Oh dear, I had trouble narrowing down the number of photos of New York to include to make it a reasonable length blog post! We did a hell of a lot each day, so I had to include enough to illustrate that, and I managed to get it down to fifteen photos, which I thoroughly enjoyed preparing. By the way, I should explain that this is the first post about the epic holiday our family went on last July. (I’ve had so many blog post ideas that it’s taken me this long to get to it!) I’ve decided that pictures speak a thousand words, so these are mainly going to be photography based travel blog posts, rather than tonnes of information provided. However, if you’d like more information about anything I mention, please just ask in the comments – I’ve got a box full of leaflets and tickets and a detailed diary to refer to.
We arrived in New York at 9pm and took some sort of slightly dodgy taxi that we overpaid, to get from the airport to the New Yorker hotel. It was pretty much straight to bed and up early the next day to pack as much in as we could. We’d already decided to see New York by open-top bus tours and had pre-booked our tickets to cover us for three days. I know reviews of this form of sight-seeing are mixed, but we thought it was brilliant. I wanted to learn about the city that never sleeps without walking around with my head in a guide book and not actually looking at anything! So the first thing we did was pick up our tickets from an extremely hot office, and hopped on a hop on, hop off bus. Unfortunately, we weren’t sure we did the right thing when we couldn’t understand anything the tour guide said because his foreign accent (and I don’t mean American) was so strong. (He proudly told us that English was his thirteenth language.) He was also very insistent on tips – to the point of actually holding people’s arms as they were trying to get off the bus to tell us we must give him money! Luckily, we found out later that the rest of our tours were excellent.
I’ll admit, an open-top bus is not the best method of getting good photographs! Mainly because it was always moving, and when it was stopped at traffic lights, there wasn’t much to take a photo of! Also, no standing allowed, so other people’s heads were usually in the way. There was some interesting architecture though – much more than I expected.
We got off the bus near the Brooklyn Bridge, by the New York City Hall park. Here, we sat for a little while on a bench to recover from the heat. There was a booth on the street where we could fill up our water bottles with cold(ish) water, and I bought Chris and the kids an ice-cream from a van. We also saw black squirrels for the first time!
This was a really lovely little park, full of benches, and the perfect place to pause and get our bearings. If you’d like to see more photos of the pretty fountain, take a look at the Weekly Wardrobe pictures we took here.
Then we followed a map I had stuffed in my little bag to walk to the 9/11 memorial.
I have to say that my photo of one of the two memorials at ground zero does not go anywhere near doing it justice. It was very moving in its beauty and simplicity and I think whoever was responsible for designing them got it absolutely spot on.
After some time of quiet reflection, we walked towards Battery Park by the Hudson River, but somehow missed it! We found the port for the tour boat we were taking next though, and then found a very nice cafe where we had cold lemonade and cake while we waited for the boat to arrive. The boat tour was fantastic and the guide was full of information. We went past the financial district, under the Manhattan Bridge, and Brooklyn Bridge and got a fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty.
The port we got off at was right near the entrance to the High Line Park that we’d heard about and we ended up walking the whole 1.45 miles of it. (It felt much longer in the heat!) The High Line is made from a section of elevated disused railway line, that is now planted with flowers and trees and full of interesting sculpture. If you’re only going to walk a section of it, then start at the other end than we did. The first bit for us was a bit disappointing and much of it seemed to still be in construction with mesh either side of the walkway. However there was plenty going on down at the other end by the meat packing district, and the relaxing atmosphere of locals gathering with friends after work and a few tourists milling around, was lovely.
Our next stop was something to eat as we were starving. After a burger, sweet potato fries and pineapple cider, we ordered our very first Uber back to central Manhattan. From there we were able to pick up the Night Bus Tour. Unfortunately this was not the smoothest of journeys as the tour guide was trying to be far too accommodating for another family who couldn’t decide if they wanted to change busses for some reason. They also needed to stop for the loo a couple of times. On top of that we had to detour as traffic was chaotic due to the Black Lives Matter march, which we still ended up getting caught up in as they split and marched right around our bus. We tipped the guide well because he handled the situation brilliantly. All the times we were held up, he just continued to talk to us about the history of New York; all the new construction that had been going on and generally keeping us entertained. Considering he was black, and probably on a very low wage, he was professional about the march and even gave us impromptu information about why they were marching; the other marches that were happening elsewhere that day, and why they marched in New York before.
This photo was taken when the driver stopped in Brooklyn for us to take photos. Most of my others are rubbish because it’s pretty difficult to get decent photos on top of a moving bus, particularly at night. Also, just as we were going over the Manhattan Bridge, my camera battery died and it took me ages to change it for a spare because I didn’t want to miss actually looking at the view!
So that’s the end of day one! I hope you like this travel blog style of post – there’s a few more to go! After New York we had three days in Washington DC and then we road-tripped to New Orleans and then onto Florida. Some blogs will be of single days like this, but others will be grouped together – particularly on the long travel days. If you do enjoy this sort of thing, then please hit that Bloglovin button to make sure you’re notified of new blog posts. Thank you! (And if you’re not so keen on them, don’t worry, my usual posts will continue as well!)
Photography equipment used:
+ Some tweaking in Lightroom.