Today would also be the day I said goodbye to the gorgeous Nolitan Hotel and hello Midtown and my other favourite, The Refinery. I packed my things as best I could and headed out to the Grey Dog again for breakfast. Pancakes and tea this time. Whilst there I made a decision about what I'd do today.
I had a skirt on and my boots and by the time I left the cafe after breakfast the sun had started to burn through the clouds and it was getting hotter so off i trotted back to the hotel to change into shorts and another t-shirt. After that I made my way along Kenmare Street towards the Williamsburg Bridge and caught the subway at Delancey over into Dumbo. I LOVE this area. And it was fairly quiet.
|the couple with the selfie stick!|
I wandered around a little then made my way to the river side and Jane's Carousel. Another place starred on my Google Maps app and one that I'd seen Instagrammed many many times. It's an old fashioned (refurbished) fairground carousel in a large glass building with doors that were slid open in this heat. I'm pretty sure they'd be slid shut in the colder months just around the corner. The site of this attraction couldn't be better either. Right between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges with amazing views across the river to lower Manhattan and beyond. Pretty.
|Jane's Carousel - so pretty|
|Brooklyn Bridge, from below|
The sun was now blazing in the sky and I was so hot so I sat for a little while and people-watched whilst snapping some pictures. Thankfully there was a little breeze coming off the water. There was even some sort of wedding / photo shoot going on. I don't know if this were a real couple or just for a magazine shoot. My guess - photoshoot.
After an hour or so here I headed back to the subway station via a shop for some water. I just got to York Street subway just as a train pulled away, I could hear it so there was a little wait for the next one. And thank god there was because I heard someone play guitar and sing. As I walked along the platform I saw him. Sitting there with his guitar and the most beautiful voice, he was gently rocking in time with his words. I couldn't stop watching him. The songs were slow and actually kinda sad but his voice was echoing around this platform like he was on stage in a stadium. Just wonderful. I took a few pictures and then a little video to try to capture him. Then I heard the train come. I scrambled to get some money out of my purse and placed it in his trolley before jumping on the train. He smiled. A sad smile. And gave gave him a thumbs up. I know. What a daftie... *thumbs up*.
Sitting on that train I as glad of my sunglasses, because something came over me and I kept thinking about that guy sitting there singing and my eyes started to well up. It was quite emotional, the whole thing, just one of those experiences that happens and you just can't explain but it means something to you. I wish I knew the songs he was singing...
As I got back to the hotel it was too early to leave here and check into the Refinery. My room wouldn't be ready until 3pm. So I headed out for one last wander around Little Italy. What an amazing atmosphere. One of the streets was closed off to traffic and it was lined with people sitting at tables that spilled onto the pavements from the many many restaurants. I even found a Christmas in New York shop - yes, course I bought something! There were plenty of great photo opportunities what with the great buildings and shop front signs as well as old guys sitting on street corners. Brilliant. I bought myself a strawberry gelato from a street vendor and headed up to East Houston Street - the Bowery Mural wall has gone by the way - boo!
|street art in Little Italy|
|cool Italian shop signage|
But what is there is Rag and Bone and I finally bought my much lusted after Rag and Bone fedora hat. I've been after one of these for about two years and I decided to take the plunge and get one here. I opted for the black one. Can't really go wrong with black, can you. But the only problem was, how was I going to get this home without squashing it into a case?! I'd worry about that later. After that I headed back to the Nolitan to finally check out and catch a cab up to Midtown.
|street art on the Rag and Bone shop wall - Nolita|
The traffic wasn't too bad and I was at the Refinery on West 68th Street in about 15 minutes. It was still warm and much busier up this end of the city but as soon as I walked through the doors, a calm and sense of 'home' returned. (This was the hotel I stayed in when I visited in March of this year).
Once again, my check in was easy and I was in a room on the 4th floor this time. When I got to my room I couldn't believe the size of it again. This was a queen room, the smallest, meant to be. But oh my goodness it was gorgeous and had a long layout which I really liked. Plenty of room to move around, a huge almost floor to ceiling mirror and another giant piece of wall art. The bathroom was smaller than the one in the first room I'd been in here but it was still packed full of features and those amazing Le Labo toiletries. Santal 33 - such a yummy smelling product.
|Another amazing room at The Refinery Hotel|
|lots of space and a giant piece of art|
|desk and mini bar|
It suddenly got dark in the room then I looked out and saw that it was raining pretty heavily. Next thing were a few cracks of thunder and flashed of lightning. This went on for about an hour which gave me time to have a wash and get changed. An our later the rain had stopped, thank goodness as it was only just passed 6pm. I headed out for a wander around Times Square. - at most a ten minute wall away. When I stepped out the air was so humid. It was still a bit cloudy overhead and you knew it had been raining. I imagined this is what is must feel like in a jungle. Warm, sticky, humid air.
Times Square was absolutely mobbed with people. There are some roadworks going on and so certain sections have barriers up so you can't walk there, which only adds to the big squeeze when you try to get around. I was stuck in a queue for about 20 minutes to walk a block. Jeez! I walked into a few shops for a browse and then decide to grab something to eat. Checked Google Maps again and noticed that there was a Chop'T on Bryant Park that was still open - according to the info. When I got there they had closed early. Damn. So I checked Google maps again and found one another short walk away, which thankfully was open. After that I headed back to the hotel, sleepy, feet killing me, and well tired.
Tomorrow would be Central Park day!