These vagabond shoes are longing to stray…. New York, New York

Sorry for such a long break in posting- I was off galavanting around the world. The great joy of freelancing is I can work anywhere- so I work when I can, explore when I can. When an opportunity to go to the USA for a month presented itself, I grabbed it, and this is the result!

At this stage in my life, I don’t have much money. I can feed and clothe myself with varying degrees of success, but divorce and moving countries can make you very poor (I don’t recommend divorce but moving countries is thoroughly encouraged). So, in the USA, I was Very Poor. I also like food, very much, and would rather spend my rupees on food than expensive tourist stuff. As a result, our NYC trip was a typical broke Paula-travel.

Our accommodation was an AirBnB on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The first night, we ventured into Times Square. It’s a crazy place, with a million things happening at once. Worth going just to find a sheltered spot and watch the madness.

NYC Times Square, with Olaf and friends being spoken to by the local constabulary.

Day one, I headed out and had a delicious breakfast of shakshuka and coffee. I then went across town and met a NZ friend for coffee. We wandered into the park and enjoyed the sunshine before her baby decided it was home time. I wandered in Central Park for a while, and then arranged to meet Reza at The Met. Handy budget tip for New York- They say admission is USD $25 but you can pay what you consider is appropriate. I saw a number of people pay $1. So, entry into The Met, which will keep you busy for an entire day, can cost as little as $1.

Shakshuka and coffee <3

The Met is huge. Massive. We cruised through the Egyptian artifacts… headed through the American art… then Iranian… then got tired. We rounded off the visit with the European masters, Monet, etc. An absolutely amazing number of displays that we really didn’t do justice to. Easily a whole day could be spent here.

The Met and a bit of my mate Monet. Apparently, there was some Van Gogh vs Monet sunflower action. Van Gogh liked Monet’s version. Photo by Reza
Egyptian art wing, The Met. Photo by Reza

We then headed off to the Staten Island Ferry. It’s a free Ferry that departs every 15 minutes and swoops close to the Statue of Liberty on the way to Staten Island. We explored Staten Island, and then caught the ferry back in time to see the sunset as we cruised in Manhattan.

Staten Island twin towers memorial. A very peaceful spot. Photo by Reza
Statue of Liberty, with the sun slowly sinking behind her. Beautiful. Photo by Reza
Coming back into Manhattan on the ferry. The spiky building on the left is the new world trade centre. This photo doesn’t give proportion very well, it’s very, very, tall. Photo by Reza

For dinner, we headed to Macdougal Street, to a burger place called Honest Chops. Not only was the food delicious, but the street is a mass of yummy-looking food joints interspersed with comedy clubs that offered half price entry. If you timed your visit here right, you’ll get delicious food and a cheap (and perhaps funny) show as well! Lots of locals seem to hang out along here, a comfortable and cheap place for dinner.

No NYC post would be complete without a yellow cab picture! Photo by Reza

Day two, we walked to Central Park and grabbed some gorgeous pastries on the way in. Wandered through the gardens, then stopped in a shaded grassy area and did what the locals do, and had a nap. A very pleasant way to spend some time, people watching, dog watching, and enjoying the warm breeze.

Central Park lake. Photo by Reza
Central Park- I love the lushness of the park, the hordes of people enjoying themselves, and the close proximity to the city.

One thing I wanted to do while in NY was watch the sunset over the skyline. Going up any of the high buildings would have cost us $35 each and on the Paula Scale Of Food, that’ s a lot of pizza. So I found a rooftop bar and we joined the hordes of other people with a half-assed view of the Empire State Building. After that somewhat disappointing experience, we found an Italian restaurant and had a margherita pizza for dinner (and, deep fried  cheese for dessert, heaven). The night didn’t feel over for us, and I still had a trick up my sleeve. A quick subway ride and a 5 minute walk, and we were on the Brooklyn Bridge. A midnight walk across the bridge yielded some stunning views, some friendly characters, and a very romantic stroll. However, if you take a photographer with you, be prepared to take a long time to cross the bridge… the views are stunning. We then found the waterfront on the Brooklyn side and took some more stunning photos.

Crowded rooftop bar, with some fabulous views of the Empire State Building.
NYC from the Brooklyn Bridge- STUNNING. Photo by Reza
Brooklyn Bridge, looking back towards Manhattan. Photo by Reza
From Brooklyn, Manhattan. Photo by Reza

And, that was it. The following day was catching up with a friend for lunch, and a quick stop at Grand Central Station and the New York Library to meet Winnie-The-Pooh and his mates.

I didn’t think that visiting a metro station would be that great, but Central Station was a truly beautiful building. Photo by Reza
NYC Library
The *actual* Winnie-The-Pooh and friends. Well loved <3 I grew up with my parents and Grandfather reading me adventures of Pooh, so this was pretty cool.
To finish: This is a bodega cat I found. Basically, the small convenience store owners can be fined for having cats on site, but also if any rats are found. They pick the lesser of two evils and keep cats. I was very happy to meet this cat, he made my day!

 

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