Friday, September 13, 2013

Saturday Snapshot Manhattan Meanderings - September 2013


Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy

September 2013 - Manhattan New York

Sep 3 - Day 1

We flew to Newark on Porter Airlines from Toronto's island airport on the 9 AM flight. It is so much more fun to fly on a small plane from this airport than to travel to Pearson International Airport. The island airport is located downtown.
Our friends fly from Buffalo so we met up at the hotel, the Hampton Inn Times Square North.

This hotel is walking distance within five blocks of Times Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue.

We immediately stepped out for lunch at the Stardust Diner home of the singing waitstaff.

This is a rather pricey diner but you are paying for the entertainment. We had burgers for much less in other restaurants in Manhattan. It is still worth a visit as the servers are amazing! They will also pass a bucket for donations.

Time to wander over to Times Square.

Pick up our hop on hop off tickets and buy some tickets for Motown.

We decide to start our hop on tour right away since we have three days of use. We take the downtown tour without getting off.

Our tour guide was not that good, he was too busy talking about himself and his ideas, but we enjoyed it anyway.

Empire State Building

Flat Iron Building

Washington Square

United Nations flags of all 193 countries plus the UN flag are arranged in English alphabetical order. As we passed by the flags were being lowered for the day.

We got off the bus at Rockefeller Centre as our bus tour included tickets for Top of the Rock.

While you wait for the elevator you get a photo taken (if you wish) showing your party sitting on a beam based on this famous photo. Source
Construction workers eat their lunches atop a steel beam 800 feet above ground, at the building site of the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center.

Looking towards Central Park

Looking down at St. Patrick's Cathedral and the New York Palace, an extremely luxurious hotel.

A close up of the new year ball in Times Square.

Then it was time for a drink at ground level Rockefeller Square - this is where the skating rink is set up in the winter.

It was getting dark as we walked back to the hotel.

Sep 4 - Day 2

The highlight today was a visit to the 9/11 Memorial that I had written about earlier this week. We took a cab as it was rush hour and we wanted to be sure we were on time. We were.

A visit to the Memorial Visitors' Center located at 90 West St.

Time for lunch at Bill's Bar and Burgers in the financial district just across from the 9/11 Memorial.

Time for more sightseeing.

The Bull on Broadway. We had to line up to get photos.

Recovered from the rubble of the Twin Towers after the September 11 attacks in 2001, the artwork faced an uncertain fate, and it was dismantled into its components. Although it remained structurally intact, it had been visibly damaged by debris from the airliners that were crashed into the buildings and from the collapsing skyscrapers themselves.

Trinity Church

St.Paul's Chapel - drop by on Sunday for a detailed post about the chapel.

It was very warm and sunny so we decided to get on the hop on bus and take it back to Times Square. Traffic was very busy due to a police investigation just before the United Nations.
We stopped for a beer at Hurley's on 48th between Broadway and 8th before the night tour that was included in our package.

We boarded the 6:30 tour and had another unimpressive tour guide.

Dinner was at a French bistro on 8th Ave that was delicious. I had duck!

Sep 5 - Day 3

We planned on taking the uptown hop on today but the busses were very crowded. So we got off at Central Park Strawberry Fields. We wandered across the street to the Dakota Building where John Lennon lived and was shot. The doormen as people to move as  a resident's car was arriving. Three of us looked directly at the passenger in the front seat driven by a chauffeur.
Our friend twigged who it was and said to the doorman "that was Yoko Ono, wasn't it", and the doorman smiled and nodded.

We had decided we wanted to take a carriage ride but had to walk to the front entrance of the park to get one.

 After our carriage ride we hopped onto the Uptown bus tour and finally got a great guide, Jonathan. Our plan was to get off at St. John the Divine but it was hot, the bus was packed and the guide was suggesting we don't get off as the lines were long to get back on. So we decided to just do the bus tour. 

Well, then doesn't the guide ask who would like a quick five minute tour of the church!!! So he took us all inside and gave a quick overview, better than nothing!
Back on the bus and he decides to take us along the Hudson to show us where Sully safely landed the plane.

Then we went through Harlem and then back to the East Side past the museums. Jonathan pointed out who lived where. Then he  gave us the rundown on the best "real" New York places to eat.
Pizza - John's
Cheesecake - Junior's
Burgers - Shake Shack
Steak - Gallagher's

Our plan was to have a bite and then do the river cruise included in our package but the last one was at 4 PM so we decided to go in the morning instead.
We took the guide's recommendation and went to Junior's for a late lunch.

 Please! If you go here SHARE the cheesecake, the portions are enormous!! No dinner for us tonight!

 Sep 6 - Day 4
We take a cab to Pier 78 to board the river cruise. It is sunny but chilly at 9 AM today. The boat is crowded so we made sure to get a good spot. The tour guide was excellent.

The river cruise allows the best views of the Statue of Liberty for photos!

Our friends were leaving today so we grabbed a quick lunch around the corner from the hotel at The House of Brews. 

Excellent burgers cooked to your preference. AND excellent fries which, from me, is a big compliment!

Saying goodbye...

We took a stroll to 5th Ave, stopped into St. Patrick's which is under major renovations. Then continued over to 42 St. and back to the hotel for a rest before going to see Motown.

The show is excellent and doesn't finish until 11 PM.

We went to John's Pizzeria for dinner. The pizza was excellent, however, they start closing up as we were being served.

Sep 7 - Day 5

We're going home today so we got up late and went out for a walk towards Central Park and then for brunch at the Cosmic Diner.

Columbus Circle in front of Central Park.

Photo taken from our hotel room.

Time for our limo to Newark for our flight home.


  1. Excellent trip... Thanks for bringing back my memories to this places...

  2. Wow, you got some fabulous shots on your trip.

  3. Looks like you really enjoyed the trip! Lots of interesting (and surprising?) sights. Good eats too!

  4. What a great collection in pictorial memories of NYC. I was there in '92 chaperoning high school kids from Calif. & many of your photos woke my memories of the city - such as the guy in his undies with cowboy hat & guitar, or the living Statue of Liberty. We were there over Easter & walked down 5th Avenue with the rest of the crazies so those photos brought back similar memories. Also the Empire State Bldg. Most folks only get to the 87th floor (I think?) observation deck. But my daughter & I wangled a trip up the last 12 floors to the little round room at the very top. Unfortunately it was a foggy day & we couldn't see a thing. But we'll always know we were there! About those carriage rides in Central Park - they look charming & romantic, but unless you had a nicely sprung vehicle, we found them to be rather bumpy & uncomfortable but at least we rode in one! A NYC 'must', I suppose.

  5. What an amzing trip you had.
    I've only been to NY once but loved it and would love to go back some time. Definitely want to go up to the Top of the Rock next time and walk the High Line.

  6. Oh,I love your pictures. It's all exactly as I imagine, and you've made me feel as if I was there, tasting the food, looking at the streets, the signs, the lights, the people and the buildings (especially those shots looking up the buildings into the sky). My Snapshot is at - still on my 'other' blog!

  7. Great memories - we were there last year's May. We had great tour guides - some friends who live in NJ.
    I'm jealous, you saw the 'Naked cowboy' in Times Square - we didn't see him.

  8. Great photos...looks like you had a great trip too.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Saturday Snapshot

  9. There is no place quite like New York City!

  10. So much to see in NYC and you surely saw a lot of it!! I enjoyed the trip via photos.

  11. Amazng and just delightful scintillating place to spend in your vacation. Love the city.


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