Yesterday’s post got really long and I was super jetlagged after an overnight flight back to the UK so I decided to cut my long weekend to New York up into two posts. Probably I should be saving these up but never mind…
Sunday began slightly later for these three jetlagged Brits, at 6.30am instead of 4 but I was still able to head out into a gloriously sunny but cold morning for a shorter run around Central Park.
The High Line ends in the Meatpacking district, with numerous cafes filled with people brunching amongst the old warehouses and cobbled streets. We had a coffee at Bubby’s and then slowly meandered through the Meatpacking district and Greenwich village.
We stopped for lunch at Bleeker Kitchen & Co for lunch (marveling at the Americans’ mixture of sweet and savoury … pancakes with a side of bacon?! In fact, bacon as a side?! On everything?!) before getting the subway back to Fifth Avenue, some more shopping, and then a nap.
It’s not just Manhattan that you want to visit these days. My friends came to New York last year and spent their time in Williamsburg and Brooklyn, so we decided to follow suit, for one evening at least. We picked up an Uber to take us over, leaving the car in fits of giggles at the thoroughly depressing radio station the driver was listening to. It was so awful that eventually we couldn’t stand it anymore and just found it hilarious, drawling in our worst impression of an American accent “and now my sex life works, my urinary life works…” I should probably admit at this point that we had had two cocktails already at the rooftop at at the Archer…
We had a lovely dinner at Rye – traditional American food so I had a huge Mac & cheese with bacon (more bacon!). It was creamy and slightly spicy and totally worth it for my Dad asking “what’s mac & cheese?” And us having to explain that it was macaroni and cheese… On the other hand, there wasn’t much atmosphere, probably because it was a Sunday night.
From Rye we walked one block to St Mazies. This is a really cool bar with lots of live music and Sunday night is jazz night. We took a table right by the stage and ordered another bottle of wine. It quickly filled up and by the time the band started, just after 10, the bar was full. The music was incredible and there was a group of wonderful swing dancers who were just brilliant to watch. I used to do a bit of swing dancing when I first moved to Brixton so I could really tell just how difficult the moves they were doing were!!
However, by 11 or so jetlag was digging in so we ordered an Uber back to Manhattan – after two cocktails each, two bottles of wine between the three of us AND an extra glass of wine each. Jetlag + copious alcohol = sleep. But the bar was brilliant, my kind of place, I’d really love to go back. I decided that would be the kind of area I’d want to stay in if I came back to New York by myself.
I woke up at 7am a bit bleary eyed and dry-mouthed and contemplated just staying in bed reading my book. But as soon as I peered out the hotel window and saw the deep blue sky I knew I couldn’t miss the chance to head out for a run. It may surprise my friends who probably think I never stop talking but I do need my time to myself and especially on a holiday with my family, going for a run was an important “alone / silent time” moment in my day. As Jilli said when I was contemplating staying in bed “you’ll regret it if you don’t go“.
Back at the beginning of the year I had read a fellow London runners’ blog – Twins in Trainers. Bex had been to New York and had run along the path by the Hudson River. It sounded great so that’s where I headed for my last New York run.
Admittedly the majority of the run was to and from the river rather than along its banks but it was completely worth it for the beautiful views. Running back, I was trying to combine staring up at the Empire State Building against the bright blue sky, and weaving in among hundreds and hundreds of commuters.
Back at the hotel we packed up and checked out, leaving our luggage behind for the day, before grabbing a quick breakfast at Pret. Then it was to Grand Central Station to catch the subway (is that how Americans say it? We would say to take the tube) up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On the way I had a slight mishap when I tried to buy some clothes in Banana Republic and my card got declined. Cue huge panic that I had run out of money – with ten days until payday that was not got! Luckily it turned out my bank had just blocked the card as they thought all my shopping in New York was “suspicious activity” (when I got home they called me up and I had to listen to the guy saying “did you spend £100 here? Did you spend £120 here? Did you spend £75 here?” Stop reminding me of how much money I spent! I was trying not to think about that!).
Anyway, we emerged blinking into the sunlight about half way up Central Park and walked through some seriously posh streets to get to the museum. And it was amazing. It is a huge museum so we decided just to look at the Contemporary Art section as that’s where our main interest lies.
But to get there we had to walk through several other areas – first through Grecian statues in huge, light hallways, then through Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americans. All pretty amazing, especially the Kombo ceiling below.
We ate at Robert, a fantastic restaurant with incredible views over the park. Sadly we had booked too late to have a table next to the window but could still enjoy the views and the delicious food – we had three courses and a bottle of Rose wine. In a theme of our last day slipping away from us very quickly, by the time we left time was very limited to get to Fifth Avenue, pick up some final bits and pieces and then get to the airport for our flight home.