Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

New York City

Monday, May 9th, 2011

New York Downtown

Just a little glimpse of a story I’ll tell ’bout an East Coast city that you all know well…

At the end of April, Apryl and I took a trip to New York. We had actually planned the trip a few months back, but then this happened. Actually, it worked out better this way. The weather was far superior, making it more enjoyable getting around.

Hotel Indigo

We checked into the Hotel Indigo, which was nicely located in Chelsea near the Fashion Institute of Technology. Unfortunately, Apryl had to finish up some work when we first arrived, but it did give me some time to wander around the neighborhood.

I was fascinated by the parking lots in the area. Check out this lot below:

NY Parking Lot

I decided on a destination of a record store in the Flatiron District, which gave me plenty of sight-seeing opportunities like running into the district’s namesake.

Flatiron Building

After shopping, I randomly picked a route back to the hotel, and ended up walking right pass the infamous Chelsea Hotel, primarily known to me by the Leonard Cohen tune and the Warhol flick. There was a film crew on site, shinning a light down a stairway that led to the basement.

Hotel Chelsea

As soon as I passed the hotel, I walked right by Clearview Cinema where the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival was taking place. I actually worked on a film that debuted at the festival in 2007.

On the way back, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of these New Yorkers checking out apartment complexes for rent. The average price for a small, one bedroom unit was $2,500 – $3,000 a month. But then again, I suppose it’s all relative.

NY Apt Searching

That night, while Apryl and I were walking to dinner, we passed that same parking lot I mentioned earlier. Only this time, it looked like this:

NY Empty Parking Lot

After dinner, we walked up 8th Ave (pass Madison Square Garden) to Times Square. I had seen Times Square last year on a shoot, but it was during the day, which is like not seeing it at all. Here we are taking in the view:

Apryl Times Square

Hayden Times Square

I couldn’t get over how many taxi cabs were congregated in one place. I really got a kick out of seeing how many cabs could drive one after the other before a non cab got through.

And then there was also this:

Viewing Party

The next morning, I had my favorite breakfast of the trip, an everything bagel with lox spread from the Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company. Yummy!

Bagel

After breakfast, we made our way on the subway headed to Central Park. As soon as we got out of the tunnel, it started pouring rain. We waited for the rain to subside before entering the park. Here are just a few photos of the park:

Park and Buildings

Park Walkway

Alice

(I remember this sculpture because of this image.)

Before we could make much headway into the over 800 acres that make up Central Park, it started to rain hard again, and we retreated into the dry, Metropolitan Museum of Art:

AprylTheMet

We spent a good three hours at The Met, and yet still only scratched the surface of what it had to offer. A few photos from the exhibits:

Wall Art

WarholTheMet

Study

(This study of Sunday at La Grande Jatte is a bit smaller than the original found at the AIC.)

The Met Kid

After hours on our feet walking around, we started to feel like the kid in the photo above. Where or where could we rest our bones? A ballpark, perhaps?

Hey, it was my birthday. And the White Sox were in town playing the Yankees. Actually, we had this event planned for quite some time. All we had to do was get on transit and head on over to Yankee Stadium…

Only we got lost. The transit directions on the Evo were wrong because it gave us the wrong address for Yankee Stadium. Instead of the Bronx, we were spat out in East Harlem, utterly confused. Luckily, a helpful cabbie drove us to the correct subway where he ventured on a short trip to the Bronx.

Yankees Stadium

Now, I’m not going to go into detail about the game since I’m planning on writing a separate game post, but it was fun time. Even despite the lousy playing by the White Sox. I told Apryl that if the Yankees scored more than 12 runs on the Sox that it would stop be fun for me. The Sox lost 12 – 3. The highlight of the game was Apryl brought out my birthday card. Since I’m still not eating meat, it was my hot dog at the ballpark.

Yankees Card Dog

Next morning, we decided we would visit the Statue of Liberty. Before heading out, I got online to see what the procedure was for going on the tour. To my horror, I read that lines for tickets were 2 hours long and that once you obtained your ticket you were then diverted into a security line that took up to an hour and a half. If you wanted to bypass the wait, you could purchase your tickets online in advance. Way in advance. The next available advanced ticket was in June!

However, Apryl informed me that there was another way to see the Statue of Liberty…

Staten Island Ferry Entrance

If you only got a nickel, it’s the Staten Island Ferry.

Actually, the Staten Island is free! Before having such knowledge, I moved around the station looking for a ticket booth. Finally, I asked a security personnel where one could purchase a ticket for the ferry. He gave me a curious stare, and then proclaimed, “it’s free.” Forgive me, I am new here.

The ferry makes the trip every thirty minutes, so we only had to wait about ten minutes before the the boat docked. While we waited a scrolling text above us congratulated the newly wed Prince William and Princess Kate. Apryl turned to me and asked, “Are they suppose to be able to read that?”

The ride over to State Island is quite nice with plenty of photographic opportunities. And you float right by the Statue of Liberty. The statue was smaller than I imagined, but it was still an awe of a sight. Some photos of the ferry ride:

Downtown from Ferry

Statue of Liberty

Coast Guard

Ferry and Statue

When he didn’t spend any time in Staten Island, but instead took the ferry right back over to Manhattan. We walked around downtown, spending the most time a the Trinity Church cemetery, Wall Street, and the future site of One World Trade Center. Below, photos:

Trinity

NYSE

One World

For dinner, we went to a gluten-free restaurant I had read about in the West Village called Risotteria. The restaurant was very good and had the best tasting gluten-free bread. Below, Apryl is amazed at all of her options:

Apryl Menu

And, the food:

Breadsticks

My pizza

When we were done eating, we noticed that the restaurant sold bags of their gluten-free flour. We were very excited until Apryl noticed on the package that the flour contained gelatin from animal protein. Disappointing.

After dinner, we went to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge

Check out this website that gives a detailed list of every known worker killed during construction of the bridge.

Another view from the bridge, including the traffic below:

Bridge and Traffic

And, how about a photo with the both of us?

Us

Despite being extremely tired, we pressed on into the evening…

Mister Rockefeller sets up as high as a bird, Old Mister Empire never says a word.

I had read that the lines were extremely long for the Empire State Building. And that they weren’t as great as the view from Rockefeller Center. So, we decided to give it a shot. In fact, the line was almost nonexistent. After having to watch a poorly produced video, we were shuffled into an elevator and taken to the top of the Rock. Check out this video of the elevator ride which allows you to look up at the clear ceiling as ascend:

Unlike the observation towers at Willis Tower and the John Hancock, Rockefeller Center’s viewing point is at the actual top of the building. You right out there in the elements. For safety, they have plastic walls around the building, but there are slits between them so you can put your hand right out in the open and feel the stone ornamentation. Below, the view:

Rock View

We topped off the evening by celebrating the Grizzlies victory in our hotel room!

Grizzlis Win

The next morning, we decided to check out a popular breakfast spot called the Clinton Street Baking Company. Unfortunately, it was too popular, and we told we would have to wait an hour and an half for a table. We left and found the Remedy Diner, which wasn’t anything too special but it did give me the opportunity to have my first egg cream.

Egg Cream

It was okay. Thankfully, it didn’t have a worm in it.

After breakfast, we only had a little time left in New York before we had to get to the airport. Apryl suggested that we go Grand Central Station. We had arrived only a day before something really big happened. If we had visited just a day later we would have seen images like this. Thankfully, we had visited when we did and got this photo of us together:

Hayden and Apryl Station

We then returned back to the hotel, grabbed our bags, and hailed a reluctant cabbie to take us to LaGuardia airport. There were a lot of things we didn’t get to see in New York, but yet we saw more than I ever imagined. Without a doubt, it gave me a better understanding of the city that is a part of every American. Goodbye, New York.

Goodbye NY

When I leave New York, I’ll be standin’ on my feet.