Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New York Day 3

After an overpriced breakfast at our hotel restaurant, we took the subway up to East 66th Street and walked a few blocks to Central Park. It is amazing how just 13 blocks makes a HUGE difference in the type of neighborhood you are in. We were staying in Midtown East and the hustle and bustle of people and cars was overwhelming. The Upper East Side was so different. It was quiet and peaceful and felt like we were in a different world. We entered Central Park between 66th and 67th St on 5th Avenue after I took a second to imagine how much the apartments were that overlook the park. Yikes.

We strolled North to Conservatory Water where we sat to take a break. It was a hot and humid morning and the peaceful nature of the park was to be enjoyed so it felt nice to just sit and people watch for a few minutes. IMG_2994 IMG_2996 IMG_3008 
Our destination was The Boathouse so we could rent bikes to ride around the park but we couldn't see to locate the rental place despite seeing families with matching bikes and helmets carrying maps. We just decided that we would walk slowly and see as much as we could along the path. We walked over to the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace which had a great view of The Boathouse.

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We continued walking West towards The Lake until we reached Strawberry Fields.
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We walked across the street to join other lame tourists to take pictures of The Dakota, where John Lennon was shot.

I discovered that the Upper West Side is also far more desirable than Midtown. So quiet. No traffic and fewer people. Loved it. We walked up to Amsterdam Ave to take the 1 Train up to Columbia University which was just 6 stops away. I was excited to be on an Ivy League campus. I love college campuses and find schools with such a rich history fascinating! Columbia was established in 1754!!! We saw groups of potential students and their parents taking tours around the beautiful campus and it made me want to be young again! We went to the bookstore where I purchased a couple of shirts and we headed off to St. Paul's Chapel where Simon and Garfunkel recorded parts of one of my favorite songs, "The Boxer."

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We continued to walk around a small portion of the large campus, appreciating the shade and looking at the amazing historic buildings where so many of our nations leaders studied. Leaders like Alexander Hamilton and Theodore Roosevelt. And other great people like Casey Affleck, Matthew Fox and my husband's man crush Jake Gyllenhaal (he didn't graduate but his sister Maggie did). 

We wandered down Broadway looking for a place to eat lunch when we stopped at Broadway and W 112 St.
As lame tourists, we had to eat here at Tom's Restaurant. Fun times.

It felt like it was getting hotter by the second so we headed back to the subway and back to our hotel. I totally forgot about stopping by Lincoln Center but it was too late to go back. I'll have to save it for my next trip to NYC. We did walk past this place: IMG_3081 

And here:

We rested up for dinner at Smith and Wollensky that night which was our big, fancy, steak dinner in New York that was a little underwhelming. Chris got this HUGE slab of meat that was the size of a dinner plate and our baked potatoes could break a window they were so large. We stuffed ourselves so much that we couldn't get dessert which made me sad. We walked out of the restaurant to find that it was pouring rain. Having already done the rain thing in DC, we stood under the overhang before decided that we (and our wimpy umbrella) had to make a run for it back to our hotel, which was 1 block over and 1 block up.

The plan was to go to Times Square that night so I kept an eye on the cars below and noticed that their windshield wipers were turned off so we changed out of our fancy dinner clothes and into something more comfortable to deal with the crowds. We hopped in a cab and walked into the biggest cluster$#%@ of our lives.

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Holy hell. Times Square on Friday night is hell on earth. For some reason, we kept walking deeper into the crowds instead of walking away from them. It was so hot from the body heat and the 1000 foot neon billboards that we were both dripping with sweat. We found a gelato stand before getting back into a cab to get outta there. Ugh. No need to ever go back to Times Square. Good riddance!


Megan said...

I'm glad you enjoyed my city :) I lived on the Upper East for 8 years! Midtown is definitely more offices and less residential.

Patty said...

I was going to excitedly point out that the world's most beautiful man (Matthew Fox) went to Columbia, but I see you covered that. :) Those Time Square crowds are seriously hellish!!