I’ve been back from New York for a few days, but between the jetlag and dashing down to Wiltshire to see two of my friends get married I haven’t really had time to organise my thoughts to be able to blog about them. I’m going to attempt to rectify that now.
To begin with, virtually full marks need to go to Virgin Airways. My journey in both directions was smooth, ran perfectly to time and my gluten free meals were all present and correct. The only criticism I had was that both the dessert for the main course and the snack meal were a small pot of fruit, this was a real disappointment when I saw that their bread rolls were provided by Lifestyle UK who produce some of the best gluten free cakes and pastries you can buy. Like I say a tiny niggle, but the fruit pot for breakfast was particularly disappointing against the range of pastries being offered to everyone else.
I was in New York for 6 days which worked out as 5 usable days and 2 part days for travelling. During these 5 days I covered a reasonable amount of New York, a mixture of recognisable landmarks and just wandering. I don’t want to do a chronological “What I Did On My Holidays” style account, so I’m just going to mention some of my favourite parts.
The Top of The Rock observation deck was recommended highly so I thought I’d better visit it. The last time I was in New York I’d visited the Empire State Building so it was nice to do this instead. There’s a floor of displays about the Rockefeller Center which I found really interesting, unlike many of the other tourists (yes I’m one of those annoying people who actually likes to read everything in these places) and an area with brief videos to watch. Then it was up to the first level of the observation deck. I was completely taken away by the view as I walked through the doors, the Empire State Building was directly in front of me in all of its glory. I spent a good hour or so working my way round the three levels taking huge numbers of photos. It was very hot which left a haze hanging over the city.
The Strand Bookstore was another recommendation – any bookstore that boasts of its 18 miles of books was sure to be a hit with me. I spent ages browsing around the bookshelves, I loved that they had little mini shopping trolleys though this did make it easy to fill the basket. Their basement boasts review copies of books sold at half price, I was tempted by lots but managed to resist as they were all hardback. If I lived in or near New York I’m sure I’d be a regular customer.
Central Park was a favourite of mine from my previous trip to New York and I was delighted to find I enjoyed it as much this time. I still find it amazing that within seconds of walking into the park you feel completely cocooned. It was easy to forget that I was in the middle of such a busy, bustling city. I wasn’t able to revisit as many areas of the park as I would have liked, but I spent plenty of time watching the world go by and reading my book which was good enough for me.
The TV and Movie Sites Tour was yet another recommendation, and another excellent choice. It’s a 3.5 hour long tour that takes in lots of the New York sites that have been featured on the big and / or small screen. The tour was well put together, taking in loads of familiar locations and hosted by an actress who explained a number of the techniques and tricks used by film-makers in the city. My favourite location was Monica’s apartment building, but there were so many that I recognised. For the few I didn’t recognise because I hadn’t seen the film or tv show I didn’t need to worry, the host played a dvd of the clips mentioned during the drive between locations.
I did take a fair number of photos, if anyone wants a peek then they’re here. I’m planning another couple of posts on New York, the gluten free food I ate deserves a post all of its own!