Day 2 – the city that never sleeps

Oh man. Day two, our first full day in NYC totally flew past but boy oh boy did we tick some stuff off our bucket lists.

After a mild freak out at 8am, when trying to access what we thought was a sunway train but was not, and our cards kept declining we ended up safe and happy on the B line to lower central park. That place is huge. Like, go look at a map of Manhattan and see how much space it takes up on the island! Our main goal was to visit the John Lennon memorial, Strawberry Fields and hang out at the imagine memorial. Luckily, due to my extremely good understanding of subways and all things orientation (yeah right!), the subway stop we used ended us up right outside the memorial. Easy!

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Given the general hustle and bustle of NYC it was so peaceful in the park and so fun to watch all the people walking their dogs, of which there are thousands.

After a long walk and a lot of laughing at squirrels doing their squirrel thing we were in need of some sustenance so enjoyed coffee and pastry in the sun before heading back downtown.

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We were undecided in our next adventure so walked a bit before realizing we could head to the Rockefeller Center  and climb (OK, get a lift) our way up to the observation deck.  We arrived to see a HUGE queue, which turned us off just a little bit. In fact the thought of standing amongst that was so daunting that we turned around and walked a couple blocks to the next item on the list and headed to MOMA – The Museum of Modern Art.

On our way and in need of sustenance again we grabbed a fresh hot pretzel with a bit of salt and butter, so yum, but also  not great for us. I guess we have pretty much given in to the fact we are going to consume a bunch of unhealthy food in the next 3 weeks. Obviously this is an after lunchtime food as we approached a couple street sellers who said they weren’t ready, even at 11 am!

The next couple hours were spent  wandering the museum and seeing everything from Van Gogh and Picasso to Warhole. I especially loved seeing groups  of young school kids learning and talking about art. They had some great ideas and the staff talking to them were really explaining art in a kid friendly, and Sarah friendly manner!

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So. We had achieved all that before lunchtime! Go us!  In what seems to be a commonplace move around here we grabbed lunch from a deli and ate in a plaza in the sunshine.

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Food seems pretty expensive here but hey, these are tourist prices and we are tourists. On the whole its pretty good although drinks often a bit sweet for us and the portions are huge. I think by the end of all this we will become pretty good at sharing. Im loving all the cold brew coffee and sorry, not sorry, am looking forward to a Starbucks in NYC. Just one, I promise. As per everyone’s expectations thanks to the movies, Starbucks is genuinely present on pretty much on every street corner so I won’t have to go far when I choose to go get it.

The good news for us that is that while purchasing our ticket at MOMA we ended up with a ticket that also got us entry to Top of the Rock, so got to avoid the long queue. Fortune is smiling on us today, just like the sun. Being so organised meant we had time to spare before we could ascend the tower,  so we ticked off at block of 5th Avenue and the currently under renovation St Patrick’s cathedral which would have been gorgeous if not for the builders doing their building thing. As expected,  5th Ave has a  heap of beautiful clothing, but nothing is without a 3, 4 or 5 digit price tag.

Top of the Rock has some legitimately awesome views. Such a crazy process to get up there with bag checking and about 4 different lift rides but worth all the red tape. It made me both a bit nervous and kinda sad when I saw the number of selfie sticks and some phones hanging off the side of the building! We stuck to our traditional means and took a bunch of photos on our nice big SLR camera. As well as a couple on our phones, which stayed well behind the glass barriers….

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We caught the subway back to the apartment, now that we own this whole subway situation and our carriage was serenaded by an old man singing a song about Otis Reading before quietly asking for money. At least he entertained us for the $1 we gave him.

Its hard not to want to give every person we see here sitting on the side of the street money, but we would quickly be broke.

Once back at the apartment we had a cheeky sit down, since we knew we would be on our feet again soon. In no time at all we were back on the subway, heading out to our second of the five boroughs by hopping the subway to the Bronx so we could watch the New York Yankees play at home.

We arrived at Yankee Stadium fairly early and Andrew promptly went and purchased an offical NY hat, which he had been dying to do.  Then we went through the process of actually getting in to the stadium and oh my gosh, the lines, the security screening, the interesting Bronx skyline around us! It was pretty overwhelming and become more so when we then noticed that the stadium wasn’t even half full.

Our $5 tickets got us seats in the nosebleeds, but it was fun. The random organ playing, the vendors walking through the stands selling stuff, including a very charming beer vendor whose call went something like “Whoooooooo wants to get druuuuuuuuuunk?! Beeeeeeeeeer heeeeeeeeeeereeeeee!”.

Part of the fun of sport matches, Im told, is the stadium food. I sent Andrew on a mission to get us some dinner and drinks. After a lot of decision making on his part (there is a lot of choice out here) we ended up with a tray of cheese and garlic fries (if you can smell something garlicky but can’t locate it, it’s probably us.) We also got a medium Pepsi and a beer that were the size of my face!!!  No need to supersize us, thanks team! The guy sitting next to us got a baseball helmet filled with nachos. He laughed when I asked to take asked photo and had to explain I was from “nuw  zeeeealend” and had never seen anything like it.

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The people behind us were also kind enough to share their crackerjacks with us.  Caramel covered popcorn and peanuts, yum. In fact, one of them admitted to never heaving tried them before, despite growing up in the USA. She was disappointed when the vendor didn’t come back as  she liked them so much she wanted to buy some more to take to work the following day.

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In the end the Yankees were victorious and as per tradition, Im told,  Frank Sinatra boomed over the loud speakers “….I want to wake up in the city that doesn’t sleeeeeep….”. I’d have to agree with Frank, but first I’ve got some Ben and Jerry’s  ice cream to acquaint myself with, before giving in and going to bed. Its going to be another midnight bedtime, but we’ll go to sleep with smiles on our faces.

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Andrews pedometer suggests we took more that 30000 steps today but man we were happy doing it…

Until tomorrow x

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