Trip to NYC

New York is one of my favourite places in the world, and I never really need an excuse to go to New York for a visit. We had one this time, and you hopefully saw the post on my half marathon run on the sunday, I won't go into it in much more detail (this post will focus on the other aspects of our trip) other than to post a few pics that are new since the last update. Like this one: 

I am quite proud of my finishing time - it was a good race, and I almost hit my ambitious 1:45 goal.

Like I said, this post is more about the rest of the trip, so lets start from the beginning. Once I found out that I was running the race, we booked some points flights (I still had a few left) and Justine booked us into the Sheraton Times Square, using her points from last year. It also meant that we got upgraded to a suite for the duration of our stay, which was awesome. Big room - full sitting area, wet bar - the works. It was great.

We flew from Vancouver to New York on Thursday, arriving at about 5:00 p.m. It was a direct flight into Newark, and then we took the bus into the city, getting dropped off at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. From there we grabbed a taxi up to the hotel. We got checked in, and then went out and found some dinner at a place Justine's parents recommended from their recent trip. The food was great, we had some wine and then we called it a night after a busy day.

Friday morning we slept in, then headed out to grab my package at the Race Expo. As always, it was well organized and efficient, and did not take long to get the package. The race shirt was pretty nice, which allowed me to avoid buying anything else at the race expo. Normally I spend a bunch of money on things I really don't need.

 The start of the High Line at 34th Street

The start of the High Line at 34th Street

As we were over on the west side of the island, we walked from the Race Expo over to the High Line, the park that is on the raised rail line that runs down the west side of Manhattan. I've posted here a bunch of time about the High Line - its my favourite thing about New York, and that's saying a lot. 

Last year when we were in New York, we booked a tour of the yet-unopened third phase of the park construction, and got a bit of a sneak preview. This year, the last section was open, so we wanted to walk the whole stretch, and see what has changed.

Sadly, this point of the spring is not the time to see the park - it's still pretty dead from the winter, and you don't get a good feel for the amazing job they've done putting it all together. We didn't have much choice, and it's an amazing place to walk and enjoy a beautiful spring day.

 Justine walking the newly opened final leg of the High Line.

Justine walking the newly opened final leg of the High Line.

We spent a couple of hours walking the High Line from the new start at 34th Street, all the way down to the end in the Meatpacking District. Even though it was the middle of the day on a Friday (it was a nice day), it was fairly busy. It's amazing to see how the city has adopted this amazing place, and makes use of it on a regular basis.

New Yorkers enjoying the start of spring on the High Line.

We walked all the way to the end of the park, and exited out into the Meatpacking District, which is probably my favourite neighbourhood in New York. We were due to come back later that night for dinner at our favourite NYC restaurant, Spice Market. As it was getting on in the day, we headed back towards the hotel, stopping for some lunch along the way.

chelsea market

After chilling out at the hotel for a while, it was time to hop on the subway and head back downtown. We wanted to do happy hour at the oyster bar in Chelsea Market, but when we arrived, we discovered it was going to be a hours wait (which would have put us outside happy hour, and pushed on our reservation time at Spice Market). 

So instead, we wandered over to BIERGARTEN at the Standard Hotel. This was a place we've been wanting to check out for a while, and is a German-inspired beer hall, complete with communal tables and great German beer on tap. It was happy hour, and the place was already busy but we managed to find a table and get ourselves a couple of beers. The place was pretty crazy, and it was fun to people-watch while having a drink or two. We even had a wedding party join the fun for a while, and the two brides were a hit with the locals.

 Fun times at BIERGARTEN.

Fun times at BIERGARTEN.

Around 7:30, we made our way a couple of short blocks over to Spice Market, and had yet another amazing meal. The place is fantastic, and we always try to come here when we're in New York. And this trip was no exception or disappointment. We had a great meal, some good wine and of course a couple of ginger margaritas. 

After dinner we headed over to Revel, a local bar that's become one of our favourite places to get a drink when we're in the area. We had a couple of drinks, watched the Duke basketball game and had a fine evening. I didn't want to make it too late of a night, with the half marathon upcoming, so we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

 The brass band playing at the NYC Craft Beer Festival

The brass band playing at the NYC Craft Beer Festival

I've been on something of a craft beer kick over the past year or so, and the craft beer scene has exploded here in Vancouver. So I was quite excited to discover that the NYC Craft Beer Festival was going to be happening while we were in New York. And of course I bought us tickets!

Of course, it was the day before the race, so it might not have been the best of ideas. But oh well... Saturday was a bit of a miserable day - cold and rainy, and coming down pretty hard. So we spent the morning just relaxing (well I did -  Justine went shopping), then headed downtown for the festival later in the day. There was a huge line up to get in, but once we were, it was a lot of fun. There was a funky brass band playing throughout the venue, and there were a lot of great beer to try out. They gave you a cool little 2 oz. tasting glass to walk around with, and everyone was having  great time.

Fortunately, the time you could spend in the event was limited, so I was forced to limit the beer intake, and we called it after a few hours. We were pretty close to Union Square, so we walked down that way and did a bit more shopping. Justine found my running shoes at the show store we went into, so that made it a worthwhile trip. 

As I was running the race the next day, that evening was pretty low key. 

Almost done - running in the shadow of the new World Trade Center

I covered race day pretty thoroughly in the previous post, so I won't do much here other than to throw up a bunch more photos from race day. It was a fun race, and I was very happy with my result. 

After the race we headed back to the hotel, and I had a shower and recovered a bit. Around lunch time we headed down to SoHo, and had pizza and beer at a place I found online. Both were quite tasty. After lunch, we wandered SoHo and did some shopping (or looking, as I like to call it...), before wandering over to the lower east side to have a couple of drinks at the ABC Brewing Company. I had discovered the place on a previous trip, and I love the place. Good, unique beer and a great atmosphere.

I was pretty wiped after that very full day, so soon it was off to bed, and the trip home on Monday. We flew through San Francisco, making it a long trip home. Still, it went pretty smoothly, and made a for a good end to a great trip.