As I mentioned in my last post, I’m currently traveling on a two-week vacation. I’m heading off to Israel tomorrow, but I spent this weekend in New York City with Matt, who is going home Monday while I meet up with my Birthright group. Yesterday was our first day in the city and both of our first times here. We are unashamed of being tourists, and tourists we were.
We had an early flight (7:20am) out of Detroit, so we got up at 4am and were out the door by 5. That actually ended up being too late as we only got to our gate one minute before boarding since I had to check a bag, but it all worked out. 🙂
The flight from Michigan to New York is very short and we were off the plane and had collected my luggage by 9am! And then… We waited an hour and a half for our shuttle to our hotel. Something about not knowing we needed to talk to a desk, blah blah we were wrong blah. 😛
We eventually made it to our hotel after what turned out to be a really enjoyable shuttle ride. Our driver with Airlink was really fun to talk to and we hardly noticed the hourish drive. We got to our hotel at about noon and still had a full day ahead of us in the city! Not bad at all.
The first thing we had to do was find some food. I had my heart set on a Jewish deli (real ones are hard to find in Ann Arbor) and we found Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen just a few blocks from our hotel! I was really happy to see that it was actually certified kosher. I don’t keep kosher, but there’s a special place in my heart for kosher delis. 🙂 I had the hot corned beef on rye with Russian dressing (on the side because that’s how they gave it to me) and it was SO FANTASTIC. That sandwich is definitely still my favorite of the food I have eaten here after two days.
The deli was in the Garment District, so I decided to see if there was a yarn store in the area. I found one a few blocks away, School Products Yarns, so we went to it! It was on the sixth floor of its building and the elevator was really old with an actual operator, which was cool. The store itself kinda sucked though. They carried about one brand and just… not good. That’s that.
A better time was when we happened upon the New York Public Library and poked around inside. It was beautiful.
From there, we walked over to Times Square. It was crowded and I didn’t really get the appeal. It just seems like a lot of advertisements, to me. We saw it again at night and it was so bright that I could see like it was day. I’m not really a fan. But, we went to see it anyway. 🙂 Gotta have that New York experience. 😉
The highlight of our first day in the city was the Night on the Town guided tour we took. The tour left from Midtown at 6pm and lasted about five hours. We rode a van with ten other people around to see some sights. First, they took us to walk along High Line Park, a park built on old elevated train tracks from the days of shipping to the Meat Packing District.
We then rode down to the harbor to catch a ferry for a water tour. We learned a bit about Chelsea and TriBeCa along the way. On the ferry, we rode on the top and had some great views as the sun was setting.
We then rode to Little Italy, where we enjoyed dinner at Grotta Azurra, followed by a visit to a bakery where I destroyed a cannoli before even thinking about taking a picture. You’ll just have to trust me that the food at both places was amazing.
Finally, we headed to Rockefeller Center to go up to the observation levels, “Top of the Rock.” It was kind of crazy to me to see the marquee in front of the entrance, just because I saw it so many times when I watched 30 Rock!
After that, it was midnight and we had been up since 4am, so we went back to the hotel and crashed really hard. Day one was fantastic and exhausting. Day two was awesome as well, but I will write that up tomorrow hopefully, since tomorrow is a travel day. Going to Israel tomorrow! So exciting!