New York 2000

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Soon after our arrival home from California, we were invited to a friend's wedding in New York. We were fortunate to have just enough air miles with Virgin to get 2 free flights so were delighted to accept the invitation. Poor Jo and Sarah had to stay home for school. I didn't keep a diary for this trip so the report won't be terribly comprehensive!

We stayed at the Essex House Hotel, on Central Park South. Very central - normally out of our price bracket but Alan, the groom, arranged some very good rates. We had a good flight on the Friday, arriving over New York by night. What an incredible sight, the lights were amazing. We were collected at the airport and taken to our hotel - somewhat late due to delays. 

ny1.jpg (27436 bytes)    ny2.jpg (44297 bytes)    ny3.jpg (21082 bytes)    The next morning we did all the touristy things - The Rockefeller Centre, the Empire State Building and then a boat tour all around Manhatten. Here are some photos. Click on the thumbnails for larger versions. We also visited the Museum of Modern Art, a fascinating place.That evening we had a wonderful Indian meal at Nirvana, overlooking Central Park and just a short walk from our hotel.

We spent the Saturday in SoHo, shopping and having lunch at a restaurant recommended by my hairdresser, Barolo's. Extremely nice, Italian food and atmosphere. We did more shopping after and also succumbed to the temptation of an on-street Chinese massage! Quite vigorous but I expect it was good for us :-) We did try the inevitable shopping in Macy's but it isn't really our thing. Since we'd had such a good lunch, we didn't need any diner. Which was just as well as in the evening we had tickets to go and see Dame Edna Everage  - we'd decided the opportunity was one not to be missed so eschewed the stag & hen frivolities (well, OK, so Martyn had to miss the lap-dancing.....) and went off to Times Square. What a wonderful show it was too. Brilliantly funny, a fantastic night out. We were far enough back not to get picked on, thank goodness. 

ny4.jpg (36596 bytes)   On Sunday we explored Central Park which is a haven from the NY bustle. Very pleasant and not at all intimidating. We were amazed to see some celebrities sitting on a bench there - the family from Channel 4's 1900 House! I wished afterwards that I'd gone to speak to them, but I couldn't think of anything to say at the time. ny5.jpg (46048 bytes)On leaving the park, we found that large crowds were beginning to congregate along the roads. Apparently there was to be a Puerto Rican parade. We went into the Metropolitan Museum for several hours - what a fantastic place, could spend weeks there! And the shop was the best museum shop I've ever seen. Yes, we were tempted - several times! When we came out we got caught up in the crowds watching the parade. It was awful - extremely hot and jam packed with people. very frightening as we found it almost impossible to move and we had to get back to get ready for the wedding. We finally got through but we were lucky not to get hurt. We found out later that there were a number of stabbings and some murders. there was also trouble in central Park with rapes and attacks. 

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This row of police motorcycles caught our eye and was just along the road from our hotel. We got changed for the wedding and by then most of the crowds had dispersed. Felt a bit silly walking up to The Tavern on The Green (on the edge of Central Park) in our wedding outfits - the carnival atmosphere wasn't exactly one of sophistication!

 

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The wedding was held at the Tavern and was lovely, although it was very hot and humid and rather a lot of noise from the park. It was a very fancy place - very fancy decor as the photos show. The stained glass was lining the corridor! It was a small wedding and very enjoyable. The atmosphere was lovely and the food excellent. Whilst indoors, the heavens opened and there was a terrific thunderstorm so we caught a taxi back to our hotel rather than attempting to walk.

Our last day was Monday but the flight wasn't leaving until the evening so we had some more free time. The weather had really changed after the storm - it was about 30F lower than the day before and quite chilly and cloudy. We spent sometime at Radio City Music Hall, one of the higlights of the visit. What a wonderful place, recently restored to it's Art Deco splendour, it offers a very good way to avoid bad weather! We had an interesting tour and enjoyed it immensely. After that we had a very good lunch at Chez Louis and then back to the airport for our flight home. We were delayed and all sorts of things didn't work properly on the plane - a nervous flyer would probably have got off before take-off! But we got home eventually. Only to find that our power had been off for days.....but that's another story!

 

It was an excellent trip, well worth it and although at the time we thought we probably wouldn't want to go again, we have changed our minds now!

 

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