We began the day nice and early thanks to the boys. This enabled us to be out of the apartment and walking to the station by 8.30am. We decided to conquer our fear of public transport with the boys, as the owner of the apartment advised parking and traffic would be a nightmare. Plus he gave us a great map to use to get around the 'hood'.
We got our metro tickets, easy, and the kids rode free. The buggy was a pain but needed. We had already decided to head to the Empire State Building first. We purchased some tickets en route, which gave us access to the 108th floor and the Skyride.
The queues weren't too bad at 10 am in the morning. The kids really enjoyed the Skyride, a simulator narrated by Kevin Bacon, of a ride around New York in a helicopter Pretty cool.
From there we got in 2 different lifts to take is to the 86th floor. It was busy up there, but the views were amazing. All the skylines you see on tv and in movies look so much better in the flesh.
You get given a really good map which enables you to pick out buildings in the skyline
The money shot
The Empire State Building was amazing, and took up most of the morning. After debating whether to have fast food, just for convenience sake, we stumbled across The Heartland Brewery On the same block. This was a restaurant/brewery combined. It was quiet as it had just opened. We were seated quickly and able to watch the world by through the windows.
I had a Indiana Pale Ale, and Paul indulged in a snakebite. The boys were more than happy with their sodas.
Oliver ordered cheeseburger, Isaac and Seb had grilled cheese sandwiches. Paul and I went with the New York strip steak. We had to really.... The service was pretty prompt, and it wasn't long before we were digging in. The food was really tasty, and clear plates all round. The restrooms in this place were on the basement, which had another huge seating area, plus the brewery, which was very cool to see. A good restaurant, not overly expensive for its location.
With full bellies, we walked up to Times Square. Given it was Saturday, the place was heaving, but so cool to see. One of those places you see on tv all the time (especially living here), but you don't really get a sense of it till you get there.
We walked through Times Square to Central Park. Well, the corner where the zoo is anyway. Again, typical Saturday crowds.
Really not the best zoo. I understand they have limited space, but the picture below is the sea lion enclosure, in full sun. It was really hot, and I felt for the animals a bit. Funnily enough the desert enclosure is really good!
And you just had to look up to be reminded that you are in the middle of a huge city.
I got my way, and we went on a carriage ride through Central Park. This was really cool, and nice and relaxing after the zoo
The boys loved it, even if it was a bit crazy with the traffic!
They even got to feed the horse afterwards.
My neighbor had advised a trip to FAO Schwarz, one of the best toy shops in NYC. Isaac will never forgive me for this photo when he is older
The only thing out boys really wanted were hot wheels cars!!!
By now we were all starting to wilt, but I managed to persuade everyone that they wanted to go on the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Unfortunately there was a lot of work on the subway, so it took a bit of time to get to the ferry terminal. Most of the people on the ferry seemed to have the same idea as us.
Despite being stuck on Staten Island for 30 minutes, as the ferries were starting to minimize their service for the evening, it was totally worth dragging everyone there to see Lady Liberty (Paul will disagree with me on this). I would like to go back and dothe islands more thoroughly next time. We ran into more subway issues on the way home, which made it a very long day. We got back to the apartment about 8.30, very weary, but having had a very good day.
New York is so vast, we barely scratched the surface, but I am pleased with the amount we managed to do in a day. The boys were absolute stars, so proud of them for their behavior and ability to listen (for once!!!)
We all slept well that night, and I don't think a anyone was up before 8 the next morning. Except Paul and I. A big thanks to the gentleman who was checking the bins down the street for empty bottles at 6.30am. Cheers!
This was such an unusual apartment. 2nd floor of an old brownstone with proper rickety stairs and creaky doors/ floorboards. But full of character with a very nice refurbished bathroom.
On our drive out of Brooklyn we saw some sights! I hope the area manages to rejuvenate itself a little, but not too much. It should not lose its character....
Onwards to Douglas, Massachusetts!