Monday, December 12, 2011

New York Part I - A tourist's picture book

I'm back from New York!
New York is big, I knew that before I went, but I wasn't prepared for how beautiful it is. It's an old city with magnificent architecture.
One of the most famous buildings is the Empire State Building and for good reason. It was built in 1931 and is magnificent in every sense, from the art deco detailing inside to the gargantuan size of it.
We rode up in the old lift to the 80th floor, where we then entered another lift and went up to the 86th floor to the viewing platform.
This is the view from up top, from the 86th floor.
I'm afraid the guard rail round the outside wasn't high enough, or the rails close together, enough for my liking, but I did my best to control any creeping anxiety.
It's the original concrete jungle, from up above anyway.
Notice the Flat Iron building in the centre below. It's the triangular shaped one - like an iron.
It may not look so beautiful from the 86th floor, but at ground level it's spectacular. Manhattan is the wealthiest area on the planet, and Park Avenue, part of which runs along Central Park, is the top-end of the top-end of town. If you happen to stumble upon a spare US$20 000 000 or so, you too can have your own Park Avenue pad. These are the doorways to some of the buildings.

I'm stealing this planter idea. They're just downright handsome.
Some of the buildings have these beautiful gardens at the entry. I snapped some of the more colourful entry gardens below. They are ridiculously perfect.

We saw Central Park when the leaves had turned autumnal colours and the ice skating rink was in action.

I think this is a squirrel - or is it a chipmunk? We're viewing him from the tail end.

I spotted this spectacular building from Central Park, it's directly opposite. Speaking of which, in this same vacinity is The Pierre, remember Little Edie made her debut there. Getting back the building below, this is called The Dakota. It's magnificent. This is the building where John Lennon and Yoko Ono had their bed-in.
Yoko still lives here, her windows are some of the top ones on the left hand side, where the roof is pitched.
It was at the front door of The Dakota where John Lennon was shot on December 8, 1980. We were there not long after the anniversary.  Some many trinkets and tributes were left at the front door of The Dakota that the other residents started to get a bit annoyed (I know, sounds a bit harsh doesn't it), and it was decided that a permanent memorial would be created for John Lennon over the road in Central Park.
Hence, the creation of Strawberry Fields, which I have to say oddly smelt like strawberries.
This plaque says IMAGINE in the middle and people leave little bits and pieces here. New Yorkers just walk straight over the top of it though I noticed.
This was the view outside our hotel window, it's the service entry of The Marriott. Out the other side of us was the Waldorf Astoria, alas, our hotel was nothing like either of them. Michelle Williams was staying at the Waldorf at the same time. She was in town publicising her movie, 'My Week with Marilyn'.
This is Times Square. It's a bit grotesque but you have to see it. If New York had a bullseye, this would be it. FYI, if you take smaller children with you, tie them to you, I'm not kidding.

Illuminated trees. These ones are at the Rockefeller Centre.
Above and below is around Little Italy where we hung out a lot. I saw the sign below as we were on our way to a vintage clothing shop, Screaming Mimi's. We'd done a lot of shopping. I found this sign reassuring.
Below is the New York Public Library. It's magnificent. It was in one of the Sex and the City movies. This is where Big and Carrie had their pre wwedding dinner.

They had a special exhibition one with things from the archives including; Bob Dylan's handwritten notes, a handwritten score by Beethoven, the Declaration of Independence, Virginia Woolf's walking stick which was found floating in the lake after she'd drowned herself.
We weren't supposed to take photos, but I rebelled when I saw this below. These are the toys which belonged to A A Milne's son. He used them as the characters in his first children's book published 1926. That's Tigger, Kanga, Eeyore, Piglet, Winnie of course, Roo got lost.
Peaches has made me read her Winnie the Pooh every night for the last four months. I hate Winnie the Pooh. He will single handedly be responsible when I end up in the nuthouse.
The famous ice skating rink at Rockefeller Centre. It features in every movie set in New York in Winter. It's tiny.
This is how New York puts out its 'trash'. It gets collected every night.
We saw a Broadway play, Noel Coward's Private Lives starring Kim Cattrall. She's beautiful. Very beautiful and she's 55. While I was waiting near the theatre door to go in Cynthia Nixon walked past. It was opening night and the papparazzi were outside. How's that for an authentic Sex and the City experience?


  1. Wow! Sounds like you had a fabulous time. New York is one of my favourite cities. We were there in September last year and can't wait to go back. Your post brought back lots of lovely memories for me. Thanks for sharing. Ange

  2. I love NY. Haven't been there since 2003 but thought it was fab x

  3. I've not been to the US yet. One day. Thoroughly enjoying experiencing your trip virtually. The trash everynight on the 'pavement' was interesting. How fascinating to see all the original Pooh toys.

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  5. I didn't even know you had been to New York recently. It is so "you". So well reported. Made me want to be there now.
    Can't wait to see you next week. Have ordered Champagne & sparkling. xx