January in New York for a week

Last Christmas I had the option of an iPad for Xmas or a trip to New York. In a completely non-geeky, non-me way I chose New York. I knew it would be freezing when I was out but luckily I love Winter and the snow so it didn’t deter me. I was out visiting the Fiance who was out there with work. Since it’s been quite a while since I was away (and I never wrote my diary) I’m writing mainly about the highlights of the week.

Marriot Times Square Revolving Restaurant

At the top of the Marriot in Times Square there’s a revolving restaurant. The lift up to it is glass and you go shooting skyward at a rate of knots which is amusing but slightly scary! The views from the top are amazing and the drinks are unexpectedly cheap

Tip: get there before 8pm or there’s a surcharge for going up to the top floor.

Times Square

Times Square itself is well worth a visit – I can’t imagine a trip to New York without going there. Just to stand and watch the hustle and bustle for a while is fun. I was back here several time during the week and nothing quite told me I was in New York as standing looking up at all the lights!

Times Square New York

Chinese New Year

After Katz Deli we wandered down towards the Staten Island Ferry and going through Chinatown we soon came to realise that something was up. Barriers were everywhere and there was quite a festive atmosphere. We got ourselves wedged beside a barrier and waited a good hour before the parade started. It was BALTIC standing there but boy was it worth it. I’ve never seen a parade like this before and I loved watching all the dragons and dancers going past. If you can time your holiday with these celebrations then I recommend it.

Chinese New Year New York

Grand Central Station

When people suggested visiting a train station before I went on holiday I thought ‘really? A train station…but I don’t wear an anorak’ Despite this I found myself wandering in on the first day (it was right beside the hotel ok!) I have to say, it was a fantastic interior and I spent ages wandering round the market, the shop, the food hall and finally the station concourse. A few nights later we went back for cocktails overlooking the concourse as the Fiance hadn’t been there yet and I was so impressed I wanted him to see it too. If you visit be sure to look up the way to see signs of the Zodiac set out in lights.

Grand Central Station market

Central Park

Unfortunately Central Park was pretty much snow covered at the end of Jan but it was still fun to walk through on the way to the museum and gave an idea of how amazing it would be in the warmer months. The buildings overlooking the park were all very impressive and if you look carefully you might even spot a Ghostbusters house… We walked through the park via 79th St to get to the museum and before that we’d wandered round East Drive and The Pond – we only saw a fraction really but it was quite hard going on the ice.

Central Station

Natural History Museum

We’d planned on a few hours at the Museum but ended up there for hours. There is so much to see that there just isn’t enough time in one visit to see it all. I recommend the  ANHM iPhone/iPad App to select a shorter tour to make sure you see all the well known exhibits (like the main ones in The Night at the Museum!)

AMNH

Roosevelt Island and Cable Car

From the moment I knew I was going to New York I wanted to go on the cable car. I nagged the Fiance and the friend we were with and they reluctantly ambled along with me. As soon as we were on it they were like little kids, their eye lit up and the stood with noses pressed to the windows for the entire trip. Unfortunately it was just too icy to walk round the island which was a shame but we made do with a coffee, another trip on the cable car and a bit more time in the Museum.

roosevelt island cable car

Staten Island Ferry

I’d been toying with going out to the Statue of Liberty and wondering whether I wanted to commit to a half day/s tour or just stick with Staten Island. In the end we all decided (the boys were with me for this!) to go to Staten Island and use any spare time walking round there and Wall Street when we got back to Manhattan. I think we made the right choice, not only was it free (a benefit to 3 Scot’s) but the views we got of the Statue of Liberty were great and the sunset as we returned was just so beautiful. It’s well worth thinking about this as your trip to see the Statue, I can’t compare it to actually being on a specific Statue of Liberty trip but it was enough for me and I’d recommend this to friends.

Staten Island Ferry

Other places worth a stop

Macy’s – just because! Bought myself a nice apron!

Katz Deli – don’t lose you’re entry ticket or you have to pay to get out.

The Amish Market Midtown for a massive array of cheese, breads and gigantic sandwiches.

The Perfect Pint – if you’re a fan of beer then go here.

Flatiron – amazing cool building!

Flatiron