Sunday, 30 August 2015

NYC: Wednesday

I think by our last day I was tired of taking pictures. We had a pretty relaxed day and saw some cool places.

We visited Lincoln Centre and Juilliard School, which are geographically intertwined. They are also right across the street from the temple. I think we missed an opportunity here not planning a temple baptism trip with Carmen and Chloe, darn it.

We went to MOMA. We shopped unsuccessfully for some very specific basketball shoes for Carmen. We hit the M&M's store for Chloe to buy a birthday present for a friend who will be especially appreciative and enjoyed trying new flavours ourselves.

More swimming! (Carmen and Chloe in the pool alone from our hotel window)

We struggled  a little bit with what to do and where to eat on our last night, but we did just the perfect thing. We went to the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, right across from the Flat Iron Building. The light fell as we sat and talked and ate. It was a beautiful summer evening, and concluded our vacation in a way that solidified the experience and the memories.

We stayed until dark and said goodbye.

NYC: Tuesday

Tuesday we took the Path train and popped up in Hoboken New Jersey.

We were not disappointed! We ate cannoli's, walked over to Frank Sinatra Park at the waterfront and sat for a bit, and then returned to Manhattan.

Chloe got her artsy photo. She quite disliked the hot oppressive subway stations, but she can smile for a picture.

We walked through Greenwich Village into Washington Square Park and then all the way back to our hotel via Bowery.

The pool was a vacation saver!

Chloe and Carmen aren't normally happy shoppers, but we had a really good time in Soho in one store in particular,

And walked out victorious! Or so we thought. It turned out that one of the items we purchased wasn't in our shopping bags - but we didn't notice until we were packing up to go home after stores were closed, and we left at 5:30 am to catch our plane so I couldn't deal with it until we were back in Calgary. I wasn't completely hopeful calling 2 days later from home, but they couldn't apologize enough, and have mailed it to us free of charge. Phew!

We ate dinner in Little Italy,

And still made it back for a night swim under the cafe lights!

NYC: Monday

Movies weren't the only media that influenced our NYC experience. We made many Seinfeld references all week. This one is: Top of the Muffin TO YOU!

Monday we had reservations to take the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Here is Ken's view from the ferry.

This pose was Carmen's idea, but Chloe executed it perfectly.

Carmen and Chloe brought their polaroids and got some awesome pictures with the cloud texture that day.

The 4 of us at the base of Lady Liberty.

Ellis Island was interesting and a beautiful tribute to what National Parks is capable of.

We got a short tour of the building and watched a movie and learned a few things. I didn't know that immigrants landed in Manhattan and then were ferried over to Ellis Island for processing.

More cooling off in the pool.

Carmen and Chloe were tired of walking but Ken and I wanted to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, and it turned out to be a great idea.

Ken and I needed another second to process that Carmen was about to take a picture.

We ate pizza for dinner at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn and then outvoted Carmen and Chloe's idea to take a cab back to Manhattan.

Good thing we did!

It was a beautiful walk back.

NYC: Sunday

The closest church to our hotel was in Chinatown, but we lack the language skills so we went to church in the West Village. From the outside it was exactly what I expected, but the inside was a bit of a surprise. We went up the elevator to the 4th floor where the chapel is located and walked into what looked like any free standing LDS meetinghouse in North America. The carpet was the same as ours at home. The couch in the foyer? Exactly the same. But the biggest surprise was the peaked ceiling elevation in the chapel that took up the 5th floor. I never would have guessed.

We spent Sunday afternoon visiting museums in the Central Park area,

So it was hotdogs for lunch!

Central Park Zoo would have been a disappointment since it didn't have any of the animals from Madagascar (of course? since they'd escaped?) but the gate with the dancing animals that followed the bell that marked the hour was completely enchanting and purely serendipity that we were walking underneath when it happened.

Carmen and I briefly visited the Neue Museum to see The Woman in Gold because we had just watched the movie on the plane on the way over. It is a stunning work of art in real life.

We caught up with Ken and Chloe at the Guggenheim Museum which was most interesting for the building itself. The afternoon was fairly movie-driven with Carmen and Chloe recognizing this location from Mr. Popper's Penguins.

Finding Night at the Museum exhibits occupied us at The Museum of Natural History.

We caught the last hop-on-hop-off bus tour of the Upper West Side for the day weaving through the Columbia University Campus and Harlem.

It's pretty funny that Banana Republic has moved in next door to the Apollo Theatre.

We got off the bus at The Plaza Hotel

Things got a little girly.

Carmen outside Tiffany's of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Because NYC is full of movie locations.

Lastly, working on our artsy shots.

NYC: Saturday

Saturday we visited the 9/11 memorial.

The Freedom Tower

It was a solemn thing to do on a holiday, but it seemed important. It certainly brought back all the feelings of that day 14 years ago.

We explored the area a bit: Trinity Chapel as seen from Wall Street.

And came across this wedding doing their photos. There were a dozen bridesmaids! And groomsmen! The photographer had 5 assistants, which made me think we were witnessing a six digit wedding.

We hit the swimming pool again in the afternoon, and then got dressed for Broadway.

We enjoyed dinner in Bryant Park. The food was great (I had the vegan Jerusalem platter) but I think I learned on this trip that the ambiance matters to me just as much as the food.

We had time for some New York Cheesecake before our show.

We saw Matilda, and wow those kids were talented. Sadly, I think we were nevertheless underwhelmed. It was a shame.

We can't seem to go straight back to the hotel ever. We walked Times Square a bit.

Another late night!

NYC: Friday

Someone pulled the fire alarm in our hotel on Friday morning, which was a rude awakening at 7am. We promptly returned to bed and slept until 11.

When we finally got going we started with a hop-on-hop-off bus tour in the blistering early afternoon sun.

I wish we'd hopped off for this one.

We did hop on and off a couple of times just trying to find a tour guide with an accent we could understand!

Waiting between buses for a better tour guide at the Flatiron Building

By the time the bus made it to our neighbourhood we were ready for a break and hit the rooftop pool at our hotel. We left for the Yankees game feeling refreshed.

Yankee Stadium Museum

Sadly the Yankees lost but they had an exciting 8th inning where they almost turned it around.

I know it's bad Snapchat etiquette to screen shot, but hey.

Does doing something twice make it a tradition? A few years ago when we were in NYC with Jaclyn we went to the Empire State Building after a Yankees game, and we did the same thing this time. No line at midnight!

I think the Chrysler Building is my favourite.

The late night led to another sleep-in the next day.