Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day One in New York City!

We started off our first full day in New York City (a Friday) by purchasing a 48-hour Gray Line double-decker bus tour. And boy did we get our money's worth out of that! Over the next few days we did the Downtown Tour, Uptown Tour, Night Tour, and the boat tour around the Statue of Liberty that also came with it. It was so great! So NYC Traveler's Tip #7 is. . . do the double-decker bus tour! It's completely worth the money, and you can hop on and off as much as you want.

In the warm months I know they don't cover the top level, but of course in the freezing weather they had a top over everything. The first bus we went on was completely inclosed, and as the tour went on I kept getting warmer and warmer and shedding more layers of clothes. Eventually I started feeling sick, because it was just too warm and there was no breeze, so we had to get off that bus and catch the next one. Luckily, every other bus we went on was always open in the very back, so we just sat near the back by the delicious cold air and I was fine the rest of the time!

Central Park was all brown and a little snowy. I'd love to see it all green and gorgeous sometime! But because it looked like this, we really didn't venture too far into it on this trip. When I go in the spring or summer, I want to take a carriage ride in Central Park. Those look awesome!
We got off the bus again near the World Trade Center site, but we were kind of disappointed to see that there wasn't much to see. Just a big fence around the construction site.
They did have this memorial up on a wall, and a bunch of signs about all the stuff they'll be building in the future. But, at least for now, there just isn't much to see there.
We also got off at Rockefeller Center! The ice skating rink there was smaller than I had imagined. I wish I could have seen it all lit up for Christmas.
NYC Traveler's Tip #8: Go to the observation deck at the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center! When I was choosing between doing this or the Empire State Building (they cost the same. . . $20 a person), I read lots of reviews online that said the Top of the Rock was much better, less crowded, a cooler view, and a nicer observation deck with glass walls instead of chain-link fence. So we decided to do this, and it was really awesome! Right inside the building was this really cool crystal chandelier.
NYC Traveler's Tip #9: When you do go up to the top, go right around sunset time. We got such gorgeous views and pictures of the sun setting over the city, and then we waited inside for it to get a little darker so we could get some nighttime views as well. It was the perfect time to go to the top!
I loved how you could see such a great view of the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock. Those are a couple other advantages for going up Top of the Rock. . . you get to see great views of the Empire State Building and also Central Park.

There were three different viewing levels, and the very top one didn't even have sheets of glass around it, it was just open! I'm glad our pictures don't have chain link fences between us and the city.

We saw all the city lights starting to come on, and it was SO cool!!!
When we got out of Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral was directly in front of us. I thought this picture was really neat.
NYC Traveler's Tip #10: Every Friday from 4-8 pm, the Museum of Modern Art is completely free for everyone. That is such an awesome deal, especially since this museum normally charges $20 admission per person! So we spent Friday evening at the museum and saw some really cool works of art! We didn't go to every exhibit, but my very favorite was the huge wing they have of 19'th Century and Impressionist art. I loved it!!!

I don't know who this artist is, but I thought this was a beautiful painting.

Gotta love Van Gogh! It's especially amazing to see his works in person, because you can see the thickness of the paint and all the details of the technique he used.

Cezanne. . .

Picasso. . .

Not sure who this is, but it was cool. . .

This painting by Monet was three panels long, took up a massive wall, and was seriously stunning!
They also had some really awesome, huge Jackson Pollock paintings. I'm so glad we went to this museum!

To be continued again. . .


  1. WOW!!! Such gorgeous views! I'll note that about going to the Rock instead of the Empire State because I would really love to see the outside of the Empire State Building anyway. That tour bus is great too!! And that cathedral too....WOW!!! Seriously wow! I think I might just plan it all in the spring though when we do go someday, you look SOOOOOOO cold!!!

  2. all that in one day! you are an impressive traveler! i am loving your traveler's tips!

  3. Yep, we WERE cold!!! Spring would be the best time to visit, I think. Summer would be too hot!

  4. I'm sooooo Jealous. I went to NY once when I was 16. We spent about 2 hours there, and all we did was go to the Statue of Liberty. I'm glad I did it, but wish we had spent more time.

  5. Wow, I'm so excited to see what you did next! What a great start to an awesome vacay!

  6. GREAT pics!!! I love visiting NYC!

  7. It looks like your research really paid off!! What a great day!

  8. wow Ashley!!!!!!!
    i love that butterfly painting!!! i would pay big $$$$ to have that hanging in my bedroom! ;)

  9. That butterfly painting is by Odilon Redon. Isn't it pretty? Redon has a lot of interesting work; I've been meaning to post on my blog about him. Thanks for reminding me to do that! :)

    Looks like you had lots of fun!


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