For my wife's birthday we took a weekend trip to New York City. I had a really good time, although NYC was much dirtier than I remembered; I hadn't been there in over 20 years though.
Friday, 2018 September 21
We took a taxi to Seatac bright and early, since our flight was leaving at 7:40 AM. With the time change we didn't arrive at JFK until after 4 PM, just in time to experience Manhattan rush hour on our taxi ride to the Westin New York at Times Square.
After checking in and examining our room (which was quite nice), we had a few minutes to kill before walking up seven blocks to The Palm West Side, where we had dinner reservations.
The food was good - I had steak, of course - and I really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant.
After leaving there we wandered around a bit, taking in the sites and sounds of Times Square, and then headed back to our hotel.
Saturday, 2018 September 22
We had breakfast at the hotel. The space was in the basement and was tiny, hot, and crowded. The food wasn't particularly good either, but at least it was expensive. We decided that we'd be doing something different for breakfast for the rest of the trip.
We had purchased two-day passes on one of the hop-on, hop-off tour buses so we walked up to the visit center a few blocks away to check in. There was a very long line and we got upsold to "VIP" passes, which theoretically granted us priority access to the buses (but in reality there was no enforcement of this).
We did eventually get on a bus that does a loop up around Central Park and parts of Harlem. The tour guide was pretty good and we had a good time.
We hopped off outside the Guggenheim. Parts of the museum were closed off while they installed a new exhibit so admission was reduced; there really wasn't much to see here, so even the reduced price felt excessive to me.
Next we walked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was phenomenal. We spent a couple hours here and barely scratched the surface; I would have happily spent more time, but we had other things to do and see.
After leaving there we walked through Central Park, taking in some of the highlights (like the model boat pond). We spent a while waiting for the next tour bus but one never showed up, so we decided to just walk back to the hotel.
On the way we decided to stop for a snack. PJ Carney's seemed inviting so we ducked in there. There was an obnoxious group at the bar, led by one particularly loud guy, that really annoyed me at first. Luckily they left, and after that I quite enjoyed it. The food was quite good.
When it ended we walked back to the hotel. On the way we stopped at a little bodega across the street from our hotel and got a couple sandwiches. That was the cheapest meal we ate in NYC, and honestly one of the tastiest.
Sunday, 2018 September 23
We walked about a half-mile south to catch another tour bus, this one heading towards ground zero (one of the sites Krista really wanted to see).
We got off around City Hall Park. I was hungry, of course, so we stopped at Lilly O'Brien's for brunch. The food was really good.
Then we kept walking and arrived at the World Trade Center. The line was quite long to get into the memorial, so Krista decided she'd skip it. Instead we walked down to Battery Park and took in the view.
Next we walked east to the South Street Seaport. We paid for the tour but, unfortunately, Krista got seasick as soon as she set foot on the lightship Ambrose. I did the tour by myself; it was really interesting. We then went over to the Wavertree, which was larger and more stable so Krista was able to walk around it without issue.
After a long wait, we managed to get onto a tour bus up to Chinatown. We were definitely getting hungry again, so we found The Fat Radish. The food was phenomenal; if we lived in NYC I'd happily go back here regularly. (Amusingly, Krista can never remember its name, so in our house it's been called "The Chubby Beet", "The Fat Cucumber", etc.)
Suitably fortified, we headed into Chinatown so Krista could get some purses. She was very disappointed because none of the types of stores that she remembered, full of counterfeit goods, were around (at least not where we walked).
We again caught a tour bus, this one heading north to Rockefeller Center. We mostly window-shopped; I managed to stay out of the Lego store (because it was full of kids), but we did go into a shop and Krista bought a few things.
Because we were on vacation we decided to eat again. We stopped at the oddly-named Pasta Lovers and split a pizza. It was again quite good.
We then walked back towards the theater district to catch the night tour bus. This was a long tour, a couple hours, with an absolutely awesome tour guide. It even crossed over into Brooklyn. The tour was complicated by the fact that a couple streets were closed due to an accident so we ended up deep inside a neighborhood. I have no idea how the bus driver managed to maneuver around such tight spaces, but he did. I was quite impressed.
Once we made it back to the theater district, we (you guessed it) ate again. This time we went to Junior's. Then a bit more walking around, and finally back to the hotel.
Monday, 2018 September 24
There was a big thing going on at the UN so we'd been warned that traffic would be crazy. With that in mind we got a taxi early and headed back to JFK. We ate at the airport Palm; the food wasn't as good, but it was still decent.
This was also the first time that I had trouble with the TSA in the precheck lanes; I got yelled at for having too many electronics packed together in my backpack. Fair enough, but the agent was very unpleasant about it.
The flight home was uneventful. We were back at our house by mid-afternoon.Friday, 2018 April 27 Tuesday, 2019 January 01