New York City is the greatest city on earth. A family obligation recently afforded us the opportunity to spend a couple of nights on the island of Manhattan, and part of my responsibility on this visit – while Lori was working – was to keep the little man entertained. So, what do two Mainers set loose in the big city do? Well, they explore… and as they explore, one of them Instagrams their adventures. In just a couple of days, Jack and I hit up some of the more famous locations… Central Park (and the zoo), Times Square, the Empire State Building, Fifth Avenue, the Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway and 42nd Street, Greenwich Village… and that’s what I’ll be documenting in the next couple of blog posts. Let’s start with Central Park and the Children’s Zoo where we saw some awesome critters (in and outside the zoo). I know it’s weird, but I can’t shake the spooky feeling I get when looking at the first couple of photographs from this post. Makes me think of The Shining… here’s Jack!
Lori’s parents live in a quiet and beautiful part of Long Island near stunning beaches and only half an hour from NYC, but they are also next door to one of the largest and busiest shopping areas imaginable. Old Country Road and Roosevelt Field Mall are famous for the opportunity to grab a retail bargain or two, and on the day after Thanksgiving – dubbed Black Friday since this is usually when most retailers start to turn a profit for the year – the crowds were expected to be massive. So what do you do to escape the madness? Why you go to New York City of course!
Our love of NYC is pretty well documented here on the blog, so we don’t ever need an excuse to spend time there. On this particular visit we took the LIRR train in and hopped on the subway to get us to where we wanted to be – the upper West Side and Central Park. We didn’t really have a detailed plan… we just knew that we wanted to forego the traditional visits to either the Met or the MoNH and enjoy the temperatures in the mid 60’s and abundant sunshine… and what better place to do so than Central Park.
“Arguably one of the most famous parks in the world, Central Park is a manmade wonder. Not only is it the first public park built in America, but it is also one of the most frequently visited, with over 25 million guests per year. Set in the middle of bustling Manhattan, its grounds serve as a safe haven, not only for athletes, daydreamers, musicians, and strollers, but also for teems of migratory birds each year. One can spend an entire peaceful day roaming its grounds, gazing upon nearly 50 fountains, monuments, and sculptures or admiring its 36 bridges and arches.”(http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/centralpark)
While walking across the park it seemed to be somewhat in transition… there were parts of it closed due to damage from a recent snow laden nor’easter that blasted through weighing down trees still heavy with leaves, and in other places it was a typically peaceful late autumn day where you could easily forget that you were in one of the most energetic cities in the world. We spent a little time feeding the ducks at the Conservatory Water, and though low in the sky, the pleasant fall sun was a welcome respite from the 10 inches of snow that had just fallen back home in Maine. The park was it’s usual vibrant self, and after enjoying a wonderful stroll down toward it’s southern edge, we re-joined civilization and the more “normal” throng of people as we navigated the always busy and bustling area around the Plaza Hotel and Fifth Avenue.
Pounding the pavement in NYC can be both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time, and by the time we dashed onto the return train at Penn Station with just minutes to spare, we were all ready to relax and maybe even take a nap on the ride home. This was of course after some classic NY Pizza from another of our favorite food places… Pizza Villagio on 6th Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets… there’s nothing like NY pizza! In New York City there are so many people crammed into such a small space, but there is also so much to see and do crammed into the same relatively small space… and I think it is fair to say that we all feel right at home there.