Bowery Mural

New York - Monday, checking out Brooklyn

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

As soon as my head hit the pillow on Sunday night I was fast asleep. Monday was my last full day in New York and i intended to pack everything in that I hadn't managed so far. As I looked out of the window I was glad to see some blue sky. Hopefully it wasn't too cold.

After I got ready I packed the rest of my stuff into my suitcase and spare duffel bag I'd brought with me. Feeling a bit peckish I went to the Pret a Manger that was on the corner of 6th and West 38th, 2 doors form the hotel. The tea though. Ergh. I think they gave me some sort of flavoured stuff. I drunk what i could washing down my warm croissant, hogged their wifi then went back into the hotel to check out. Sad face. They were very kind and held onto my bags in a secure room until I would return later on in the day to head to the hotel. Very much appreciated.

With that I headed out into the chilly blue sky day. Heading towards Herald Square to catch the subway downtown I toyed with the idea of heading into Macy's. I'd seen it on Saturday evening but from the outside i didn't think much. Checking the time i decided to head in a for a quick look. There was a flower display on show all over the shop. But other than that it's a department store, just like any other department store. Tick.

I caught the subway downtown and it was pretty quiet. Presumably I missed rush hour but it was still only about 10am. I emerged from City Hall station, crossed the street and was soon sauntering across Brooklyn Bridge with the brightest blue sky you ever did see. As ever I snapped away on my phone and camera and had a few pictures taken by lovely strangers when they saw my try to take awkward selfies! Of course I returned the favour for them. A very nice couple from Norway. Thank you.

All in all it took me just over half an hour to walk across. The views were amazing. I could see the Statue of Liberty in the distance as well as that famous NY skyline. Oh it was so magical all over again.

Once over the bridge I made my way to the Brooklyn Bridge park area. You get great views of Manhattan and some great old wooden posts in the water that once were a pier. I snapped, snapped and snapped some more. I'd seen these very pictures on Instagram many times before and now here i was in the same place!

such a cool structure
It was pretty quiet over this side of the bridge. In fact for a good fifteen minutes it was just me wandering around this area. Soon it was time to go but not before a toilet break in the very clean portakabin toilets at the park.

I walked through the Dumbo area and took more pictures then headed for the subway station. I was a bit confused as there was a sign to say it was closed but a kind gent told me (in his NY twang) that in fact it was open and the sign was for weekends only. The train came quickly enough and I warmed up  nicely during the journey back to Soho.

A quick stop at the Bowery Mural and I went on my way again, back up to Midtown.

bowery mural
Bowery Mural
I rode the subway all the way up to Columbus Circle and decided to go into the Time Warner Centre to get some lunch. Grilled cheese sandwich, a croissant (this seemed to be my chocolate substitute on this trip) and a large tea. I found a seat, ate my lunch and planned the last remaining hours in my head. Central park was just out of the window but I didn't have that long for a wander necessary to take it all in. I would go though. I also wanted a Shake Shack burger and then there was the MoMA. Something would have to give in my time line.

Lunch view from inside Columbus centre
About half an hour later after i was suitably fed, watered and warm, i headed out into the bright sunshine once again. I walked into central park for a bit. It was really bright blue sky, bitterly cold and the trees were all silver barked and bare. Summer, i thought. This will be perfect in the summer. More photos were taken, horse drawn carriages were dodged and i emerged at the Apple Store end around 4pm. Time really wasn't on my side.

I ducked into FAO Schwartz to buy a few toys for the nephews (and to see the Big piano!) and nearly got knocked out by an over enthusiastic assistant flying a mini helicopter!! What a way to go, ha ha.

this couple weren't amused when he tried to get them to go on it
I wandered back down fifth avenue and into the MoMA shop - not time for a museum visit this time unfortunately (SUMMER) but the shop hit the right spot.

Walking down Fifth Avenue towards the hotel was absolutely freezing. Those long wide streets make it perfect for the wind to hit you from the front or behind, either way, in the shadows, you're in it's full blast. Brrrr...

I arrived back at the hotel around 5.30pm and grabbed a seat in the lobby.
Back at the Refinery hotel
Okay so i might've been a bit early for the cab ride back to the airport but i could sit here and relax in the warmth and people watch. With hindsight I should've hit up Parker and Quinn for some food but at the time the seat was all I wanted. My back was well aching. My feet were throbbing. My hands were tingling from the cold. A seat. A seat...

Refinery hotel lobby view
7pm came around quickly and i went to the desk to get my bags from storage. They brought them out and within a few minutes they'd hailed me a yellow cab. With that I said my goodbyes and was heading back to the airport. I was sad but I was happy that I'd taken this trip. It really was amazing, and I know people say this after their holidays but i couldn't wait to come back. I was already planning my next trip in my head as the sun was setting over Manhattan.

view from the back of the yellow cab
Thank you New York, thank you Refinery hotel. I had a blast! See you soon...

Angela x

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