Tag Archives: NYC

Exploring Manhattan

Tuesday 9 September – Wednesday 10 September
New York City, USA

Financial District, New York City
On Tuesday we decided to explore the financial district and visit the 9/11 memorial. The memorial pools that now occupy the footprints of Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center are very moving. Surrounding each pool, inscribed into bronze panels, is a list of the people who died on 9/11. The organisation that runs the memorial places a rose on the individual’s name when it would have been their birthday, and seeing the number of flowers around the perimeter of the memorials on any given day really brings home the number of people lost.

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East Village, New York City
As a birthday present, Simon’s parents very kindly gave us some money to have a meal on them during our trip. We found a lovely tapas restaurant called Nai Tapas, in the East Village, with friendly staff and delicious food.

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Manhattan Island, New York City
On Wednesday, we enjoyed a relaxing and informative boat trip around the whole of Manhattan Island. It was great way to put the geography of the borough into context, including the wooded, hilly area at the northern tip of the island, which is apparently representative of the way the whole area looked before it was settled.

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Greenwich Village, New York City
On our honeymoon back in 2009, we came to New York and participated in a food-based walking tour in Greenwich Village. It was fascinating, and included a visit to the courtyard of a tiny restaurant, where we were given a sample of delicious fried courgette (US: zucchini).

Fast-forward to September 2011, and I was in the US for work. I had travelled over with important clients, one of whom had never been to NY before. I was playing tour guide, but it was getting late (to us, at least – we were on UK time!) and we wanted to find somewhere to eat. Although I knew a few places, none of them seemed appropriate for dinner with VIPs. However, just as I was beginning to panic, I noted that the street we were crossing was the one with the little restaurant, thus enabling me to sound very cool (in my head at least), as I said: “I know a little place…” and led my clients to the rather smart and exclusive-feeling Home restaurant!

Simon and I went back there on Wednesday evening and had another fantastic meal. Apparently, the owner (to whom we told the above story) is now married to the owner of the company that runs the food tours, so the story has a lovely ending, too!

Fact of the day
For six years from 1876, the arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty were displayed in Madison Square Park. They were used to raise funds for construction of the statue and base.


More info can be found at the Madison Square Park website.

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Brooklyn days

Sunday 7th September – Monday 8th September
New York City, USA

Coney Island, BrooklynIMG_2892.JPG

Want to lie on a beach within a few miles of Wall Street? Want to ride a Ferris wheel from the 1920s or an up-to-the-minute roller-coaster? Want to eat weird and wonderful fairground foods such as corn dogs? Then you need to go to Coney Island!

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We rode the F train from our local subway station south for about an hour, and reached this fun destination. It was a nice combination – not as faded as Whitley Bay, not as knowingly-ironic as Brighton (and with a real beach, with actual sand!) and not as tacky as Blackpool. The boardwalk was wide and spacious, and there were plenty of food options available, including Nathan’s, home of the original hotdog.

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I have been desperate to try a corn dog (a hotdog, on a stick, coated in corn batter and then deep-fried) since the first time I read about them on my favourite food blog, Iowa Girl Eats. She allows herself one a year, so I reckon I have a life-time’s worth of catching up to do! So, I made a start… delicious!

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Williamsburg, Brooklyn
On Monday afternoon, we experienced a different side of Brooklyn, in the oh-so-trendy Williamsburg, where we had brunch, followed by a stroll around this lovely, leafy area, which is heavily populated by cafes and restaurants.

Pier One, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn
Sadly, we didn’t have tickets for the US Open men’s final on Monday evening, so we opted for the next best thing – a large screen in Brooklyn Bridge Park, showing all of the coverage. The perfect excuse for a picnic! And free picnics (along with blankets and baskets) were indeed provided, courtesy of the sponsors, American Express.

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(Simon tells me that I can’t take my picnic basket home with me – via Australia, New Zealand and Japan – even though it is incredibly cute. However, this cruel denial does provide me with an excuse, albeit flimsy, to mention that my suitcase on the way over here weighed under 13kg, a fact that I am incredibly proud of!)

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We topped the evening off with a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge, back to Manhattan. Beautiful!

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Product/pun of the day
Have you ever felt that your crisps (US: chips) are just not green enough? Ever wanted more puns with your snacks? Then look no further. (From my favourite shop in the world, Trader Joe’s!)

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We are off and running!

We have arrived in my favourite city in the world – New York, New York!

It has been a long day, but the journey was fine and we have managed to stay awake until a respectable time (9pm ET), after getting out and about in Central Park this afternoon (more to come on that soon). I suspect that we will be crashing out soon, though…

So, in less than 48 hours, we have gone from this:

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…to this:

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Stay tuned for more updates!