First thing, we went for a walk half way across the Williamsburg Bridge. We wanted to see if we could get a different view of midtown Manhattan, but it turns out that they've got screening mesh across most of it so that you can't throw things (or yourself!) onto the cars and subway trains that are also crossing the bridge.
It was a little chilly. We actually saw snowflakes, something we haven't seen since we were skiing in Colorado last April.
Our son Alex, with Kevin, out for a morning walk.
Looking back across the Hudson River at Brooklyn, New York.
This is our third time in New York City, and I'm noticing that I like the city more and more each time. I would like to actually spend a month or two living here. Besides Manhattan, it would be nice to explore Brooklyn, Queens, and some of the other boroughs. And, it would give us sufficient time to use a New York CityPASS.
We had been offered the use of a couple of these passes, but due to a variety of factors we didn't actually receive it until yesterday at noon. Don't ask me why the UPS customer center doesn't open until noon. Strange. So unfortunately we didn't get to take full advantage of everything the pass has to offer.
But, the top priority for us was the entrance to the Empire State Building. So we rushed over there shortly after we picked up the passes at noon. We had a lunch appointment for 2:00pm, so it didn't leave us a lot of room for wasting time. We had Alex with us, and the passes allow for same day entrance during daylight hours and again during the evening so that you can see the city all lit up. So I went up with Alex for the daytime view.
Fortunately, it wasn't busy at all and we didn't have to wait in any kind of a lineup. Oh, until we got to the 80th floor. One elevator takes you to the 80th floor and then you have to use a different elevator to get to the observation deck on the 86th floor. But they only have two elevators for that, and one was not working for whatever reason. So they said you could wait in the lineup for 15 or 20 minutes, or you could take the six flights of stairs. Without hesitation, Alex and I took off for the stairs, along with a half a dozen or so other people.
Looking towards Lower Manhattan
Same view at night!
Unfortunately, it was a little overcast. But it's still a breathtaking view of the city. I'd have a tough time paying the $27 regular adult fee for this experience, but with the CityPASS you also get entry to a variety of museums and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island boat tour. If you've got the time and inclination to do all of those things, the CityPASS will save you 40%, so you would be crazy not to buy one. But if you're going to pick and choose out of the options, you would have to do the math to see if it makes financial sense or not.
Looking towards New Jersey.
Same view at night!
The view definitely makes you say "wow"!
We rushed back down and back onto the subway to meet Volkan and Heather at the Whole Foods store restaurant section. This couple had been instrumental in our decision to visit Bulungula Lodge on South Africa's Wild Coast. They had been there, and we had come across their email address online at one point and he sent me some info. We kind of stayed in touch through email along the way and recently they asked if we wanted to meet for lunch here in the city! Of course we did!
And so we sat an chatted for an hour and a half and had so much to talk about that we forgot to get a picture of us all together. That's okay, because I think it's one of those meetings where you can see yourself getting together again at some point in the future.
And then, we had to rush off again to get Alex to Newark airport in time for his 6:00pm flight back to Ottawa! So, back on the subway and up to Penn Station where he bought his train ticket to the airport. Said a quick goodbye, and by this time it was shortly after 4:00pm. We were thinking of trying to squeeze a museum visit in, but decided to go back to the apartment, rest up a bit, and have some dinner before heading back to the Empire State Building for the nightime views.
We did exactly that, and arrived back at around 8:00pm. However, it was much busier and we had to wait in the security lineup for a half hour or so. Again, Ruth and I took the stairs from the 80th to the 86th floor to avoid that lineup although it wasn't very long.
Looking towards Times Square.
We're up early again. Why? Headed back to the airport. In a few hours we'll be in Cancun, Mexico!
Prices and information valid March 1, 2014 - Feb. 28, 2015
Save 41 percent off admission to New York City’s must-see attractions and skip most main-entrance ticket lines. New York CityPASS ticket booklets: $109 adults; $82 youth, 6-17. Purchase online at CityPASS.com or at the participating attractions. Includes:
• Empire State Building Observatory
• American Museum of Natural History
• The Metropolitan Museum of Art
• The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
• Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum
• Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise