Getting ready for Washington DC!
21.12.2013 - 02.01.2014 0 °C
Today we packed up and got our bags to penn station. We then went back to Toms restaurant for dinner this time (see photo of my dinner below) - Teen 2's final wish - and Cafe Lalo for dessert - cherry pie and whipped cream! (the pretty cafe with the lights - see photos below)
So no new adventures to share!
For the final blog entry in NYC, I am going to create a list of what I have learnt about the city that I was so keen to visit:
1) When you imagine midtown New York as crowded and busy multiply it by 1000 and you still won't be prepared! (The only time Sydney and New York city are alike is Sydney's New Year's Eve crowd - this is a regular day in midtown NYC!)
2) Manhattan, New York is much bigger than I expected. Navigating your way uptown, downtown and across town takes time. Particularly if you are heading across at the same time as up or down.
3) There is so much to see and do in NYC. We had 11 days and almost ticked off out to do list - we will have to come back in a few years to finish it though - when the kids are old enough to stay home or pay their own way!!
3) I have fallen in love with the upper west side, where we stayed. It is pretty, quieter, has a great feel to it, but still central to everything. It is what you picture New York to be. You need never go downtown to midtown New York. That is the more brash, in your face part of the city. Great to visit, but in small doses.
3) Central Park is amazing as well as large - you could spend each day of your stay here and still not discover every corner.
4) Taxi cabs are a convenient and sometimes cheaper way to get around $10 - $15 from uptown to downtown. If there are many of you it is equivalent to each paying a $2.50 subway fare. Cab drivers though, vary in niceness - some are so polite and others just plain rude. One can driver told Hubby he used to be nice before he was a cab driver in NYC.
5) The subway is $2.50 to ride anywhere in the city. Compared to Sydney's $5 this is a cheap transport option.
6) Double check the subway direction before you get on - you too may end up in Queens and it's along ride back!
7) Teen2 wanted me to be sure to tell you that diners are awesome! The food, size of the meal and atmosphere keep you coming back for more!!
8) It takes a while getting used to tipping, because it isn't natural for us you have to be very mindful of how much to tip. The expectation is that you will tip when a service is being provided, waiter/ress, delivery, taxi and so on. But if you are buying over the counter, such as take away pizza it isn't expected.
9) Many New Yorkers own dogs - yes in apartments - and regularly take them walking on the sidewalk. There is very little grass in NYC aside from parks such as Central Park and riverside park. So dogs do their business on the sidewalk or we even saw one choosing the road! Owners are expected to clean up after their dogs, it isn't unusual to need to step over a golden puddle on the sidewalk though.
10) Being an Early Childhood Teacher, I took notice of the parks that are provided for children to play in and here are a few things that stood out to me: there is generally no grass area in the park for the children to wiggle their toes in or lay upon (the grass is available in the larger parks like riverside park and Central Park), parks are fenced off, all around the perimeter is a large fence, this fence is locked at night, the parks sometimes coincide with a basketball court beside it - again fenced off, just like on the movies, there is sometimes a 'sandbox', some of the parks are quite creative and use the natural surroundings particularly those in Central Park.
11) New York is everything I imagined, but more normal and less movie like........ Being here has been amazing and I imagine when we leave I will be considering when next I will return.