Brooklyn Bridge photo credit wendy

Arriving in the city that never sleeps with limited sleep has been an interesting challenge especially when you have only 10 days and you need to see it all…..  FOMO!

We have been here for 5 full days so here is a run down of what’s been happening !

4 gals on tour~ 4 gals who are used to running their own families, jobs & life, but put 4 of us together with a map and turn us around 3 times, wait stop we already have a touch of jet lag!

Those silly errors are all part of the story, like going downtown instead of uptown, or not realising that things change like the Yankees stadium Subway…. I have never been on the subway all the way to the stadium under ground. Normally it comes up from under ground and you can see the stadium, and therefore know where to get off the train.  Not this time. So we were having a wonderful indepth chat, on the train and I was just thinking gee this is taking for ever, and I hear -final stop everyone off !

And we are in the Bronx…. umm where is Yankee stadium? You should have got off at 161st, of course! *#@$#@.  Anyway we got our tickets for the Baseball for last night  and Lindy and Wendy had their first ‘how hot is the subway in summer ‘ until you are on the train moment.

Sunday we went on tour with Jerry from New Jersey…. I have met Jerry a couple of times before, he was recommended to us about 5 years ago and since then I can’t tell you how many friends have gone on a tour with Jerry…. His knowledge and the things he has done make for a fun filled day.

We started in Manhattan and had a quick ride passed Trump towers…… whether you love him or not he is the President of the United States so when the president comes to town so do all the police…… you couldn’t move on our street on Sunday morning for all the men in navy blue. There was a Dominican Republic Parade on 5th Av, Trump arriving and about 1000 protesters from every walk of life today! Lucky for us we were headed to Brooklyn, one of the 5 boroughs that make up New York City…

Jerry grew up in the lower Manhattan where all the kids from Brooklyn, Williamsburg etc were called the Bridge and Tunnel kids, well now Manhattan kids are the Bridge and Tunnel kids as they all move into the cool and groovy hipster areas!

Of course we go to Breakfast… a Bagel perhaps? Jerry takes us to Murray’s down in the Greenwich village and we choose a smoked Salmon with cream cheese and salad, and a cinnamon bagel to share between the 4 of us.

Jerry shows us through the East Village, West Village and the alphabet streets, which are so named as they are so Far East of the East Village they ran out of street numbers, so you can’t have zero or -1 so they became the Alphabets – a street b street etc.

It takes a little while to get your head around it, whether you have been here before or not, seeing amazing sites, eating stunning food and stopping for a cocktail in a Crab bar at 12.00pm !!! And what a great place it was…. drinks, new t shirts a view out to Lady Liberty and the ferries on the East river towards the Hudson.

Jerry took us to an amazing park along the lines of Central Park in Brooklyn, called Gramacy Park.  There was a man giving away t shirts to enlighten our crazy world into peace, his slogans were so lovely, Di grabbed a shirt saying ” we are all the same” what a wonderful Idea!

Somethings you just wouldn’t see in Australia like a whole area of Jewish families, who all look the same have an interesting faith and dress style not to mention male/female relationships!!! They all live in the same area…. 4 blocks later and here are all the hipster crowd!

Some of these areas were rough and tumble and developers would never have even thought about re developing some of these run down sights along the East river and now boom ! Million dollar apartments! Jerry tried to get us close to the river but we didn’t want to end up in a body bag in the river!

There are amazing artworks, advertising and graffiti style all hand done ! Just beautiful.

We head down under the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge area called DUMBO an acronym named for Down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass…… it’s all now public parks and amazing eateries!
Wow! The difference 2 years make ….. all the old empty pickle factories have been restored into stunning shops eateries and open areas to enjoy.

It’s a beautiful sunny summer day and it’s divine. We trampled all over the area including going to a private cemetery dating back to the early 1800’s, with a view over Manhattan, where Jerry makes a dad joke of ‘People are dying to get into this place’ and a private art college Pratt, that I have been to before~ Stunning million $$ sculptures.

Our day has us crossing over and under the 3 amazing bridges, enjoying foods and seeing the highlights of Brooklyn.
The Manhattan skyline is a wonderful sight and we all snap away as Jerry drives us across the Manhattan bridge again and finds us another toilet stop before dropping us back in the East Village for our 2nd lobster roll in 2 todays at the Lobster shack Luke’s Lobster…… its not a large meal and you could eat 3 but we don’t as it’s food heaven over here……

I have to say we have been all quite good food wise and New York is a city has its share of burger bars etc but there is some amazing salad bars etc too. As we make our way to Washington Square park which is surrounded by NYU buildings, student housing etc. It s a quite a large area, where you can lay like Lizards in the sun, listen to bands just jamming, be ‘entertained’ by the guy with the bubble wand or listen to classical music on a baby grand piano that’s on one of the pathways…. goodness knows how he got it there!

I leave the girls lying on the grass chilling to the piano music while I go off and photograph all the other people, arts and characters in the park!!! It’s heaven… there are people selling badges, which quite appeal to me ?? its just a wonderful hour…….

After we buy some badges, see all that there is to see or close our eyes and rest,  we walk another 10 blocks  (I wish we had brought a fit bit to see how many steps we have done) to Madison Square Park in the Flation district and enjoy a platter and a cocktail of choice at the gorgeous and eye opening Eataly! Where you can buy food, eat food, share food or all of the above just like we did I! (  See the main photo ).

We sit at the bar and watch the meat and cheese platter be prepared. After an hour we head up stairs to the roof top beer garden to enjoy a few little tasting plates with a glass of Rose’, before we head home after a 12 hour day !
‘We go straight to bed NOT as one of out topics of conversation during dinner was 911 and the conspiracy theory so of course we YouTube a few to get us all chatting until it’s after midnight and tomorrow is another day …….

Monday- Late nights and late starts-
Today we are activating our NY city pass cards! Woo hoo! You get a free day on the big red hop on hop off bus and head down to 911- ground Zero memorial, which really is ground zero these days as the new Museum goes all the way under the 2 memorial reflection pools…..

The museum is a work of art- stunning use of space and levels to share stories, artwork and gifts from all over the world to the people of New York.

It’s an incredibly moving experience seeing all the names of those that lost their lives etched into history around the reflection pools.
The museum contains pieces of steel structure from the towers, melted fire trucks, pieces of the antenna from the twin towers-all on display. There are tours that are guided or with groups or do it yourself.

We chose to wander our selves as with most things in life we are all drawn to different things. The stillness and quiet throughout the museum was somber and quiet, even though it was crowded with loads of people from all over the world, paying their respects to this tragedy that changed the world we now live in, wandering around looking at all the memorabilia.

Our gang meets up and we all need a bit of a break from the heavy duty sight seeing and head to some retail therapy….Wendy had heard great things about Century 21, a massive dept store on steroids with crowds….. Di and I aren’t that keen and after we agree on a time, the girls all go their separate ways and split up for a 40 minute recy to see if anyone wants to do some damage here.
Diane and I retreat to the world trade shopping centre next door grab a coffee and I have a quick salad before we head back to Century 21 to meet Wendy and Lindy.

In the distance I spy a shop in the distance with a wall of paper flowers so we head to the shop for a quick photo opportunity~ Sugarfina is an amazing candy ( lolly store) we get offered a sample and yes we can take photos!

We meet back up and start to head back to our bus tour, we find another Anthropologie store ( my personal favourite ) I may have an online addiction so up close and personal ~oh dear…..and today was a sight seeing day !

We all trek in and try on some bits and pieces, Wendy  buys a jump suit- joining the trendy baggy trouser brigade…… she is pretty chuffed !

A few items fell into my bag and as it’s technically day 4 today it will save me staying up late just to do laundry!

Just in case you are interested, they call washing powder -Laundry soap here, so I had a very funny conversation with a 20 something yr old guy at the grocery store looking for washing powder at 5 to 11pm, as the store is about the close….. playing in the background is the Queen song ‘Under Pressure ‘ ….. I was singing along with a couple of wines under my belt  when the said 24 yr ( that’s a guess) rescued me….After having a picnic in Bryant Park. A great lawn surrounded by a small bar and lots of seats. Loads of people were seated on the lawn, however due to us not having a blankly, we chose the chair option. We also lucked in to dinner at the park as there are pop up foods places all around!

Anyway Diane got to finally see the end of the Carey Grant movie, North by North West as 23 years ago she went into labour with her daughter Eloise and never saw the end!

We had a shopping day yesterday and today has been amazing but I’ll save that for the next blog !

As a rookie blogger trying not to use Facebook to share my stories, I’m not sure what is better a quick run down of the day everyday or a few days together like this …… so let me know what you think , but don’t be too harsh~I am technically on holidays and it’s hard work being a blogger when I could write 2 lines of Facebook with 5 photos !

We are off on more adventures  so until next time…. I have posted a few photos to instagram for those who are interested,

Mrs Wong x