Tuesday morning arrived and we caught the subway to Chelsea to walk the High Line park. On the way we found a cool food court type thing, and the first stall did espresso – good espresso too! [Side note – the best espresso we found in NYC was at Frisson Espresso on W 47th between 8th and 9th Aves. Strongly recommended to readers.]
Coffees in hand, we strolled through the Chelsea markets, which were still relatively quiet as they had only opened. Coming out the other side we headed up to the High Line Park, which is an old elevated railway that has been converted into a tussocky park, still with the odd bit of rail and with amazing views of nearby buildings.
At the top of the park, conveniently, is Madison Square Garden (MSG), which has an all-access tour! Naturally we took the tour, which included strolling through the new main concourse and an example of the old concourse, for comparison. The new concourse is outstanding with numerous bars and food outlets offering a far greater range of food and drink than is normal for us (looking at you AMI, Eden Park and Horncastle!) They also have a day from history for every day of the year – very cool to read while wandering around.
One of the highlights was checking out one of the corporate boxes, which have outstanding views of the ice (made twice a year – the basketball and other flooring are laid on top of a layer of insulation), which the Zamboni machine was working on at the time of our tour.
We also headed right up to the press gallery, which is on a bridge high above other seats. The amazing thing about MSG is that there isn’t a bad seat in the house, which made tickets prohibitively expensive at this time of the year (so unfortunately we weren’t able to attend a game).
The other thing is that the current MSG is actually the fourth incarnation (when it was first opened, a boxing match was delayed after one of the fighters accidentally went to the third building. He still won the fight, once he got there!) The first was at Madison Square Park – the home of the (legendary) Shake Shack!
So, after the tour, we walked the mile or so to MSP and joined the queue at the original Shack. We both had (amazing) burgers, and added a hot dog on the side for good measure!
We started to walk towards the Empire State building, and spied an old friend – the Belgian Beer Café! I shit you not! Open a couple of years, it was a clear replica of those in NZ, down to the sign.
The line at Empire was YUGE so we went back to the BBC for a quick Hoegarden, before taking a tour of the Radio City Hall. This is the home of the Rockettes, a famous dance troupe. We skipped the actual show (still got to see a wee bit of it), but the venue is remarkable.
After the tour, we met up with Ed, a long-standing Stockley family friend, for a few drinkies, and then headed home for another grilled cheese (Sara has this down).
Day 3 began with a long queue at the Statue of Liberty cruise company, but once we made it onto a boat, we enjoyed the ride across the Hudson to Liberty Island. It’s not as small as everyone says it is 😉 – but clearly not YUGE.
Once back in Manhattan, we wandered around the 9/11 memorial grounds, and went to visit the Bull on Wall St (it’s not on Wall St, actually on Broadway).
The next stop was Century 21, the most amazing department store in the world. Suits for under $200! Good ones too! If only I had more baggage space!
That night we went to the best dim sum restaurant in China town, and even ended taking leftovers with us to the Empire State building – maybe the first Chinese takeaways ever to ride the elevator?
I think there’ll be around two more posts for New York. More soon!