Friday 23rd November
Another flying day today meant we were up at the crack of dawn. Well, I was up at 5:30am because that’s when Doyle wanted his breakfast. Anyway, once we were all 100% packed and dressed, we headed down to the Haymarket to check out the cheap fruit and vegetables, but decided we couldn’t really carry any of it in our luggage to New York. So we set back to the Custom House, picked up our luggage, and headed back to the airport on the subway. It was only two stops, and then a free shuttle to our terminal. We arrived fairly early, so there was a fair bit of waiting around until we were allowed to board.
The flight to New York was only about an hour. There wasn’t much time in the sky to do anything. I didn’t even get to finish the Sudoku puzzle I was working on in the airline magazine.
It took us a while to decide how we were going to get to our accommodation in Manhattan, but eventually we decided on the $2 public M60 bus. It was a lot cheaper than any of the other buses or a taxi, and it stopped not far from where we’re staying. We checked in at around 2pm and spent a little while looking at some brochures we picked up to make some quick decisions about what we might like to do while we’re here. We also discovered a couple open wireless networks we could borrow Internet access from – so I will be able to post this blog from New York after all!
We then headed out, cutting across Central Park to get to the East side, and walked to the Guggenheim Museum to pick up a City Pass – a book of tickets that allows us to see 4 museums, see the Empire State Building’s Observatory, and take a cruise, all the while saving us money on the attractions. We didn’t use any of the tickets today, though, as we didn’t think we’d have enough time. Instead we walked down 5th Avenue a bit further, turned and walked down Madison Avenue a little while, then Park Avenue, then Lexington until we found a supermarket and decided to do some grocery shopping.
It was getting late by the time we finished and we had small enough change that we needed, so we found the nearest subway station and bought a 7-day pass each for $24. Given rides are $2 anyway, I figured it was probably worth it. There was no way I was walking all over Manhattan again. It’s too far to walk everywhere you want to go, especially from where we’re staying. It took us two trips and three changes to get back to our hostel but we made it – despite New York having probably the most confusing Subway system I’ve been on.
It took a while to settle Doyle. I’d excited him too much. Oops! But he went to bed at a reasonable time still.
Saturday 24th November
Staying in a hostel means noisy drunken people arriving back to their rooms in the middle of the night. Which meant Doyle woke up twice. The second time he ended up in our bed for the first time since whenever the last time I mentioned it was. When we eventually all got up, we headed out around 9am or so. Before heading out though, I did find out that Labor won the Australian election.
We took a different route through Central Park to get to the Guggenheim Museum this morning. One that got us there quicker. We spent a couple hours there – certainly not as long as I thought we might, as we finished up there at noon. We saw some pieces of artwork by a number of famous artists, including more Picassos than I could count. I loved the rotundas that lead us up to each floor.
We had our pre-made lunch in Central Park, then headed three blocks down the street to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, better known as the Met. We thought, since we didn’t spend that long at the Guggenheim, it probably wouldn’t take us that long to get through the Met either. Wrong! We were lucky it closed at 9pm on Saturdays because we were pretty much there until it closed. We were there a good eight hours. And probably lucky that some of the exhibits were closed for refurbishment, otherwise we wouldn’t have seen everything. As it was we accidentally missed the second floor of the American section. And we rushed, too. I think you could easily spend a week at the Met if you wanted to see everything in detail, and also follow the audio guide. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but that museum is huge,
A lot more famous artists have work here, too. From Dali to Goya to Picasso to Miro to Vassar to Warhol to Pollock. There was even a Hironymous Bosch. They use a very liberal definition of the word “art” in their name, too. But perhaps that’s why it’s a museum and not a gallery. There’s an entire Egyptian Temple in one wing, rooms from various houses in all parts of the museum, even a Chinese garden. Lots of ancient artifacts from Greece, Rome, Egypt, Persia – wherever else you can think of. Honestly, it’s no wonder Americans don’t need to travel outside their own country to see the world. They can just visit the Met. It’s an amazing museum to visit, I just have one warning: your feet and legs will get incredibly tired. And you probably need an entire day to dedicate to viewing the museum if you intend to see it all.
Thank goodness all we had to get home was cut back across through Central Park to find a subway station. We caught it only two stops away, just by our hostel. So, two out of six of our City Pass tickets were used today. I think we’ll break from museums tomorrow, though, and see a bit more of New York.