New York in Pictures
Dear Mummy, you’ve just returned from a whistle-stop tour of New York. It’s the first time you’ve ever been to the Big Apple and it was a holiday trip of a lifetime to celebrate Daddy’s 40th Birthday and your 9th wedding anniversary.
You left me at home with my Grandparents while you guys went on your anniversary-moon. You stomped up and down the streets and ticked off all your sight-seeing itinerary. I’m sure once you’ve got over your jet lag you’ll write some more in-depth reviews of the places you’ve visited but here’s NYC in a nutshell.
Seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
My folks couldn’t miss this while they were in the United States! The parade is one of the most popular annual attractions in NYC and has been a Thanksgiving tradition since 1924. Attracting more than 3.5 million people to the streets of Manhattan every year, and watched by an audience of nearly 50 million TV viewers, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade combines a huge collection of performers from cheerleaders to musicians and of course, the famous big balloons.
My folks got up early after traveling the previous day from LDN Heathrow to JFK and secured their spot on Central Park South just round the corner from Columbus Circle.
They got there at 7am and stood patiently until the parade started to go past at 09.30. At one point the crowd was 10 person deep behind them! My folks had never seen a street so busy. It was surprisingly mild for a November in New York, however in the shadows of the buildings and with the wind it became quite chilly.
They watched marching bands, giant inflatable balloons and even saw Mariah Carey on a float at the end! It was the 26th parade and organised by the largest department store in the world, Macy’s. It lasted a couple of hours and was such a great experience – one that was ticketed off your bucket list.
Afterwards you popped over to Central Park to sit in the warm sunshine. You visited in one of the warmest Novembers on record in NYC. It was very mild and sunny. Bright blue sky meant a lot of people were happy strolling through Central Park.
Central Park is a massive urban park in middle-upper Manhattan and it is the most visited park in the United States as well as one of the most filmed locations in the world. You can see why…
It was a beautiful location. My parents followed the route taken by Kevin in Home Alone 2, stopped by the famous Bow Bridge, Gapstow Bridge and tried to find the pigeon lady.
You even found the Friends fountain used in the Intro of the series and the avenue of trees, The Mall and Literary Walk, used in many Hollywood films.
Visiting the National History Museum was a highlight of your trip.
Night at the Museum is one of your favourite films and you were amazed at the enormity of the exhibition space! Every room seems to lead to another chamber and the building is massive. The museum complex comprises 27 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library.
You visited this fantastic museum filled with four floors of dinosaurs bones, world culture and history, animals and space discoveries.
And even found Dum Dum and the crazy monkey from the film!
It wasn’t all about the culture though and my folks had an interesting time at the Black Friday sales at Macy’s and Bloomingdales. Absolute chaos but you picked up some great bargains.
What possessed my folks to visit two of the largest department stores in the world on the busiest shopping day is beyond me!?! But it was an experience…
They did pick up some great discounts and great Christmas decorations/souvenirs for family and friends. My mummy even treated herself to a Marc Jacobs handbag with 40% off!! Bloomingdales and Macys also offered a further ‘Tourist’ discount on top on the sale prices and they found that American brands were super cheap to buy.
Enjoying the bright lights in Times Square.
The hotel that my folks were staying in was just around the corner from Times Square, so they had to walk pass this block ever day. They saw some interesting characters in costumes and took in all the sights and sounds. There were lots of Police around and they loved a good photo opportunity, posing happily for photographs. My mummy loved the Mounted Patrol in Times Square.
It was great to capture some shots of the bright city lights at every hour. It always felt like constant day light here which was a bit strange in the middle of the night walking back from a show!
Standing still at Grand Central Station.
My folks couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit the most famous train station in the world. Grand Central Station was a hive of activity on the day they visited. They witnessed 2 weddings and hundreds of tourists taking selfies. The terminal is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, with 21.9 million visitors in 2013. It was beautiful in the main concourse and the starry ceiling depicting constellations was out of this world!
The famous clock at Grand Central Station is rumoured to be made out of opal and brass and that Sotheby’s and Christie’s have estimated its value to be between $10 million and $20 million.
The large American flag was hung in Grand Central Terminal a few days after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and my folks saw this when they visited.
Who you gonna call? ….Ghostbusters in NYC.
My folks had fun finding the locations from the Ghostbusters films at the Public Library, Central Park West and tracking down the Ghostbusters headquarters while having a good giggle reanacting scenes from the films. They felt like kids again and loved watching the films in the buildup to their NYC trip.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner.
Round the corner from Times Square is an awesome popular restaurant which is a theatre performance all in itself. It plays host to great food and even greater singing from performances by the waiting staff! My folks had an awesome singing waitress bring their drinks out and they even sang Happy Birthday to my Daddy.
Kevin and Indy Mike impressed us with their signing talents…oh and one of the best beards we’ve seen in NYC. An amazing experience and well worth a visit. My mummy had an amazing Coke Float and juicy cheese burger!
The city comes alive at night, it’s so pretty with all the twinkling lights and steam coming from the subways. NYC is such a bustling city and there is a constant hum of activity.
Being amazed with the spectacular views at the Top of the Rock.
My folks visited an Observatory on top of Rockefeller Centre, with an ocean-liner style design offering city views. The Rockefeller Center is an American Art Deco skyscraper that forms the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan. At Christmas time it is the epicentre for New Yorkers who gather to see the famous Christmas Tree Light Switch on and for the Ice Skating Rink. It’s been featured in numerous films like Home Alone 2 and Batman.
My folks purchased the Sun & Stars tour which allowed them to go up to the top of the skyscraper twice in 24hrs to see the sunrise and sunset over New York. It’s very high more than 70 floors at its highest view-point and it gave great views of New York. Well worth the money…and the ticket queues.
The second time they went up they got to queue jump with their pre-booked ticket. Be warned though as the crowds get crazy at sunset on a clear day! Next to the Rockerfeller Cntre is Radio City Concert Hall, a famous entertainment venue and also the NBC Studios and other Television companies.
Getting a hot ticket for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
My folks took in a Christmas Show while in NYC. They saw the famous Rockettes perform at Radio City and were impressed with the venue and their talent, especially the eye-high leg kicks in perfect unison in a chorus line! My folks loved the Christmas Spectacular and can’t wait to bring me back so I can see it when I’m a bit older. Their style of dance is a mixture of modern dance and classic ballet. During the Christmas season, the Rockettes present five shows a day, seven days a week. Phew! They must be knackered by New Year!
Another one of my parents favourite films is Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. A movie all about fate and romance. My folks had fun acting out the scene from Serendipity at Bloomingdales (my daddy bought her some cashmere black gloves) they then had lunch at the famous restaurant called Serendipity 3! My folks pre-booked back in the UK weeks before, as walk-ins had up to a 40 minute wait and the restaurant was very popular. People come from all over the world to eat Frozen Hot Chocolate and the most expensive desert in NYC at $1,000!
Home away from home at Yotel.
My folks stayed at the super modern Yotel, NYC. And loved their views of the city from the 22nd floor. They can’t say a bad word about this hotel. The staff were super friendly and accommodating. The room was neat and compact which was perfect for a mini break.
The guys in the lobby at ‘Ground Control’ we’re very helpful and professional. The hotel was hip and modern. My Daddy even had balloons and a bottle of wine waiting for him in their hotel room. We’ll be writing a full review of this hotel so keep your eyes peeled.
Eye in the sky.
My folks enjoyed a helicopter ride of New York from Liberty Tours at Pier 6 thanks to my uncle and spent 20 minutes flying over the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan. It was a brilliant experience and they would fully recommend it.
Afterwards my folks walked to Lower Manhattan and paid their respects at the 9/11 Memorial. It was a really humbling and emotional experience, some tears were shed at the enormity of the tragic disaster. A really poignant reminder to how fragile life is. My parents are trying to live their lives to the full at the moment and this visit to NYC has really opened up their eyes.
They can’t wait till I’m old enough to join them in experiencing what the world has to offer and be old enough to remember our travels. Next time we visit NYC it will be as a family.
Have you ever been to New York, any posts or review you’d like to share with us? Then please comment and let us know! We’d love to read them!
Love Bella and her folks x