entirely different with six comedians with varying degrees of funniness! It did however require a bit of concentration to understand them. Sometimes it amazes me that we all speak the same language. Our accent must seem just as strong to Americans I guess.
Tuesday 7 July
Today was quite a day! We started it with a repeat of the run course we did on Sunday - another 7km - still slow, still hot!
After lunch we caught a bus to the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art). What can I say? There was so much to see and after over 3 hours we had still not covered everything. It was mind boggling.
We walked back to the hotel and had a bit of a rest before taking the subway to Broadway to see the musical Chicago. Oh wow! We absolutely loved it. It's been on at Broadway for about 8 years but tonight was the debut show for the main character (Roxie) - Samantha Harris. She was fantastic and is apparently a co-host for Dancing with the Stars here. Anyway it was a great night and we had a light meal very late at night before wandering round Times Square and just enjoying the atmosphere well after midnight.
NYC is just always alive - there's a constant buzz even in the quieter areas where there's always something happening and people around. It's fabulous.
Wednesday 8 July
This morning we queued up for free tickets at Broadway to be part of the audience in the David Letterman show either tonight or tomorrow night. It turned out to be a lottery system so there were no guarantees. However, we had a telephone call to our hotel early this afternoon advising us that we had been successful and tomorrow night we will be part of the audience on the show - woo hoo! This requires us to arrive at the theatre before 3pm. The show is recorded from 4.30pm to 5.30pm but not shown until late tomorrow night here and possibly in Aussie the night after. It's very exciting!
Today we also visited the NY Public Library. I saw the gorgeous stairs which were shown on Sex and the City and we visited the amazing reading rooms - really incredible. Mr B was investigating some microfilm history of his family data and I perused other parts of the library while waiting. It's certainly extremely impressive.
Tonight we ate a superb meal at what we score as our favourite restaurant here. We ate a wonderful meal here a couple of weeks ago and we were not disappointed on our second visit. It was just beautiful - melt-in-the mouth food (salmon for me and veal for Mr B) and excellent service.
Reasons I love New York (in no particular order)
  • It never sleeps
  • There are lots of dogs but everybody always cleans up after their dog. They carry little plastic bags and you never ever see doggydo on the streets unless it's being picked up!
  • Everybody is friendly
  • The food and restaurants
  • The theatres
  • The museums
  • Central Park
  • The efficient subway system
  • The shops
  • Times Square
  • The atmosphere and the constant buzz
  • People watching
  • The multiculturalism

Things I miss about Canberra

  • My family and friends
  • My running group
  • The coffee!
  • The open spaces
  • The clean air
  • The solitude
  • Good eating habits
  • Being fit
  • A healthy lifestyle
  • Lots of places to run


  1. Intercourse photo is a bit boring - you should have struck a pose ;)

    Your accent is a bit hard to understand for some of us Aussies!

    You know how to make a young man extremely jealous - having such a fantastic time in the city that never sleeps. Anyway, the good coffee awaits your return, and the lack of queuing up (except at the finish of a Masters' Handicap).

  2. Makes me want to goto NYC now!!
    Great post!

  3. Ah! NYC! My very favourite city in the whole wide world! So pleased you had such a wonderful time, Strewth. Loved reading each entry as you travelled around.

    We've stayed in several parts of NYC for different visits. Last time, for the NYC Marathon we were at The Hotel Beacon, Broadway & 75th Street. Sounds like you were somewhere in the upper west side area?

    Welcome back to reality!

  4. I had fun in NY too. Coffee is always in the list!