There really is nothing quite like arriving in Manhattan for the first time. It really is JUST like you see it on TV! I was so excited for Iron Man and the The Kid as it was their first visit and I wanted them to experience it as I had (almost 20 years ago). This was Iron Man’s 50th birthday soiree and he was keen to visit in the spring. My previous visit was during the winter and I have always associated New York with cold weather, hot chocolate and ice skating – just like in the movies.
On arrival in New York we were greeted with very intense 30 degree heat which stayed with us throughout. For me, this was like seeing a whole new city. It is very different in the sunshine and it was a treat for me to see New York through different eyes.
As with most big cities, the best exploration and finds are generally done on foot. These are the times when you can look up and around soaking up the atmosphere and where you stumble upon little gems like this just because you happened to walk into it.
The heat should have slowed us down but it didn’t. I would love to know how many steps we did. It can be easy to forget that we have a 10 year old with us sometimes as we have certainly put our legs through the paces over the last week. We did so much yet we still have so many reasons to go back. I guess that is always the way.
It was also Memorial Day during our visit and it was wonderful to see so many service men and women out and about in the city.
One of the things that we truly love about America is the patriotism and the way the American flag is everywhere and on everything. Absolutely everything.
Slightly blurry picture of the Subway train but you gotta take your chances where you can – think Whoopi Goldberg and Ghost!
See what I mean about the flag!
The Subway proved a godsend for speeding up journeys. It was quick, reliable, safe, easy and the air con made it the place to go for a cool down. Just like the tube in London!
Food Glorious Food
You can never eat enough in New York. There are so many things to try and we really didn’t have time to do it justice – another reason to go back. We managed a few bits though.
Statue of Liberty
Whilst waiting to board the Staten Island Ferry at rush hour to catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty with the workers of New York returning home, Frank Sinatra’s version of ‘New York, New York’ started to belt out. It was one of those rare wonderful moments that was just so fitting and cheesy at the same time. Probably not so for the workers who I’m sure hear it every day, but there is no way that any respectable 40 something Brit on tour is going to do anything but start dancing. Why should we be the exception?! Of course we blooming well danced.
This is a less fun for a 10 year old with her parents who hasn’t been brought up with this song at every family party since she was 2. It just doesn’t hold the same meaning.
We won’t mention the foam hat kiddo!
Travel Note – In order to alight at the Statue of Liberty and to climb it, you have to pre-book online. We didn’t know this prior to travel and were disappointed to learn that it was fully booked until September. Next time Libs!
Madison Square Garden
An absolute must! With or without kids. We booked in advance to see the New York Liberty play Minnesota Lynx.
From the moment you walk and hear the American Anthem it is wall to wall entertainment. It was a well fought game and I have to say there were some pretty powerful women playing. The highlight of the intervals had to be the large shooters catapulting t-shirts into the crowd. The atmosphere and excitement in the stadium was palpable.
The High Line
The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long New York City linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad.
In some ways it reminded us of the Olympic Park – beautiful flower beds and a great way to see the city. Well worth doing. Lots of artists at the end selling their wares and many tasty food stalls from which to sample more treats.
Check out these slushies being made from the ice block!
We ended our route in Chelsea.
Another must visit. Both the neighbourhood and the Market. So many things to browse and some wonderful entrepreneurs selling their wares. Absolutely loved this jewellery made from real fruit.
Another must. Brooklyn itself and the Dumbo district (mad name!) is a great place for a mooch. The walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge is a wonderful way to view Manhattan – especially in the glorious sunshine.
I thought the Ice Skating Rink was the preserve of the Rockefeller Centre but it turns out that it lends itself pretty well to outdoor summer dining too. Loved it the first time, loved it even more the second time. The favourite.
Another fave. The heat precluded us from spending too much time here but we made sure we saw Alice.
We passed through on our first day but on the basis that we hadn’t had the conversation with little lady about 9/11, we didn’t linger. Had we been alone I expect we would have gone into the museum and spent a little more time here. Having said that it was incredibly busy and we found it a bit uncomfortable to see people taking selfies.
We felt that just being in the City made us reflect on what happened that day. Sadly, it is also one of those moments in history where one can remember exactly what they were doing. During one of our many walks, we passed an open fire station where the crew were training a new recruit. Seeing photographs of the fire crew that had lost their lives that day was incredibly moving.
Here is a picture of the Fire Truck getting ready for a training session. See what I mean about the flag!
American Girl Place
Yes. I’m afraid she did. This place. There is nothing like it. On Earth. Five visits. Five bloody visits. Suckers. I cannot do it justice in a paragraph so against my better judgement and because it was quite fascinating and crazy mad at the same time, it’s getting a post of its own. Be afraid. There is at least one doll in the UK.
If you are in any doubt about taking children to New York, don’t be. I felt incredibly safe there, we all did. So very different since the clean up and my last visit. There is loads of for kids to see and do. There is also plenty for Iron Men to eat and drink. Hell they even sell Stella Artois. Of course he was gonna be a part of it.
New York, New York!! Have you been? What were your highlights?