The walls at this hotel are paper thin and unfortunately we have a family with a baby staying next door to us. Fortunately they eventually went out or managed to quieten the child this morning and we could get back to sleep.
We went for breakfast at Grand Central Station. Grand Central Station is the 24th most visited tourist attraction in NY (according to TripAdvisor). There are numerous shops but also a lot of eating places as well as a fresh produce market (which really was quite impressive). We ended up having breakfast at Junior’s. Helen had Googled where to get the best NY cheesecake and the answer was Junior’s. Apparently even if you ask a NY cabbie where to go they will take you to Union station and say Junior’s. So not only did we have breakfast at Junior’s but Helen and Chloe got their piece of NY Cheesecake as well (they didn’t eat it until later but both were suitably impressed). Grand Central Station is an impressive building. The ceiling depicts the constellations.
After breakfast we wondered around Union Station, took the now mandatory family selfie and then ended up in the Apple Store. The store takes up the East Concourse and is quite strange as there is really no door you can see it in the photo on the far side just above the staircase). You can’t really lock anything and so I wondered whether the store is open 24 hours or what they do. Of course you can guess what Helen and Chloe did again!
Michael and I then went down to Pier 83 to catch a Circle Line cruise around Manhatten Island. Chloe & Helen didn’t ‘feel like’ seeing the Statue of Liberty or the boat ride (#losers #lame). You get a great view of the Manhatten skyline including views of Empire State Building, the new World Trade Centre No 1, Ellis Island, Governors Island and of course Staten Island. It was freezing cold outside though and both Michael and I reckoned we could have been blown off the boat because of the strength of the wind. On the way back the taxi driver stopped over a pedestrian crossing to have an argument with a guy walking across the road with his young son. The guy shouted at the taxi driver for almost running them over. The taxi driver took offense at that and started yelling back at him #NYcabdrivers!
Helen and Chloe meanwhile were touring the shops again. At M&M World (yes – seriously) they got to see their own version of Statue of Liberty. They also ‘ran into’ a Scottish Parade which closed off a whole lot of midtown streets. Apparently they did go into Saks 5th Avenue this time and found a fur coat that they were both amazed about how it felt. Price tag – $36 000!
Dinner tonight was the first time I had visited an American Chain restaurant on this trip. We went to TGI Fridays for our last dinner in the US as tomorrow we start heading home. We had wanted to go to a steakhouse but the famous ones like Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, Smith & Wolensky, Mortons etc all cost $50 and upwards for a steak and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to spend that when we could all eat out in Cape Town for the same cost.
I need to blog about some of the American specific things like their TV adverts, patriotism, telephone numbers etc but will do that in one of the next few blogs. Until tomorrow …
P, H, M & C