Sunday, June 21, 2009

New York Day 3: Prospect Park, Park Slope and the Empire State Building

This morning John and I got up early (well, early for vacation) at 7:30 and went out for a highly anticipated breakfast at Tom's Restaurant. We got to the front door of Tom's only to find it closed on Sundays. Of course. So, we headed toward Park Slope (a neighbourhood of Brooklyn) and found a diner with a decent hash and good eggs benedict.

From there, we wandered through Prospect Park, the little sister (although some say superior) of Central Park, designed also by Olmstead and partner. You likely recognize the arch below from the drop-off scene in When Harry Met Sally.

After spending lots of time in the park, we wandered through Park Slope (home to many artists, writers, and stroller pushing yuppies). There were some pretty cool shops and one awesome bakery, Brooklyn Bread Cafe. It was by far the best coffee we've tasted in New York and the best baking I've seen so far. Everything is baked on premises. The bagels were literally as big as my head. I was very pleased to find amazing pastries and cookies. I couldn't help myself... I bought John and myself two black and white cookies, the famous NY cookies that made Jerry barf. They were so good. These ones had a lemony cakey cookie underneath rather than a plain vanilla and oh, they were heaven.

We kept making our way by foot over to Brooklyn Heights. The area between downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights had some really eclectic shops that we poked around in. We wandered some of the streets in Brooklyn Heights marvelling at the brownstones. These houses were the ones you see in pictures.

I left John to go see the Brooklyn Historical Society Museum while I went into Manhattan to go up the Empire State Building with Beth, Graeme and Kate.

We expected long lines since the rain had cleared up. Instead of long lines, we just found a series of shorter lines. You get through one line and then have to stand in another one for the next phase of getting up to the Observation Decks. And of course, they funnel you through as many buying opportunities as possible. There was a lot of hawking going on. It got a bit stomach-turning. However, the views were worth it.

From there, we went to Bryant Park so Kate could run around a bit. Beth and I sat and drank our Starbucks before we all headed to Grand Central Station (with a quick stop for me to buy my roasted cashews, almonds and peanuts at a Nuts for Nuts cart - my favourite NY street food, although the Halal carts were pretty tempting too). I tried to get some good photos of Grand Central but that was impossible with my shitty camera.

We ordered in Thai for supper and had plans to hit a bar tonight but John and I are spent and plan to chill here before heading to the airport tomorrow.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the girls but would also love one more day to see just a bit more.


Jen said...

Makes me really miss the view from the twin towers. Such a different city now. Looks like you had great fun! Hope the trip home is smooth! Just in time for the heat.

Julie said...

what a wonderful trip. good that you left some things unseen. stuff to do the next time you go!

DaniGirl said...

Oh, I have *always* wanted to visit NYC. So very cool!!