NYC Tour: Part 2

14 June 2008

June 6 - Visit to the Central Park!!! Where I met up with a couple of online friends. Then we visited the little but expensive stuff toys at FAO Schwarz. After eating lunch, we went down to Battery Park to catch the Staten Island Ferry. It's a FREE cruise towards the Staten Island, which takes less than 30 minutes. It gives you a view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island too, then the NYC skyline on the way back. There was a lot of walking, so my feet hurts.. I was wearing my girly shoes so its not really comfortable for walking. After the ride, we went back uptown to find the Trump Tower and the Jumeirah Essex House, which was a task one of my sister told us to do. After a lot more walking, we found the Trump Tower but not the Jumeirah one. Mission: Failed. Bummer :(

So then we went downtown, somewhere in East Village, to find the famous Cannolis. Another task from a different sister. After getting lost and walking 10 streets and 5 avenues, then realizing we had to go the other way.... we finally found Veniero's -- the place popular for cakes and pastry. We bought the chocolate pieces and walked back 10 streets towards the nearest subway. My poor feet is still healing.

June 7 -- By 4am, we were at my sister's car driving towards Washington DC. After leaving all our bags at her place, we headed towards Virginia to grab some breakfast. Unfortunately most of the restaurants were still closed at 10 on a Saturday morning. So we went to Panera's for our caffeine fix and sandwich. We then went back to DC to visit Washington Monument. But it was really hot that day... probably around 90 degrees Fahrenheit so we decided to go back home and sleep. hehe! We went out again later that night to have photo-ops with the Capitol and etc.

June 8 -- 6am, I was ready to leave (alone) to go back to New York... took the Greyhoundz bus from DC to NYC which took about 4 hours. Arrived at Penn Station by 10, tried to kill time by surfing the internet at the nearest Starbucks. Got bored, so I shopped around for some souvenirs. By 1:30pm, I was at Grand Central Station catching another train towards Rye to a friend's house, the ride was about 50 minutes. We toured their neighborhood... then by 5:15pm, we were ready to go back to the city. We were planning on dining in at Hard Rock Cafe, but we weren't able to since we're running late for our Broadway show at 7pm. Fortunately we didn't get lost looking for the theater. We're seated minutes before the show started. Les Miz and Miss Saigon wasn't on, so we watched Grease -- which was really funny plus I know the lyrics to all their songs. :p After the show, I have to go back to my train station. But it was raining, and I couldn't get a cab... so ummm.. yea, the walking around NYC in the rain was kinda an unforgettable experience. I was drenched, but after my 2 hours commute back to New Jersey... my jacket and pants have dried up.

June 9 - my flight back home... Goodbye New Jersey... Goodbye New York... I'm definitely coming back! :p I haven't seen the naked Cowboy yet. lol.

Until the next adventure!!!

NYC Tour: Part 1

The original plan was tour New York City for a week, but the itineraries changed and I got to tour different states of the east side. Moowahahaha! So here's the tour overview:

June 3 - First day! While looking for a decent place to stay that is within my budget, staying in a hotel room in New Jersey is the smartest choice. It would take approximately 2 hours to travel to NYC, so we had to leave early for our double decker bus tour. For our commute: first we have to take the hotel shuttle to the airport... then ride an AirTrain that would take us to the bus stop. Take the bus towards Newark Penn Station.. Take a PATH train towards Journal Square.. transfer to another train towards 33rd St., and voila! you're in New York City! This is quite tiresome, but it's fun. You get to experience what the regulars do from day to day. This is also our first time to take a subway!!! woot! at first, it seems daunting.. what if i get lost and all that stuff, but then I realized as long as I have my NYC subway map, I'll be fine.

So... getting off from Times Square exit, and as soon as I opened the door... the view was just.. WOW! it was so surreal! We were in Broadway street.. and the bright lights displayed early in the morning?!?!?! It's a total "pinch-me-i-must-be-dreaming" moment. Hey, can't blame me. I've been dreaming of that place since I was 12. that was a year ago, lol. kidding!

We took the Downtown Tour: that includes going around Times Square, Macy's, Madison Square Garden, Empire State Building, Noho/Soho, Wall Street, World Trade Center Site, South Seaport, China Town, Theater District, and others. Then another double-decker bus toured us around Brooklyn... and had a close-up view of, well...what else--the Brooklyn Bridge!

Later in the afternoon we took a 75-minute cruise that takes us around Statue of Liberty, the Ellis Island, and a view of the New York City Skyline.

June 4 - Second part of our double decker tour, It was raining but the tour must go on. We had the Uptown Tour - visiting Harlem, Central Park, Dakota (where John Lennon was shot), Apollo Theater, Columbia University, NYC museums, etc. I was really excited to see Guggenheim, but was extremely disappointed when I saw that it's under renovation. There was scaffolding surrounding the building... pffttt. We hopped off the bus to visit the Museum of the City of New York. After that, we headed back downtown to visit the New York City Public Library before taking the Night Tour of NYC. It was still raining.. so we had to wear ponchos during the tour.

After the tour, at around 8:45pm we went up to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building Observatory. Good thing there wasn't that much people. After taking some photos of New York's skyline at night, we hurriedly went back to NJ. It was really late, we arrived in our hotel at almost 12am.

June 5 - We stayed in bed a little later, it was okay since our Movie and TV Location Tour wouldn't start until 11am. The tour was took about 3.5 hours...and we visited a lot of tv/film locations in NYC including Friends, Ugly Betty, The Apprentice, Devil Wears Prada, Spiderman, the McDonalds where SuperSize Me was shot, Ghostbusters, Coyote Ugly, In Good Company, Sleepers, 13 Going on 30, and a lot more shows I'm not even familiar with, but still worth knowing. I also a learned a thing about movie stalking. but it's a secret.. so don't ask. Shhh!

We also had a food-stop at Rice to Riches... and they have oh-so-heavenly rice pudding... otherwise known to us as... Champorado! Me and my sister being chocolate addicts, we tried the Rocky Road flavor.. and it was the best ever rice pudding EVER!!! lol. they have a lot of other flavors too like mango, tiramisu, cookies and cream, coconut, pistachios, etc.

After the tour, we went uptown to visit Columbia University... took some pictures and then realized we really need to pee, and for the lack of restrooms, we have to go downtown again to find one. lol. If you're planning on touring NYC, remember this! There's restroom in the Grand Central Terminal. Or if you happen to be nearby the Manhattan Mall, there's one available there too, otherwise good luck on finding the nearest Barnes & Noble cuz really they're the only ones who offer public restrooms in New York City. So... taking the subway, we're back to the downtown area where we continued our self-guided tour of the WTC site, Battery Park, took a picture with the Charging Bull, etc.