Next on our itinerary was to catch the (free) Staten Island Ferry for a view of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. Seeing the new World Trade Center from the water really put things into perspective. That thing is massive! It was a pretty grey and cold day and we weren't too sure what to do next. In the end we caught the 1 train up town to the Upper West Side and had lunch at one of my old favourite haunts, Peace Food Vegan Cafe. I wish I'd had more time to spend up there - definitely one of my favourite neighbourhoods.
That afternoon we found ourselves back in Times Square (I can't really remember why) and the boys (Ben and Al) ended up getting hassled into buying tickets to a comedy show while Sam, Sophie and I managed to escape. They had a great time, thankfully, but it was a very frustrating experience. Being heckled is one of the not-so-fun parts about being a recognisable tourist. That afternoon, the boys went off to see a movie (it was a pretty miserable day) while Soph and I did some girl things like visit the Mac makeup store and eat Magnolia cupcakes.
While Al and Ben went to the comedy show that night, Sam, Soph and I headed back down to the East Village to another old favourite of mine, S'mac. This place specialises in Macaroni and Cheese. You can choose from lots of different combinations and toppings. They even do gluten-free and vegan! We eventually rolled ourselves out of there and while Sam headed back to the hotel, Soph and I went for a couple of drinks at a rooftop bar in midtown called 230 Fifth. You can see the spectacular view of the Empire State Building above!
Ben and Al had a little too much fun at the Comedy Show so the next day we all did our own thing while they slept it off. Okay, that was just Ben haha. It was a lovely day and I decided to head out by myself to the Upper East side where I spent a few hours strolling around Madison, Park and Fifth Avenues admiring the amazing apartments and thinking about the entirely different world some of those people live in.
I had heard about the Dean and Deluca store in SoHo so was really excited to find they have a smaller one on the UES. I spent a good half hour or so salivating over all the cakes and bread before eventually settling on some sushi to take to Central Park for lunch. It was really peaceful sitting in the park with my lunch. There were a heap of people sun baking because it was so warm that day. I then spent a little time window shopping along Madison Avenue and convincing myself that every well-dressed person was famous. I stopped at the Aesop store and bought some moisturiser and scored a few samples from the lovely sales assistant. Before heading back to the hotel I decided to treat myself to a manicure.
That night was the baseball! Ben had been looking forward to this the whole trip and we had so much fun. My brother Sam came with us too. Ben managed to pick really good seats and we were only a few rows back from the field. I was actually kinda paranoid about being hit in the face by a ball! We drank a few beers, ate some terrible food and had a great time. Unfortunately the Yankees lost, but it was a close game!
We made the most of the good weather the next day and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. The highlight of course was eating pizza at Grimaldi's on the other side! Ben's face above says it all.
That night was a highlight for me. Some Australian friends of mine who live in NYC invited Ben and I to a competitive story-telling event in a bookstore in SoHo. The event was called 'The Moth' and happens regularly around the country. Storytellers are given a theme and the opportunity to put their names down on the night. They are then called up to tell a five minute true story which they are then scored on. It was so much fun and felt like such a 'only in New York' thing to do (even though it happens elsewhere hehe). The theme that night was 'envy'. Some of the stories were hilarious while others were quite serious and powerful.
Following that our friends took us to the West Village for dinner where we crammed into a hole-in-the-wall Indian joint for some delicious Kati Rolls. Because we weren't quite bursting at the seems yet, we walked a little further to a gelato shop to seal the deal. It was great to see my friends again and a perfect night of laughs and food.
I've just got a few more days to write about but I'll do that in another post as this is long enough!
Photos by me.