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Friday, October 28, 2011

New York - Days 3 & 4

I knew I'd eventually hit the moment I couldn't update my blog every day. ;)


Wednesday was huge. HUGE, I tell you.

The first thing we did was walk down to The Empire State Building. What an amazing view! It was great to finally get a sense of direction in New York (although, having said that, I still get disorientated, not quite knowing which way is which).

I loved the audio tour. 'Tony', our guide, gave practical information about NYC, peppered with stories about his own upbringing in the city. Fabulous. One of the most amazing things I heard was that it only took fourteen months to build The Empire State Building. It begs the question: why on earth does it take three years to build just a house in Australia these days? Sheesh.

Afterwards, Hubby and I did something of a power shop before our lunch date.

I bought a jacket, two scarves and three pairs of shoes. Woot! We're finding, with all we want to see, we're not getting in a lot of shopping time so far. (We'll most definitely have to rectify that.)

Then it was time to drop off our shopping bags and head back to Central Park to The Boathouse for lunch. Oh. My. Goodness. What a beautiful place...and the food! Nom.

Cavatelli Pasta
Maine Lobster, Mushrooms Ragu, Truffle Essence

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
Celery Root Salad, Caper Remoulade sauce

Cod Fish - Special
Lots of stuff...can't remember what!

Sautéed Jumbo Shrimp
Pumpkin Risotto, Baby Spinach, Wild Mushrooms

Originally, we had planned to cycle around the park afterwards, but we decided to do that another day. (Fingers crossed the weather holds up...it looks like it's about to hit winter temps this coming weekend.)

Then we headed to the nearby Frick Collection.

Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was a steel magnate who became a millionaire by the time he was thirty, and liked to collect art. And I mean serious art.  Not only did he collect art, but he was also the owner of the amazing residence on Fifth Avenue in which the Collection is now shown to the public. (On his death, Henry bequeathed the house and contents to the nation. What a generous man!)

I couldn't take pics in there, but two of the most amazing paintings there, apart from some Rembrandts, a Monet and a Renoir (just to mention a few), was Holbein's portraits of Sir Thomas More, King Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor (1527) and Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's eventual Lord Great Chamberlain (date unknown, but 1500s also). Amazing. After watching The Tudors and reading all about King Henry VIII, this was a big highlight for me.

On the walk back to our hotel, I took a few more pics...

A school bus on the upper east side.

Lovin' the hot dog stands, but don't think I'll eat from one.

Just another New Yorker.
Actually, no...a model shoot outside...

Trump Tower! Donald, where are you?

When we got back, we headed to the private lounge for a nice, icy cold drink of water. Guess what? None other than Dustin Hoffman was sitting at the table next to us. I recognised him straight away, but even if I hadn't, his voice would have eventually given him away. I was tempted to take a pic, but figured he might not be impressed by that, and I didn't want to bother him. He was in a meeting of some sort, shuffling through papers. Still...how fun!

We had a quick rest before getting ready for our night out on Broadway to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring none other than Mr Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe and the very funny and talented (not to mention warmly received), John Larroquette.

(On the way there, walking through Times Square was pretty surreal, but to be honest, I'm not fussed if I don't go back there. It was so busy, but great to see.)

The show was funny, energetic and colourful! The only downside: one man's gigantic head right in front of me for the first act. I had to keep moving my head from left to right to see past him. They don't stagger the seats at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Bummer. Hubby swapped with me for the second act (the guy had sat down last minute, and I was too embarrassed to move before that).

BEFORE the big-headed man sat down

Afterwards, to raise some money for a charity I can't recall now, Daniel and John auctioned off a bow tie Daniel wore during the performance. It sold for $650! (Not to me, thank-you-very-much.)

We were so full from our lunch at The Boathouse, we didn't bother to eat before the show, but were starving afterwards (well, I was anyway)! We walked around looking for a place to eat, and eventually made our way down to a restaurant called Smith & Wollensky - a steak house and more that takes its last order at 2am! Both Hubby and I had a Chicken Club Sandwich, and it was DELICIOUS! Highly recommend this place.

By the time we finished up, it was well after midnight. See what I mean? A HUGE day.


Well, yesterday we picked an excellent day to do something indoors, because we had our first wet day since arriving.

No early morning walk down Fifth Avenue for us today. We jumped in a cab and headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to meet a friend of Hubby's (a current NYC resident) and take a look around. Our NYC guide tells us that The Met (as it's known locally) has one of the most comprehensive art collections in the world, and I reckon they're spot on. It was simply amazing. We spent almost five hours there, and even that wasn't enough.

I love Impressionism - especially Claude Monet - so I was in art heaven today. But I saw lots of amazing things. Behold...

Arms and Armor
Henry VIII's armor is here. I missed it though. Gah!

The American Wing

Egyptian Art, including The Temple of Dendur. Awesome.

Hello, Mummy.

European Sculpture & Decorative Arts

Fancy schmancy

Your Roman Chariot awaits...


One of MANY Monet paintings. Love.

An art student honing her skills.
(There were a few of them. All amazing.) 

Degas. Just beautiful.
(This one's for you, Kirri.)

Van Gogh
One of his paintings during his asylum stay.


Fortunately, when we left, the rain had stopped, and we headed to a local pizza restaurant, Serafina, on Madison Avenue and had some very authentic Italian pizza that was delicious. (Although, to be fair, we were also starving by then, so who knows if we were judging it correctly.)

Another gorgeous upper east side street.
You can't really see, but the apartments here had
pumpkins outside their front doors ready for Halloween.

When we left, the rain had set in, and all the cabs seemed to be off duty, so we walked the thirty or so blocks back to our hotel. Yes...LOTS of walking today.

I enjoyed a lovely bubble bath on our return whilst Hubby jumped on the computer (we knew he'd have about 3 hours of scheduled work to do on Thursday). Then I promptly slept for close to two hours!

Not surprisingly, after two full-on days of fun, we decided not to head out and instead spent a small fortune on room service instead.

I hope I can sleep tonight after that nap. ;)


Jane said...

Ohhhhh this post is making me so excited! Sounds like you are having the time of your life. I still can't get over how many things there are to see in NYC - I've been trying to compile a list of places to visit for my trip and I just can't get my head around it all! Sounds like a very busy (but fun!) trip for you guys xxx

Brenda said...

Loving the NY adventures, Jodes.xx

Mum on the Run said...

What a trip - and it's not even complete yet!!!

ejorpin said...

Wow, wow, wow! I LOVE New York! Looks like you guys are absolutely making the most of it and having an amazing time :)

Faybian said...

We went there early this year (as well as Disneyland, LA and San Francisco). We went to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Museum of Natural history. They have a really good planetarium. We took the subway a lot. You can get a 7 day pass for about 20 odd bucks. We also saw Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and Wall Street (including the famous bull) and of course, ground zero. There is a great department store that does designer/name brands for a lot cheaper than Macys etc. It's called Century 21. We bought a lot there. I wrote a bit about my holiday on my own blog. faybianlifeothercatastrophes.blogspot.com

River said...

Picasso confounds the heck out of me. I'll never make sense of those works.
New York looks amazingly clean through your photos, I'd heard it was grubby and smoggy all the time.

stinkb0mb said...

omg sounds like you are having an absolutely FAB time!! thanks for all the pics and updating us with what you're up to, feels like we're on holiday with you.

plus it's wetting my appetite for when we eventually make it over to NYC!


Lorraine The Party Times said...

Sounds like you are having a great time! Love the Boathouse too!

Thea said...

Love love LOVIN' the photos!!
This is the best tour of New York I've ever had.
Now...off to read day 4 & 5!!