Part-time traveller, Full-Time Brummie

USA Sept 2013: New York New York, It’s a Wonderful Town… (Part 2)

For Part 1 – click here!

Things we didn’t do yesterday that we did today: Walk Brooklyn Bridge; Battery Park

Things we didn’t do today that we’ll have to come back to do: Visit the Natural History Museum; walk the Highline; see the ‘Friends’ building/Carrie’s stoop; buy cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery; spend time in West Village/Greenwich Village/Soho/Chelsea… So much!

I dream I am a duck.  My webbed feet propel me through water with ease.  I wake up to find that my little toe is in fact welded to the next one by a huge blister.  On each foot.  Unperturbed by the fact that my feet are now twice the size they were yesterday, I slap on a couple of plasters and away we go.   I pretend not to limp.

Buoyed by yesterday’s success on the subway we get a train uptown from Port Authority to the American Museum of Natural History.  This whistlestop tour of NYC means that we have no time to re-enact A Night at the Museum and instead we enter Central Park.  Ignoring my poorly feet, I play mountain climber and scramble across the rocks.  I confidently point out the top of the Dakota Building and start the search for Strawberry Fields and the ‘Imagine’ memorial. However – like the Rockefeller Center two days earlier – someone has moved it from where it had been etched on my mental map (having a real-life physical map may have actually been a better idea…).

Central Park

Central Park

Central Park

Central Park

We head towards Bethesda Terrace, the Boathouse (to use the restrooms…) and finally stroll down the Mall like so many have in TV shows and films before us – although the only film I can bring to mind is ‘Kramer vs Kramer’(1979, film fans…I like to keep my cultural references retro…)

Kramer vs Kramer, 1979

Kramer vs Kramer, 1979

The Mall Central Park

The Mall Central Park

We’ve enjoyed the peace and solitude of Central Park; now it’s time to head back into the concrete jungle.  After a short loving married couple debate about which direction is which (no blood was spilled; no tears were shed), I am staring lovingly at purses and handbags in Coach.

I bought my first Coach purse in LA with my birthday money from Ma & Pa three years ago; time to replace it with one from the flagship Madison Avenue store.  Despite my dishevelled, sweaty, limping demeanour the sales staff are wonderfully polite and happily gift-wrap my new purse in their trademark orange packaging.  I later discover this matches my toenail polish perfectly.  It’s a pity I can no longer see my toenails for the number of plasters swaddling them…
Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!

Swinging my new purchase, we retrace our steps and find the subway station which will take us over to Brooklyn.  This is when we discover that the subway turnstiles are eating our fare unnecessarily and we are on occasion being charged for a ‘failed’ second swipe on the Metrocard.  With no staff around to complain to, we grudgingly add more funds to our card and continue on our journey.

We emerge from our underground journey blinking in the sunlight of DUMBO (District under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass…nothing to do with the Disney elephant).  We wonder if it’s time for lunch.  Another early start (thank you jetlag…) means that tummies are starting to rumble.  It’s 12 noon exactly – which means that a beer and lunch is indeed perfectly acceptable.  A ‘light lunch’ in ReBar means a huge sandwich and a mountain of fries.  The beer is also welcome…but not as welcome as the chance to sit down and rest our weary feet for a while.

A Light Lunch...

A Light Lunch…

Appetite, thirst and need for the restroom sated, we agree that we will push all thoughts of broken feet out of our minds and start the trek back to Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge.  It’s a hot walk, with the sunshine beating down, but we make it all the way over and into City Hall Park before collapsing onto a bench.  The Fletcher itinerary is now demanding that we tackle the Highline but our feet are demanding that we remain seated for as long as legally possible before we are moved along by NYPD and accused of vagrancy…

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge

We manage to limp as far as the local Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall subway station, so our destination depends on whichever lines this subway serves.  Pick a line, any line. We emerge at Bowling Green and spend a little time in the sunshine overlooking the Hudson River, New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty.  At this point we are less worried about the state of our feet, and more worried about being sunburnt to a crisp.  And then we stand up and are worried about our feet all over again.  A quick consultation of the subway app and we’re heading ‘homeward bound’ on the 1 to Penn Station.

As tempting as it is to don our pyjamas and go to bed, it is only 5pm.  It takes a little while to get our bodies working again once we’ve sunk onto our comfy hotel bed, but Mr Fletche convinces me that this is not the best use of our final few hours in New York.

Partying is out with my blistered feet.  Walking any further than a block is also out.  Luckily our local friendly Irish bar and grill Tir Na Nog is within hobbling distance, and provides us with good food, good drink and great service.  Yep, no hotel picnic for us on our last night!  We even get to watch the baseball on telly to remind ourselves of the rules.  Which is difficult as we never really understood them in the first place…

Next – All change! We’ve done the plane, now it’s time for the train and the automobile and head up the Maine coast


12 responses to “USA Sept 2013: New York New York, It’s a Wonderful Town… (Part 2)”

  1. […] Touring Fenway has been thirsty work, so we head to the Cask & Flagon for lunch.  A couple of sandwiches and fries later and we’re off to face our final major test of this trip.  Navigating the ‘T’ public transportation system.  We duck underground at Kenmore Square and load up a Charlie Card with $10.  We’re in!  One green line to Park St, and a quick transfer to the red line and we’re emerging blinking into the Cambridge sunlight.  The T seems so much efficient than the NY subway – and most importantly doesn’t eat our money. […]

  2. […] Want to know more about our September 2013 Big Apple trip? Click here for USA Sept 2013: New York New York, It’s a Wonderful Town… (Part 1) and (Part 2) […]

  3. Yes, NY! My home town! It takes YEARS to see and appreciate it all! I now live in Atlanta, GA but New York is where I was born and bred. My husband and I met in Greenwich Village (we were such hippies then!). Thank you for bringing me “back home”!

    • emfletche says:

      There are so many places to explore! I’d stay well away from Times Square next time… been there, done that, never need to set foot there again 🙂

  4. Great minds think alike, the NYC posts 🙂 I love it how one place can have so much different viewpoints from visitors x

  5. arv! says:

    Lovely post. while I have no plans for the road trip, I do want to visit NY someday!

  6. Pam Avoledo says:

    What a well-written post!

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