New York City, Part 2.

Friday night: We ate at a neighborhood restaurant called Westville, it was really good. Then we headed off to Brooklyn on the F train to the Bell House to see Ian Hunter.

Let me just say what a kick ass show it was! Three encores, three! It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. Not the best picture, but what can you do from the back of the room with an iPhone and a moving target!

By the time we headed back to Manhattan it was sometime after midnight and it had started to rain. We got back to the subway stop near our hotel sometime after 1:00 am and it had been hours since our early dinner, and many beers later, so we stopped at the corner Brothers Pizza and had a slice of pizza at one of the stand up tables.

Saturday was my birthday, I turned 40 in NYC! We slept in kind of late, and when we woke up it was still kind of dreary outside; cold, windy and rainy so the motivation to get going was lacking! We took a taxi down to Ludlow at Houston street and it was nice to see part of the city we probably would not have seen had we taken the subway. It was the only taxi we took the whole time we were there, we took the subway everywhere else!

We planned to go to Katz’s Deli for lunch, but we were just not feeling it when we got inside, way too busy and just jammed with people.  So we headed up Ludlow street and got some coffee and a snack at Starbucks and took advantage of the free wi-fi.

Then we headed to Ludlow Guitar shop and John spent an hour or so checking out different guitar pedals. They had a great room where we camped out for a while until he found the right one. Here he is inside the room, and another shot I took of him standing at the counter choosing a few more pedals to try out.

   

Then walking back to the subway, we passed Russ & Daughters which I had heard about for years from Martha Stewart. We popped in and I bought a few treats that turned out to not be very good at all, a small package of assorted pastries that were bland and some chocolates labeled Cherry Twists from the case that turned out to be marshmallow inside! Yuck!

We walked until we were so hungry that we just stopped into a random diner and had some overpriced okay food, it was raining too much to use my phone on the street so we just ducked into a one of the first places we saw when we came up from the subway.

While we ate, the rain finally stopped and we headed over to the Strand Bookstore in Union Square.

After the bookstore, I was really tired so we decided to head back to the room for a little while to rest a little and hope for the rain to clear up. We looked around on Urban Spoon and found the Great Sichuan restaurant and walked up once the rain stopped. We had Soup dumplings, hot and sour soup, and two different dishes to share that were really fresh and well prepared, just what we wanted on a chilly, windy night!

We walked around trying to decide what kind of birthday treat we should get, and decided to go by the Sunac Fancy Food and we bought two slices of really rich chocolate cake and club soda and went back to the room and snuggled into our bed and ate cake! Not a bad ending to the day.

This brings us to Sunday! We had breakfast at the Sunflower Diner again, then took to the subway to the Empire State Building. It was really busy as we expected, since Saturday had been so rainy. As we approached the block I said, I wonder how much further it is, and I looked up to see the spire!

The view of the front entrance to the building:

The interior lobby of the building:

Downtown view:

A view of Central Park:

A view of Roosevelt Island:

A view of the lower east side and over to Brooklyn:

The Flatiron building from above:

I liked this shot, the bars made a nice frame:

The city is so beautiful from above, it truly did feel like being at the top of the world!

We then headed over to the Upper West side to Central Park to see Strawberry Fields and see a little of that side of the park. Strawberry Fields is a really beautiful section of the park. The memorial to John Lennon:

The park was really green and starting to really feel like spring:

We sat on a bench and enjoyed the park for a little while. We had a beautiful view of one of the ponds where you could rent canoes and paddle around:

Can you see the red cardinal right there in the middle on the fence? Flew right into the frame right before I took the picture:

Here he is close up:

Across the street from the park is the Dakota building:

This ironwork surrounded the front corner of the building, I took this photo before I realized it was the famous Dakota building!

By this time we were getting hungry for lunch and headed over a couple of blocks to where there were some restaurants, and had some fabulous pizza at Patsy’s Pizzeria.  Then we walked over to the Green Flea Market, but not to long after we got there several of the vendors started packing up saying the rain was on the radar. So we headed down the street to Jonathan Adler and John treated me to few little ceramic goodies for my birthday. I loved that store, wanted everything inside and it was hard to choose!

On Monday we got up early and checked out (the hotel held our bags, which was great!) and we headed back down to the Chelsea Market and the Highline Park. It was totally worth going back over to check out that morning, with the clear skies it was a beautiful morning to be outside, we wished we had the whole day to explore!

A view of one of the piers:

This view of the Erie Lackawanna Ferry Terminal across the water:

After we took these pictures from the Highline, we headed back to Union Square where we had lunch and walked around and did some last-minute shopping and took some pictures since the last time we were in the Square it was rainy and cold.

This funny elephant sculpture was on one side of the park:

This statue of George Washington in the middle:

And the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the other side of the park:

Then we headed back to Madison Square Park and went to the Marimekko store.  I loved all the bold patterns and colors of the designs of that brand so much I could not decide on what to buy, everything was so pretty!

The last stop before we had to headed back to the hotel was the Memories of New  York store where I bought some official I ♥ New York merchandise! I bought a mug, notepad and pen, I just had too, I could not help myself!

Our plane took off on time and I was able to catch some amazing shots as we took off from the city:

And the final shot of our trip, the clouds at sunset as we headed to DFW airport:

It was a wonderful trip that was long overdue! We are already planning our next trip…

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