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2011 - New York City

New York City/ManhattanJan 15th to Jan 23rd 2011

A break from work, with an important occasion : Prince in concert at the Madison Square Garden. With that, real estate itches, photography and loooong walks, a week just flies by in a wink.

New York City - Jan 2011

NYC_2011-01-21 11-04-32.JPGGapstow Bridge, Central Park

I really needed thr break from work, although it might sound weird to go and spend a relaxing week in Manhattan... The concert of Prince at the Madison Square Garden was another reason to go. Together with the real estate research, although I didn't manage to find/see much. And then, of course photography, with a total of 1199 photos and 41 videos taken during my long walks all over the city.

NYC_2011-01-21 10-56-47
NYC_2011-01-21 10-56-47
NYC_2011-01-16 06-56-58
NYC_2011-01-16 06-56-58
NYC_2011-01-20 10-28-22
NYC_2011-01-20 10-28-22

Use the Article navigation drop down list above to browse through this vacation diary.

From there you can see the report of each day of the vacation, and you also have the option to see All pages together.

Also, you can find all the photos from this vacation in the My Photos section.

Summary of the vacation

Day
WhatNotes
15 Jan 2011 (Sat)Milan - New York City, Times Square
  • Flight to NYC
  • City Hall
  • Times Square
16 Jan 2011 (Sun)Financial District, Staten Island, Brooklyn Bridge and Fulton
  • Hudson River Park
  • Finacial Center/Ground Zero
  • Wall Street
  • Staten Island Ferry
  • South Street Seaport
  • Brooklyn Bridge/Empire Fulton Ferry State Park
17 Jan 2011 (Mon)Chinatown, Roosevelt Island
  • Canal St / Manhattan Bridge
  • Sutton Place / Queensborough Bridge
  • Roosevelt Island
  • Central Park
  • Time Sq / Rockefeller Center
18 Jan 2011 (Tue)Prince at the Madison Square Garden
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • Kat's Deli
  • Madison Square Garden
19 Jan 2011 (Wed)5th Ave and the Upper East side
  • Ground Zero
  • Times Square
  • 5th Ave
  • Upper East Side / East Harlem
  • Brooklyn Bridge
20 Jan 2011 (Thu)Brooklyn Heights / Promenade, 5th Ave
  • Hudson River Park
  • Brooklyn Promenade
  • Brooklyn Heights
  • DUMBO
  • Times Square
  • Rockefeller Center
  • 5th Ave
  • Fulton/Mark Joseph
21 Jan 2011 (Fri)Central Park, South Street Seaport, Empire Fulton
  • Central Park
  • Financial Center
  • Wall Street
  • South Street Seaport
  • Empire Fulton
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
22 Jan 2011 (Sat)Macy's, Bryant Park, Roosevelt Island
  • 5th Ave
  • Macy's
  • Bryant Park
  • Rockefeller Center / St.Patrick Cathedral
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • T.G.I. Friday's (42nd St)
23 Jan 2011 (Sun)5th Ave, Times Square, New York City - Milan
  • Times Square
  • Hudson River Park
  • 5th Ave, NBA Store

15 Jan 2011 (Sat) : Milan - New York City, Times Square

Daily report
 
Flight(s)Flight #Departure/ArrivalNotes
Milan Malpensa MPX -> New York City JFKDelta DL16111.15CET - 14.15ESTIncluded in the 1070 EUR package
 
HotelRoom #NotesCost
Cosmopolitan Hotel
(95 West Broadway, NY 10007)
213(?)Included in the 1070 EUR package
 
ExpensesNotesTotal
Marlboro Gold (lights) 20 packets
(Aeroporto di Malpensa)

36 EUR
Settimana enigmistica + cicche
(Aeroporto di Malpensa)
1,50+2,60 EUR
4,10 EUR
Air Train ticket
(JFK Int. Airport)

5$
Metro Card
(JFK Int. Airport)

29$
Pizza Pepperoni + Pepsi
(Sbarro 701 7th Ave)
7.48+0.66(tax)
8.14$
NYC_2011-01-15 17-04-56
NYC_2011-01-15 17-04-56

Flight OK, although with a small delay like usual. The airplane had LCD screens on the back of the seat in front, therefore total freedom in watching movies; I watched "L'americano" ("The American") with George Clooney, not good, and "Wall Street: il denaro non dorme mai" ("Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"), not that bad, although still lower than expectations.

At the JFK, the airtrain and the subway is a good way to get to Manhattan without paying 50 dollars for a taxi ride. The subway (A) stops 1 block from the hotel, at Church St and Warren St.

Unpacking was simple, with just a trolley. And then out for a walk to the City Hall and from there to Times Square with the subway 6 and shuttle.

  • Flight to NYC
  • City Hall
  • Times Square
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16 Jan 2011 (Sun) : Financial District, Staten Island, Brooklyn Bridge and Fulton

Daily report
 
ExpensesNotesTotal
Sandwich with sausage egg and cheese
(Au Bon Pain - Staten Island)

4.02$
Pizza + Water
(Cafe Amore Restaurant - Chambers st )

5.55$
NYC_2011-01-16 09-12-25
NYC_2011-01-16 09-12-25

My first vacation day in Manhattan basically always start with a visit to places I stayed at in my previous vacations, and the hotel is very close to River Terrace, where I stayed in 2006. The Hudson River Park in the early morning, with joggers (and commuters in the working days) running by, is relaxing, despite the stinging cold.
Speaking of cold, the Winter Garden is just steps away from River Terrace, and even without the Christmas decorations it's a beautiful structure. And from there to Ground Zero; the Freedom Tower is going up quickly, it is already visible in the skyline and it's not even half of its final height.

NYC_2011-01-16 06-56-16.JPGHudson River Park

From there, to Wall Street and to Staten Island with the ferry. Also the Staten Island Ferry gets renovated : in the ride to the island I was on a new ferry that had outside decks along the sides, very good for taking pictures, freezing cold and wind permitting.

NYC_2011-01-16 09-28-49.JPGFreedom Tower under construction

From the ferry to South Street Seaport, walking in the cold of the sun... Walking and walking.... through Fulton and getting back to the City Hall, ready to face the Brooklyn Bridge. It's not a long walk, but in the second part of a day spent walking it can be challenging.
I closed the day with the sunset observation from Brookly Bridge Park under the Manhattan Bridge; the Empire Fulton Ferry State Park is closed due to renovation... thankfully the view is magnificient anyway from under the Manhattan Bridge, therefore it's worth standing there for hours and turning into a block of ice. A Starbucks is not far from the park; I don't like their drinks, the coffee is what I call "dish wash" and the chocolate is just milk and Nesquik that would never sell in Italy, but... a "small" cup of hot chocolate will warm up your hands and keep them warm for 10-20 mins or so. And the coffee is even hotter.

  • Hudson River Park
  • Finacial Center/Ground Zero
  • Wall Street
  • Staten Island Ferry
  • South Street Seaport
  • Brooklyn Bridge/Empire Fulton Ferry State Park
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NYC_2011-01-16 17-45-01

17 Jan 2011 (Mon) : Chinatown, Roosevelt Island

Daily report
 
ExpensesNotesTotal
Chicken sandwich
(River Terrace Deli)

?
Salame sandwich
(Food store on North End Ave)

?
Cutter
(The Food Emporium - 59th@1st Ave)
1.29+0.11(tax)
1.40$
Pizza + Water
(Cafe Amore Restaurant - Chambers st )

4.20$
NYC_2011-01-17 12-46-40
NYC_2011-01-17 12-46-40

Early morning for me, like it often happens, especially in the first days of the vacation : 4am... The cold chilled air of the morning is a challenge, but Manhattan is enjoyable at all times. I walked along Chambers to the Hudson River, River Terrace and the park, where I had my morning sandwiches. Delis and food shops open at 6am during work days. Then I walked back to the hotel before taking the subway to Canal St. I really felt like for some (cheap) shopping but I made a mistake : I got there at around 8am and the shops are all closed at that time; I don't know why I was expecting to find a world of people there waiting for me... Instead, when I got on the street from the subway station and found myself on the sideway of a deserted street, I asked a policewoman where was Canal St, and she replied "you're standing on it".

I tried to wait for the shop to open, walking for a while along Canal St, but with nothing much to see apart of a still sleeping Mulberry St I was getting too impatient to go somewhere nicer. So I decided to take a walk on the Manhattan Bridge; I didn't plan to get to the other side, but in the middle, and so I did, facing the cold.
The view from the bridge is interesting since from the beginning, where you can see part of Chinatown, and then at the top where you can admire the view of the Brooklyn Bridge. The only annoyance is the noise of the subway, that runs slowly but noisily right along the walkway.

After a bridge, I felt like to see another bridge. I know it might sound reductive but it's not : the bridges are one of the main attractions of New York City. So after I finished my walk on the Manhattan Bridge, I went straight to the Queensborough Bridge. The area there offers nice corners to see and photograph; if you're tired and need a break from walking (like I did!) you can sit on a bench at Sutton Place Park, before taking the "tram" to Roosevelt Island.
The view from the tram shows a rather light colored bridge... cream tone color. I remember it black! I'll check the photos of the past vacations, but I'm quite sure it's been polished.

NYC_2011-01-17 10-38-27.JPGView from Roosevelt Island NYC_2011-01-17 11-44-29.JPGThe Food Emporium

Roosevelt Island is always quiet and calm, and I couldn't imagine it differently : it's 200 meters (about 1 block) wide. Thanks to its shape and the views of Manhattan and Queens, it's always nice to go there for a trip. With the snow, even better.
Once back at Manhattan, I stopped at The Food Emporium, right under the bridge : located in an amazing place for a supermarket, under the bridge in a high two/three stores room with classic style vaults and columns, you can find almost everything you need in terms of food and other utilities. Inside, upstairs, there is also an area with tables and seats where it's possible to eat (reserved to the customers of the emporium). Really impressive, it's worth a visit even if you don't need to buy anything.

Along the 59th St, to Central Park and after a quick stop near the Gapstow Bridge, to Columbus Circle where I took the subway to Chambers St.
After a snack (pizza at Cafe Amore), back to the hotel for what was meant to be a little nap.... I went to bed at around 2-3pm, and I woke up at midnight. When I woke up I was not that annoyed : I was tired and I needed to sleep. Big surprise when I got ready and off for a walk : it was snowing good.

I went to Times Sq for a walk under the snow, and from there to the Rockefeller Center and Central Park. I am a fan of the snow and it was really special to experience the 5th avenue with noise of the (low) traffic softened by the snow on the streets. The walk under the snow was quite long, I got back to the hotel and went to bed at 4.30-5am.

  • Canal St / Manhattan Bridge
  • Sutton Place / Queensborough Bridge
  • Roosevelt Island
  • Central Park
  • Time Sq / Rockefeller Center
NYC_2011-01-17 06-49-55
NYC_2011-01-17 06-49-55
NYC_2011-01-17 06-53-18
NYC_2011-01-17 06-53-18
NYC_2011-01-17 06-53-42
NYC_2011-01-17 06-53-42
NYC_2011-01-17 07-46-58
NYC_2011-01-17 07-46-58
NYC_2011-01-17 07-49-11
NYC_2011-01-17 07-49-11
NYC_2011-01-17 07-49-23
NYC_2011-01-17 07-49-23
NYC_2011-01-17 07-52-09
NYC_2011-01-17 07-52-09
NYC_2011-01-17 07-55-42
NYC_2011-01-17 07-55-42
NYC_2011-01-17 08-02-31
NYC_2011-01-17 08-02-31
NYC_2011-01-17 08-03-01
NYC_2011-01-17 08-03-01
NYC_2011-01-17 08-03-25
NYC_2011-01-17 08-03-25
NYC_2011-01-17 08-03-50
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NYC_2011-01-17 08-10-59
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NYC_2011-01-17 08-17-53
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NYC_2011-01-17 08-18-32
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NYC_2011-01-17 08-22-44
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NYC_2011-01-17 09-26-02
NYC_2011-01-17 09-27-59
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NYC_2011-01-17 10-05-33
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NYC_2011-01-17 10-10-42
NYC_2011-01-17 10-10-42
NYC_2011-01-17 10-10-53
NYC_2011-01-17 10-10-53
NYC_2011-01-17 10-16-22
NYC_2011-01-17 10-16-22
NYC_2011-01-17 10-16-35
NYC_2011-01-17 10-16-35
NYC_2011-01-17 10-19-45
NYC_2011-01-17 10-19-45
NYC_2011-01-17 10-20-11
NYC_2011-01-17 10-20-11
NYC_2011-01-17 10-22-04
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NYC_2011-01-17 10-24-55
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NYC_2011-01-17 10-25-04
NYC_2011-01-17 10-25-04
NYC_2011-01-17 10-25-18
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NYC_2011-01-17 10-25-32
NYC_2011-01-17 10-25-32
NYC_2011-01-17 10-25-46
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NYC_2011-01-17 10-26-26
NYC_2011-01-17 10-26-26
NYC_2011-01-17 10-26-34
NYC_2011-01-17 10-26-34
NYC_2011-01-17 10-26-51
NYC_2011-01-17 10-26-51
NYC_2011-01-17 10-27-01
NYC_2011-01-17 10-27-01
NYC_2011-01-17 10-30-03
NYC_2011-01-17 10-30-03
NYC_2011-01-17 10-30-14
NYC_2011-01-17 10-30-14
NYC_2011-01-17 10-32-06
NYC_2011-01-17 10-32-06
NYC_2011-01-17 10-32-20
NYC_2011-01-17 10-32-20
NYC_2011-01-17 10-35-35
NYC_2011-01-17 10-35-35
NYC_2011-01-17 10-36-56
NYC_2011-01-17 10-36-56
NYC_2011-01-17 10-37-17
NYC_2011-01-17 10-37-17
NYC_2011-01-17 10-38-27
NYC_2011-01-17 10-38-27
NYC_2011-01-17 10-38-44
NYC_2011-01-17 10-38-44
NYC_2011-01-17 10-39-09
NYC_2011-01-17 10-39-09
NYC_2011-01-17 10-39-40
NYC_2011-01-17 10-39-40
NYC_2011-01-17 10-39-47
NYC_2011-01-17 10-39-47
NYC_2011-01-17 10-40-12
NYC_2011-01-17 10-40-12
NYC_2011-01-17 10-40-56
NYC_2011-01-17 10-40-56
NYC_2011-01-17 10-42-03
NYC_2011-01-17 10-42-03
NYC_2011-01-17 10-42-46
NYC_2011-01-17 10-42-46
NYC_2011-01-17 10-43-01
NYC_2011-01-17 10-43-01
NYC_2011-01-17 10-43-50
NYC_2011-01-17 10-43-50
NYC_2011-01-17 10-46-21
NYC_2011-01-17 10-46-21
NYC_2011-01-17 10-47-44
NYC_2011-01-17 10-47-44
NYC_2011-01-17 10-48-19
NYC_2011-01-17 10-48-19
NYC_2011-01-17 10-50-39
NYC_2011-01-17 10-50-39
NYC_2011-01-17 10-51-26
NYC_2011-01-17 10-51-26
NYC_2011-01-17 10-51-38
NYC_2011-01-17 10-51-38
NYC_2011-01-17 10-51-55
NYC_2011-01-17 10-51-55
NYC_2011-01-17 10-54-42
NYC_2011-01-17 10-54-42
NYC_2011-01-17 10-56-43
NYC_2011-01-17 10-56-43
NYC_2011-01-17 10-58-08
NYC_2011-01-17 10-58-08
NYC_2011-01-17 11-00-10
NYC_2011-01-17 11-00-10
NYC_2011-01-17 11-02-40
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NYC_2011-01-17 11-07-10
NYC_2011-01-17 11-07-10
NYC_2011-01-17 11-08-25
NYC_2011-01-17 11-08-25
NYC_2011-01-17 11-09-45
NYC_2011-01-17 11-09-45
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NYC_2011-01-17 11-12-56
NYC_2011-01-17 11-12-56
NYC_2011-01-17 11-13-05
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NYC_2011-01-17 11-13-30
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NYC_2011-01-17 11-14-26
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NYC_2011-01-17 11-17-54
NYC_2011-01-17 11-17-54
NYC_2011-01-17 11-18-48
NYC_2011-01-17 11-18-48
NYC_2011-01-17 11-19-52
NYC_2011-01-17 11-19-52
NYC_2011-01-17 11-30-15
NYC_2011-01-17 11-30-15
NYC_2011-01-17 11-31-23
NYC_2011-01-17 11-31-23
NYC_2011-01-17 11-33-39
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NYC_2011-01-17 11-37-47
NYC_2011-01-17 11-37-47
NYC_2011-01-17 11-42-42
NYC_2011-01-17 11-42-42
NYC_2011-01-17 11-43-39
NYC_2011-01-17 11-43-39
NYC_2011-01-17 11-44-29
NYC_2011-01-17 11-44-29
NYC_2011-01-17 11-44-52
NYC_2011-01-17 11-44-52
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NYC_2011-01-17 11-45-00
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NYC_2011-01-17 11-45-54
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NYC_2011-01-17 12-14-03
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NYC_2011-01-17 12-14-43
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NYC_2011-01-17 12-46-05
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NYC_2011-01-17 12-49-52
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NYC_2011-01-17 12-50-25
NYC_2011-01-17 12-50-25
NYC_2011-01-17 12-50-44
NYC_2011-01-17 12-50-44
NYC_2011-01-17 12-51-39
NYC_2011-01-17 12-51-39
NYC_2011-01-17 12-54-02
NYC_2011-01-17 12-54-02
NYC_2011-01-17 12-56-00
NYC_2011-01-17 12-56-00
NYC_2011-01-17 12-56-20
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NYC_2011-01-17 12-57-29
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NYC_2011-01-17 12-59-31
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NYC_2011-01-17 13-07-04
NYC_2011-01-17 13-07-04
NYC_2011-01-17 13-10-11
NYC_2011-01-17 13-10-11
NYC_2011-01-17 14-02-46
NYC_2011-01-17 14-02-46

18 Jan 2011 (Tue) : Prince at the Madison Square Garden

Daily report
 
ExpensesNotesTotal
Pizza NY Cheese + Pepperoni + Pepsi
(Sbarro 5th Ave@46th St)
3.49+4.39+2.19 +0.89(tax)
10.96$
Dinner
(Kat's Deli)

?
Concert ticket
(Madison Square Garden)

100$
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-44
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-44

The big day of the concert I woke up at about 10, and then left the hotel for a trip to the Rockefeller Center. But it was raining ice... and once stuck on your coat, the ice would melt, leaving you soaked wet. That's me when I got in the Sbarro restaurant on th e5th Ave and 46th. I stayed inside longer than it usually takes me to eat 2 slices of pizza, but when I left I was still soaked wet. Therefore I got back at the hotel, where I arrived at midday.

I left at 3pm, leaving my camera in the room : at the concert it's not possible to take cameras, and they actually search you at the entrance, therefore I decided not to take risks.
My friend arrives at the Grand Central Terminal, I've been there really ages ago... I think in 2002, and then never got there again. It's full of food shops, much more than the Stazione Centrale of Milan, and the restrooms are much cleaner.

Before the concert, we need to eat something. My idea is to go to Katz's Deli and there we go; it's a good choice, the food is as expected, not many people inside therefore no queue at all. We didn't pick the table of one of the most famous fake orgasm of the movies, but we were a couple of meters away. Then from there to the concert, after a coffee at a Dunkin' Donuts near the Madison Square Garden.

The concert was great, as expected. We were at the top ring, "near the ceiling" as my friend said, but we enjoyed it. Prince is a great artist, and he showed it once again. My only regret is that I didn't take my camera with me; they checked bags and bumps in pockets at the entrance, but I could have hidden it somewhere else... *GRIN*

  • Rockefeller Center
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • Kat's Deli
  • Madison Square Garden
NYC_2011-01-18 01-28-44
NYC_2011-01-18 01-28-44
NYC_2011-01-18 01-59-16
NYC_2011-01-18 01-59-16
NYC_2011-01-18 01-59-40
NYC_2011-01-18 01-59-40
NYC_2011-01-18 01-59-53
NYC_2011-01-18 01-59-53
NYC_2011-01-18 02-26-07
NYC_2011-01-18 02-26-07
NYC_2011-01-18 02-26-24
NYC_2011-01-18 02-26-24
NYC_2011-01-18 02-26-41
NYC_2011-01-18 02-26-41
NYC_2011-01-18 02-29-23
NYC_2011-01-18 02-29-23
NYC_2011-01-18 02-30-52
NYC_2011-01-18 02-30-52
NYC_2011-01-18 02-31-10
NYC_2011-01-18 02-31-10
NYC_2011-01-18 02-32-02
NYC_2011-01-18 02-32-02
NYC_2011-01-18 02-41-29
NYC_2011-01-18 02-41-29
NYC_2011-01-18 02-48-52
NYC_2011-01-18 02-48-52
NYC_2011-01-18 02-51-13
NYC_2011-01-18 02-51-13
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-04
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-04
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-25
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-25
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-31
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-31
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-44
NYC_2011-01-18 02-52-44
NYC_2011-01-18 02-54-07
NYC_2011-01-18 02-54-07
NYC_2011-01-18 02-54-37
NYC_2011-01-18 02-54-37
NYC_2011-01-18 02-55-53
NYC_2011-01-18 02-55-53
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-09
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-09
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-21
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-21
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-31
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-31
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-41
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-41
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-56
NYC_2011-01-18 02-56-56
NYC_2011-01-18 02-57-03
NYC_2011-01-18 02-57-03
NYC_2011-01-18 02-57-34
NYC_2011-01-18 02-57-34
NYC_2011-01-18 03-05-24
NYC_2011-01-18 03-05-24
NYC_2011-01-18 03-20-11
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NYC_2011-01-18 03-20-50
NYC_2011-01-18 03-20-50
NYC_2011-01-18 03-50-11
NYC_2011-01-18 03-50-11
NYC_2011-01-18 03-51-58
NYC_2011-01-18 03-51-58

19 Jan 2011 (Wed) : 5th Ave and the Upper East side

Daily report
 
ExpensesNotesTotal
Sandwiches, Campbell Green Pea can, drink
(D'Agostino Supermarket, 1074 Lexington Ave)
13.98+1.99+0.90+1.32(tax)
18.19$
Gift for Dani : magnetic letters + base
(Lot-Less, 97 Chambers St)
4.99+0.44(tax)
5.43$
NYC_2011-01-19 16-08-19
NYC_2011-01-19 16-08-19

Waking up at 8am, a much more human time. I left the hotel with a plan : going to the Winter Garden and get something to eat there, but once I actually got there, I was not hungry therefore I decided to postpone the snack.

Walked to the subway station and went to Times Sq. One could say "don't you get sick of Times Square? What is so interesting about it?" Well... not easy to answer... For sure it's a unique place, and anyway with all the souvenirs and gift/postcards shops, it's really made for tourists.

Feeling energetic, from there I took a long walk along the 5th Ave, getting to Tiffany's.

tiffany-co-mark-t-57-tri-retrograph-watch-gold.jpgT-57 Tri Retrograde Chronograph (gold) tiffany-co-mark-t-57-tri-retrograph-watch1.jpgT-57 Tri Retrograde Chronograph (stainless steel)

I couldn't resist and I got in to take a look at one of the most beautiful watches in the world... It's always there inside a window in a corner on its own : the Tiffany & Co. Mark T-57 Tri Retrograde Chronograph in gold and black rubber strap. The price is almost 20k$, and it's like that since a few years ago. The stainless steel version (first time that I see it, I didn't even know it existed) is much cheaper : a shop assistant said something around 6500$, but Tiffany's website says 7900$. Ok I know what to buy, should I win the lottery.

From Tiffany's to the Trump Tower, it's a very short walk. Usual visit inside up the escalators but this time I also went out on the opposite side of the entrance. Surprise, there is sort of a garden with tables and chairs, all enclosed in windows, and it's very nice. I never saw that part or if I did, it was not so pretty.

After the Trump Tower I decided to have another Memories trip, and I went to the 73rd St@Madison Ave. It was nice to see the "old" building again, where we stayed in 1999 and 2002. Jeez that's 12 years ago, better not to think about it...
The building has probably been sold by the owner Mr. G. Tabacchi, and is now something else, not rented to tourists anymore. While I was outside looking inside the apartment, a man who was walking by me stopped and socialised with me, talking to me about real estate and his available rents. Intersting...but... we'll see.

After The Real Estate search was difficult, not having anything in particular to see, but a list of properties none of which was really what I wanted to see. I went to see a couple of them, that were quite cheap although officially located in the Upper East Side, on the 110th St and 1st/2nd/3rd Ave; once there, I found out why they were cheap : the location was actually at the border with East Harlem, and the whole atmosphere was heavily affected by that. The buildings were new, but the adjacent and surrounding ones were poor; not only I wouldn't buy an apartment there, but I didn't feel like to take my camera out of the pocket either...

Once finished at East Harlem, I went back to the City Hall with the subway, and then to the hotel, where I arrived at around 5pm. I had a long nap again and woke up at 1am. I think I never really caught up with the time difference in this holiday...
What can one do at that time of the night ? From Chambers St there are a few good points of interest, and one is the Brooklyn Bridge. I went there, at 2am; I've always heard it's not advisable to walk the bridge in the night, but I tried and it was completely deserted. Some cheeky friends say it's because the burglars were sure no one would have been there in the cold, so no one of them went there either. I got to the first tower, took some photos and went back to bed at 4am.

  • Ground Zero
  • Times Square
  • 5th Ave
  • Upper East Side / East Harlem
  • Brooklyn Bridge
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20 Jan 2011 (Thu) : Brooklyn Heights / Promenade, 5th Ave

Daily report
 
ExpensesNotesTotal
Perfume for man
(Lot-Less, 97 Chambers St)
2.99+0.27(tax)
3.26$
Pizza NY Cheese slice
(Sbarro 701 7th Ave)
3.59+0.32(tax)
3.91$
Book : New York - an illustrated history
(Borders Books & Music, 10 Columbus Circle)
69.95+6.21(tax)
76.16$
Dinner
(Mark Joseph Steakhouse, 261 Water St)
87.25+7.74(tax)+15.01(tip)
110.00$
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After the walk to the Brooklyn Bridge in the early morning, I got back to the hotel room at around 4am, and waited for the food markets to open.
Since "Pane Peppe" is not there anymore, now my favourite shop is the food store on North End Ave, close to River Terrace and the Hudson River. The deli on River Terrace, managed by an Indian family, is good too but more expensive.

Then with the subway I went to Brooklyn, for a walk in Brooklyn Heights and along the Promenade.
The area is very nice and it doesn't change much as the years go by.
My walk actually started with the Promenade, walking it to the end, where you get to see the Expressway 278 running under your feet and the promenade, with the "One Brooklyn" building behind to the right.

Moonstruck_snapshot_01.jpgMovie still from 'Moonstruck' NYC_2011-01-20 10-02-52.JPGCranberry street today

Of course one of my favourite spots is the "Castorini's House", in Cranberry Street. One must have seen "Moonstruck" to know what it is... Also that house never changes, althougt it has changed owners recently.
Compare my photo with the movie still, you'll see no differences, and the movie was shot in 1987.

I couldn't leave without paying a quick visit to my favourite spot in New York. And this time there's a new detail : the Brooklyn Bridge Park has been rather finished in the near the dock. It's not an impressing level of sophtication but you can get a taste of how it will be in the end.

From DUMBO to Columbus Circle via subway is a short trip; I decided to take a look inside of the Time Warner Center, and I was stunned by the beauty and the size the place. I didn't know it was THAT full of shops and that they were so beautiful.
At Borders Books & Music I bought a book about the city of New York, that I have never seen in Italy. There were many books that I've never seen in Italy, but this one was the most interesting one : "New York - an illustrated history"; a book that tells the story of the city, documented with many photos. I was looking for a book with fancy photos of the city from famous photographers, but I bought this one for a total of 76$ and it was really good purchase.

Mark_Joseph_receipt.jpg110 bucks but... worth it

After the purchase I got straight to the hotel, to take the heavy book there.

I didn't stay long in the hotel room; with the subway to Times Square and then to the Rockefeller Center, where I had a look inside Saks. They have really good stuff and the prices seem to raise every second.... I couldn't find the snow globes, or a chocolate department, and it's a shame. I hope they didn't decide to dismiss their line of exclusive products.

To contribute in making the longest walk in the vacation, I went down along the 5th Ave, to the Empire State Building, and from there to the Flat Iron Building.
Proceeding down again along the Lexington to Gramercy Park, and then to Union Square.
My spirit wanted to continue to Washington Square but my legs were complaining, therefore, dragging my feet I got to the hotel for a nap.

After a couple of hours, or more, of good sleep, I got up and ready to go to what I decided to elect my favourite steak house in Manhattan : Mark Joseph Steakhouse.
It's near Fulton, not far to reach on foot from the hotel, but not well visible from outside because it's in a dark spot of the street and has no visibile signs outside.
I went there in 2007 too, therefore I knew how to find it.
I had onions and tomato salad as appetizer, an onion soup with cheese (yes I love onions), and a 16oz fillet mignon, which was GREAT, accompanied by a baked potato. The bill was 95$ which became 110$ with the tip, but I had a great dinner indeed, we don't have steaks like that in Italy. The meal ended with an espresso which too was like the steak : we don't have such espressos in Italy, thank goodness; but when the waiter offered another espresso and a small glass of Moscato wine I gladly accepted... Thinking of the walk in the cold I planned to do to South Street Seaport.

It was really good to have a walk outside after dinner at the restaurant, to help digesting and to enjoy the beautiful views of the bridges at night. Only problem the stinging cold, but really enjoyable. From the restaurant I got to the pillar of the Manhattan Bridge. I got back at the hotel at midnight, very satisfied.

  • Hudson River Park
  • Brooklyn Promenade
  • Brooklyn Heights
  • DUMBO
  • Times Square
  • Rockefeller Center
  • 5th Ave
  • Fulton/Mark Joseph
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21 Jan 2011 (Fri) : Central Park, South Street Seaport, Empire Fulton

Daily report
 
ExpensesNotesTotal
Pizza + drink
(Cafe Amore Restaurant - Chambers st )

7.35$
Water Taxi
(Pier 11 - Fulton Landing DUMBO)
3+3 (two ways)
6.00$
NYC_2011-01-21 14-51-58
NYC_2011-01-21 14-51-58

I woke up quite later than usual, and left the hotel at around 10am. As I got outside I found out that it had been snowing in the night... Beautiful !
For this reason, after a short stop at the City Hall, I headed to Central Park. The views there with the snow are particular, and the sunny day really made the atmosphere magic.
I walked to the Bow Bridge and then back to the 59th St, with a quick stop at the statue of Balto. The statue of Balto is the most critical spot of the whole park : I can never find it easily; after walking around it for half an hour without finding it, I went to the Children's Zoo and asked the guys of the park's maintenance staff for directions, and their answer was "it's right over there, can't you see it ?". It actually was less than half a furlong away...

water-taxi-east-river-service-map.jpgWater Taxi - East River Service Map

After the park I went back to the hotel. Before the short rest I had a slice of pizza at the Cafe Amore restaurant, on Chambers St. Not that their pizza is memorable but it's cheap and it's eatable.
After lunch and nap I was ready again for another walk. So I left the room and went to the Hudson River, where walking is always nice; with the snow in a sunny day the park is beautiful.

It was good though to get in the Winter Garden at the Financial Center, becasue my hands and feet were starting to feel the cold.

Walking east, I stopped for a couple of photos in front of the Stock Exchange, then headed to South Street Seaport.
The area has many restaurants and bars, that are probably full of clerks and workers during working days. Some of the venues are nice, and there are beautiful spots to see. In 2006 we went for a pizza somewhere in this area and we quite liked it... although it was an american style pizza.

Once at South Street Seaport, I did not get inside. Instead, I walked to Pier 11 to get the water taxi to my favourite spot in the world.

The Water Taxi works in the morning (8-9.30am) and in the afternoon (4.15-7.15pm) for the commuters, providing ferry service from Pier 11 to Fulton Ferry Landing and back, which is very very useful for a photographer who wants to enjoy the view of the sunset from a magic spot without having to walk too much.

The last ride back to Manhattan is a bit too early (7pm) but the trip is always beautiful and this time was magic because when I got to Pier 11 to wait for the ferry, it started to snow.

The Brooklyn Bridge and the River Cafe under the snow is a beautiful and unique view... Of course I walked to the park under the Manhattan Bridge, and although it was dark I managed to take good pictures.
Due to the cold, though, I decided to go back to Manhattan with the next ride back to Pier 11; when I got to the dock to wait for the ferry, it had already stopped snowing.

Once back to Manhattan I went again to South Street Seaport, probably to get something to eat, for sure to recover a bit from the cold.
From there I went back to the hotel, where I fell asleep.

  • Central Park
  • Financial Center
  • Wall Street
  • South Street Seaport
  • Empire Fulton
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
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22 Jan 2011 (Sat) : Macy's, Bryant Park, Roosevelt Island

Daily report
 
ExpensesNotesTotal
Metrocard (rechargeable)
(Canal Street - Lafayette)
The new card had 20$+1.40$ bonus
20.00$
Sandwiches - Granbiscotto cooked ham
(Murray's Cheese, 73 Grand Central Terminal)

3.78$
Sandwiches - bread
(Grand Central Terminal)

?
Dinner
(T.G.I. Friday's, 42nd St)

?
NYC_2011-01-22 13-06-39
NYC_2011-01-22 13-06-39

After a "normal" wake up, I left the hotel for a walk around in the area. Then I took the subway and went uptown for a walk on the 5th avenue, until I arrived at the Empire State Building. Macy's is two blocks away, so I went there and decided to have a look inside; they have quite good stuff with very good prices. Unfortunately, my trolley is already full to bursting, therefore I couldn't buy anything to take back home with me.

Then I went to Bryant Park, to check if my friend was right about something, and she was : you can ice skate for free in the rink there, provided that you take your own ice skates, becasue otherwise you have to rent them. Not that I wanted to try... my legs were vetrified from the walking and the cold. In fact, I preferred to sit on a chair outside the rink and stay there for almost an hour, ignoring the cold of the chair which was attacking my backside. When I finally stood up to go, I was barely able to walk.

From Bryant Park I walked to the Rockefeller Center; I visited inside the St.Patrick Cathedral and took some photos which are really good for the light conditions. I also filmed a part of a Baptism ceremony, to test the video capabilities of the camera.

spiderman-roosevelt-tram.jpgRoosevelt Island Tramway - scene from Spider-Man (2002)

Then I went to the Grand Central Terminal, to wait for my friend's arrival. This time I had my camera with me, and there too I took some nice photographs; the new camera is really good ! Checking the timetable of the arrivals, I saw that my friend's train was late with the schedule, therefore I had a walk around in the terminal, there are nice shops.

NYC_2011-01-22 14-52-33.JPGGrand Central Market, inside the station

And I found the Grand Central Market, which is a grocery store inside the terminal. It's very nice, with several food stands/shops and very good stuff exposed. Being all food, lots of the goods were Italian or anyway had (genuine as well as fake) Italian brands. The temptation to try something was too strong, so I decided to buy a panino (sandwich, bun) with prosciutto cotto (cooked ham).
After a short look around, I bought two bread rolls, at a stand which name I can't remember, that were surprisingly cripsy, compared to the rubbery-bouncy standard ones; and I bought 4oz of Gran Biscotto, that I was able to find at Murray's Cheese. At Murray's Cheese they said they could not stuff the bread rolls for me, therefore I had to do it myself; outside the market I placed the packet with the ham at the bottom of a staircase, on the column, and made my sandwiches there. I thought I would attract attention a bit, with my improvised kitchen counter... Instead, I finished the work in the total indifference of the people who kept walking by me frantically up and down the stairs. The sandwiches were really good... I could have saved one for my friend, but I did not... I hope she can forgive me, if she is reading this report...
About the Grand Central Market (see here and here), I have been looking for pictures of it in the internet, and I have seen that my pictures are much better than the ones I have found. I regret I didn't take a picture of the sandwiches I made.

Once back in Manhattan we had time for a quick dinner, and we decided to go to a T.G.I. Friday's restaurant, which I had seen not far from the Grand Central Terminal. Once in the area, I was not really sure where it was, but walking along the 42nd St we found it. The food we picked was good, while the level of service was below the standard... Using my friend's words, the waiter was a jerk.
We went to the Grand Central Terminal and my friend took her train to go back home. I really enjoyed the day with her and our trip to Roosevelt Island; I hope we'll be able to meet again and pick some other place to visit.

After I said bye to her I went straight to the hotel, to take a nap... but I almost fell asleep in the shower, and then crashed on the bed with the TV and lights on, sleeping till the morning after.

  • 5th Ave
  • Macy's
  • Bryant Park
  • Rockefeller Center / St.Patrick Cathedral
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • T.G.I. Friday's (42nd St)
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NYC_2011-01-22 17-50-09

23 Jan 2011 (Sun) : 5th Ave, Times Square, New York City - Milan

Daily report
 
Flight(s)Flight #Departure/ArrivalNotes
New York City JFK -> Milan Malpensa MPXAlitalia AZ7603 (DL160)18.40EST-9.00CET2h delay at departure
 
ExpensesNotesTotal
Sandwiches at the food store near riverside
(Food store on North End Ave)

20$ (?)
NBA tshirt - Orlando Magic . Howard
(NBA Store, 5th Ave@52nd)

80.00$
Black NY hat
(stand at Times Square)

5.00$
Subway to the Air Train JFK
5.00$
Coffee
(Starbucks - JFK Intl.Airport)
2.00+0.18(tax)
2.18$
Water 25oz
(Sbarro - JFK Intl.Airport)
2.99+0.27(tax)
3.26$
Marlboro Gold 20 packs box
(Duty Free Americas - JFK Intl.Airport)

34.00$
NYC_2011-01-23 04-45-37
NYC_2011-01-23 04-45-37

Up very early in the morning at around 3am, stayed in the room packing my stuff and at 4am got the subway to Times square for a walk; the early time gave me the chance to see a nice rat hanging around on the platform of the subway 1. Then back in the hotel room for finish packing. At 8am walk to Riverside Park / Hudson River, to buy sandwiches for the day. I couldn't resist and had to had a sandwich right away, on the benches of the Hudson River Park.
Back to the hotel and check out at 11am. With the subway 6 to 51st St, then to 5th ave for a walk and to buy the basket ball tshirt of Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic, at the NBA Store (5th Ave and 52nd St) : 80$.

Then to Times Square where I bought a black hat for 5$. Then to the airport.

Flight delayed by 2 hours because the plane was not there (due to a delay of another flight). Movies watched during the flight : again "The American" and bits of "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps".

  • Times Square
  • Hudson River Park
  • 5th Ave, NBA Store
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NYC_2011-01-23 12-42-28

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