Tag Archives: empire state building

IūüĖ§NY ‚Äď Day 2: Anniversary At The Met

I think we are setting a dangerous precedent by having our first wedding anniversary here in New York. I mean, of all the places I have been to there is none that has made such a huge impact on me. I mean, this is one of many re-visits and we are already talking about a future visit.

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So how do you start of an anniversary in New York? Why, by having a late breakfast at a highly rated diner on TripAdvisor. Obviously. Now, what I love most about these diners is the sheer amount of choice on their menus. Half the battle is choosing from the many options. Whilst the hub went conventional and had pancakes with bacon I opted for an Eggs Benedict with corned beef hash instead of bacon. I was very happy with this choice. You really don’t see much in the way of corned beef hash back in the UK.

List item:¬†Visit 100 of the Lonely Planet’s¬†Ultimate Travelist
Progress: 55/100 (repeat visit)img_3583Sight: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Location: New York City, USA
Position: #80

The main thing on the agenda was a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Truly this is one of the best museums I have ever been to. Hub thought I was having a stroke or something as I started to tear up as we entered the hallowed halls of The Met.

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The entire visit (4-5 hours) was a continued sense of d√©j√† vu. This is my third or fourth time there which means I have seen pretty much everything in there by now. But, of course, there are still things that take my breath away. I mean it’s not everyday you find yourself in a museum that contains an actual Egyptian temple building. We made a beeline for this because I wanted to see if it was just as gorgeous as I remembered. It was.

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After all the walking of yesterday and the walk to the Met itself our legs were killing us, but we wouldn’t let that beat us as we ventured through exhibitions of American art, armour, Oceanic art, African art and so many other things. We even came across some specialist tours (including a Jehovah’s Witnesses tour and a tour that just tarred all Egyptian records as a pack of lies because they contradict the Bible… make of that what you will).

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On all visits to the Met I always make two mistakes. Firstly, I don’t go to the bathroom until I am desperate. Secondly, I always leave the Asian art to the end. Are these mistakes somehow linked? If you know the layout of the museums second floor then yes these are weirdly linked.

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It’s a pity that the Indian, Chinese and South East Asian art are on the second floor as these are rooms that really don’t get the love that they should. You get beautiful statues of celestials, learn about Ganesha’s love of sweets and can even relax in a facsimile of a courtyard garden with actual koi swimming.

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With a heavy heart and throbbing legs we left the Met and fulfilled one of the hub’s ambitions of this trip to New York: a street vendor hot dog. It’s weird goals like this which make me love him even more. How could I begrudge him a hot dog when we skipped lunch to look at Assyrian sculptures? Of course I had one. We’re in New York after all.

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We were fairly leisurely on our way back to the hotel and took in Central Park during glorious sunshine. What a difference a day makes. In one minute we probably saw as many people in the park as we did all of the day before. We even saw a pair of trash pandas! That was cool.

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A quick rest in the hotel and it was off to Morton’s for a steak dinner. We even had a reservation because we wanted to be all fancy like. Of course I managed to stain the table cloth within the first few minutes because the nerves of pretending to be fancy meant it was chutney-stain o’clock.

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Walking in we had no intention of getting an entree, but with it being an anniversary dinner (and since we were sat in a comfortable booth) we indulged. I had a tuna tower which was part tuna tartar, part pico de gallo and part mango. It was ruddy gorgeous and made me think this is what Mexican fusion sushi would taste like.

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The big deal was to get steak. After our adventure at the Hawksmoor we know what our meat limit is and asked to have a 22oz Ribeye split between us. Honestly, I have no idea how someone can manage one of these massive steaks to themselves and still have room for side orders. The steak itself was tender and mouth-melty. Hub wanted to have it “Oscar style” which meant there was asparagus and crab leg meat on top of the steak as well as a Bearnaise sauce. Nosh!

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
Progress: 562/751
img_3618Food item: Key Lime

A fancy meal isn’t complete without pudding and ever since watching Dexter I have wanted to try key lime pie. The fact that key lime is a food list item was just s happy coincidence. I wanted to split a slice, hub wanted his own slice. You can guess what happened. It was sour yet refreshing, but way too much pie and cream after this meal. We needed to walk it off!

Our anniversary night, however, was not complete. Oh no. It was time for us to walk along to the Empire State Building and take in a view of the city at night. With our trusty NY Pass we managed to skip even more queuing today, not that it was that busy at 9:30 pm on a Monday.

List item:¬†Visit 100 of the Lonely Planet’s¬†Ultimate Travelist
Progress: 55/100 (repeat visit)img_3623Sight: Empire State Building
Location: New York City, USA
Position: #109

The night was completely clear which meant you could see for miles and miles. Looking down at Time Square, Madison Square Gardens and other landmarks from up here made everything seem like it was part of the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. It’s magical up there and I could easily pull up a chair and watch the few for hours. Alas, we have many more days to go and I can’t stand there until 1 am as we have plans to visit the Rockefeller Center tomorrow.

I don’t think this is an anniversary day that can easily be beaten, but I am¬†more than happy to give it my best shot!

I’ll Always Love You New York

I am very lucky to have been to New York a number of times in my teens. The last time that I visited was in 2009 which is when I sent the postcards in the photo¬†to my partner. It’s a good thing he kept them too, because there aren’t many photos of me in New York.

The only photos that I still have are from that 2009 trip, a time where we had already done most of the touristy things, the things that were on this bucket list.
Still, if proof were needed that I made the trip. This was taken at ‘The Top of the Rock’ on September 30th 2009 (for some reason I was very exact with the labelling of these folders). I don’t really like having my photograph taken… but I assure you I was having a great time in New York. Honestly.

So, let’s run through the things I have actually done, the first two were done on my first trip to New York back in October 2003. The third one on my second visit the very next year.

List item: Visit the Statue of Liberty
Progress: Completed

Being that this was about two years after 9/11 we were not able to actually go inside the statue itself. A shame that I hope to one day be able to rectify on a future visit with by partner, who will by then be my husband. The statue itself is beautiful and it is big… but it is shorter than you would expect.Thing is, when you are a large statue in a city where some of the tallest buildings in the world have been built a sense of perspective begins to kick in.

After visiting the statue we did the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island, something that I probably would get a lot more now I am older (the temptation was to say “now that I am grown up” but who am I actually kidding).

List item: Stand at the top of the Empire State Building
Progress: Completed

Okay, so I have done this three times now. The second time we went was during the day when there was a man in a King Kong suit with people swarming to get their pictures taken with him. The view is breathtaking when it is clear. You really can see the whole island and beyond, truly a sight to behold.

Even better than this, however, is when you are there at night. A big city usually looks better at night and New York is no exception to this rule. Sure it’s harder to make out the Hudson and you are not able to see as far… but it’s a whole lot prettier.

List item: Take in a Broadway Show
Progress: Completed

I’ve been lucky enough to do this twice on two different visits to New York. The first time was when I saw¬†Avenue Q¬†and on my third visit I went to see¬†Hairspray.¬†Like watching a show on the West End¬†there is something special about seeing a show on these hallowed theatres.