Day 2 New York! Empire State Building and Daniel Craig! 6 April 2016

We were awoken by the thundering of footsteps overhead.  Probably like many New York apartments, insulation and noise proofing was not high on the agenda in such an old building.  The apartment was still very warm but the temperatures outside were brisk.  The day topped at 7 deg C!

Next issue was the lack of hot water.  We got one shower out of 5 in hot water.  Hubby helped me to wash my hair over the bath with the help of water boiled in the kettle and the largest receptacle in the kitchen for mixing hot and cold water – the coffee percolator jug.  It did the job.  The remaining four of us then dodged around in the cold to luke warm shower.  Not what we needed after such a long day the day/night before.  We reported it to Leo who promised to look into it when he dropped off the air mattress tonight.

Next I searched for an iron and ironing board to deal with some travel creased clothes.  Apartment style, I found the following teeny ironing board.  After moving my trousers around several different ways I finally had a semblance of ironing done, followed by a trail of calcification…

Apartment Ironing Board

We pulled ourselves together, donned puffs jackets and headed off in search of breakfast.  I remembered the fabulous Eataly from our previous visit and bearing in mind the number of eateries within it, thought that it might be good for breakfast.  We headed south and found it.  Unfortunately it was still waking up and not really a great spot for breakfast.  We wandered some more and found the very economic Essen Slow Food Fast.  Substantial breakfasts for around $3.75 US.

Replete, we headed off and the next finding was the New York Public Library.  A beautiful building that replaced the massive Croton Reservoir with building being complete in 1911.  What a place to study and quietly contemplate!

New York Library

It is quite reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel in The Vatican in Rome.  Amazingly, despite the naked men there are no bits showing… I checked.

New York Public Library Art

Next stop was the majestic Empire State Building – my favourite building in all of New York.  Art Deco is my thing and the gold and marble foyer is beautiful.  Had a little hiccup on the way in when Poppy tried to push the revolving doors the left and got himself and the 12 year old stuck in them…  A bit of push to the right and we released them to freedom.

Empire State Building outside

Empire State Building inside

Moving further north, we passed Madam Tussaud’s where I grabbed a quick selfie with Daniel Craig, one of the many James Bond, 007, stars on display.

Me and Daniel Craig 007

We then headed off to find the office for collection of our New York Passes.  Tick. Ready to go.

Somewhere around here we saw our first NYPD officers with machine guns on the street. Army too. Or Marines? Never understood why the US call their land army after a sea name but apparently it was due a joint land and sea effort at some point.  Our boys were thrilled at the sight of machine guns. I feel less thrilled about the need for them or the sight of them…

Next stop was Times Square – Bubba Gump, M&M World and bill boards. I tried to stay on the right hand side of the side walk but occasionally instinct got the better of me.  Doesn’t matter too much in crowds like these.  Any gap is good!

Times Square

M&M World

Our last stop of the afternoon was the beautiful Grand Central Terminal.  Probably my second favourite building in New York after the Empire State Building.  Coming from Australia, it is hard to understand the need for such magnificence in a train station but a delightful result none the less!

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal Lights

By late afternoon the wind was icy but the temperature still remained at 7 deg.  We had to supplement the puffa jackets with beanies!  Canberra’s 30 deg heat was definitely a thing of the past…

Time for some grocery shopping and with the help of a local friend, we tracked down the more substantial grocery stores.  Until then we had only come across delis which were limited in size and stock and generally excessive in terms of cost.  We introduced ourselves to Fairways which was larger but generally organic and still fairly pricey.  We stocked up for dinner anyway.

Finding a liquor store to buy some wine proved more challenging.  In all of our wanderings today, I had only seen one.  We eventually tracked down another one near the grocery store and stocked up on Chardonnay and a warming Sherry!

Last stop on a long day was walking our 16 year old to a nearby Scout meeting in a church basement on 2nd Avenue.  He is a Venturer in Australia and was keen to connect.  It turned out to be Scout Olympics night and they were very welcoming.

Not sure how many step due to changes in time zone…  A big day anyway!