Waking up in the city that never sleeps

Due to a number of “jammy git” factors – namely free accommodation in well-known posh hotel chain, and a small windfall in the offing thanks to my lovely mum (with the rule that the money must not be used for bills, it must be spent on something fun!) – Mr Photog and I found ourselves with the opportunity to head of to New York for Easter. New, blooming York! With hotel and flights covered, all we had to worry about was spending dosh, and being a couple with pretty simple requirements, that wasn’t too much of a problem!

Now, we’ve been to California and San Francisco so far has won in the “which is the best city in the US” stakes – well, out of a competition between the only 2 US cities so far visited, I’m afraid Los Angeles loses out to San Francisco on most counts. So we’d always fancied having a look at New York, but so far not been in a position to go, and getting so lucky, and already having booked some time off work for Easter, it seemed the logical thing to do. So we did, and a few days before my birthday we flew off to New York, New York – so good they named it twice (and all the other clichés).

We landed mid-afternoon (after failing to get a cheeky free upgrade on board the flight – curses!!) and once we’d taken the obligatory yellow cab ride and checked into our hotel in East Manhattan (yeah, you heard me – East Manhattan) we decided to head south and hopped on the (free – bargain!) Statten Island Ferry for our first view of the classic Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. And then when we got to the other side, we ran round and joined the crowds of commuters getting on the ferry to go back across to Manhattan.

Statten Island Ferry – nice and orange!

That Liberty bird

Times Square – not bad for hand-held!

We went for a stroll around Times Square after a fantastic dinner, before a jet-laggy stroll back to the hotel. The bonus of jet-lag though – early wake up, which meant we could head up the Empire State Building before the crowds piled on up there. Winner!

From the bottom and from the top – looking down onto Macys and Madison Square Gardens

“Hi, my dad works here – Walter Hobbs” So excited to see stuff from Elf!

Fascinated by the multi-story car parks – they’re awesome! And Radio City Music Hall is fantastic


World Trade Centre One – nicknamed “Freedom tower” – still a few more floors to go till they reach the top. In this photo it was still a couple of feet short of being taller than the Empire State Building, which, after Sept 11th once again became the tallest building in New York.

Lady Liberty

Empire State Building and Chrysler Tower

Brooklyn Bridge – so famous the Beckhams named one of their offspring after it (Bridge is his middle name…)

Can you spot the little house built on top of an apartment block. Funky!

We spent Easter Sunday afternoon lazing in a fantastically sunny Central Park J

Chrysler Tower, 2 blocks from our hotel

On Rockerfeller Plaza we watched them filming a scene for the US TV series “30 Rock” with James Marsden and Tina Fey and I got to play “paparazzi” (just in the crowd of rubbernecking onlookers – not in the actual program)

View from the “Top of the Rock” – 30 Rockerfeller Plaza, looking towards the former Pan Am, now Metlife building and the Empire State Building – we sat up there and watched the sun set and the lights come up all over New York.

Oooh, pretty lights

Grand Central Station – some seriously fantastic architecture – reminded me of Milans train station.

Diner across road from Grand Central Station – been in stacks of films, saw it in “Friends with Benefits” on the plane on the way home!


After 5 days we flew home, that was a just about right length of time, to see what we wanted to without going too crazy. We flew back on my brithday – again tried for the cheek RAF upgrade, but as they were chock full there was no chance, but they did take pity on me as it was my birthday so they gave me £20 worth of vouchers to spend in the on-board shop/trolley thing – whoop!! I got me some Benefit make-up, cheers to the staff on the flight, fab people!

Overall, we had an awesome time, but it was hectic – I don’t know how people can live in the city, just way too much happening too fast – I need a little bit of countryside near by to keep me sane!




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