10 days into our New York experience and we can understand why people claim it’s their ‘favourite city in the World’ (even if they haven’t visited many). In fact, at least four people reached out to me on my social media feed to wish us a good time and to specifically point out the aforementioned.
Despite how many people I know that have been here, not one has ever explained to me the origin of New York’s name. Specifically, that New York was named by the British to honor the Duke of York, the brother of England’s King Charles II.
Prior to that, it was New Amsterdam. Dutch settlers named the lower part of the island to this in 1624. When the British seized the land some 40 years later, it was renamed New York.
Speaking of the Dutch, we’ve moved from midtown to Lower Manhattan which is towards the edge of the bay and close to the financial district. Oddly, this big bronzed beefy balled bull can also be found here said to symbolise aggressive financial optimism and prosperity.
Something mildly amusing to glance at and glance Vivian certainly did 🤣
Do you know what else is down here at the bottom of Manhattan? Wall Street (The NY Stock Exchange).
Although we were here on Sunday + it’s the pandemic + most of these probably work from home these days so sadly we didn’t see any proper hustle n bustle and instead, saw an oversized billboard.
The statue of Fearless Girl statue is said to represent female empowerment 🤘
The building below and pretty much opposite Wall Street is the Federal Hall, though these days a national memorial but also closed to visitors thanks to Covid. Very much a significant building, hence the statue of (yet another) George Washington out front. The man’s everywhere, I tell you.
But I guess not too surprising when you learn that New York was the first capital of the United States once the Constitution was ratified. Washington took the oath to become the first President of the United States right at this location.
As it was my birthday a few days ago, we were able to plan some tourist attractions thanks largely to my family that pulled some cash together for us to make some activities happen 🙏💗
First up was a meal. That was a big deal for us considering we’ve skillfully gone three weeks without a single restaurant meal which is definitely not as easy as it sounds, but equally that has been key to our longevity out here.
Now, I had a particular venue in mind for special sentimental reasons. It sits in a beautiful larger ‘green’ setting inside Central Park West, close to the Dakota Building and the John Lennon homage. It’s called Tavern on the Green and I can picture my Mum and Dad’s grinning faces right now.
You see, Dad took Mum here for her 40th birthday some 25+ years ago!
The running joke (that isn’t actually a joke) is that it was so expensive Dad only ordered a salad for himself …………..🤣
I wanted to order a salad for a starter as further homage but at 22 bucks, we had to decline. Instead, we ordered a couple of mains, filled ourselves up with bread and tap water, and still did not come away with a two-digit bill. Utterly ridiculous.
Was it worth it? Definitely not. Take us back to thrifty eating any day of the week lol.
Was it worth it for memories, the story, and having shared an equally big birthday experience at the same location as Mum many miles away from Clevedon? Absolutely.
My second present was a river cruise on the Hudson River. Viv found us one that looked too good to be true as not much in America is reasonably priced, hence our uncertainty. It was a sunset-timed cruise for two hours with an audio guide for less than £30 each.
Apart from the fact that we chose a night (in advance) that would prove to be chilly, it was a great little excursion with an excellent tour host. We even caught a glimpse of an old Concorde close to the old USS Intrepid battleship (these days a museum).
As the day slowly turned to night, we grabbed pictures of Manhattan Island, Long Island (including Brooklyn and Queens), and also pictures of the neighbouring state New Jersey.
We also cruised pretty close to Lady Liberty too!
We looked into visiting the famous statue but discovered the two main areas you tend to want to actually reach if making it out to the island are the Pedestal and Crown Access and they’re both closed. At least on the boat we still got to see her in her majestic glory, albeit from a distance.
And lastly, my final present so-kindly paid for by the family was entry and access to a high-top view – definitely the city for it.
My Mum asked me in the week if I had as yet been to the Empire State building. What she won’t have realised is that these days you’re spoiled for choice for views so our dilemma was which to choose.
For decades the Empire State building will have been the prime high spot to visit. These days it has competition as there are modern-day equivalents, including Top of The Rock, One World Trade Center, and The Edge.
We went for The Edge and put some work into planning ahead in the hope we could dodge the crowds as best we could. And we did. You’ll get to see how much of the area we had to ourselves when Viv finishes up the video for the next post.
Anyway, take a look at these NYC views 😍
We’re “hoping” to finish up our American adventure in the next few days hopefully allowing for a final NYC post.
As for what after this, well that’s very much an active work in progress so stay tuned.