Friday, February 12, 2016

2015 Travel Recap: New York City

*Part one of my 2015 travel recap, Hawaii, is here, and part two, Gettysburg, is here.*

New York City has been on my travel wishlist for years and years, and I finally got to visit the Big Apple at the end of May when we met up with my mom and brother there for a three-day trip. It was jam-packed, but we got to see, do and eat almost all the things we most wanted. No Broadway show for us this time, but "The Book of Mormon" came to Dayton in August, so I still got to see my first musical this year.

Day 1: Circle Line Cruise, Grand Central, NY Public Library, 30 Rock, Times Square
nyc day 1 version 2
We got to New York City in the late afternoon and met up with my mom and brother, Andy, at our (surprisingly tiny!) Hell's Kitchen rental apartment. That evening we went to Times Square, which was almost as bright as day with all the signs! (That's the two bottom right pictures -- see the New Year's Eve ball?)

Our first full day in NYC started off with a Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Then we went to Grand Central Station, which features lovely Beaux-Arts architecture and astronomical symbols painted in gold on the soaring green ceiling.

The Chrysler Building with its distinctive terraced top. (It reminds me of a pencil.)

The one must-do on my NYC trip list: the New York Public Library.

The children's library is home to the original crew of stuffed animals that inspired A.A. Milne to write the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

nypl collage
The children's library also features miniature library lions constructed from Legos! (Did you know the actual library lions are named Patience and Fortitude?)

At the top of 30 Rockefeller Center, 70 stories up. That's Central Park in the background.

30 rock collage
More pictures from the Top of the Rock observation deck -- the Empire State building, Central Park, and New York City in all its sprawling glory. And more New Year's Eve ball!

Day 2: FAO Schwarz, The Met, Central Park, American Museum of Natural History
It's me!

nyc day 2
We started off our second day by taking an Uber (my first ever!) to FAO Schwarz toy store, home of the "Big" piano and Zoltar machine. Then we went to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (can I just set up camp there like the kids in "From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler"?!), walked through Central Park (I was ready to cut my feet off at this point -- it probably would've hurt less!), and ended the day with a quick trip through the American Museum of Natural History, home of the "Night at the Museum" movies. (P.S. That's a Statue of Liberty made out of Legos! P.P.S. We look thrilled about our subway ride! Actually, the subway was cleaner and easier to navigate than I expected. And the cars had blessed air conditioning!)

Day 3: Soho, Wall Street, World Trade Center
Our last full day included a visit to Soho... and the knitting mecca of Purl Soho! I'm so grateful to my wonderful mom, brother and husband -- who have zero interest in fiber arts -- for accompanying me!

nyc day 3 part 1
Lunch in Soho, then on to the financial district and Wall Street. The bottom center photo shows the wonderfully curvy and slightly Dr. Seuss-ish 8 Spruce Street tower by architect Frank Gehry, who also designed the famous Dancing House in Prague.

1 World Trade Center, a.k.a. Freedom Tower. The last night of our trip just so happened to be opening night for the new One World Observatory on the 100th floor, and we managed to get tickets.

The 9/11 Memorial, with the bottom of Freedom Tower in the background.

nyc day 3 part 2
The 9/11 Memorial was lovely, but the 9/11 Museum is a must-do. Pictures aren't allowed inside most of the museum, but there are a few above, like the "Survivors' Stairs." The museum was so well-done, and it really brought the horrors of that day home for me, someone who was thousands of miles away from New York, sitting in a high school psychology class, when the second plane hit. (P.S. You may want to pack a few tissues.)

The Freedom Tower observatory was fun if a little overdone. The view from the top was cool at night, and I'd like to see it during the day on our next trip.

Have you been to New York City? What are your must-dos so I can put them on the agenda for our next trip? The highlights of the trip for me were the library and the Met.


  1. I've been to New York but not since Freedom Tower was built. Ground Zero was still a hole in the ground that they were trying to clear up, even a few years later. I'll definitely have to check out the museum if I ever make it up there again. The highlight of my New York sightseeing was seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway! I'd definitely recommend seeing a show the next time, if you can!

  2. What an awesome trip we had! We really did see a lot!


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