Wall St and Downtown NYC

If you head downtown to the financial district in New York, you will get to see some things that you have probably heard people mention throughout your life. One is Wall Street, being the stock exchange hub of the world, and the other being shopping.  When you head down there, you can go and see the grand building of Wall St Stock Exchange and the big statue of George Washington standing proudly facing the Stock Exchange. If you can get around the tourists down there, all wanting to take photos standing next to George Washington, than you can breathe.

When you have taken enough photos, you can go to the 911 Memorial at the World Trade Centre and take a look. There are always a lot of people in this area so be warned not to be in a rush. If it gets too crazy, I suggest you walk a few blocks over and head to Century 21. This is a department store that has five levels of shopping. It stocks all the designer brands like Bonds, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Guess, Armani and everything else and you get to go through the different sections and purchase what you need. They have clothing, accessories, handbags, sunglasses etc. Don’t forget, the shoe department is in the building next door and you need a few hours just to get through that.

On the bottom floor. The basement floor is homeware products, towels etc.

I noticed that when I went a few weeks ago, the whole store had changed and the renovations had been complete. They now have all the clothing a lot more spread out and more presentable. There are registers on each floor and plenty of cashiers to buy your purchases. The experience has certainly been a lot better compared to how it used to be years ago. You will no doubt walk out with heaps of bags in hand so be prepared for a wait to get a taxi. If you catch the subway, the Cortland St subway is right there at the bottom corner of the street outside the store.

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Wedding Shopping in NYC

Who can beat shopping in NYC. I mean, women and men from all around the world go there to get bargains and a great selection of designers at your feet. Wedding shopping is not different. You just have to google wedding shops in NYC and a choice of many pops up. This is some of the selection I got in my last google search.

 

This is a typical card you get with info on the back of what you are getting. Hide it and take it around with you so that you can compare quality and price from other places. The diamond district in NYC specializes in jewellery for weddings but be careful because the price they give you when you walk in could mean half of that when you negotiate. If you pick a diamond around the F grade (better) or G grade, it is a better diamond. The different types of clairty determines if the diamond is clear or more yellowy looking. Can’t beat NYC Prices. Rings that are valued at $6000 are on sale for a weekend for a third of the price. 

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Make sure you have your subway map with you so you know where you are going. 
When you have enough shopping, choose a friend and go and get a drink. If you are in times square, go to Dallas BBQ for a cocktail only. Unless you like fried food, then order food, but if you want to keep slim for your wedding, I suggest just drink a cocktail.

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When you taste these cocktails, You may even get excited like Kelly did. Love my friends.

 

 

Trump Soho NYC

Trump Hotel is located on Spring Street, in New York, Soho. I love this hotel. It is in a great location downtown and there are great boutiques and shopping near enough along Broadway etc. The view of the city is great. You really get to see how big New York City actually is when you take your time and take in the view. At night, the lights are magnificent. I love the view and that alone is worth the reservation. It is best to ask for the room where you can see both the city view and the Hudson River as you get the best of both sides. They have a nice private SPAA facility there. I got the Moroccan Hammam with my partner and it was absolutely a great experience.

They make you change into these tiny disposable black undies and you lie down next to each other on a solid cement round bed. They throw warm water on you both from these silver heating pots. They have towels on you and they scrub your body down and throw more water over you. The whole experience is really enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

We ordered room service in the Hotel and they bought dinner in and set it up for us. We ordered Sea Bass with a side of greens, a tuna appetiser and a side of fries with Herbs.

The whole delivery was magnificent and it always goes down nicely with some Champagne rose. The whole experience was fabulous and truly memorable.

Here are some pictures below of the room and view and us in the taxi.

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Karma Road Cafe New Paltz NY

Karma Road Cafe is on New Paltz Road, New Paltz. It makes organic food of all types and they make really nice fresh vegetable and fruit juices. I go down there alot to eat their food. It is a pretty relaxed atmosphere and the staff are really friendly and serve you with smiles. It is such a nice change from some other places. I recommend if you are in the area that you stop by and pop in. They have these great vegetarian burgers and they are tasty. I had a falafel wrap today with hummus, avocado, tomato and lettuce. It was great. They make nice muffins also with blueberries and choc chips.

 

Krause’s Chocolate New Paltz, NY

Chocolate heaven is what I call Krause’s Chocolate. They are in New Paltz, New York and worth getting the chocolate delivered and even worth the drive. It is amazing when you combine all the different sorts of chocolate they have for variety. The box below is what they serve the chocolates in. There are all different sizes and when you have your chocolate selected, they are weighed.

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These below are my favourite chocolate in the shops. On the far left are the Dark Chocolate caramels. The caramel inside is dark and in between tough and soft. It is a darker coloured caramel inside and delicious. The square chocolates in the middle are called caramellow. They are Dark Chocolate on the outside and inside they have white marshmallow on the top and on the bottom is a thick caramel that’s beautifully soft. It feels sensational. The chocolates on the right are dark chocolate with coconut and they are amazing. They are called Coconut Toasties. I think that is because they toast the coconut on the outside making it lusciously tasty. The entire shop has a huge selection of chocolates as seen in the photos below but these three are my favourites. I love Dark Chocolate and the chocolates you see below are also available in milk chocolate.

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Mohonk Mountain House 3 NY

This is the third and last blog about Mohonk directly. It is Mohonk Mountain house and it is in New Paltz, Upstate New York. I have loved my time here and these shots below have been taken over the past few weeks and some on the weekend of my birthday. I came to Mohonk with the intention to write a book in my own time whilst enjoying the area, and I have accomplished that goal. The special factor around that book was that I wrote it at Mohonk Mountain House and I felt very inspired by the area, and the energy that the place house surrounding it. It may have something to do with the old burial ground nearby but it is a real lovely place to come visit. You can also Ice Skate too but if you are like me, and haven’t ice skated for a while, I would go slow or else you may just face plant onto the ice and feel sorry for yourself afterwards hehe.

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Ebony Hillbillies NYC

I love catching the subway because of all the entertainment I find whilst waiting. One day I saw all these women and men walking around in wonder woman underwear and I wanted to know what they were doing but they wouldn’t tell me. I saw a news article later that said a movement had started one day a year where all these people in LA and New York get together for fun and and dress up, walking around the city in their underwear. Americans love dressing up. It is really funny.

This one day I went down there and I saw the coolest band called the Ebony Hillbillies and seeing it is my birthday, I thought I would share them with you because they are a really call black band and their energy is so much fun. They are so active and you can’t help but be energised and smile as you listen to them. Absolutely amazing.

Here is a link to a bit of their performance. Ebony Hillbillies for web

Below are some photos of them too. I love the Cello player. He had such a nice energy about him.

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Driving Upstate NY

Recently I have needed to come upstate New York to get out of the city and write. What a better way to do that then to drive away. I was headed for Mohonk Mountain House. I took some photos on the way because the day I was driving, it had started to snow and I am not used to snow at all so for me it was all very exciting and interesting and I am sure anyone reading this in the same boat will enjoy what I could see out of my window whilst driving. I was on the I87 which is the interstate 87 road and if you need to stop, you veer off and end up going through a little town to stop and eat something. The towns upstate are very cute and most of the people are really friendly too.

It is hard to believe that New York is actually this big. When I would think of New York, it would always be the city of Manhattan and the Bronx, and Queens. There is a lot more to it and it’s fabulous.

Photos below of the drive.

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Hudson in the Winter NYC

I love the Hudson River. It is such a beautiful part of New York. I have written a few blogs about it because I think it is picturesque. I was down there recently now that it is winter and I noticed that the sun sets a little more over to the left which changes the whole feel of the sunset. It is a beautiful spot anytime of year. My favourite is still the summer time because when the sun sets, it sets behind the buildings and changes the colour of the wooden posts. I still like it like this though so though I’d share these photos.

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Momofuku – NYC

Momofuku Ssam Bar is located at 207 2nd Ave, New York. I went there with friends and had a great meal.

Momofuku can translate from Japanese as ‘Lucky Peach’. It is owned by the chef founder David Chang. There are several restaurants now in New York, Canada and Sydney.

It is a great restaurant and the food is really great. When I went initially, I noticed the ambience was quite dark and a colder feel inside but very cool and simply designed. You can see the kitchen from the end tables and the chef and kitchen staff are all presented neat with their white chef outfits.

It’s a nice night. I ordered a ginger cocktail infused drink that came out with one huge square ice cube and it had a sure bite to it. One of my friends was a chef and so she wanted to try many of the dishes. She had pre ordered the duck main and it was huge. It was well presented and plenty of food for three. In fact, we had so much left over that I took it to the homeless shelter on Bowery St Mission.

Here are some of the photos below of the food there and my two visiting friends. The way they infuse the flavours together was great and a mixture of textures in their ingredients also.

 

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Dave and Busters NYC

If you enjoy Time Zones, Fun Arcade Games, Video games, and indoor fun parlours but wish there were no kids there and you could have other adults around you. Dave and Beers in Times Square is the place to go. It has a bar, food and games everywhere. You buy a playing card and off you go. As you play, you collect tokens and then take them to a window to see if you win anything. I love the games in this place. They have Deal or no Deal, Wheel of Fortune, basketball and all the game shows on TV you can think of. Lots of fun for an adult arcade. So take good company and go have some fun. I loved Deal or no Deal and they make good cocktails too.

Here are some photos of the place.

Basketball

Basketball

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The Game below is air Hockey but with four sides to it so four can play. How cool is that. IMG_8396 IMG_8397 IMG_8398 IMG_8399 IMG_8400 IMG_8401

Outside Dave and Busters in Times Square. Local Jewish guy riding with advertisment behind him. IMG_8404 IMG_8405

 

Millennium Hotel NYC

Recently, I got to go into the Millennium Hotel, Broadway, located on 43rd St, off Broadway. It is right next to Toys R Us in Times Square. Very Central and an easy location if you are only in New York for a short stay.

The front foyer is well presented, taxis are easy to come by outside. The rooms are good. They are not as big as the rooms at the Hilton but they are a decent size. The views you get, are of the city buildings. The carpet in the hallways could probably do with a revamp as they seem a little old. The bathrooms are an average size. The bath tubs are those mid deep ones so if you plan on wanting a deep bath tub, you may want to check this first. There is a gym in the building but no pool. :(

Outside the hotel is the mirrored wall and it turns you into all sizes if you stand in front of it.

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View from the hotel. 7R1A1050

911 Towers Progress NYC

The First Twin Tower

911 caused so much devastation and then dispute over who was contributing to what in terms of the building of the twin towers that it has taken quite a few years to get it to this point.

I’ve been watching the progress and when I was in New York back in February they had barely started the second tower. Now they are progressing well with it. If you see the photos below, you can see the man power and huge cranes they are using to build. The gates below both towers are very high and you cant get in to the area. I have a great view when I stand outside it, right near Century 21 Department Store.

The Second Tower

A Different Angle of the second tower

The bottom of Tower One

 

Grand Central NYC

Grand Central is exactly what it sounds like – Grand. It is really beautiful inside and if you walk inside the main concourse section you will notice it will be very familiar to you. That is because it is featured in many movies. That is why it is exciting to be inside the main section to at least say you know what it is like to there. Well, I have been there quite a few times now and I enjoy stopping by each time. Just to see peoples faces when they stand inside it for the first time is very sweet. I took a few shot in there the other day I was there to share the main concourse room with you and also the actual subway area.

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Party City Store NYC

This store is so cool. It has everything you need for your party needs. It puts our Sydney party stores to shame. Now that it is Christmas and New Years time, they have rows of Santa Suits, a whole section of New Years Hats of all colours and some of their aisles are colour coded so that their feather boas and masks, plus everything else, are available in each colour.

When you walk in to the store, there is a whole Balloon section to the left that has every character in the US available for your themed party. To the right are lollies of all sorts in little containers and you can choose 15 for $1. It’s actually not a bad buy. Everything is such a good price. They have party cups, special occasion gear, and they even have everything party like for every football team, baseball team, soccer party sections and all the young kids favourite little character sections.

It’s awesome. I walked around taking photos for you to see what they have in there. This store makes me happy. It’s so bright and so spacious with lots of great vibrant things to choose from.

The Entrance

The Balloon Section

Santa Hats

Christmas Choices

Santa Suits to choose from

Garden Sticks, Scary

Masks

Masks are sectioned in Colors

The soccer accessories

Accessories, tiny glasses and skateboards finger size

The Waldorf Astoria NYC

What do you do when you are an adult orphan in New York City for Christmas and you want to have an experience to remember? The best Christmas present for me was to got to the Waldorf Astoria for a beautiful Christmas lunch with two dear friends in town for the week. You must book in advance but it is worth it. The building is so grand. Inside, you can feel the richness within the walls, the clocks, the decor and the atmosphere is very grand.

The food is presented beautifully. The chefs are well groomed and look sharp. The cutlery shines and the Christmas decorations makes it feel like an open palace home with people sharing a meal. The drinks are made with such precision that the mix is just perfect.

I took many photos to show you what the whole experience was like. I am so lucky to have had this experience and it certainly will be a memorable one.

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Caliente Cab Mexican Food NYC

Caliente Cab – Located at 61 7th Avenue S #1, New York 10014.

This restaurant is quite cool. Its two floors. The service is great and the atmosphere with good company is pleasant especially if you have one of their margaritas in a tall glass.

We ordered the Mango and Coconut Margaritas and also guacamole. The beauty about Guacamole is that the guy comes out with all these avocados, cut tomatoes and onion and makes the dish in front of you.

It’s great. It gets pretty busy so best to get there early. I love it when you walk in and they have a part taxi sticking out of the wall entrance. It’s cool and very reasonably priced too.

Making the Guacamole

Wall art

Making Guacamole again

Kim Kardashian Store – NYC

I was with friends the other night when someone mentioned that Kim Kardashian had a store in NYC. The next minute I know, we walk past it and thought I’d share my experience about it. It is called “Dash”. It’s at 119 Spring St, New York. There is a security guard inside it and as I began taking photos of the inside of the shop, security asked me not too. I had already taken enough by then.

My friend wanted to buy something from there for her little cousin who is obsessed with Kim K. I don’t get it, but anyway, each to their own right? So she bought her a little Keyring with Dash on it for $12. In Australia, I’m sure that would be $20.

The store presents well. Everything is laid out well. I sprayed her perfume and it was nice although I think the lady behind the counter was allergic to it as she couldn’t stop sneezing. Quite funny. The one thing I liked in the shop was the canvas painting on the wall. It was cool. Apart from that, the store is not my thing. There are some nice things in there though. I think everything is worth checking out once.

The Store – Dash

Security guard inside

My friend Rea in the store

The actual white keyrings

 

 

 

 

Buying Christmas Trees – NYC

Walking around the Upper East Side and Union Square and other major areas, you can’t help but walk along a footpath and experience a strong smell of pine and fresh trees from the recently cut christmas trees on sale in the area. It’s really a time when you realise you are in New York for Christmas.

There are a whole heap in a row and you pick, pay and take it home. They are a little taller than me. To get smaller ones, if you go to Whole foods, you can even buy mini trees in bags and they have a handful of decorations attached and twenty lights so you can out it up quickly in your home. They sell them in 19inch sizes and smaller. The 19inch trees are $19.95.

Here are some photos I took of the trees I came across outside in the footpaths. My experience with real trees in Sydney, is that they are alot floppier and not so rigid. It may be a climate thing. The trees here are so firm, that I seriously thought at some stage that the trees were fake by looking at them. I love the smell of the trees in a home. “It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas”.

Upper East Side

My little Christmas Tree at home from Wholefoods

Union Square Trees

The red bases

Whole foods 19inch Trees $19.95 with decorations

 

Lead up to Christmas – NYC

Christmas in NYC is exciting. The lead up to it is exciting. It is very different from what I am used to back home. In Australia, I spend most of my time at the beach during summer, when I am not working on a film that is, and then Ill go and do a few shops, put a few trees up and that’s it really. I never look forward to Christmas that much.

Being here in New York though, kind of feels quite different. You can feel the energy in the air. The whole community and all the shops get ready for the christmas period. There are Christmas shows on every channel. It just feels like a special occasion here so I have a feeling that New York may change my mind about Christmas. Even the talk shows have Christmas themes on their shows every day. It’s a nice thing to be surrounded by people that embrace themselves around these special days. Whether it’s Halloween, an election, thanksgiving, or now, Christmas, each occasion is celebrated and embraced seriously in a joyous way.

I sit and wander whether or not it will snow on Christmas Day. For years I wandered what it would be like having a white Christmas. I may just get one although I kind of imagined that I would see a family around that Christmas Tree, and children, and carol singers etc. It would be great to experience a White Christmas with loved ones.

In Australia, we have a hot, sunny Christmas and it’s mostly spent by the pool, swimming, opening presents, eating alot of food, drinking all day and then just repeating that cycle until you have enough. Some days, you repeat it all over, the following day for Boxing Day. I asked an American the other day of they have Boxing Day and they had no idea what I was talking about. Clearly, they don’t celebrate boxing day.

I went past Macy’s and some other major shops like Bloomingdales and I love the shop front displays. They are awesome. I actually love walking around the city and just going to watch the displays. I also like walking into Christmas shops. They sell so many ornaments and such beautiful christmas decorations. In fact, it makes me want to buy a whole stack of them and take them back to Australia to have for future Christmas’s.

Below, are two of the shop displays I went past the other day. I’ll put more up when I come across them.

Christmas Display One

Christmas Display Two

Macy’s Believe NYC

Everyone knows about Macy’s and if you don’t, you should. It is a huge department store that has so many levels to it in NYC, you lose count after three. The one I mostly go to is on 34th St, New York. You need a map to get around and I recommend you take the escalators because the elevators are just hopeless.

The funny thing about Macy’s is the staff. When you go and buy something there, and you ask them if it’s on sale, they seriously think of ways they can give you a discount. They will pull Membership Sales, Pre Sales, Thursday sales, Black Friday Sales, Happy Saturday Sales, and half the time, I seriously think they make them up just to please their customers.

The products they sell are already much cheaper than what you pay in Australia so if you go there when they have a further 25% off, and then they take another 25% off, it’s great. It’s equivalent to our Myers or David Jones stores but cheaper.

Since Thanksgiving, they have run a huge Believe Campaign, and they have the word ‘Believe’ on everything. I love that word. When I see it on something, I feel like I can achieve everything I set my mind too. I’ve taken some photos outside the store and inside the store. I went just after the Black Friday Sales and it was seriously a packed house.

Outside the store with the Empire State building in the background with thick fog around it.

Inside the store

The Christmas Bauble with lights

Thanksgiving Day – NYC

Thanksgiving Day was great. The lead up to it was like Christmas. The Americans place so much importance on it. We just don’t celebrate it in Australia, although I don’t know why not. We seem to celebrate mostly everything else.

There was so much emphasis on Turkeys and where people were spending the day. It falls on a Thursday every year. This year it fell on November 22nd 2012. I decided to take up my first relatives offer and spend it with my fathers cousins. They are really lovely and warm and love cooking, which is great, coz I love eating.

I remember standing in the line at Trader Jo’s which was nearly to the front door because everyone was stocking up for Thanksgiving and looking at the big Turkeys for sale which were selling by the pound. I think, maybe 4.99 a pound. Who knows how heavy they are but some lady said that was a cheap price.

On the day before Thanksgiving, people generally head over to their family homes and start preparing the food and spending time with loved ones. I didn’t do that. I left for New Jersey the day of Thanksgiving but when I tried to get to the Ferry at the Port Authority, the whole 6th Avenue was blocked due to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, all the way down to 34the St, that they were not going to let me through. I had my camera on my back and started filming the parade. I’m glad I did. It was nice to experience both sides of Thanksgiving Day.  I couldn’t help but think of all the families affected by Hurricane Sandy and what they were doing but I tried to just focus on the thousands of people lining the streets and taking in the parade. I took a video on the day and made a small online film, and I called it “Gobble Gobble” (watch it via link) as my little cousins kid Alessandra kept acting like a Turkey saying “Gobble, Gobble”.

Anyway, back to the parade. They have these huge character balloons like Spiderman, blown up and held up in the air with lots of strings like a huge balloon kite and people underneath it are managing the balloon. It’s amazing that the balloons are the same size as some buildings. It is a great parade to take kids too because if you can’t see the floats walking on the ground level, you can at least see the giant balloons in the air. It’s awesome.  In fact, the night before the parade, if you wish to go and see the Balloon inflation, you can. Just look it up online and head to it to watch.

The actual parade ends on 34th Street and it starts up in the middle of central park. It goes from 9am until 12pm. Three hours and it’s very energetic. If you are not there early enough, the police wont let you through the other streets to watch. The police on all events are trained to place barricades and stop people going through if the crowds get too much. I pulled the whole “I’m Media” card which got me through.

Here are some Photos below of the Parade. I don’t know who all the characters are but maybe you can help me out with some.

Spiderman

Fireman Sam??

The Macys Ball

Sponge Bob Square Pants

Pirates of the Carribean with Whoopi Goldberg on the front

Green Dragon??

Papa Smurf 1

Papa Smurf 2

Papa Smurf 3

Not sure who this is

Diary of a Whimpy Kid 1

Diary of a Whimpy Kid 2

WORM??

Jar on a skateboard?? No idea who this is

Mickey Mouse

Macy’s Basketball

Astro Boy

Ronald McDonald

Macy’s Baseball

Caspers brother? No idea

Mother goose

Xmas Candy

Xmas Kid Santa

Xmas Santa

Who is this?

Elf

The theme of Macy’s Believe

Where the balloons ended up

My First Thanksgiving Dinner in New Jersey. The dinner was so tasty and juicy. They cook turkeys for six hours in the oven. It’s so tasty. I hadn’t had a proper home cooked sit down formal meal for a while and it was nice.

The Turkey Dinner

Cousin George with dinner

Its cold at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and bday cake

Nice Desserts

 

Bridges in the boroughs NYC

Since I have been volunteering with Hurricane Sandy, I’ve been able to be out around New York City in a car, exploring the other bridges that I haven’t seen yet. The city bridges, like the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge, I can see from the pier and I take photos down there but driving through them at sunset is really just beautiful to experience.

I’ll share with you the photos I took recently of the bridges whilst driving out to Breezy Point and the Rockaways from manhattan and back.

Going Under the bridge

Approaching whilst driving along

Sunset by the Bridge

Image of city as im driving and taking photo whilst driving…. Oops

Central Park in February NYC

This post has photos of Central Park when I was here in February because it really was one of my favourite times of year to come. There wasn’t that many people there because it was cold and the leaves had fallen everywhere and bare. Summer is totally different. People everywhere and it isn’t so peaceful but still beautiful whenever you go. For a photographer, February is a great time to see the park. In Summer recently, the rides in the park are open and it is swarming with children going onto the rides. You can sit on the grass nearby and just listen to the buskers and watch the rides in the distance.

The Squirrel

I stalked the Squirrel

 

Horse Ride through the Park
We took a horse ride through the park and it cost around $60 to do a short trip. I felt bad doing this in Winter but at the same time, if you don’t ride them, they just stand around freezing. The prices vary around winter and summer but I can assure you, if there is a few of you and you can split the cost, it’s a nice experience to have.

New Jersey for the Day NYC

When the relatives tell you they want to see you. They want to see you. Best you do what they say because they’re the relatives. I needed to go to them and these particular relatives live in New York. Never met them before but they sound lovely. They know nothing about me but it doesn’t matter. When you’re family, they’ve known you from birth, even though they have no idea who you are, or what you’re interested in.

How to get there?
To get from Soho to New Jersey. Where do I start? The best way is to get the subway to 42nd Street using the blue line A,C, or E train. You are basically heading West, down along the Hudson River but the Ferry to get to the terminal called Weehawken only leaves from the Port Authority Pier, located between 34th St and 42nd Street. After you get off the subway, you will then be in Times Square so if you can avoid being distracted by the hype at Times Square, then walk down to the water, down along 40th Street towards the NY Waterways. The Ferry station is there on your left and there is usually a whole heap of buses outside it. You can get a single ticket for $9 or return ticket for $18 from the machines and then check the departure times which is usually every 20 minutes and you’re off. A very clean ferry base, looks new and has a bar inside.

The Ferry
It takes ten minutes for the Ferry to get across the Hudson River. It literally leaves from Port Authority / Port Imperial and you get to take in the view at the same time. The Ferry is quick, clean and fairly easy. If you sit up the top, it’s great for photos and views. Avoid Peak hour as it may be very packed.

The Big Space Shuttle Docked

The tiered glass building

View from the Ferry

View from Weehawken once i got off Ferry

Sand Sculpture to welcome people. Cool idea

Ferry View at Night
New York at night is really when it looks it’s best. With the size of the city and the amount of different lights reflecting on the water, really makes it spectacular at night and I recommend seeing it every night. Whether you see the lights from a Ferry, from the boarwalks, by catching a taxi over a bridge, or by going to a rooftop bar and taking in the view, you must do it, and do it as much as you can. It’s so pretty at night.

Hard to take a shot on night setting without it being a tad blurry.

I love it when you meet family for the first time and they are so warm and welcoming, well most are, depending on your family pool. They hold your hand, hug you like you’ve known them all your life and instantly, even though you are a stranger, you are welcome to stay in their home whenever you want. It’s a great feeling, warm and fuzzy too, especially after spending a month in a big city where warm is not exactly the word I would use to describe NYC.

Irene, the relative I met, picked me up from the Ferry and took me for lunch where we ate some fabulous sushi. I have not found a good place to eat sushi yet, and this was great. Just perfect. We had the Lychee Martini and a Vodka Cranberry just to make an occasion of it and take the edge off first meetings. Americans pronounce Lychee as Leechee so I basically tried to tell her she was having a slug martini to which she looked confused. Leeches and slugs. It’s called LYYYCHHHEEEE. Lots of laughs especially when I talk too fast and they can’t get everything I’m saying.

Fort Lee
We then did a few tourist sites to which she explained to me about Fort Lee, situated in Palisades Park, New Jersey. It is basically where the old war battles took place and every year they do a re enactment of it for audiences that come to see. This particular park has a big red building in it which is actually a museum as seen below. Alot of history in the park and you can see where they have the small houses and forts, that they had a good view across the river. There are a few older style cannons there also to give you a fair idea of what they would have been using back then.

The Museum at Fort lee

The George Washington Bridge in the background

Me on the cannon

Irene and I laughing 

George Washington Bridge
When you walk down to the water side through the park, you have a huge and close view of the George Washington Bridge. I’ve taken plenty of photos for you to see of the bridge below.

Notice the cars underneath the second level. That is named after Georges wife Martha.

This is how close you can sit

After the tourist sites, we went back home to which they prepare a feast for you. She can cook damn well too and you get to escape from the city and chill out in a home which is a great break from it all.

American houses I am noticing, are all very similar. They have a fascination with making everything, half brick, or half stone and the rest Fibro. I don’t get it but everyones houses are like that. They all have American styled furniture in there and you just know you are in the States, apart from the obvious American Flag that most have on their houses.

Monkey in the backyard

The hugest looking bansai tree

I love donkeys

this chair is so cute and tiny

Mr Squirrel
Irene feeds a local squirrel everyday and feeds it nuts. It comes right up to the ledge and eats the nuts and you get to spend some time with it up close and personal. I got some great video of it too but here are the photos.

 

Meatpacking District Nightlife in NYC

The night life in New York is something that most people know is always happening. It is said that one of the best places to go too at night, especially when it’s great weather is The Standard Hotel. Prepare to be waiting in a long line and when you get in, it may not even be that packed to which you may think “Why the line?”. Image I guess. Lucky for us we didn’t have to line up as it’s who you know, and then you take the lift to the top floor. You enter into a fresh dark modern corridor that has nice lights.

The lights on the elevator

The lights darker

You need to walk past a little plunge pool by the bar and then you find the stairwell inside that takes you to the rooftop to see the city views and sit on the chairs whilst sipping cocktails. At night, the fake grass they have up there looks black and for those that know fake grass, when alcohol spills on it, it smells so hope that there is a breeze blowing so it doesn’t hit your nostrils.

Daytime shot of Hotel with Fake Grass

At night, when there isn’t a lot of people, even though they say it’s a great place, they could have done more with the night ambience, however, if you wait until later, after 11pm, you will find that it starts filling up and the energy changes to pretty awesome. Plenty of girls in dresses and guys looking handsome. Thursday nights is gay night for men so you will find lots of men and plenty of attractive straight women too.

The Wall on the Rooftop

The bar area

The crowd seating near the window fence. you may just notice the blonde from Americas next top model

The wall near the bar is a pretty good feature and you may have to wait a while at the bar for a drink but it’s a cool environment so put some comfortable sexy flats on, as heels may be a little difficult on the lumpy fake grass and head there with your friends for a drink. If you can get in.

It’s located in the MeatPacking District because many years ago this is where you went to get the meat imported etc and full of industrial type buildings.

Map of Meatpacking District

Now, the area is a pretty cool and hip place to go out. You should also check out places like the Hotel Gansevort, at 18 9th Ave, New York. Plunge on their rooftop bar as well. This is an awesome venue if you can get past the line out the front.

The Hotel Gansevort

The Gansevort Plunge pool