Going with the flow of New York City, here are some snapshots of this frenetic city… with some of the calmer bits thrown in.
Heading to the top of the Rock
The Rockefeller Centre is pretty awesome, considering the risk John D Rockefeller Jr took to finance and build it himself after the stock market crashed in 1929. What vision and what a view!
The history of the plaza is fascinating and the views from the top are stunning, especially of the Empire State Building. It’s something you might consider missing when you visit New York City, but don’t. It really is worth the ride…
You can take the free Staten Island Ferry out to look up at the Statue of Liberty, or you can jump on one of the Circle Line sightseeing cruises for a fee and see the lady and the city from a different perspective.
The great thing about the cruise is that you get to hear all the stories of the city.
…like the cliffs that apparently inspired Bill Finger’s Bat Caves.
…or the Pepsi Cola sign that was the first neon sign in Times Square but was preserved and moved to Long Island City.
…or that Times Square was once called Longacre Square and cattle were grazed there. Cattle, who would’ve thought…?
Loving Lower Manhattan
If we were going to live in New York and dollars weren’t an issue, Greenwich Village would be our first choice.
It’s our kind of place, with its eclectic atmosphere, boho history, old-time jazz bars, cozy bars and cafes, and bookshops you could hang out in all day.
And then there is nearby SoHo, an enclave that got its name from its location south of Houston Street.
Wander the cobblestone streets, watch shoppers on a mission or do some power shopping yourself, and take in the beautiful wrecking-ball-dodging restored buildings.
A leisurely lunch at the Antique Garage is the perfect place to kick back and recover over some delicious Mediterranean food…
Kicking back at Birdland
When it opened in December 1949, critics and nightclubbers said Birdland wouldn’t survive for more than six weeks. Sixty years later, it’s still here.
Charlie Parker once called it ‘the jazz corner of the world’. There’s something about this place that makes you believe it.
It may be almost 11:00pm, but we can’t walk past Birdland when the exceptional Maria Schneider Orchestra is about to come on.
Okay, we can’t pretend to be jazz aficionados but critics use words like evocative, majestic, heart-stoppingly gorgeous to describe Maria’s music – so in we went.
Oh wow…Maria writes the music – feels the music with every fibre of her being (I do not exaggerate!) – and her orchestra delivers it with precision and soul. Their respect for her – and each other – is truly remarkable, clearly the secret to such perfection.
At the risk of exhausting you – and myself (which happened days ago), I’m going to leave it there. For now.
Because EB has just arrived back from the gym (I kid you not) and it’s time to get ready for dinner. No doubt we won’t be back in until early tomorrow morning…