Sunday, 23 August 2015

New York - Day 5

So day 5 was our final full day and we had scheduled a trip to Coney Island in Brooklyn. I was so excited because I had not been before and I was looking for a relaxing day. The problem was - It was cold and raining! Not wanted to be defeated we still set off.
On the way we stopped for breakfast in iHop - because its 'Merica and you have to. I had an American version of a full breakfast, followed by pancakes - and I enjoyed every mouthful. The American version of a hash brown is just so yummy, it's making me hungry thinking about it. I went to iHop in New Orleans last year, and they do have the same grubby look to them, and a bit of an odd smell, but the food is too good to care.

We then hopped on the subway for an hour journey into Brooklyn, where we eventually got to Coney Island. For those who don't know, Coney Island is a beach in Brooklyn, which a big funfair. It is probably really good - when its not raining and things are actually open. The first place we went was a big sweet shop. We stocked up on some American candy and set off to explore. There was lots of food places and little shops, most of which were closed. I'm not sure if this was due to the weather or the fact it was Sunday.  There was lots of rides and different sections to the fair/theme park, but again, most things closed. The place did have a good atmosphere though. Everything seemed a bit old fashioned - but in a cool vintage way if that makes sense - see 'Nathans' below and you might understand. 

So after a pretty unsuccessful trip to Coney Island - so disappointing. We headed back to Manhattan. Our next port of call was The Brooklyn Bridge.  The weather was still pretty gross so it wasn't going to be a long visit.
I didn't realise ho big this bridge actually was. We seemed to be walking for ages but not really getting very far. However we walked up to a good selfie point - because thats what it is all about right?

By the evening I just wanted to sleep - I'm super lazy I know. But my friend had other ideas. It was time for the night time view of the New York Skyline at the Rockefeller Center , and I'm so glad she made me go. It was incredible.
We got there at 9.30 pm and there was an hour wait - so make sure you plan in advance. The good thing was, your ticket gives you an assigned time - so you're not spending that hour queuing. Its open until midnight, with the last elevator going up at 11pm, and a ticket cost $30. The experience was brilliant. When you get in the lift, the lights go out and the ceiling is glass. All the way up there is - fairy lights so it looks like you are going into the stars.
The day we visited the Rockefeller Centre was also the day the Gay Pride parade took place in Manhattan. So we were lucky enough to see the Empire State lit up like a rainbow to support it. It was super pretty. I would definitely recommend the night time view of Manhattan. I'm secretly glad my friend didn't let me sleep - as much as I moaned at the time.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

New York Day 3 + 4

Day 3 was difficult, by this point we had walked so far my feet were suffering unbearable pain. However today was my friends birthday so I was determined to put on a brave face.
We started the day by visiting the Empire State Building. Overall we paid $50 for a ticket, but this included a video thing at the beginning. We hadn't really realised we had signed up to that but it was an interesting addition to our visit as it explained the history of the building.
At the top the view as you can imagine was incredible. It was pretty windy up there, almost a bit chilly - but not quite! It was still very hot. I spent a bit of time looking through the binoculars - I think it was about 25c for 2 minutes, but very interesting. I could even see into the offices and could see people working.

After the Empire State we went to TGI's for lunch as their website boasted a good gluten free menu - my friend is gluten free, and as it was her birthday she didn't really want a salad. Unfortunately it was a bit of a let down as they didn't have any gluten free buns - or anything gluten free. 
We then went of a bit of a treck to find the New York Sex Museum - which I would like to point out was totally not my idea of how to spend an afternoon. But of course the birthday girl gets to choose. Personally I thought the place was rather boring, and would not pay to go again. The only good part was a big bouncy castle of boobs. Strange I know, but it was hilarious, and I got to take my shoes of at this point so I was happy to go in. You basically got 2 minutes to bounce around in the boobs. There is no other way to describe it!

In the evening we had to celebrate the fact my friend could now legally drink in the USA so we went out to party. We had to make sure it was a unique night and not something we would do in the UK so we went to the Coyote Ugly Bar. For someone that doesn't really enjoy going out drinking, I had an amazing night. We weren't out for very long as my friend may have partied a little too hard, but it was a great atmosphere and I would recommend it to anyone. It's basically like the film - if you haven't seen it, go watch it now! Girls get to dance on the bar and the bar staff and singing and dancing on the bar. Its brilliant. The only downside was I kept banging my head #tallgirlproblems.
New Yorkers seem so much more friendly at night time! 

The next day was pretty much a write off - which is why is doesn't get its on post. My friend had the hang over from hell so it didn't look like she would be making an appearance. So I decided to head out myself and see Central Park. So off I went, braved the subway alone, and ended up in a park. It was nothing like what I had imagined - very quiet. There was a fitness class taking place, so I sat nearby on a bench and chilled for a bit. It wasn't until I got Google Maps out to see how to get back to the subway that I realised. When I got off the subway previously, I had turned the wrong way and was infact not in Central Park, but actually just in a random park on the outskirts of Manhattan - fail.