🗽 New York (part 2 of 2)

I’m still in Portland and leaving today – I’m so sad to! 😢 – but y’all, here is the post with the thing you probably wanted to see: The New York skyline and the famous Statue of Liberty. 🗽 Of course, it was difficult choosing a select few photos from the very many that I took on my phone, but I’m still holding my promise to deliver 50 photos or less in my blog posts. I hope you enjoy this post just as much as part 1.

The Brooklyn Bridge as seen from the view of someone walking on it. There are some people on the bridge walking and others standing to the sides
A view from a ferry of the Statue of Liberty, with a lot of the ocean visible around it. The sky is blue and has few clouds
Lady Liberty, centre of frame 🗽

Day 4: Brooklyn, Staten Island Ferry, and Billy Joel’s 100th concert at Madison Square Garden

We browsed Williamsburg and quickly walked through Brooklyn, but in all honesty we did not have enough time, which was a shame. I would like to spend more time in Brooklyn on our next visit. I wanted to check out Williamsburg because it’s often cited as a rather hip place, but there seemed to be a lot of construction there and we found it a bit dull during the day. Maybe we needed a tour or some more insider info about the area. 🤷🏻‍♀️

We visited the New York Transit Museum, which I really enjoyed. Nick really enjoyed it as well because he’s a fan of locomotives, trains, and transport systems.

A train station refurbished like a museum. Signs on the platform describe the exhibits, and retired train carriages on the tracks are the features of the exhibit
Part of the museum was in an unused train station
The inside of an old train carriage, with seats that have cushions covered in plastic straw
One of the old carriages. The seats have old plastic-straw-style cushioning. Bit scratchy, haha
The inside of a different train carriage with a blue and yellow floor
This one was a fair bit newer than the previous one

Although I’m not a transport aficionado, I really enjoy learning about well-planned and well-executed systems such as the New York subway transport system. I find them so intriguing and the way things like this operate is quite fascinating. The museum itself is in a decommissioned subway station called Court Street. It’s really incredible how, not only can you learn about how the transport work, and their history, but you can also get a chance to see some of the older train carriages sitting on the tracks, as if you were entering a real subway station.

The inside seating of a retired train carriage, looking out onto the platform
This was, again, a much older train carriage
A display of several small glass cabinets showcasing different types of tokens used to pay for train fares
The tokens to ride the train changed over the years
A display on a wall of many different fake tokens, resembling metal coins, used to avoid paying fares to ride the train
This was a strange story about fake/copy tokens that existed – sometimes tokens would get jammed in the machines and people would actually suck them out with their mouth! 🤢

We walked the Brooklyn Bridge after that, and I really enjoyed the views of both the city and the bridge itself. I took a few photos facing both ways.

Some people approaching a road leading to a bridge. In the background are some high-rise buildings
About to walk the Brooklyn Bridge!
A view walking across a bridge, with an American flag on top of a pylon. Some pedestrians are walking down the bridge and conversing with each other
It was a nice, warm day. Probably a bit too hot.

A man, from behind, wearing a blue shirt. He is walking a bridge with giant pillars of structure ahead of him
I took a photo from behind Nick

I thought this sign about “no locks” but a pun on “lox” (North American for “smoked salmon”) was pretty funny.

A sign on the structure of a bridge reading “NO LOCKS, YES LOX, FINE $100” showing an icon of a lock crossed out, and a burger with smoked salmon
A woman in a black t-shirt, wearing sunglasses. She is standing on a bridge with high-rise buildings in the background. There are other people bicycling and standing on the bridge
Me on the Brooklyn Bridge
A view of the bridge, similar to the previous photo, taken slightly from the side
An angled view of the bridge with some pedestrians

For lunch we went to the famous Katz’ Deli and had corned beef and beef brisket sandwiches. Nick, of course, disliked the pickles, but I had a good amount. 😉 Some of them were better than others. The sandwiches were great though, and absolutely packed inside.

Several white plates on a wooden table – two with sandwiches cut in half, one with green pickles and the other with fries. There is also a can of Pepsi on the table
These sandwiches were actually huge

We were very full afterwards. 😦 But to avoid going into a food coma we kept pushing, and caught the Staten Island ferry – which is free! – to get a great view of the New York skyline and see the Statue of Liberty from the water. Lots of photos…!

A long bridge connecting two parts of land, seen from afar. In the foreground is a small wooden dock and a small boat
A view of a bridge from the ferry
The Statue of Liberty as seen from a ferry on the water. There is little sunlight as the sun has moved behind the clouds
A darker shot as the sun went behind the clouds

We had already decided before our trip that we weren’t that interested in climbing up the Statue of Liberty. Both for cost reasons and because it didn’t seem comfortable to climb right up there, where the space is tight. I’m really not one for paying extra money or going to the effort of visiting a famous site, when the more breathtaking view is actually the one where you are outside the famous site. That’s also why we prioritised going to the Rockefeller Center to see the Empire State Building, instead of going to the Empire State Building. 😅

New York City with high-rise buildings and the Statue of Liberty as seen from the water on a ferry. The sky is a dim blue with some clouds to the left of frame.
The sun kept disappearing behind the clouds, but we could still see the Statue of Liberty and there were some really lovely views
The back of a woman’s head as she takes a photo with her smartphone from a ferry. In the distance is a city with high-rise buildings
Me taking a photo of the skyline on my phone
A view of the New York City skyline with the ocean in the foreground. The sky is blue with several clouds
This is probably one of the many photos I took! 👌
A photo of a woman on a ferry, her elbow leaning on a handrail. In the background is a New York City skyline
When you tell bae to “take a nice photo of me!” No idea where I’m looking though, because I don’t look like I’m looking at the camera.

In the evening we left as early as possible to see Billy Joel perform at Madison Square Garden! I was excited for this moment. Nick had seen Billy Joel play a concert before, but I have never seen him in concert. He is a musical genius with some incredible songs, and I knew he would put on a good show. He plays one concert every month at Madison Square Garden, and apparently will continue to do so until no one comes anymore, or obviously, until he passes away. I doubt people will stop coming to his shows, though, so he’s just going to have to keep playing!

Tickets sell out months in advance, as they usually do for some concerts. But we actually planned most of our trip around the day we booked tickets to Billy Joel. It was a bit annoying trying to get our hands on them as we had to go through a third-party. The website itself sold out that quickly. There was an announcement about it, and then the only tickets that were left were ones with less desirable seats. It turns out people purchased many tickets and wanted to earn money off them by reselling. Really a big bummer because it ended up being very expensive for us. We spent few hundred dollars each on tickets, when really it could have been half of that. It felt like we paid a lot, even if we did have a really good time. But I don’t want any of that to take away from the fact that it was such an enjoyable concert!

I suppose I could have done without some of the people around me wolf-whistling dozens of times. I’m okay for cheering and shouting but the high pitch of wolf-whistling really hurts my ears. ☹️ Not to mention most of the wolf-whistling happened unexpectedly, so it’s not like I can prepare myself.

The inside of a concert venue. The stage has a lot of blue lighting and a fixture above the stage and on the ceiling of the venue reads “Madison Square Garden” and has screens with close views of what is happening on stage
Look at all the people capturing this on their phones!
Another, differently-lit view in the same scene as the previous photo, showing a large amount of audience members standing in front of a large area in front of the stage
The standing area was filled with people

I got really excited throughout the concert, but I also got emotional. The crowd went wild when he started playing New York State of Mind. It didn’t really hit me until halfway through Piano Man that my emotions just crumbled and my tears welled up. It’s cliche, I know, given that the song is one of his greatest and most well-known hits, but Piano Man was a song I listened to a lot when I was growing up. The storytelling is emotional and for some reason it hits me deep. Usually I feel emotional with songs I can relate to, but I don’t feel like there is anything I can relate to specifically in Piano Man.

Day 5: The High Line, Central Park, Manhattan Color Walk and Washington Square Park

In the morning we walked The High Line, a couple kilometres of elevated railway track, done up with gardens and embracing the architecture.

An elevated path above street level, with green bushes and small trees at the side of the path. Some people are walking on the path and buildings can be seen beyond the path
The High Line provides an alternate view of NYC
Another angle of the elevated path, at the same location as the previous photo, with small yellow flowers growing in the foreground
It was a really lovely walk and allowed us to see the city from a slightly different view 🌼
Another angle of the elevated path in the previous photo, showing a clean grass area to the left and a more modern building in the background
The gardens and grass were well kept, and we saw some workers tending to them

I had seen photos of this, and in Sydney we have a “Goods Line” that was inspired by The High Line. It’s on an old train track, which goes behind UTS, the university I used to attend. Nick took some photos of me for one of my old Fashion Friday posts, Aquamarine. The High Line excited me because it was the “real thing”, and of course much better than ours. It offered us lovely views of the city while also providing a relaxing walk.

A woman standing on a refurbished train line, with both modern and old buildings in the background. She’s wearing a black t-shirt and a white skirt
A photo that looks like I’m from a university brochure 😂
A daytime, high-angle view of a street in New York on a sunny day. Many bicycles are parked on the side of the street and there are a couple of vans and small trucks driving on the street
A really good higher view of the streets of New York

We also whizzed over to Central Park for a little bit and took some photos and enjoyed the surroundings.

A lake with buildings and trees spread out horizontally in the distance
A beautiful view of a lake in Central Park
A man and woman smiling, both wearing sunglasses on their head. In the background is an overexposed lake
A selfie with totally incorrect lighting!
A woman wearing sunglasses, a black t-shirt and white skirt, standing by a black fence. In the background is a large lake and buildings and trees further into the distance
A photo Nick took of me with the lake in the background
Two small ducks sitting on a rocky stone area at the edge of a body of water
Ducks! 🦆

I really miss Central Park because the idea of a giant oasis in a large city appeals to me so much. I don’t know why? I work in the heart of Sydney where we have Hyde Park, and I can go for a swell walk at lunchtime, but it is nothing compared to some of the beauty I’ve seen outside of Sydney. I’m a sucker for parks. I said to Nick that I would go back to New York for Central Park alone. 🙈

I’d heard of the Manhattan Color Walk by the Color Factory, a special installation showcasing different colours found in New York City. I love the research and thought that inspired this work, but in reality it was slightly underwhelming. I did have the impression that the Color Walk wasn’t that huge, or long, but maybe if you are visiting the Smithsonian Design Museum next door it might be a good use of your time.

A close shot of a path painted in horizontal stripes in different colours. Some of the coloured areas are labelled with different street names and locations
Some of the colours labelled on the walk
The inside of a park with a horizontally-striped short path in different colours. Some trees provide shade on the path
Walking the walk – it’s actually not that long, and quite small
The inside of a park, walled off by pillars and black fencing. Towards the fence, from left to right, is a painted path (a walk) with different coloured stripes
The Color Walk as seen from the side
The same scene as the previous photo, with a woman standing on the striped walk. She is wearing a black t-shirt and white skirt.
The Color Walk, with me standing on it

For lunch, we caught up with Jeremy Neale, a friend of ours but also a musician from Brisbane. I met him while he was playing in one of his bands, and got to know and love his music. We actually used his song Dancin’ & Romancin’ as the exit music for our wedding when we completed the ceremonies and walked down the aisle together. We kept missing Jeremy in Sydney every time he had a show, because we were out of the country, so it was good to catch up with him.

We caught up at a cafe called Bluestone Lane which is actually known for having Australian food and coffee (thank you to my friend Tiny for recommending it!). I’m not really a coffee connoisseur, but Jeremy said that he had been missing long blacks, a style of coffee made in Australia. They are made by pouring espresso over hot water, whereas Americano coffees, though similar, are made by pouring the hot water over the espresso instead. Jeremy said it sounded quite similar but you would be surprised how different they taste, haha.

The interior decor of a cafe, with black-and-white photographs on the wall and a piece of drawn artwork titled “Melbhattan”, with outlines and labels resembling a map of a fictitious area
Artwork in the cafe showing Manhattan labelled with areas from Melbourne, a city in Australia

Afterwards we browsed a Barneys store. They sell upmarket clothes, shoes and accessories. I remember a time I used to feel incredibly out of place in stores like these, but honestly, I’ve told myself recently, “I deserve to be here”. I deserve to look at and browse high-end goods. I liked looking in there for inspiration and to observe the quality of some of the clothes, since I’ve been making more conscious switches to better-quality clothes recently.

On our last evening in New York we visited a cookie dough dessert parlour that Nick’s sister Beck found on Instagram. We were excited but, um… the desserts are literally cookie dough. Not just a cookie-dough-flavoured dessert. (They are not made with raw egg though, so they are safe to eat.) It was actually really sickly. I only had one scoop and Nick had two. It was like eating sweet, not-quite-smooth-peanut-butter-textured paste… 😂 I really don’t know how to describe it. Neither of us could properly finish, even though we took our time and sat in Washington Square Park and ate it.

A person’s left hand holding a small pink cup and pink spoon with a cookie dough dessert inside the cup. In the background is a busy park with a water fountain
It looks good but it was pretty sickly ahaha
A stone arch structure lit up at night, with many people surrounding it and some taller buildings in the background
The Washington Square Arch at night time

We people-watched in the park and enjoyed the cool summer evening weather. There were some people doing acrobatics, some people singing, and some people doing art. It was a really nice environment, and as we learned from our tour, this evolved from the many artists, musicians and other creatives who lived in the area of Greenwich Village.

A city skyline with the ocean taking up the bottom half of the frame and blue sky with many clouds taking up the top half of the frame
New York 🙂

We had an incredible time in New York and I think it was probably my favourite place we visited while we were in the States. I really only feel like we scratched the surface, but it’s true that New York has endless things to do. 😍

Stay tuned for more about the rest of our trip – Miami, Disney World and L.A. :) And I’ll be writing about my current stay in Portland soon 🙏

Other posts in this series:

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I’ve done the Staten Island Ferry both times that I’ve been to NYC. It was definitely very beautiful, seeing the skyline and the Statue of Liberty.

I haven’t been on the Island, but also like you, I didn’t really have the desire to go up that close. She looks much better at a distance.

The Skyline is definitely on my list for next time. That Australian cafe looked pretty neat too. A nice way to bring a piece of home while you’re far away.

Loved your post! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip to the states! Next time you come back, give me a heads up and we will definitely make a meet up happen! Of course, when I come back to Australia, Sydney is definitely on my bucketlist since I’ve done Melbourne and Adelaide! Xx

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Loved this post! Your photos of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lady Liberty are perfect. I know what you mean about the Empire State Building and if / when I make it to NYC I probably won’t go up it either – it seems to expensive and I’ve heard you can get better bird’s eye views from other monuments in the city.

Look forward to reading your posts about L.A. and Disney World!

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One of my friends in NYC has made it her mission to move to an area next to a park for her next apartment. Which can be expensive. But I feel her. It is so nice to hang out at parks in your free time and just have a break from urban life. Next time you visit, you should check out Prospect Park in Brooklyn. It was designed by the same people who designed Central Park, but it’s more natural and less crowded, so you can almost forget you’re in an insanely populated/touristic city, hehe.

Also, Billy Joel. Piano Man. Love.

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I didn’t know about the Transit Museum but it sounds right up my street.

I love the Staten Island ferry, and personally I think you get the best view of the Manhattan skyline from it. We didn’t do Liberty Island on my last trip because like you we had other priorities, but I think I would like to go up into the head of the Statue of Liberty one day.

I’m glad you enjoyed seeing Billy Joel! He really is incredible to see live. I hope that he comes back to the UK sometime in the near future.

It was funny because I remember seeing on Twitter that it was his 100th gig at Madison Square Garden, and I said to Tyrone how amazing it would be to be there. And then I saw on Instagram that you were there!

Seeing a concert at Madison Square Garden is actually on my bucket list, but it would have to be someone very special!

Fun fact; Central Park is based on which I live about a 5 minute drive from! Although if you visited Birkenhead Park after visiting Central Park you’d be very disappointed. 😂

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