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New York! The City that Never Sleeps

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New York! The City that Never Sleeps
I have travelled to New York several times for business.
This time my wife, Jessie, and I wanted to show our youngest daughter, Gwyneth, some of the sights in the city that never sleeps. It was her first trip and we had a lot of ground to cover.
We were on a 19-hour direct flight into Newark and we landed at 6am. After dropping off our luggage, we took to the High Line to stretch our legs.
The High Line is a 2.3km elevated linear greenway park, created on the former New York Central Railroad.
I have always enjoyed walking there. I must say I was pleasantly surprised: It’s even prettier than I had remembered it to be.
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New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Higline
The highline afforded a slightly elevated perspective of NYC.
We were on a 19-hour direct flight into Newark and we landed at 6am. After dropping off our luggage, we took to the High Line to stretch our legs.
They must have spruced up the area, or the pandemic allowed nature to take its course. With the numerous stops to take in the view, this short walk took us almost 2½ hours.
A Slice of Americana
It was Chelsea Market next for a quick lunch, always a pleasant place to drop in and experience the lunchtime buzz. We had a typical American meal of steaks and pasta.
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Cheesecake
Always time for a slice of cake.
Dinner was at Junior’s Restaurant and their delightful cheesecake!
It is an old-school American diner, the way I remembered NY restaurants to be. Portions are huge and, surprisingly, other than the steaks and ribs, I really liked their salads.
And, of course, no NY diner experience is complete without dessert and at Junior’s they have one of the best New York cheesecakes!
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Times Square
The bustle and energy of Times Square draws you into its captivating spell.
Dinner was followed by what was supposed to be a 30-minute stroll through Times Square, as we have been there numerous times. We ended up spending over two hours there! The energy was just unbelievable.
The next day, after breakfast, we were off to another old favourite, again for the benefit of Gwyn — Central Park, New York. And I am glad we did it.
Gwyn rented an e-scooter and zoomed around on her own whilst Jessie and I walked. Central Park is a respite and relief from the hustle and bustle of the city.
We were hungry from all our exertions and looked forward to lunch, at Cafe Sabarsky at the Beaux Arts Mansion, Neue Galerie, which has German and Austrian paintings and sculptures from 1890 – 1940, mainly from collections of the estate of Serge Sabarsky.
Cafe Sabarsky does not take reservations from the public, only the museum members. So we waited in line.
First outside the building, then another line inside to enter the restaurant.
The restaurant is retrofitted with an early 20th century theme and decorated with artifacts from that period.
In line with this, it serves classic cuisines from Austria and the surrounding areas.
We had the goulash soup and shared the schnitzel, a ‘liverwurst’ sandwich and a trout crepe. Of course, we had apple strudel to complete the meal!
The gallery and café will reopen in September after some restoration work.
Loving The Art
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, quite the visual spectacle.
What do you do after such a gorgeous meal?
You head off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Jessie and I headed straight to the current exhibition of the works of Juan de Pareja, a Spanish painter of mixed parentage.
He was born into slavery around 1610 and served the artist Diego Velazquez. Velazquez granted him freedom in 1650. From then till his death, he worked as an independent painter.
We stopped by Pig and Whistle pub for some Mexican food and beer. The evening concluded with us going up to the top of the Rockefeller for a beautiful night view of the city, in all its splendour.
Arbys, one of my favourite sandwich joints, is near our hotel and we packed roast-beef sandwiches and headed to Bryant Park.
I love Arbys for the real beef taste and the roast beef textures. Bryant Park has also changed from our last visit.
One of the world’s busiest public spaces, with more than 12 million visitors a year, there’s no more picnicking on the grass but instead there are ample seats and tables all around.
We bought coffee from the nearby kiosks and chilled. A great start to the day.
A Little Light Reading
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Library
Time for some education at the New York Public Library
After breakfast, we headed to the New York Public Library (Main Branch).
The library building was constructed in the Beaux-Arts style and was opened in 1911.
Many movies have been filmed there, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a few Spiderman movies, Ghostbusters, The Day After Tomorrow, and so on.
We spent a couple of hours there taking in the unique architecture and reading up on its history.
Dinner was at Le Pain Quotidien (French for ‘the daily bread’) on 44th Street, a Belgian bakery and cafe.
We had chicken and lentil soups, egg, cheddar and avocado sandwiches, Belgian waffles. Food was good but they are clearly understaffed. But a good lunch nonetheless.
Catch A Train
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Grand Central Terminal
Ceaseless activity at the Grand Central Terminal with the oft-filmed clock.
Then, it was off to seek out more architectural gems.
Grand Central Terminal is more than a train terminal. Opened in 1913, this is an architecture gem, also in the Beaux-Arts style.
It is a popular meeting place, an event venue, a movie location, and a place with much history. We also took a walk in the market inside the building. I love the smell and sounds.
After a fast-food dinner at Chick-fil-A, recommended by some local youths that Gwyn had interacted with, we dashed up to the Empire State Building for another view of NYC, this time in daylight.
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Empire State Building
Buildings galore, viewed from atop the Empire State Building
No trip to New York is complete without a Broadway experience.
This trip it was Hamilton (Gwyn’s choice). For Jessie and I who are more used to musicals like Phantom of the Opera an Les Miserables, this was quite different.
But we enjoyed it and we learnt a bit more of the history of the founding fathers. A great way to bring the evening to an end.
On our return to NYC after our conference in Washington DC, we had a little scare.
As we approached NYC, we discovered that my luggage was missing from the luggage compartment!
My first thought was someone had stolen my bag!
I am thankful that I had an AirTag in the bag as it showed us where the bag was. Some clown moved my bag and placed it between the backs of two seats for whatever reason!
Youthful Energy
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Washington Square Park
Scene of many a protest, Washington Square Park exudes a youthful energy.
After that spot of excitement, we were off to the Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village (the cradle of the LGBT movement and counter culture).
It is a place for hipster youths to hang out.
Washington Square has long been a hub for politics and urban culture.
President Barack Obama famously held a rally there and 20,000 people attended. It is the site also for many protests and demonstrations past.
We then set forth for the Bridge!
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge, the longest suspension bridge for a time.
Brooklyn Bridge spans Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East River.
Opened in 1883, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge at that time. Since then, it has served its purpose well.
A photographer’s paradise, it is also known for ‘climbers’ and ‘jumpers’ over the years. So much to take in, the bridge’s structure itself as well as the magnificent views, along with a gorgeous sunset.
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Lady
Got a light, lady?
For Gwyn’s benefit, we headed off to check out the French lady the next day.
The Statue of Liberty is a gift from the people of France, dedicated at its location in 1886. It is an icon of the USA.
In our many visits to NYC, this is the first time we actually set foot on both the Liberty and Elis Island, the country’s first federal immigration station.
The station opened in 1892. Three in ten Americans today can trace their ancestry to Elis Island.
There is just so much history to digest that before we knew it we overshot the allocated time.
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Pizza
Spidey senses a-tingling for a slice of the action at Joe’s Pizza
We hurried back to the mainland and headed to Joe’s Pizza for the best pizzas in New York City, and often called a ‘Greenwich Institution’.
The pizzeria serves by the slice. In Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker worked at Joe’s Pizza as a delivery boy and in 2022, Joe’s Pizza appeared in Doctor Strange.

"Without a doubt, this is the best pizza in New York." - Ben Affleck.
"I agree!" - Ben Goh

New York! The City that Never Sleeps - World Trade Centre
The World Trade Centre Oculus, one of NYC’s new architectural hot spots
The remainder of the afternoon was spent walking to Wall Street, Trinity Church and the World Trade Centre Memorial.
We recalled the buzz around the WTC prior to 9/11 and the quiet and pensiveness in the initial years after the Memorial with the fountains were built. This trip, the site felt more touristy.
We lightened the mood at Comedy Cellar though we had to put our names on the standby list. Fortunately, some folks didn’t show and we were in. Oh man, it was good!
New York! The City that Never Sleeps - Subway
The subway is the quickest way to get around the city.
After this, it was time for another late dinner and we wanted something not too heavy.
We took the subway from the west village where we were to the east village (all within Greenwich) to try out the 7th Street Burger. This was recommended to Gwyn again by some street youths we met earlier.
We found a non-descript small shop that had a very long line. And many people were eating their burgers standing on the sidewalk outside the shop.
We took ours back to the hotel. We were not disappointed. They were good.
On our last day in New York, we headed to Urban Hawker for a look-see and to prepare our palates for the journey home.
We had prawn noodles and I must say it’s very authentic. It is New York pricing though, so we didn’t go overboard with the ordering, as we were heading home soon.
We just wanted to experience the food there to see if the hype is worth it and we were not let down. We had plenty of Kopi-O and Kopi-C before strolling to the wharf.
We took a boat cruise along the Hudson River; another first for me in my many trips and quite an experience where we took in all the splendour of NYC from afar.
We followed up with dinner at Stella@34, a trattoria serving good traditional Italian cuisine and wine.
It was a fine way to round off a trip rich in experiences.
New York City never fails to satisfy.

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