Thursday, October 10, 2013

20 September: New York

So, today is our last full day in New York, but we have already done all of my must-do items :)

Except for The Art of the Brick, but we've decided, instead, to go watch a Yankees baseball game!! How could I not have thought of this before? I'm super excited.

Now I am sure everyone reading this must be thinking "oh you should go there" and "oh, you must try that", but the truth is that there is something in New York for everyone and everyone's experience and priorities will be different. I definitely don't think I'm your average tourist and things like visiting Ground Zero doesn't interest me one bit (sacrilege, but honest, what more could you ask for?).

Besides, I'm pretty sure no one in New York has done everything yet ... not even the people who live there. Sheesh it is a crazy place. I have a long list of new Jozi restaurants I want to try and try to balance those with my good old faves, but here it must be practically impossible with so many options and cool things going on constantly! I think you actually have to block it out and just accept that you can only do so much.

We had quite a late start (I woke up at 8:30am) and took the day slowly. With nothing particular in mind planned for today, we started off by hopping on a bus down 5th Ave. I guess if I were into fashion or shopping, this is where I'd be spending my time. Truth is, the only thing that made me hop out the bus at the next stop was spotting the Lindt store!

OMG, so if I thought they were spoilt here with Peanut Butter Lindt, I was wrong ... there are so many more flavours! Coffee, Citrus, Mint, Caramel, Irish Creme, Orange, Raspberry, Coconut and so many more that I can't even remember them all! And that's just the Lindor balls. Am totally planning on buying myself a mixed bag (14USD for 37) on our overnight stop before we head home again. Don't want to buy them now because I'm worried they'll melt ... and that I'll eat them all, knowing I can replace them on my return - hahaha.

Once off the bus, we figured we'd head back to Times Square to buy our baseball tickets (I'd checked online yesterday and there is an 8pm game on tonight :) Perfect timing). We passed the Rockefeller Centre and stumbled upon the Lego store. Now you're talking.

Wow. I bought myself a little mini-figurine as a keepsake (I had to buy something!). Damn, I can only imagine how much more I would've bought if I had kiddies back home! It's a bit like a Lucky Packet. I chose one from Series 11 (which was all they currently had). And when I got home and opened it, I found out I got the Girl Scientist :) I want more!!

We strolled thru the nearby Nintendo store. The only bit that really made any sense to me was the historical display wall. Haha, The Trucker & I would love to have one of those old Nintendo game consoles again.

Then we grabbed a light breakfast in a deli on our way to Times Square, where we bought tickets to tonight's game (we paid about R350 per ticket). The Trucker bought an authentic cap (yes, he kept the sticker on ... till we got back to SA, cause let's face it, it looks dumb!) and I got myself a Yankees top. Such tourists. Haha. At least we'll fit in later.

We spotted a nearby Junior's and decided now was the time to get that slice of famous cheesecake to share. OMG it was soooo good. So rich. I reckon The Trucker's is spot on! We also shared one of their chocolate milkshakes. Delish.

After that we hopped on the subway and headed to Canal Street with the intention of finding some lunch in Chinatown. When we arrived, we kind of wandered in the wrong direction ... and I spotted some green boots that I adore ... but I didn't buy them. Maybe if I still want them on our way home, I'll find my way back here? (That didn't happen, although they were amazing. Perhaps if we'd been going into winter here and I'd have the opportunity to wear them I would've bought them tho).

Our round about route also took us past the Supreme Court buildings and then, once you're actually in Chinatown, there is no missing it! It was quite surreal. Even the smells (of the food and spices, I guess?) made me think I was in Beijing again. All the signage is in Chinese too. It's like wandering into a different country just by changing streets.

We found the place that had been recommended to us (Mission Chinese), but nothing on the menu really took our fancy. I may try some strange stuff, but beef heart and lamb tongue are not on my list o_0 And really I was just craving something simple like a good Kung Pow Chicken or something. So we decided to head up to Central Park and find something else along the way.

We couldn't find anything nearby and our feet were getting sore so we decided to take the 3rd Ave bus and enjoyed the view. It is much slower to get where you're going, than using the subway, but it was nice to use them today when we weren't rushing anywhere and could just enjoy the views up and down the city. 3rd Ave seems to have a lot of little bars and restaurants ... and often the same thing every few blocks.

By now it was getting late so we just grabbed something to eat at ye olde faithful Burger King (since it has yet to move to Joburg o_0). Honestly, sometimes having so much choice can be a real hindrance when you have no idea what you feel like eating and you've eaten everything you could think of trying in the last 2 days already (too soon to have seconds yet).

We lazed a bit in Central Park before heading home
for an hour to relax, shower and get changed before heading out again to Yankee Stadium to watch the New York Yankees vs. San Francisco Giants, which I think is super cool since we're headed there in a few days too :)

Central Park is amazing, and there are always people in it, cycling, running, walking and just sitting relaxing. I swear that New Yorkers seem to work a 4 hour day somewhere in the middle of the day because there are always people around! Maybe Joburg is like that too and I just don't see it cause I'm in the office, but it definitely appeared to be a more relaxed lifestyle.

Shew, the subway ride there was absolutely insane. We had to skip the first two 4 trains because there simple was not enough space for a single additional person to squeeze on! Even on the train we eventually pushed onto, we were packed tight with no room to move at all.

Almost everyone climbed off, into the open air at the Yankee Stadium stop. People swarmed around the stadium ... there was such a vibe.

We headed straight into the stadium to find our seats. They turned out to not quite be where we'd been told by the sales guy. We had the perfect position between 3rd and home base, but were quite literally in the last row in the stadium! When we bought the tickets we were told row 14 would be in the middle of the block. Oh well, regardless of the nose-bleed seats, we could see everything just fine :)

We found ourselves sitting next to 2 oldish local men who gladly talked us thru the rules and answered all our questions. Luckily it is actually pretty simple to follow :)

That said, it wasn't a very exciting game. I was a little worried to hear there were *nine* innings, till I realised how quickly everyone went out!

There was one great moment we watched, in the 4th innings, where the bases were loaded and Rodriguez hit a home run. It's not at all like cricket. You basically have to hit the ball into the crowd or get a walk to actually get off home base. They caught like every ball that got hit into the field.

We got hot-dogs (I had a sweet Italian sausage) and Bud Lite. Not super impressed ... and jees, the beer was expensive at almost 10USD a bottle (R100!! Pay attention here, you can tell it's still early days in our trip as this stops surprising me eventually and becomes the norm o_0 And we keep drinking anyway ...). The nachos looked yummy and loads of people were eating popcorn out of giant buckets.

I'm glad we went, it was a fun experience but I don't see myself going again. Well, maybe on another trip, to watch another team, in another stadium ... who knows, it won't be my idea next time. We left before the game ended. Loads of people did. I was falling asleep and we have an early morning tomorrow :)

The Yankees were 5 to the Giants 1 run when we left (epic scores in this game, you can see :/). Yawn.


MeeA said...

I have a few comments on this post, so we'll do bullets, mkay?
* I'm not sure I'd like to visit Ground Zero either.
* I have(okay, my husband has) one of those little handheld Nintendo consoles. His father bought it for him in Germany 33 years ago and IT STILL WORKS!
* Oh, how I ache for Lindt as I read this post! And why is it that the damned Yanks get to have all the best stuff?
* Can we PLEASE make an arrangement for your Trucker to make me one of those famous cheesecakes? I'll make him one of my decadent, saucy chocolate cakes in exchange...?
* I'm dying to find out exactly where in NYC "The Bistro" of the Waiterrant blog is...

Man, I thought that reading your blog posts would be a way for me to experience it a little bit, but really, it's just making me SUPER jealous! :P

phillygirl said...

@MeeA - The Trucker says sure on the foodie swap ;) Drop me a mail on gladtobeagirl at gmail dot com and we can arrange.

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