spring adventures: new york (ii)


Are you ready for part two? You might want to grab a cuppa. It's probably going to be another long one.

Day 4 in New York City started off in the best way possible - bagels for breakfast. They're one of my favourite things to eat, and everyone's got to have an actual New York bagel, right?! One of the places I'd really wanted to visit was the High Line in Chelsea so we decided to head in that direction as the weather was supposed to be a bit more rubbish towards the end of the holiday and we wanted to make the most of the sun. It actually turned out that it rained when we got there and then was gorgeous that afternoon, but it didn't spoil it. It was busy enough in the rain so I can imagine in the summer it is absolutely packed, but it was a really interesting way to see some more of the city and it's actually a really lovely area of green-ish space to walk. We made our way down from the High Line and walked through Chelsea a little bit along to the market. I can totally understand why it's the fashionable area - my goodness, it is beautiful! Even the Google building lives there. Chelsea Market was cute, but I have to admit that there wasn't a huge amount there considering how busy it was. I had an incredible chicken pot pie from one of the food stalls for lunch and then we got mini doughnuts for dessert, so I shouldn't complain! After lunch we wandered back towards the High Line to a place called Biergarten which Zoe, Nolan and my dad wanted to check out. It was ridiculously expensive but I think they enjoyed the beer and we got to play table tennis so that kept us amused for a little while.
By that point the sun was shining beautifully and so we made our way towards the 9/11 memorial via Wall Street. The 9/11 memorial was the most incredible place - I'm getting emotional even just writing about it. There is just this very contemplative atmosphere there. I found it very difficult not to cry, and none of us really said much. You are just kind of floored by this empty space left and how much of an impact it made on the entire area. The memorial is really beautifully done, as well. I'm grateful that I got to see it. We left before we all burst into tears and found Battery Park, where we enjoyed the last of the sunshine for the day and admired Lady Liberty from afar. Dinner was at a place in the East Village called Whitman's, where I had incredible grilled cheese. More places in England should sell grilled cheese. I love grilled cheese. It's a miracle that I didn't take any photos of my food, save for a pretzel, whilst I was there. I was obviously far too excited and just wanted to eat it. You're probably very grateful.
Saturday morning was fairly rainy so we took cover in Grand Central Terminal. How beautiful is that building?! I just wanted there to be people wandering around in appropriate period costume to get the full effect. So pretty. After wandering around for a little bit we made our way to Union Square. The market was there because it was the weekend, and it almost felt a little bit like home. And all the flowers certainly brightened up the slightly grey day. Zoe and Nolan took my dad to Brooklyn Brewery in the afternoon, so me and mum left them to catch the subway to Williamsburg whilst we braved the Brooklyn Bridge. Neither of us are the best at walking over structures which are a long way up with holes in the floor, but we made it! The view kind of kept our mind off things. It's actually a really lovely walk, and it was nice to see the city from yet another perspective. We then explored Brooklyn Bridge Park and DUMBO, where I took that photo, and decided we'd make our way back to Manhattan to wander some more. I do want to explore Brooklyn properly when I inevitably return, though. We found ourselves in the middle of a massive old pillowfight in Washington Square Park, and then discovered the sweetest little mews which were something related to international NYU students. I want to enrol there just so I can see the inside of them! We then walked up 5th Ave until we got to the Flatiron building (which is just as cool as I thought it would be). I know everybody always says you walk a crazy amount in New York, but I couldn't believe just how far we'd made it that day - I think it was over 10 miles according to my phone. I'm not sure I believe that, but it certainly didn't feel like it if we did. While we were having a sit down by Madison Square Park, the others rang and told us they'd drunk the brewery dry, so we met them back at Union Square and made our way to a pizza place near the apartment for dinner. That pizza was really bloody good.
Sunday was a bit of a pain in the arse as our flight was late in the evening and we had to drag our luggage around with us all day (about the only downside to renting an apartment rather than staying in a hotel), but we enjoyed breakfast at Bercli Park again before heading uptown. Zoe and Nolan had an earlier flight than us, so we said goodbye to them on the corner of 57th and 6th. My mum just about held it together until they disappeared down into the subway station, but then she went to bits and so I went to bits. It will never be easy saying goodbye, but it's much harder when mum is there. I blame it on her motherly instinct. Maybe when I'm a mother myself I'll understand. Anyway, we spent the rest of the day lugging our suitcases around Central Park - it was difficult to say goodbye to that place, especially on such a beautifully crisp, sunny day - and down 6th Ave to the Rockefeller Centre (thank you, public toilets), and then on to Penn Station where we caught the train to the airport. I'm sure it would have been a more productive day had we not had our suitcases, but we were a little limited by them and, to be honest, I don't think mum was particularly up to much. So we just enjoyed the atmosphere of the city for those final few hours. It was the absolute best holiday; New York City was everything I hoped it would be, and more, and there's still so much left to explore. And to spend time with Zoe and Nolan was the best - fingers crossed it's not another two years before we see them again. New York City: you stole my heart completely. See you again sometime.

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