Our hotel was located on Lexington Avenue, which was a short walk from Grand Central Station. We arrived late in the afternoon and we were both quite tired from the travelling so we spent the first evening relaxing over a nice quiet meal at a local Italian restaurant. The service throughout the whole trip was excellent but this place stood out for me, mainly because of the head waiter who reminded me of a character from Goodfella's!! This was compounded further when I asked if I could try their Italian lager and his response was "you can't try anything in here..............you can finish it, but you can't try it"! Brilliant!!
The next day we headed out early to do some sightseeing. First stop was Rockefeller Center................and we were lucky enough to see The Chrysler Building on the way...............not that you could miss it!
|The Chrysler Building|
|Everywhere you looked there were yellow cabs! There was no escaping them!|
|The GE Building, the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center.|
|NBC Radio City Studios|
|Top of the Rock! Even though the weather wasn't at its best, the views were spectacular!|
|The view of Central Park.|
|The view of the east from the Top of the Rock.|
|There was no shortage of people so it was the perfect opportunity to ask for a photo together!|
|Broadway - the heart of the American theatre industry.|
We did have plans to see a show during our stay but with all there was to see we just didn't have the time!
|Birthday presents for Charlie and Ollie|
After being out all day, we decided to stay in that evening and order room service. It felt bad staying in as New York has so many nice places to eat out. It seemed a shame to waste an evening inside but I got over that once the food arrived though!
The next morning we travelled downtown to the 9/11 Memorial, which is located where the twin towers once stood. It felt very eerie standing in the very spot where all those people lost their lives 12 years ago. I remember watching it all unfold on TV like it was yesterday. I distinctly recall the moment I first saw it. I had booked that week off work and was at home watching an old Clint Eastwood movie. When the movie finished, I switched over from the video channel to the normal TV and saw North Tower smoking like a chimney after the first plane hit. My initial reaction was that it was a scene from a movie. I had recently watched the film 'Armageddon' and at the beginning of that movie there is a meteor shower, which destroys many buildings in New York. There is a scene in that film which shows the World Trade Center with a big hole in the side of it and that is what I thought I was watching! Then I saw the second plane hit. Then I knew.
The memorial consists of two large fountain pools with the names of the victims inscribed on the edges. These include the names of victims who were killed in the September 11 attacks in New York City, The Pentagon and Pennsylvania, as well as the names of six victims who were killed in the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Adjacent to the memorial is the new One World Trade Center complex, which is still under construction. Earlier this year the final piece of the antenna was lifted to the top, bringing it to its full height of 1,776 feet and making it the third-tallest building in the world.
|One World Trade Center (formerly Freedom Tower) is the primary building of the new World Trade Center complex.|
|Two pools with waterfalls cascading down the sides are located within the footprints of the Twin Towers.|
This was where the south tower once stood.
The worldwide financial crisis began right here!!
|The New York Stock Exchange...............where 'Greed is Good'!!|
|Wall Street was the scene of the first US presidential inauguration when George Washington took the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall in 1789. This was also the location of the passing of the Bill Of Rights.|
|ABC News were doing a live broadcast outside the Stock Exchange building so it became quite congested!|
|I knew Donald Trump would be around there somewhere!|
Nice photobomb by the way pal!
|The Brooklyn Bridge|
|Timeout please! All the walking around was making me hot!|
|This was another good opportunity for a photo together!|
|The famous arch of Washington Square Park|
|The Washington Square Park fountain.|
|Madison Square Garden.....................the clue's in the picture!!|
|The lobby of The Empire State Building|
|The view from the Empire State summit!|
When we got to the top we could not see a thing as we were caught in the middle of a huge rain cloud! The cloud eventually moved downtown and we were able to grab a few pictures.
|....................and I thought The Chrysler Building was big!!|
|The view of Fifth Avenue.|
This really puts into perspective how high we were!
|The view of Brooklyn.|
|The view of Manhattan from the boat.|
|The lady herself. The Statue of Liberty|
|More views of Manhattan.|
|The view as we were approaching the dock.|
|A photo opportunity we couldn't pass up!|
|She was an amazing sight!|
|...................as was the view of Manhattan from Liberty Island!|
|I eventually got a picture on the island with her.|
|As did the wife!|
Once we left the island, we headed north to Central Park. We couldn't see everything the park had to offer as it was too big but we did take a nice walk along the south side and got a few shots of the area...............
|The park entrance|
|One of many street entertainers|
|Green, green and more green!|
|Carriage ride anyone?|
|I couldn't resist snapping another yellow cab on the way back to hotel!|
|Grand Central Station|
|Inside the main concourse.|
|It has often been described as the world's loveliest station....................complete with world's loveliest lady!|
|Cocktails and beer...................what a combination!|
|Aicha was also on the cocktails....................but of the non-alcoholic variety!|
|After a few more beers, the pissed grin made an appearance!|
|As the night went on The Empire State Building began to light up like a Christmas tree!|
|The view from the roof was awesome! I couldn't quite believe where I was!|
The memories of our USA adventure will stay with me forever though. That I can guarantee.