Let’s jump right in to recounting the second half of my adventures in NYC, shall we? If you need to play catch up, either scroll down to the next post or click this link.
Saturday morning was gorgeous with temps promising to climb to the high 60’s. A nice bike ride through Central Park seemed like a fine first activity for the day. Even better that a bike rental was included in our City Pass. We slept in a little later than usual, which I blame on the margaritas from the night before, so we didn’t arrive to the bike place until noonish. Literally, the last bikes were claimed by the two people in front of us in line. Complete bummer, but not a surprise since the weather was absolutely perfect for biking through the park, and we obviously were not the only tourists with City Passes. We kept our fingers crossed that the tandem bike the clerk said might still be available, but ended up taking a leisurely walk in the end.
The park was bustling with locals exercising on the jogging paths, crowds gathered around various performers, sweethearts strolling hand in hand… perfect for slowing down to do a little people watching. We exited the park through Strawberry Fields, a section of the park dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, located right across the street from where he was shot and killed in front of his apartment building. A musician just so happened to be performing “Imagine” as we walked through – I can only imagine how many times he plays that song every day. A swarm of tourists prevented me from taking a picture of the famed “Imagine” mosaic, but here’s what it looked like (thanks, Google images!):
After a couple hours in the park, it was time to head down to Broadway for the matinee show of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Yes, it’s the one starring that guy from Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe. I have only seen the first (maybe part of the second) Harry Potter movie, and was kind of surprised at how grown up he is now; it made me feel really old. He is quite talented, I must admit. The guy can sing, and I was impressed by a few of the dance moves he pulled off considering that he did not have any previous dance experience. Watching talented people sing and dance on stage always puts a huge smile on my face, so the show was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. It reminded me that I must attend more shows at the Fabulous Fox theater here in Atlanta.
We capped off day 3 with an evening cruise around Manhattan, another City Pass attraction. I wish I had been successful in snapping some clear pictures from the boat, but we were traveling too fast and everything turned out blurry. But you can take my word for it that it was really pretty sight to see the city all lit up.
After two nights of moderate – heavy alcohol consumption, we took a break on Saturday night and just grabbed some pizza slices before heading in for a relatively early evening at the hotel. But I didn’t regret it the next day, because I had renewed energy for our last few hours in the city!
We aimlessly strolled around Chinatown for a little while, taking in the cheap gift shops and street fish markets. Chinatown has it’s charm, I suppose, but being being asked if I’d like to buy a knock-off watch every 20 feet got annoying pretty quickly. I was happy to stumble upon SoHo, where a sidewalk flea market was set up and several cute boutiques beckoned me. It was so refreshing to browse in local shops after seeing mostly chain stores that can also be found in Atlanta. But just after we discovered this neat little area, we had to head over to Rockerfeller Center for our NBC Studios tour.
We were able to reserve Sunday tickets for the NBC Studios tour with our City Pass, even though our 3 days to use the pass was up by Sunday. It was an alright experience, but I was a little miffed with having to interrupt my window shopping in SoHo for another tour. It all worked out swimmingly though, because we had plenty of time after the tour to return to the area for lunch at Lombardi’s Pizza and a bit more looking around before heading to the airport.
Lombardi’s is a popular spot in SoHo, so we decided to maximize our time by ordering a pie to go and have a picnic outside instead of waiting for a table. Our beautiful napoletana pizza was topped with pancetta and pepperoni and it was amazingly delicious! It is on par with Atlanta’s own soon-to-be-famous pizzeria, Antico (look for a blog post on this Atlanta gem soon!) which we didn’t think anything short of the motherland could beat.
Sadly, it was time to head back to our hotel to meet our car back to the airport shortly after our late lunch. There was so much more that I wanted to explore, but I just kept telling myself that I didn’t have to spread myself so thin; I can and will come back! I don’t think the City Pass will be necessary for any future visits, as we pretty much accomplished all of the touristy things this go round. Brooklyn is definitely on the itinerary, as well as at least one Broadway play per trip. Instead of exhausting myself during the day with sight-seeing, I think I’ll take it easier so that I can experience more of the night life on future trips, too.
Do you have a favorite hole-in-the-wall bar that I should visit next time? Which neighborhoods have you discovered with the hipest boutiques? Please to comment with your suggestions for my next NYC adventure!