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Planes trains and automobiles - USA summer, are we mad?

bigpetebrown

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On the way back to Chelsea we stopped at Union Square and had a walk around the farmers markets. Al was looking for bananas. I said I didn’t think that many would be grown in the area.

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Street art Chelsea

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Interesting play on scale- a two story 'interior' made to look more like five

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art deco Chelsea

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Dream Hotel 14th St Chelsea (through to 15th)

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A couple of the horrible pencil/phallic shaped buildings rising over mid-town (Lexington I think). Al likes them, I think they look ridiculous. There are obviously a lot of property developers with size issues...

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Although from afar, by far the most beautiful building on Manhattan

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bigpetebrown

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We had dinner at cafeteria

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A dog fight between a white fluffy thing and a corgie (I kid you not!). Hilarious aloof 6’4” stick thin 20 something peroxided door ***** that might have thought he was a maître de but wasn’t one’s little toe. Great meal

still don't get biscuits

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Amazing rainbow beet salad

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Berkshire pork chop

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Salmon

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Introduced to St. Germain by way of three carafes of St Germain Spritz - st germain, prosecco, dried thyme, granny smith apple. Three carafes at $35 a pop!

Contemplating that credit card bill that'll be waiting when we get home...

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Leisurely stroll back to the apartment to soak in that night time view.

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bigpetebrown

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NYC Day 4 Thursday

We got out a bit earlier so we were at The Met only about 20 minutes after it opened. The tickets we’d bought for The Met still had two days to run so we ticked off the moon photography exhibition and another called Camp.

On the way there we stumbled on to what I’d imagine is a hugely expensive, and hugely ridiculous painting called ‘Blue Panel II’. How did art get to this place?

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Anyways, back to what we came to see.

The first was pretty amazing. Some of the 19th century photography of the moon was pretty incredible considering the tech that was available at the time.

Camp was a whole different thing. This is how the exhibition is described on The Met’s website – ‘Through more than 250 objects dating from the seventeenth century to the present, The Costume Institute's spring 2019 exhibition explores the origins of camp's exuberant aesthetic. Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp'" provides the framework for the exhibition, which examines how the elements of irony, humor, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration are expressed in fashion’.

The first thing we asked each other was - what is it with women and camp? Maybe they were just there to see the fashion itself as it was a smorgasbord of labels, labels, labels. I was half expecting Patsy and Eddy to push past us. It was colourful. It had labels. It really wasn’t our thing.

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We then found ourselves in the Art of the Arab Lands and Ancient Near Eastern Art. Just like with the Egyptian gallery it was display after display of incredible art and artefacts. You really could spend a week at The Met. You’d have very sore feet, but it would be a week of wow after wow after wow.

I’d seen somewhere that the café on the roof of The Met had a great view and I’d seen a picture of beautiful people buying beautiful food and drink, lazing around on fake grass, so we wanted to join them. After a good 30 minutes of trying to find out how to get there it was a huge disappointment. It was on ok view of the southern end of the park, there was a bar serving not much at all and not a beautiful person in sight. Boo hoo

So instead of a glamorous lunch with the Park Ave set we had a way better time at a cool little restaurant on Madison called Nectar Café (1022 Madison).

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bigpetebrown

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Couple of blocks further down Madison was The Met Breuer. We both have a bit of a love hate relationship with modern art. Here is was more the latter than the former. There was Vessel Orchestra that Al, rightfully so, wondered how Mr Oliver Beer got the permission to use the ‘vessels’ to make his ‘music’

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Then there was macramé in a scale like no other in Phenomenal Nature and finally Home is a Foreign Place that was much more easy on the eye, and brain

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By the time we’d had enough the rain was bucketing down. We decided we’d wait it out by having a coffee at The Breuer’s cafe and it was the first good coffee we’d had in nearly two weeks.

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Bolted for the subway during a pause in the downpour and decided to get off at Union again to grab some Flatiron pictures

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Lego store across the road

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We ended up in Barn Joo, initially for drinks, and then for dinner. Excellent!

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We bought a couple of umbrellas from a guy selling them at the entrance to the subway. Best $10 ever spent as the rain was still bucketing down when we got home.

The view through the mist and rain (apologies for blurry image)

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bigpetebrown

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NYC day 5 Friday

One of our must dos for this visit was Tenement Museum.

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Pre-booked tickets to Irish Outsiders (apartment tour and no photography allowed) and Then and Now (walking tour). Both were super interesting. What lives the early immigrants had. Some of the Americans on the tour could not get their heads around the fact that tenement (a building with three or more individual families or groups live in separate self-contained spaces) is just the old word for apartment, something that the guides on both tours kept repeating.

Lunch at a cool and very old bar/pub around the corner from the museum.

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Walking tour pics

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This place is not a synagogue, hence the variation on the Star of David. Bought by an artist during the 80s (I think we were told) and he now lives in the wooden structure at the top, the rest is a workspcae.

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On the walking tour stumbled across a bizarre Louis Vuitton store painted a lurid apple green. Everything was green, including a pile of rubbish outside. People were queuing up to go inside. What the hell?

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bigpetebrown

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To the baseball – Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays. Tickets bought ages ago. Where do you sit? Pay gazillions and sit close? Pay nearly nothing and sit at the far side opposite the batter? Pay US$107 each and sit right above the diamond in level 3? There are websites that show you the view from seats and using this we chose level 3.

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Third row back from the railing, aisle seats

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We had a blast once we worked out how to get up to level 3. Americans are such a contradiction. They’ll sue the **** off someone for the most trivial thing but personal safety just isn’t high on their agenda. The railing along the edge of level three was ludicrously low but there was a warning sign so if you fell when trying to catch that arcing foul ball it’s on your head. And on the head of the person you fall onto about 20 metres below!

Full strength booze of many varieties including frozen margaritas in half yard glass things and 600ml beers! LOTS of every drunk people.

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It was scoreless until the 5th when the Yankees scored four. We left during the 9th and joined the throngs trying to get the subway. Back to personal safety. There s no way in hell they should have allowed the number of people that they did on that train platform. It should have been limited at the bottom. But they just kept squashing more and more up there and then when the train came same thing. Just missing the guys on the Tokyo subway who push you in. Talk about a human sardine can! It’s a long way from the Bronx down to 14th!!

Then when we went down to catch the L it was not running and we had to catch a bus. It was actually pretty easy. Just put our metro passes into the ticket machine at the bus stop and it issued the tickets that got us within a block of home.

Some shots of the streets of the Meatpackers District from the Highline

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BriarFlyer

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I enjoy pretty much any sporting event, but have to admit it was only the super-long frozen daiquiris that got me through the one baseball game I've attended. ;)
 

bigpetebrown

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NYC day 6 Saturday

Al found that it was the final races of the Formula E championship on a street circuit over at Brooklyn so we bought two very expensive (not) $12 tickets for general admission for Sunday.

On to the subway for a wander of the Financial District.

Called in to the Oculus where you can’t take a bad picture.

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Then a quiet stroll around the cemetery of St Paul’s Chapel. Seriously old. Washington came here after his inauguration. Headstones from the 1700s. Undamaged after the towers came down. A refuge for workers afterwards.

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bigpetebrown

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The Woolies building - one of the first skyscrapers. I do realise not at all related before anyone decides to let me know...

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Then we headed for Brooklyn Bridge where the original intention was to walk to the first towers and turn back. The crowds were ridiculous, and inconsiderate. Poor cyclists trying to ride the bike lane were up against it the whole way. It was 30 humid degrees feeling more like 40!

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Before we even got to the first pylons we decided we’d go the whole way. The crowds starting thinning out after the first pylon and the cyclists got more vocal at those who strayed onto the bike lane.

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It’s an absolutely amazing structure. We’ve seen some docos on the construction and it was an incredible feat. Walking across it makes you realise how much of a feat it was. The one thing I didn’t realise until we were nearly right across was that wooden planks you walk along are kind of between the two roadways with water underneath (and a fair bit of very old metal structure). Metal bridges, and heights aren’t my thing. I was good having cars on both sides of me. Looking down and seeing water just before we hit Dumbo freaked me out just a tad.

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bigpetebrown

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Jeez it was hot. We got off the bridge and went down along the waterfront promenade (away from Dumbo), found a bench in the shade and watched the passing parade both on the promenade and also out on the East River.

No idea who or what this is

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A Statten Island ferry doing a round Manhattan Cruise we think

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Can't even begin to imagine what these places will be worth when completed. This building is down near the ferry terminals

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There were swimmers and kayakers being escorted up the Manhattan side of the East River

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I could have sat here for hours watching people, boats, and the skyline

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bigpetebrown

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We kept walking. Beautiful parkland

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and promenade along the Brooklyn shoreline.

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Covered recreation complex with space for all sorts of things. A beautiful townhouse complex with the most incredible views.

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We eventually found a way under the BQE. What an eyesore. Lots of signs in windows saying ‘fix the BQE, don’t replace’. Found this article with a proposal that I’d guess is much better than the Dept of Transport’s.

Walked up through Brooklyn Heights – beautiful

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bigpetebrown

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more around Brooklyn Heights

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and eventually found ourselves at The Custom House where I had pretty much the best burger I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a few. That burger patty was just amazing.

His Bangers and Mash were apparently 'good'

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but that burger...

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Decided I needed to do some shopping at Century 21 and tried on about 100 pairs of jeans. I ended up buying the pair so that I said I had. Al got into the act and bought some duds as well plus we got some shorts and tees. As we were paying overheard the cashiers discussing an issue with the subway.

As we headed out to catch the subway

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As we went down into the subway we were met by people coming out who had been stuck in a train for 45 minutes! No idea what was going on but after walking uptown for a bit and trying another station we realised it was Uber or walk. We walked with a pitstop at a bar in The Village for a toilet break, beer and nachos.

There were nachos on this plate :)

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zig

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Really enjoying your TR, but particularly enjoying your photos of NYC - they are great. I have been to many of the same places, but your photos put mine to shame.
 

bigpetebrown

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Really enjoying your TR, but particularly enjoying your photos of NYC - they are great. I have been to many of the same places, but your photos put mine to shame.
Thanks zig, we love our photography.

So many are just with our phones - an iPhone X (IMG_nnnn) and a Samsung S10+ (201907nn_nnnnnn). We're also using a Samsung NX500 mirrorless (0709nnnn) that's now a few years old and a new(ish) Sony RX10 IV (DSCnnnnn).
 
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NoName

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Loving the report. And I have noted a few of these places to eat next time we’re in NYC.
 

Bundy Bear

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Really good trip report, thanks for the photos.

Being sick and taking time of work means you have time to read things that you wouldn’t usually have time for.
 

bigpetebrown

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Day 7 NYC Sunday

We love all things transportation. We went downtown to the South Street Seaport Museum. It was like a deserted city down there. Watched a printing demo at Bowne & Co where the press being used was very, very old and there were five of us.

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The museum has a number of boats/ships and we were able to tour the iron hulled sailing cargo ship called the Wavetree with just one other person! The Ambrose lightship was also at the quay but could only be visited on an organised tour later in the day.

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