Last night in New York before catching the train to Chicago early tomorrow morning.
Yesterday and today were out and about in the city. On Tuesday I bought a two day hop on hop off pass so used the end of it yesterday. Mid town circuit first with a stop at the harbour for a Circle Line tour of the Statue of Liberty. Beautiful day to be out on the river/harbour and the views across Manhattan were awesome. It’s a pretty quick trip up and back – about an hour but I got the early boat so not too many people on board which meant views stayed unobstructed.
Back from the cruise we didn’t have to wait long for the next bus and I just stayed on until the end and then ran (cutting it close) for my booking for lunch at The Russian Tea Rooms.
I was … underwhelmed. The atmosphere was very Russian… the music was too. The food was good but I got sticker shock when I got the bill. $9.00 for a small glass of post mix soda!!! Bobby Van charged me $5.50 but that was for a bottle and they left the bottle! No refills on that either!! I had two cocktails at dinner for the same price as my two small sodas at lunch!!!
After lunch I came back to the hotel for a change of shoes and tee (bloody humid yesterday – gave up on my hair by about 10am) and went to the TKTS booth to see what I could see. Queue was long but moved pretty quickly – I was in line for maybe 20-30 minutes. People were touting different shows and handing out pamphlets and fans (did I mention the heat/humidity?). Got to the front of the line still undecided but the nice man in the booth picked out Bandstand from the four I was mulling over. $200 ticket for $81 – you gotta be happy with that.
It was only about 3:30 and the show didn’t start til 8pm so I did a final circuit on the bus through uptown. Didn’t get off and quite a few others had the same idea. It was funny (because I was on the bus and not the sidewalk) to watch these huge queues of people yelling at the conductor because they couldn’t get on the bus (did I mention the heat/humidity?).
Did the full circuit and then back to the hotel for a quick change and out to eat before the show. Did you know 46th St is full of restaurants? I didn’t but I do now. Very tiny, very friendly and very reasonably priced – at least the one I picked was…
Dinner and on to the show which was awfully beautiful. Jitterbugging and jazz. Thought provoking and evocative. The final number had the whole audience sobbing. It’s about the horrors of war and the soldiers who can’t leave it behind. And the ones who end it. PTSD and suicide, OCD and alcoholism, anger and tbi. Very intense with dance breaks bringing the nightmares to the forefront. It does have a happy ending though… honest…
And then today was my last day in New York (seriously, it’s ridiculous how much I haven’t done – will need to come back again!) so wanted to finish off my Conn Pass, go to my last Restaurant Week restaurant and spend some time at The Met. Three completely opposite directions – good thing my sense of direction is so keen… just kidding… I’m not shy about asking for help.
I walked down Madison Ave this morning to the Morgan Library to discover it’s actually the JP Morgan Library – you know, the guy who stopped the first crash in 1907, formed General Eletric and AT&T, owns a Bank – that guy. Private residence turned museum and truly beautiful with it. First one I’ve been in that allowed you to take photos too.
My new favourite place. Home to original scores by Schoenberg, Mozart and Strauss. It’s got the Gutenberg Bible, notes from Proust, an unpublished manuscript by Jane Austen, original score of Madame Butterfly. I could have stayed for hours but I needed to be down by Wall St for lunch.
A quick trip on the R train to Cortlandt St and I was pretty close. Lunch was at Amada’s Tapas restaurant and I got an outside table (but in the shade). Lovely lunch (they just kept bringing out plates!) followed by the best dessert to date.
As I struggled up the hill (OK, slight incline – I was full!) back up to Fulton I got lost in the crowds for the Tower Museum and Memorial. Once I got through them and the spruikers for everything from plays to cruises to buses to museum passes, it was a straight shot on the Exoress up to 86th (who brings a set of golf clubs on the subway???).
I didn’t have too long at The Met – it closed at 5:30 so I did my ‘must sees’ and then wandered. Saw the Egyptian Temple and quite a bit of the statuary and then ducked through the Tiffany Room (sigh) andup to the Rooftop Garden.
Over to Van Gogh and Gaugin and then through to the Impressionists.
A bus back to the hotel (my metro card got a workout this week) and I’m done. Need to repack and get ready for tomorrow. I need to be at Penn Stayion by 5:45am tomorrow, so no theatre tonight. It’s been so on the run all week I’m actually looking forward to an early night… except it’s 7:40pm and I haven’t had dinner yet. I think pizza in the hotel restaurant is on the cards.
Stats for the week
Floors climbed: 86 (for a flat island they have a butt load of stairs!)
Steps taken: 90,500
Distance walked: 63 kms (not bad when you consider I spent all of one morning in a queue and the last two days on buses…)
Now, on to Chicago and the most haunted hotel in it (really should make a point to read more reviews before I book…)