Arose leisurely after yesterday’s efforts, but managed to get to breakfast reasonably expeditiously. Very wet weather again.
Original plan was to walk the short distance to Battery Park on the very southern tip of Manhattan, as this was supposed to be a nice area with views of the harbour, but we got hijacked by a BigBus Tour representative, offering one of our favoured ways of seeing a city. However, the weather was such that sitting on the open top was impossible, so we had to move into a very crowded lower level. Steamed-up windows and poor commentary quality made this an unrewarding experience, and I was getting dripped on from the roof, so our original intention of staying on the bus the whole way round was curtailed by our disembarking at Times Square, about halfway round the downtown tour.
Times Square is, of course, world-famous, but it’s not until you see it for yourself that you realise just how glitzy, crazy and bonkers it is.
Dazedly, we just wandered around. And literally just came across Macy’s, supposedly the largest department store in the world.
I had, in an earlier Google search, spotted that there was a visitor centre based here, so we went in on a solemn promise from Jean that checking this out was the only objective, as I absolutely hate these massive department stores.
The only useful outcome from the visitor centre was a website, http://www.nycgo.com, which looks promising.
Let loose a woman in a store like Macy’s at your peril. Despite the earlier vow, we now had to go up to the 7th and 8th floors to see if there was anything suitable for our grandchildren. Nope. Made in China, and/or completely tasteless. Even Jean agreed.
By this time, I’d begun to find my bearings a bit, and the Empire State Building was next, a 10 minute walk away.
There was no point in taking the elevator up the building as we wouldn’t have been able to see anything, but we might come back on Thursday when the weather is supposed to be much better. So we contented ourselves with just browsing the ground floor of this historic and famous building.
We were now near 5th Avenue, so walked down it for a bit. Avenues run north/south and streets run east/west, rough check.
We then headed for the Rockefeller Centre, but we were intrigued by a massive cathedral across the road. This was St. Patrick’s, about which I knew absolutely nothing. Wikipedia comes to the rescue yet again at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Patrick’s_Cathedral_(Midtown_Manhattan)
Difficult to convey the scale of this colossal building.
Rockefeller Plaza next. A huge homage to the retail industry.
Time to go back to the hotel, then, so we found our way back to Times Square and boarded the BigBus hop-on-hop-off service. This time, we braved it on top of the bus, and it was generally a better experience on the return half of the downtown tour as a result, although we both got wet bums and a bit cold. Such is travel…
Some pictures on the way back.
Got back to our original starting point this morning, pretty cold and needing to get back to the hotel ASAP to warm up. This proved far more difficult than it should have been – Google Maps’ GPS was struggling amongst these tall buildings in the financial district – but we finally got there.
After hot showers and turning up the aircon temperature, we chickened out and went down to the hotel restaurant again for dinner. We will try and go out somewhere different tomorrow. Honest.
Anyway, it was very nice again, and we retired thankfully to bed afterwards.
Tomorrow? Staten Island Ferry? Doing the washing? (These things are important, you know). Getting a haircut? Battery Park? Central Park in the rain?
Let’s find out tomorrow, shall we?