Around the world in 8 months travel blog

Walking Manhattan

Pasta making

Wall Street subway station

The Mighty Hudson

Manhattan skyline

Mac and Cheese

Grand Central lights

Main concourse

Friday night drinks

National September 11 Memorial

Fabulous modern architecture

Liberty Island

Ellis Island

New Jersey

Manhattan from above

Brooklyn Bridge

Jane's Carousel

Jane's Carousel 2

Central Park entertains

Manhattan at night

Empire State at night

Times Square

New York, New York

Well at last the adventure has started. So much planning and internet hours have gone into this and yet now it just feels like a city break, albeit one in the city so good they named it twice.

Four days to explore this exciting destination which is new to us all. The view from the plane was mind boggling; so many sky scrappers packed tightly together. Driving from JFK to Manhattan was an experience in itself; so much traffic and the city is vast.

Although tired (been up 17 hours) we cannot resist exploring. Our hotel on Lexington Avenue is close to many of the sights. We quickly come across the Flat Iron building and Broadway. Walking south we enter Little Italy where we eat pizza and then Chinatown. We decide to head back for a good nights sleep before tomorrows packed sightseeing day.

Day 2

Early rise and out and about. Breakfast in a deli across from the hotel and we are heading for Wall Street and the River.

The sky looks a little dark and unfortunately NYC is bracing itself for the tail end of the recent hurricane in the Bahamas.

Our journey takes us through Greenwich village where we see pasta making on a small industrial scale and SoHo to the Financial District.

We decide to walk along the shoreline to the Staten Island Ferry to sail across the Mighty Hudson. What a fantastic view of Manhattan, New Jersey, Brooklyn and of course The Statue of Liberty (I should be inserting photos here, but have yet to work out how!!).

. Yeah I think I've managed it.

Just as we disembark at Staten Island the clouds open and the rain starts. Lunch we think...

Mac and Cheese with Lobster at a table with a view of the Hudson and the Manhattan skyline - SUBLIME.

Back in Manhattan. What to do in this heavy rain? Subway to Grand Central Station. What an architectural masterpiece.

Whiled away an hour or more in the Beautiful Beaux-Arts Main Concourse, Great Northern Food Hall and the impressive Grand Central Market. Now to compare the architecture of the Art Deco-style Chrysler building. Both buildings are fantastic in their own right.

Well it is Friday so drinks are a pre-requisite of the weekend. Local bar on Lexington Avenue with an open front to the street. Happy hour prices make it a good choice. Busy and lively with an excellent choice in music; an enjoyable couple of hours.

Dinner is tasty Thai dishes shared between the three of us and then to bed for 9.30pm well it is 2.30am in the UK.

Day 3

Up at 5am again. We need to sort this time difference out (maybe stay up past 9 o'clock tonight). Where to today? We decide we must visit ground zero, so after a quick coffee and pastry back on the subway.

This monument to the victims of 9/11 is truly impressive. Very sad, but also inspiring. There are huge crowds but the atmosphere is peaceful and calm. Small flags and posies of flowers have been left by the names commemorated around the base.

This area has all been rebuilt since 9/11 and the architecture is something to behold

Marcus and I take the journey to the top of the One World Trade Centre (Mark's a wuss and stays with his feet firmly on the ground). What views; the whole of the Manhattan skyline, the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Mighty Hudson.

Once back on firm land we buy lunch from a Deli and eat outside at a table with brolly on the shoreline under the shadow of the One World Observatory, watching the world go by.

Brooklyn bridge is our next port of call. We make the obligatory walk across, but I'm not keen (too crowded and claustrophobic), we'll find another way back. DUMBO is bustling and the views across to Manhattan are fabulous. I also find a carousel built just for me!

Subway found after walking in circles and back to Central Park. Consider the Guggenheim, but the queues are massive (around the block), so into central Park. We walk the running track round the reservoir; this place is BIG. Next stop the Dakota Building where John Lennon lived and the monument to him in Strawberry Fields.

It is now dusk and we wander through the park with entertainment provided by numerous drummers, singers, groups and musicians. What a lovely atmosphere and great fun.

As it becomes darker we decide to see Times Square. I now have blisters on my feet and need to find a 7/11 soon!! This is the first place I am not impressed by; brash, crowded, brightly lit and noisy. However as with everything in this city it is BIG. Food in an Irish pub which is reminiscent of all those American sitcoms we've watched.

Another 14 blocks walk after which we collapse into bed. At least we've managed to stay awake until midnight.

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