Final day

The last thing I really wanted to visit was the American Museum of Natural History.

Not only for the fact they used this building as the inspiration for the set of ‘Night at the Museum’, but because dinosaurs are awesome!

Greeted by this bad boy as soon as you walk into the lobby.

Now, it gives you admission prices but then also tells you it’s a donation to help keep the museum running. So technically you could probably get in on a child ticket, as no one actually checked my ticket the whole time I was there!
I learned all about microbes, the Big Bang (the fact that the universe is infinite always blows my mind so I usually avoid the topic!) and of course…dinosaurs! 

Big Bang theatre, inside, a short film narrated by Liam Neeson. 


Look how happy this guy’s skull is! 

Life size blue whale hanging from the ceiling in the marine quarter.
I could have probably spent the whole day in here, but I was on a mission to see the Bethesda Fountain (as featured in ‘Enchanted’ and ‘Friends with Benefits’).
The walk through Central Park to get to the fountain took me over the row bridge.

Enjoyed watching people attempt to row boats on the lake, felt eyes on me and noticed some snapping turtles surfacing.

Final stop of the day took me to Big Daddy’s, a diner boasting the best milkshakes in New York.

It was good. 

And so ends an incredible week in a destination I’ve longed to visit since I can remember. 


Tower, Ghostbusters, John Travolta

Before I came to New York I was all about getting to the top of the Empire State Building. Once you start wandering around and see the highest building is the One World Trade Centre building and is also cheaper to go up…Empire what?

Up by there! 

The Americans like to make a little song and dance about the fabrication of this beast, with videos projected onto the walls as you’re corralled through the hallways, of construction workers on the verge of tears explaining how many ethnic background came together to build it (bet you there wasn’t any Welsh!) and even making the bold statement that it’s probably the most important building in America…I’m sure a few people may have different opinions.

Ghostbusters tour time! The firehouse that they used as their headquarters was under construction and covered in scaffolding which was a shame.

Luckily, to mark the building some Ghostbusters symbols have been painted onto the sidewalk.
We had heard of an American diner where the staff are all aspiring actors and actresses and they burst into song while serving…this I had to see.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner. You have to queue under a bubble machine but it’s definitely worth the experience if you like musicals, Disney songs and pop songs.

All musical’d out ready to find the next ghostbusters landmark-the apartment building that Dana and Louis reside in when they become possessed.

To finish the last full New York day, there was a screening of ‘Saturday Night Fever’ as part of the Central Park Film Festival, the theme, films shot here in New York. 

An amazing way to end the day.

And amazing last night in New York.

Flash sight seeing

After a day of chilling in Central Park we are now ready for some extreme sight seeing. 

But first, lunch. Back in the white horse tavern in Greenwich. I was so hungry I didn’t even take a photo of the food for blogging purposes! 

The High Line is a short walk away, an old set of tracks elevated above the streets from the days where the meat packing district was an industrial hub.

It’s like a little breath of fresh air running through a slice of the city. 
A few blocks away was Madison Square Gardens. It was the wrong season to see a basketball game here, but still worth a visit to the venue.

This was meant to be a photo of the sculpture outside Madison Square. It just looks like I took a picture of a random who doesn’t look happy! 
On a mission, the Rockefeller Plaza next!

This is the Square where they put the giant Christmas tree seen in ‘Home Alone 2’. With it not being Christmas, there’s just a little market.

Next stop…it’s Grand…it’s Central…

I had a quick stop off at The Met.

Quick freshen up and back out for a comedy night.

If anyone is planning on visiting New York, I would strongly recommend a comedy evening. I was in stitches! Nothing like a good giggle! 

Brooklyn, shopping, sight seeing, pub.

Brooklyn felt more ‘New York’ to me, busier, ruder, and grittier.
I dragged everyone to see the building where ‘Brooklyn 99’ TV show is filmed from the outside. It was 27 degrees.

I was happy now. 

Onward to Brooklyn Bridge! Through Wall Street.

Got a bit caught up with the eclipse crowd. 

We stopped to try and see the eclipse for ourselves, and I indulged in food out of a van. If it’s good enough for the New Yorkers…

Burrito. My favourite. 

Obviously can’t see the eclipse in the photo, but it’s there. 

Shopping happened. I’m not a fan myself, and there’s nothing interesting to take photos of. So I got a milkshake from a little chocolate shop.

Back to some sight seeing. Empire State was up next! 

New York public library next, I geeked out a little here as the film ‘Ghostbusters’ used this building!

Behind the library, in Bryant Park, an outdoor film screening was taking place. I had wanted to do one of these, until I saw the crowd at this one! 

Back through Times Square.

Peter had to take a pic of his favourite eatery…

And then we found Gray’s Papaya, as featured in ‘Fools Rush In’. It’s cheap and good for New York. $2.50 for a hot dog. 

That’s what over ten miles of walking around New York looks like. 

Girls day

We’re big ‘Friends’ fans, so we paid the building that is used for outside shots a visit.

Photobombed by a random! 
Followed by a big gay ice cream. Nothing to do with the ‘Friends’ theme but there’s a unicorn licking a rainbow ice cream on the window. Need I say more?

Ok, so I had a milkshake not an ice cream, which seemed to cause dismay to the girl serving who asked if the reason I was having a milkshake was because I was watching my figure. Yes, I am watching my figure…watching it expand! 
Walked it off through Times Square. 

Finding restrooms in New York is a problem, you are essentially forever into buying food in a cafe or restaurant just to pee. Although it can sometimes work in your favour as after all the walking you can have a sit down and enjoy a cold drink and the air conditioning, and even pick up some hints off the waiting staff. 
So a shout out to our waiter who tipped us off about ‘rush tickets’ for Broadway shows. We paid $55 each for $75 tickets for Miss Saigon.

Back out into the now wild Times Square.

Yup. This happened.

Didn’t want to leave the Disney store, we peeled ourselves away to finally return to the hotel. We’d been up and about since 6am and got back after 10pm! 

The city that never sleeps

The city might not sleep, but we did after finally arriving after 1am to Broadway Hotel and Hostel.

First day of finding our feet around New York City. One of those places you don’t have to go far before you see something you recognise.

Finally made it through Central Park after getting sidetracked by the vista of the southern skyline.

Had to have a pretzel!
Arrived off the subway into the downtown area to be greeted by very amiable ticket touts trying to sell boat trips to see the Statue of Liberty. Having done my research regarding the sightseeing, I knew Staten Island ferry was free and had views of the French icon.

She seemed a lot smaller than I expected, but then we weren’t up close.

The New York City skyline from the Staten Island ferry.
Quick turnaround at Staten Island, getting off the boat to queue up to then get back on the same boat to head back to the city. We would have explored Staten Island but there was nothing of real interest there, that we knew of.

Downtown is packed full of sights, we walked through the financial district, Wall Street to get to ground zero and the new One World Trade Centre.
The icon of the financial district is the big bronze bull. It drew a large crowd of people wanting to touch it. Maybe it’s considering financially lucky? 

Now the tallest building in New York as far as I have seen so far, the One World Trade Centre that now stands over the Ground Zero pools.
Felt a bit bad smiling for selfies for these considering what they represent.

Was early afternoon and we hadn’t stopped to eat (apart from the pretzel, but that doesn’t count!)
We re-fuelled and then found a Welsh link.
The white horse tavern. The pub that the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas apparently drank in when he visited New York.

Doesn’t surprise me, he was fond of a drink! 

A pretty, sh***y city

Firstly, apologies for the radio silence, took some time to chill out and get used to being back home.
Also, to me, the whole point of writing and publishing it is that there is something interesting to actually write about. Me lounging around in a hammock soaking up the limited UK sunshine does not make for a riveting read! 


That’s not to say I did absolutely nothing, there’s been a few summer fayres and events, like the Natural Living Expo, held in the National Botanical Gardens of Wales. 
The venue always worth a visit, even in the Welsh weather. 

I conquered the hay maze! Also received an unusual back massage whilst laying on my back. I was in bits the next day, in a good way.
The whole event consists of plenty of stalls, all centred around natural living and health, mental and physical. All put together by the Old Mill foundation.
A more local event was the Gower Chilli festival. Celebrating the many ways you could possible add chilli to anything, I like chilli but draw the line at it being in cake, beer or gin. But that’s just me! 

My favourite event of the ‘summer’ in Swansea so far has been the outdoor screening of ‘Twin Town’. A movie set and filmed in Swansea. Everyone who was of age at the time it was released knows the words off by heart, and after 20 years the city celebrated its anniversary by having a movie screen placed in Singleton park, a band playing songs featured in the film, and even the Welsh Male Voice Choir as a grand finale.