Laying out our winter clothes - New York, day 1
As smells of spring fill the air; as poppies bloom in corals and orange hues, and the sea salt spray permeates the soft sunny breezes from San Fran’s ocean-side Sunset District to North Beach, California Street and the South Bay - Rob and I left the west (and the towns we love the best), laid out our winter clothes and headed East for New York town, New York.
Buildings goin’ up to the sky
Wintertime in New York town…”
(Talkin’ New York)
Aw maaaaaaan. Even with frost biting at my wrists - the uncovered spot between my gloves and my jacket, rookie mistake - even with the snow freezing our noses and the wind freezing our bones the eclectic energy and excitement and general awesomeness of the city is just as strong as ever.
Just taking an uber/taxi from JFK International to Manahattan is an experience - across the Queenborough from Queens driving down Park Avenue counting down the streets (“Oooooooh 5th Avenue, FIFTH AVENUE!!!” to quote my text to Rob, who was waiting at our hotel).
###First stop, Bars: The Heath at The McKittrick Hotel
As soon as I arrived we were off! Chelsea is an amazing place to stay. The city is so easy to navigate. We walked to this bar on 27th and 10th called The Heath.
Photos compiled from The Heath website
As we stepped in from the extreme cold of lower west dock-side, the lift operator guided us forward and in a few moments we were right back in the speakeasy twenties. To the left was an old train carriage, to the right a coatman (so civilized) with an accent (of course, hardly anyone is ever actually from here!) whose first advice was to check out upstairs - a fabulous guilded age rooftop bar called The Lodge with glorious city views by open fires and a log cabin that would be at home in Tahoe. Fox skins on the walls and mulled wine to fight the -20 celsius chill.
Gif from The Lodge website that beautifully sumarises the cosy and amazing experiences.
Mulled wine! (I ended up ditching it and finishing Rob’s beer tbh - yay for husbands!)
The Heath itself is downstairs, the menu is classic comfort food with a modern edge - a hearty veg stew for vegetarians and amazing desserts (apple cobbler was amazing) - and a swing band improvising standards on the stage. Perfect!
####Exploring the Upper West and East Sides: Central Park in the snow
The next morning, from our hotel in Chelsea the subway was a totally easy option north - it’s a great way to explore because all the major stops are sights to see! And totally inexpensive.
From the subway at 86th and Broadway - amongst beautiful Victorian era Upper West-side houses lining wide streets (very different to Chelsea!!) - I walked through the park along the running track at the Jacqui Onassis Reservoir.
The reservoir was iced over except at the fountain in the middle. There was a lady feeding the birds (“hm hm hmm, tuppence a bag…”). It was eerily quiet, but serene and peaceful. The footprints in the snow testified to so many people who I’m sure commute through the park each day and yet, there was no one around. Probably the quietest spot in the whole city!
####Exploring the Upper West and East Sides: The Met
There is simply nothing I can say to fully describe The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Except that it makes me feel at peace with the world to know there is an institution protecting the world’s relics and art in such a holistic and profound way.
Here is one of the spectacular pieces from the American Wing’s beautiful Engelhard Court on the Central Park side of the museum (first floor): Bacchante and Infant Faun
This is a beautiful part of the museum - particularly a good spot for a coffee break at the cafe nearby!
And some other pieces: from a beautiful window in the medieval collection Scenes from the Legend of Saint Vincent of Saragossa and the History of His Relics
If I could, I would pitch a tent and live in the foyer - seriously even the foyer is so beautiful.
Or out here on the steps…
####Exploring the Upper West and East Sides: Lunch! (And other essentials)
My mistake was attempting to use Yelp in NYC (seriously, does technology only work in San Francisco!?? Just kidding, but seriously).
I couldn’t find the supposed lunch place I was looking for on Fifth. So I wandered up East 86th passed lovely Mad Avenue towards Lexington. I found this CUTE and quirky French restaurant, Demarchelier, with hot (key word: hot) asparagus soup, bread and a yummy bordeaux (well, when in a French resaurant on the Upper East Side!). Very quirky menu complete with French Asterix excerpts.
####South bound: The Flatiron Building on Fifth and Broadway
New York architecture is so amazing - not just because it’s beautiful, but because it provides an incredible window in the sociology of the time and the way people were thinking.
The Flatiron District sits at the southern end of Mad Avenue between Park Avenue and Sixth. The building for which it is named is at the southern point of Broadway and Fifth.
At 22 stories it was one of the first sky scrapers in New York - which makes it an incredible landmark in the history of modern engineering, that only 113 years ago 22 stories was considered as tall as it gets.
The terra cotta detailing is beautiful, and the neighbourhood around the building is really cool - great for exploring!
Empire State from the Flatiron Building…
Literally too cold to smile!!
###Up next: more bar hopping with Aussie friends in NYC. Check out Days 2 & 3 in my next post here…
Ps. Don’t forget to leave a comment! What was your NYC experience? Just as freezing, yet awesome, as ours? We can’t wait to hear.
- Liv & Rob xx