New York City Vacation, Part 1.

We had an amazing time in New York. Here is the story of our trip in pictures…
The view from our hotel room.

We stayed in the Midtown Chelsea neighborhood and got a great hotel room on the 23rd floor with a city view. The first thing John said when we looked out the window was how cool the water tanks on top of the buildings were, it was just like in the movies!

The first afternoon after we checked into our hotel, we walked around the neighborhood to find something to eat. We walked over to the Chelsea Market.

We ended up eating at a neighborhood diner a few blocks away called the Chelsea Square. After we ate, we walked around the neighborhood and bought a couple of cupcakes at Billy’s Bakery for later and stumbled upon the famous Chelsea Hotel.

The ironwork was so beautiful:

Spring was just beginning when we arrived, and the trees were blooming on all the streets we walked down. This was one of the first street shots I took:

So many of the sidewalks to had beautiful flower beds around the trees filled spring flowers in bloom. These purple hyacinths were everywhere, they smelled great too.

That evening, we went to the nearest subway stop and bought unlimited passes since it seemed like the most cost-effective way to get everywhere. We bought our passes, jumped on a train, and realized that we were going downtown not uptown! Jumped off the train, walked over the other side and headed in the right direction! I cannot say how easy Google Maps for the iPhone made navigating the city. Plug in an address and the nearest subway entrance and the letter or number of the train were instantly provided.

We got to Rockefeller Center and found the ticket desk for the Observation Deck and since there were not huge crowds we were able to go right up within 15 minutes. Unfortunately, all the photos I took of the of the city from the deck turned out blurry, so I only have shots from around the square outside the building and the ice rink!

After that we walked over to Times Square. Just what we thought it would be, a tourist trap! Tons of people, lots of branded stores, and lots of bright billboards!

And we topped off our first evening with a late dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.  But we got to see Lou Reed’s outfit on display, so that made John pretty happy!

Thursday was our first full day and we headed to the museums. First up, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We saw The Steins Collect exhibit, it was really good.
(It was fun to see this exhibit after seeing the movie Midnight in Paris so recently!)

After the exhibit, we stopped for a snack and some water at the really tasty Sigmund Pretzelcart outside near the front steps, where I put a dollar in the tip jar because it had a note saying “donate to the private jet fund”. Too funny!

Then we walked over to the Whitney museum next, and saw the Calder Circus on display. All the other floors were filled with contemporary art and one floor was closed to prepare for one of the Biennial performances. I was able to get a DVD of Calder performing the circus, so that was awesome that they had that in stock!

One of the closest subway stops to our hotel was in Madison Square Park where the Flatiron building is located. It was a beautiful park! We got to see several of the square parks since a lot of the subway hubs were located near/under the squares.

Another shot of the Flatiron:

I loved all the old tile work in the subways, so detailed.

We had seen Eataly just a few blocks from our hotel next to Madison Square Park, so that’s where we went to eat that evening. It’s the Mario Batali/Lidia Bastianich Italian mega-store with all the tiny restaurants inside. We ate at La Pizza/La Pasta and had pizza and Italian beer and both were really good. It’s crazy busy inside that place but in a fun way, not in a Times Square kind of way, I would definitely shop there if I lived in Chelsea!

Friday morning we got up and went to D’Auito to get John a famous apple fritter. I had read that this was the place that makes the apple fritters that are sold at Dean & Deluca the fancy foods store. It was this great little old school bakery with tons of yummy looking treats inside. We both got coffees, a huge cinnamon roll and the apple fritter all for six bucks! We walked up the street wondering where we would eat our breakfast goodies, and just like magic we came upon the huge US Post Office stairs. Perfect place to sit and have our breakfast before heading off to the museums. 

As we sat down to eat our goodies, we looked up and what do ya know, there was Madison Square Garden right there across the street!

Then we jumped on the subway right there at the corner and went to the Modern Art Museum and saw the Diego Riviera exhibition, and the Cindy Sherman photography exhibit that was really amazing too. The museum itself was a beautiful building and had a nice outdoor space.

Then we went over to the Guggenheim Museum and saw a Kandinsky exhibit and took a few photos of the interior of the building.

After the Guggenheim, we went back to our room to take a break and get freshened up for an early dinner so we could make it out to Brooklyn to the the Bell House for the Ian Hunter show that evening. It was an amazing show, and the venue was the perfect size to see a show. More on the rest of our trip in the next post…

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