Our first day in New York was a lot of fun, and we were fortunate in that the nice weather continued for us. For all of my trips to NYC over the years, I have never had a chance to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (one of New York's Iconic structures), and I wanted to correct that this time around.
Before doing that, Justine needed some retail therapy, so we headed over to Fifth Avenue to hit some of the shops. I won't bore you with the details, but it was a successful trip for the most part. After doing that bit of shopping we walked back to the hotel, via Rockefeller Center.
After dropping off Justine's purchases at the hotel, we pretty much immediately headed back out to go walk the Brooklyn Bridge. As we needed to get on a different line, we walked down to Grand Central, which meant walking past the Chrysler Building.
The Chrysler Building is probably my favourite building in all of New York. I love the Art Deco styling, and it's just such a beautiful building. After stopping to take a few pictures, we headed down into the subway, and headed south to City Hall, when the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade starts.
The subway ride wasn't that long really, and in no time, we were at the City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge stop on the #6 line. You just have to love the NYC subway system. While it is busy, it certainly gets you where you need to be, and does so pretty efficiently.
After exiting the subway, we ended up on the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade, an approach to the Bridge that leads you up the middle of the roadways, onto the walking path that goes over the center of the bridge. As mentioned, I have never walked over the Bridge before, and I was looking forward to it. It was a warm, sunny day, and there were a ton of people that had the same idea. There was no point in being in a rush, as the whole crowd was forced to go at a pretty slow pace. The few people that were trying to use the bike lanes were constantly forced to slow down and yell at the pedestrians that kept encroaching their space. There was no need to rush, as it was such a great day.
The Bridge itself is just under 2 km long, but with the approaches on either it it's considerably longer. As both Justine and I were taking pictures and were not really in any rush, it took is quite a while to get over. There was no wind, and the sun was warm so it made for a very pleasant stroll. The views in both directions were great, even if it was a little bit hazy.
After coming down off the bridge deck, you have to double back through the DUMBO ( Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass - I love NY and their acronyms) of Brooklyn to get back down to the water, and back under the bridge. It's a pretty cool looking neighbourhood, full of great old brick buildings that are being converted from warehouse and other commercial sites to very trendy lofts and other more residential uses. As we made our way down one of the main streets, we were greeted by this great view:
After walking back down to the water, we spent a while exploring the various parks along the river. Sadly, with it still being early spring, most of the parks were pretty brown and dead still, which didn't make for the most appealing photos. It did make the decision easy to convert many of them to black and white.
After getting some shots of both the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge from the north side, we walked back under the Brooklyn Bridge to check out Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the south side of the Bridge.
By that time, we were pretty hungry (and it was pushing almost 4:00), so we stopped at a pizza place, and had some lunch. I had originally wanted to eat at this little river front cafe I had read about, but it was closed (maybe only open in the summer or fir dinner, I'm not sure). The pizza was pretty damn good, and listening to the Brooklyn accents was quite amusing, so it worked out pretty well.
We explored the Brooklyn side for a little while after lunch, checking out the various parks, and some of the local attractions. There is a very cool, 1920s carrousel that they have installed inside a huge glass box, just under the Brooklyn Bridge. There was a birthday party for some kids going on, but from the outside it looked pretty amazing.
We had dinner plans at 7:00 not far from the hotel, so we didn't have a lot of time to spend walking around. And, as the sun started to go down and the wind picked up, it started to get a little bit cold. Still, we wandered a bit, got some more good shots, and then made out way back to the subway, for the return trip home.
It was still light (thanks to the daylight savings switch the night before), so we got to make the most of our little bit of extra time. We got back off the subway at Grand Central, and walked back up Lexington Avenue to the hotel.
We ended up with a bit of time to relax before dinner, and I needed it! That was a lot of walking for one day, and it was good just to chill out a bit. Justine was still fighting her cold (what a trooper), but said that being outside in the fresh air was better for it anyway. We had had a great day and were about to top it off with dinner at another of our favourite restaurants!
Tao is another one of our favourite restaurants, but one that I had discovered in Las Vegas, at the Venetian Casino. On my last work trip to New York, I discovered that there are in fact two locations in New York, and so we booked one for Sunday night. The New York location we went to was very similar to the Las Vegas version (smaller, but the same vibe), and the menu was almost identical. So we were able to order some of our favourite dishes, and had a great meal.
We ended up making something of an early evening of it, between the extensive walking, all the fresh air and Justine's cold, it was good to head back to the hotel and relax. I have to say, day 2 was a serious success!