Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, USA.

April 2, 2019. Zurich, Switzerland to New York City, New York, USA. 

Another day devoted to travelling. This time to New York City, via Reykjavik in Iceland. 

We had done a similar trip once before, that time from Berlin. 

The flight was with Icelandair and you pay for everything. They even have the audacity to try and up-sell you. 

Buy two beers and save. Buy a meal and a drink and you will save again. 

After our failed attempt to use public transport in Berlin, we decided to try the airport bus again and caught one to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

There we were met by Ev and Steph, we then walked the few blocks to their new apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. 

This will be our home in NYC for the next seven days. 

By the end of the night we’re were rather buggered, having spent about 22 hours on the go. 

This was mainly due to the 6 hour time difference. 

 

April 3, Intrepid Museum (aircraft carrier)

April 3, 2019. New York City, New York, USA. 

Ev and Steph moved from West Harlem to Hell’s Kitchen about nine months ago. This was our opportunity to explore a new area of New York. 

As you might expect, this part of the city that’s below Central Park has a very different ethnic mix. 

Finding a good coffee in the US is always an issue but Ev had unearthed a few places close by. 

After breakfast, a coffee and some work I needed to do, we headed out. 

First job was to get clothes washed.  Fortunately there was a laundromat just around the corner. 

As we were going to be in the US for six weeks we needed to get a SIM card for the travel phone. 

That was the next chore. 

We then just walked around the ‘hood’.

The only snaps for the day were of the USS Intrepid, a former aircraft carrier that has now been retired. Its second life, as the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, was opened in 1988. 

It contains, among other things, the USS Growler submarine, the Space Shuttle Enterprise and a British Airways Concorde.

I wonder if it was the one I flew on in the 80s’.

 

Macy’s Journey to Paradisios (Spring flower display)

April 4, 2019. New York City, New York, USA. 

It was another relatively quiet day in NYC.

We walked a few blocks into the city and happened upon the Macy’s spring flower show.

Journey to Paradisios was a flower display set in a space theme, very weird but interesting. The show, featuring spaceships and floral displays, was staged in Macy’s marquee stores in Chicago, San Francisco and of course New York.

The hidden reason for the space theme was to celebrate the USA winning the Space Race 50 years ago. When on July 20, 1969, man first walked on the Moon.

In the afternoon we revisited B&H Photo Video – Electronics and Camera Store. This is a New York institution and regarded by some as the largest camera store in the world.

In the evening we had our first Off-Broadway experience.

Avenue Q is a musical featuring puppets and live actors. It cleverly combines singing, dancing, racism and sex.

It’s where Sesame Street meets Stormy Daniels.  

 

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April 5, 2019. New York City, New York, USA. 

The company Ev works for in NYC very kindly give their staff a day off for their birthday.

This was the day and we decided to visit The Cloisters.

Situated in Fort Tryon Park, the museum contains a vast collection of art and architecture from Medieval Europe.

A strange sight in modern Manhattan. 

The building was designed by Charles Collins and built in 1938. It’s governed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Many of the museum artefacts have been built into the architecture of four French cloisters that were purchased by the sculpture and art dealer George Grey Barnard.

These were dismantled and shipped to New York between 1934 and 1939. This more than likely saved them from the devastation of the Second World War.

Windows were used to hold stained glass, either entire windows or fragments. 

As well as the architectural and sculptural pieces there were traditional museum styled galleries that housed smaller items. 

There are about 5,000 works of art and architecture in The Cloisters.

On the way back to Hell’s Kitchen we popped into an outdoor store near Union Square.

We were there to purchase camping gear. Not to go camping but to use, instead of disposables, on our road trip west

The idea of our ‘Save the World Kit’ was dreamt up on our last trip in the US. We were so disgusted by the waste that we vowed to do something about it. 

It will be interesting to see what reactions we get as we produce this bag full of goodies at breakfast.

 

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April 6, 2019. New York City, New York, USA. 

It was the weekend and start of Spring so we all went to Central Park in search of tulips. We spent a very pleasant few hours in the park but never did find any.

Late in the afternoon we went in search of craft beer and visited the Fifth Hammer Brewing Company in Queens.

There we did find some excellent brews.

 

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April 7, 2019. New York City, New York, USA. 

The main attraction of the day was to visit the One World Observatory, which sits at the top of the World Trade centre.

The One World Trade Centre was built after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, that resulted in destruction of the Twin Towers.

The Freedom Tower as it is known was built over the site of the Northern tower and is the tallest building in the US and the sixth tallest in the world.

Not surprisingly it was designed by the architectural firm of Skidmore Owing and Merrill. The same firm that built the Burj Khalifia in Dubai, once the tallest building in the world.

Nothing lasts forever.

The One World Observatory was opened in 2015 and at over 382 metres, offered a wonderful 360º view over Manhattan.

Just below the One World Trade Centre is Oculus, a transportation hub that cost over $4 billion and looks like something out of the Jetsons. It was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and has been criticised for it’s inefficiency and expense.

But it looks great.

On the way home we came across the Irish Hunger Memorial. Built in 2002, it’s dedicated to  the Great Irish Famine (1845 – 1852)

The famine drove many to leave Ireland and make the journey to the New World and a new life in the US.

Much of the memorial is landscaped with stone, soil and natural vegetation that was shipped from the west coast of Ireland.

There were two burned out cars on Laight Street in Tribeca and we wondered why.

As reported on April 6, by Carl Glassman from the Tribeca Tribune:

“Two parked cars went up in flames in Tribeca around 6 p.m. Saturday evening, the result of what was said to be a carelessly tossed cigarette. 

The cars were parked in front of 79 Laight Street when a person walking by threw a cigarette onto a pile of recycling on the sidewalk, igniting the garbage that, in turn, set the cars on fire, a resident of the building said. The blaze also scorched windows on the building’s first floor. No injuries were reported.”

April 8, 2019. New York City, New York, USA. 

It was Evan’s 34th Birthday but he had to fly to Chicago for the day. We therefore arranged to catch up with him for dinner that night at one of their favourite Thai restaurants.

We were off on our next adventure the next day, a drive across the southern US, and needed to get our clothes clean.

Therefore another trip to the laundromat was needed.

That afternoon we visited Steph’s office ‘Green Space’ in Brooklyn.

Rather than work at home alone she has rented an office. She now has people to talk to and a place to work.

With so many people working remotely, it’s become common practice now, with office spaces popping up all over the place.

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