United States of America · 5 Days · 10 Moments · November 2015

Christmas shopping (and more) in New York

5 December 2015

Return: from JFK Airport to Frankfurt Had a wonderful short week in NYC, did almost all the Christmas present shopping and were lucky with the temperature around 11 degrees. Only one week later, there was heavy snowfall and JFK was closed...
Typical Big Apple 🍏 Sightseeing Part 2 What would a New York visit be without seeing the Statue of Liberty - at least from the ferry. After misjudging some walking distances - again, this city is so big and I still hadn’t get used to how far things are that look pretty close on the map - I didn’t have enough time to pay Miss Liberty a proper visit and climb up inside. So, at least, I waved at her from the ferry to Staten Island with good views on the NY skyline, too. That was it: Fetching my luggage and going to the airport in the afternoon.

4 December 2015

Christmas Shopping 🛍 One of the most known shopping places is maybe Macy‘s. So we spent a few hours there and found some nice presents in the sales that took place. In front of Macy‘s, two Salvation Army guys were dancing to music: It was quite a worthy performance. And they weren’t the only ones: The night before another Salvation Army party was dancing well, too. I haven’t seen this anywhere else before, even though we have Salvation Army in Germany, too, but you never see them doing these spectacles. And, when in NY, I wanted to eat a New York Cheesecake🍰! I found a great and delicious selection at Eileen‘s Special Cheesecake, a very small bakery in Little Italy.
Typical Big Apple 🍎 Sightseeing Part 1 Of course, there are some must dos for sightseeing when in NY: The Empire State Building - probably everyone has a favourite film connected to it - still is one of the landmarks and on top of the sightseeing list. You can avoid the longtime queuing with the CityPass. It is a great view from the outside platform but you share it with lots of other people and need some patience for taking photos. I was recommended to go to Top of the Rock which should have an even nicer view but, unfortunately, I didn‘t have enough time - same problem with waiting for your slot to get up... Don’t know if there’s maybe an option to pre-book online. After visiting, I was ready for a snack and decided for the Starbucks next door as everything is quite expensive in NY. The evening before I had a quite simple pizza for 20 EUR in Greenpoint. The Starbucks was decorated with a cool Christmas painting on the chalkboard. What a witty idea!

3 December 2015

Christmas musical, THE tree and rooftop bar with a view In my opinion, a NY visit is not complete without seeing a Broadway musical and having a drink in a rooftop bar. We bought tickets in advance (online from Germany) for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular starring the famous Rockettes, a precision dance group who has performed at Radio City Music Hall since 1932. The show was really amazing - I haven't seen so many dancers doing precision performance live before, only on TV - and put us into the right Christmas mood. Afterwards, we went to the Rockefeller Centre where THE Christmas tree was set up few days before. There was a light show displayed on a building wall, with music. Then we had quite a long walk along 5th Avenue to find 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar where we had reasonably priced cocktails 🍸 and a nice view of the Empire State Building.
Free Tours by Foot: Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO This morning I joined a free guided walking tour through Brooklyn that I had found in the internet. It started on Manhattan Island, next to the court building that also appears in many TV crime series, e.g. Criminal Intent. We then crossed Brooklyn Bridge, strolled through Brooklyn Heights with nice streets lined by beautiful old buildings and finished the tour in the DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) area where one of NYs best ice cream places is located in an old fire-fighting boat house, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory🍦.

2 December 2015

Museum of Natural History and Central Park Still cold and rainy, typical autumn weather - so another day at the museum. Of course, I wanted to see the museum from the Ben Stiller movie. By chance, I’m very much interested in natural history - perfect match! I spent 4 or 5 hours in this really interesting and well designed museum. Love the inscriptions from Theodore Roosevelt. And another museum Christmas🎄- this one with very fancy origami dinosaurs!🤣 As Central Park is just across the street from the museum, it was a good opportunity for a stroll in NY‘s famous park. It was beautiful in it‘s autumnal dress and some foggy atmosphere. Thank god, the rain had stopped.

1 December 2015

5th Avenue at night Before taking the metro back „home“, I decided to have a look at the illuminated famous shops and buildings of 5th Avenue: Trump Tower, Tiffany‘s etc. Although everything sparkles and shines, I was surprised about the bad condition of the streets: big holes between the uneven pedestrian walkways and the street, pools of water after the rain, barely to be crossed by foot - watch your steps. 5th Avenue definitely needs some repair work. Like some other things in Big Apple, among them a lot of buildings and the metro stations. And I haven‘t even been to the poor neighbourhoods.
Museum Day - what else when cold rainy weather Today, the weather was rainy and cold. Therefore, I decided to visit The Cloisters, a subsidiary of Metropolitan Museum of Art, in Fort Tryon Park in the very North of Manhattan. Wow - getting there and back by public transport took ages. The architecture reminds of old European cloisters and it displays medieval art pieces. Although the weather was ugly, the view from the hill over the Hudson was very nice. Never - NEVER - take a bus in NYC for longer distances. I think I spent at least two hours in a rattly old bus with tinfoil walls and no heating in bloody traffic jam to get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art itself. And the Met closed at 5:30 pm already. Isn‘t that pretty early for a city that never sleeps? But the museum is interesting and beautiful. So plan your day well, with sightseeings close to each other.

30 November 2015

Arrival from Frankfurt Airport to JFK and accommodation in the evening I stayed in a clean private home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that I had found at AirBnB. The hostess was very friendly and gave lots of recommendations. I had a small room with kitchen, living and bathroom use, a second room was rented to another woman and the last room was occupied by the hostess who was an artist. The whole apartment looked very comfy and had old-world charm. The area was very convenient: A bank was located just opposite the street. There were various shops/groceries and restaurants around, and the metro station was a five minutes walk only. There was also a stop for the ferry to Manhattan not to far as an alternative. I payed around 270 EUR for 5 nights which was much cheaper then any hotel, and a fair price during this time of year. Although I have to admit that the building and apartment could need some renovations - like many in NY.