Trip Report 1st – 6th March 2006-03-12
Wed (1st) Left South Wales at 6.30am to drive to Heathrow for our 11.50am flight with American Airlines. Plenty of legroom, food was ok along with Movies etc. Even though we left 50mins late we still managed to arrive on time into JFK at 2.40pm.
We were sat in row 21 so managed to get off pretty quick and no queues at immigration. Waited about 15mins then for luggage to come through and we were lucky enough that ours came off quite quickly. We had thought about getting the Shuttle Bus but in the end we decided to jump into a cab and after bout 40 mins we arrived at our hotel the Affinia Manhattan. Price of the cab was $55 which included tolls and tips. Great Hotel, fab location, right opposite Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. Our room was lovely, huge bed, table, chairs, desk and small kitchenette, which we didn’t use. The bathroom was very small but clean. The highlight was to see the Empire States Building from our room even if to the left of it there was a great big crane hanging by the side as they were doing a lot of work to a building close by. We quickly unpacked then went for a walk. We decided to walk around to the Empire States Building, which took us about 5mins to walk there. There were no queues so we went up to the top. Amazing to think we only landed in New York at 2.40pm and at 5pm we were stood at the top of the ESB! After that we had a walk up to Times Square, which took us about 10-15mins. Had a walk around there before heading back down towards out Hotel for something to eat. We had a meal in Lindys, which was near the Affinia Manhattan. Very nice! By now it was close to 8pm and we decided to call it a night. It was 1am back in the UK and we had been up since 5.30am that morning.
Thurs (2nd) Woke up early because of the time difference and went out for a walk. It was snowing and they had forecast it for most of the day. We went to Cheyenne Diner for breakfast, lovely breakfast, really set us up for the day. We decided to get a metro card (7day card was $24 if I remember) We caught the subway down to Ground Zero and had a walk around there and in St Paul’s Chapel. We also went to Century 21 to get some ideas of what to buy and ideas for presents. It was now sleeting quite heavily so we jumped back onto the Subway and headed up to Bloomingdales. We decided to hit a few more shops because of the weather so went to Schwarz Toy shop and a few others nearby. Took some photos of Central Park in the snow then took the subway to Grand Central Station, had a walk around the building and shops and had a drink the Bar across the road from there. It was now raining so we walked down to Macys which was only a few mins from hotel. My husband bought a few pairs of Levis (£18 a pair) By early evening it had stopped raining and the snow was melting so we went back up to Times Square and had a meal in Ollie’s (Chinese) on 42nd St. Very nice food and quick service even though they were really busy. We walked back towards the hotel and had a couple of drinks in Harrington’s (opposite the Affinia) before dragging ourselves off to bed.
Fri (3rd) Lovely sunny day today but cold. Had Breakfast in a café across the road then caught the subway down to Battery Park. Got tickets for ferry over to the Statue of Liberty. Once we got over there we waited about half an hour to get through Security. After our tour around there, jumped back on the ferry and went to Ellis Island and then headed back to Battery Park. We had a walk around the Park and then walked to the World Financial Centre, which was beautiful inside. We were a bit peckish so we went to Johnnies Fish Bar and shared a plate of Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings and a couple of beers. Very nice but slow service. We then went down to Chinatown were we did a bit of haggling for some souvenirs and walked around Little Italy. Both shattered went back to the hotel to for an hours rest and went out for a drink in a really nice Irish Bar around the corner from the hotel then had a meal in the Heartland Brewery in the ESB. Good food and again quick service even though they were very busy in there.
Sat (4th) Had breakfast in the café opposite again then caught the subway to Chelsea where we had a nice walk around the area, Washington Square and the East Village. Stopped for a coffee in the East Village can’t remember the place but it was lovely and they gave us hot banana bread with our coffees. We then caught Subway down to Lower Manhattan and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, it was a lovely walk and nice views looking back at Manhattan. We caught the subway back and took a walk down Wall Street before going into Century 21 to do some shopping. We caught the subway back to Penn Station and dropped off our shopping and went into Harrington’s for a Snack Platter to share. As it was a lovely clear sunny day we caught the subway up to the Rockafella centre where we watched the skating for a while before using our 2 for the price of 1 voucher to the Top of the Rock. Fab views, I would say I enjoyed the views much more from the Top of the Rock than I did from the ESB although I would still tell people to do the ESB as well as the Rock. Had a good walk then back to the hotel. We were shattered, we had walked miles today. We decided to have a quite night so we went across the road to the Triple Crown Pub where we had a few beers and then picked up a Pizza takeaway and some Strawberry Cheesecake, which was lovely.
Sun (5th) Got up and had a quick easy breakfast in a café in Penn Station. Both had coffees and toasted Bagels with jam and butter. We then walked up to Times Square as my Uncle was on the Internet back home and wanted to see us on the Web cam. After doing that we went to the Public Library and walk through Bryant Park, we also went back to Grand Central Station as I wanted to take some photos and they were filming what we think part of a film. Richard my husband recognised the guy. They did a couple of takes of this guy walking and talking with a woman and all the extras walking by. We saw two takes and they must have got the shot they wanted as they all disappeared. We then got the subway up to 77th st and walked across to Central Park. We were near enough about half way up the park and enjoyed a lovely walk through the park, cold but sunny. We spend ages in the park, we were going to take a ride on the horse and Carriage but we were enjoying the walk so much we decided against it. It is something we can do next time we are in New York. We got to the Ice rink and there must have been some sort of competition on so we stopped and watched that for a bit. For lunch we went to McAnns Pub, which was outside of the park but nearby. After lunch we went back to Times Square, did a bit more shopping before going back up to the Top of the Rock again for sunset. (I had printed my 2 for 1 voucher twice) Great sunset and great views, it was fantastic to see everything lit up in the dark! We then went back to Times Square and went into O’Linneys Irish bar for a few drinks before going to Virgil’s for BBQ. Lovely food, quick service but far too much food! Massive portions!! We were so full, enjoyed a nice walk back to our hotel to try and walk it off.
Mon (6th) Our last day, our flight was not until 9pm and we had a chat with the hotel to find out the different options to get back to JFK. We were going to be leaving at 5pm so we knew it would be rush hour so in the end we decided to get a private car, which they booked, for us. It cost us $70 but that included tips and tolls. Once that was sorted we packed our bags and went for breakfast back to the Cayenne Diner. Popped and did a spot more shopping getting those last minute things before going back to the hotel about 11.30 to finish packing and check out. We were able to leave our bags at hotel so that was great. We walked up to Times Square and decided to go to Madamme Tussauds . We had vouchers off ($6 per person) The tickets also got us into the Chamber of Horrors. I screamed my head off the whole way around; luckily you weren’t in there for long! Not for the faint hearted!! After that we went to Roxys Diner for a late lunch. Again, great food but huge portions though. We needed a walk after lunch so we walked up to Central Park and had a last walk around there. Very depressed as we were going home and didn’t want to. We then had a walk into the Times Warner Centre before getting the subway back to the hotel to leave. It took us just over an hour to get to JFK and once there flew through immigration and went for a drink. Our flight home was on time and landed back in Heathrow the following morning 20mins early.
We really enjoyed our trip to New York and felt we saw a lot of Manhattan. We could have defiantly done with a few more days though, but it gives us a good excuse to visit again in the future.