having survived that whole ‘christmas’ thing surprisingly well, lets move on from there and back to the northern hemisphere. where it was really cold. we caught the train from washington dc to new york city,
with a two hour hop-off-hop-on option at philadelphia. after much consultation, we decided this was the only way i was going to get to see donnalee, even if just for a moment! it was so great, donnalee has already blogged about it and her photos are better are mine, but we found each other in 30th street station, and donnalee and PK had bought us a whole feast of wonderful philly cheesesteak sandwiches
which were just great, and we had a flying catch up. it was weird meeting a blog-friend, i felt like i knew her already so she was almost exactly as i expected, kind and thoughtful and funny, and afflicted only with a minor US accent 🙂 im very glad we made this stop, and next time it will be longer.
then it was on to the big apple, where we disembarked at penn station, becoming completely disoriented, but eventually finding the taxi rank out on 32nd street, right outside madison square garden (which is not, surprisingly, a garden). i was so overwhelmed by the city, the size of it, straight away, that i didnt get any photos until much later. we just grabbed a taxi and gave directions to our apartment, which was on east 3rd street, down in the east village. we got a great taxi driver, she told us all the good food places locally, and explained how the streets and avenues worked (which still took me a day or two to work out).
we found our way up the six flights of stairs to our very cosy little apartment and unpacked a bit,
then headed out into the night for food, finally finding the strip of indian restaurants in east 6th street, and picked up a few supplies for breakfast etc from a corner market
oh, and dessert, which wasnt more than a couple of bucks i dont think (somewhat cheaper than here anyway).
it took me the rest of the week to finish this bucket. we crashed pretty early, then in the morning i had my first big adventure. i climbed up the spiral staircase
to our private rooftop balcony, and felt the door close behind me, assuming it was one of those safety doors that didnt lock from the outside. wrong. i was in pyjamas, barefoot, with a blanket. and my phone. it wasnt snowing yet, but it was below freezing. i stomped on the floor and banged on the door but my sister didnt hear me. she sleeps well that one. because i was on international roaming, i couldnt connect to a decent data provider to get the phone number for the apartment manager, but i could ring home, which i did. so from the roof tops of new york to east coast australia, assistance was sought and found. i wasnt out there for more than 30 minutes but it was enough to stop me going up there again. i did get one decent photo, however.
this is looking south westish, down over the lower east side and towards the southern tip of the island. after that adventure, coffee was required, and i had done my research, reading this NY Times article about coffee in new york. thankfully ninth street espresso was only about 7 short blocks away, actually on 10th street!), so we strolled up avenue A towards tompkins square park
and had my first decent american latte.
they just dont put them in glasses like we do, and it was fairly mild, compared to the campos im used to, but it was still a very good coffee. we came back later in the week and i had a macchiato, that was much better, and i bought home some of the alphabet city beans, which im drinking right now. its better than a lot of beans we get here, better for sure than any of our supermarket beans, but it doesnt compare to campos or allpress, or my favourite dark colombian from sambaroma. it was a very nice little establishment too, no tables just a bar and stools down one side,
and it kept us going for our first venture into the subway, where we headed straight uptown towards our first stop, the museum of modern art.
we spent quite a few hours in here, admiring the building
and the standard collection, with all the icons
and the pop art
which you were even allowed to take photos of!
there was work in all sorts of mediums, even knitting
this was real textile art, seriously impressive stuff. i was especially interested in a particular exhibition of abstract expressionism, and it didnt disappoint. it covered the entire period of the movement in new york city, and had masterpieces from pollock
(that sculpture is by david smith and is called ‘australia’. heh). and of course rothko.
a whole room of them. sigh. then we had lunch in the moma cafe (good), visited the moma design store (disappointing), and then headed out to the shops on 5th avenue.
we went into the apple store just for fun, and then into FAO Schwarz next door, which really was fun. i got toys for kids back home, which i really enjoyed, and watched the local kids jump up and down on the piano. then we admired the window displays at bergdorf goodman
and headed back down to times square to go see harry potter. loved it. of course. when we emerged back onto broadway, it was dark cold and snowing!
how exciting! real flakes of snow falling on my face!
when i say freezing though, i really mean it. we scurried a few blocks north to the recommended ellens stardust diner, which did not disappoint. amazing chocolate ice cream milk shakes
(nardine had a real malted one!) and a to die for wagyu burger called the ‘walter kronkite’ (nardine had hot dogs!)
plus the entertainment…top class singers making us laugh and cheer with broadway show tunes.
one guy even serenaded me, i think it was a song from phantom, and it worked, cos i tipped them $10 when the bucket went around. a totally great experience, highly recommended. by now we were exhausted (yes that is a lot to fit in one day) so we scurried back underground and made our way downtown.
when we emerged, it was really snowing.
which made for a very interesting tomorrow!