For our summer holiday in 2015, I went with my Dad and my sister to lots of amazing places in the USA. But my favourite place of them all was New York City. I really liked it, because we were able to do lots of incredible things!
To get there, we took a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to New York. When we got to JFK Airport, we took an Uber taxi to our hotel, the Eventi, which is on 6th Avenue between 29th and 30th Streets. What was interesting about our room was that there was a map of New York from 1852 on the wall. We then went to the hotel restaurant and had some delicious pizza.
The next day, we walked from the hotel, up through Midtown, stopping for breakfast at a place on 8th Avenue that I thought was a bit of a tourist trap. We then walked further up 8th Avenue to Columbus Circle and into Central Park. Central Park is very green with lots of trees, and is a good place to relax. There is a lot to explore there, as it is very big.
We continued on through Central Park, and we exited it over by the American Museum of Natural History, and went into the museum. There are many exhibits there, including multiple exhibits about different animals, and two fossil halls which display dinosaur fossils. There is also a theatre that shows a short presentation on the big bang. After you exit the theatre, you walk down a walkway which covers events of history of the universe from 13 billion years ago, when the big bang happened, to the present.
Afterwards, we exited the museum and bought hot dogs for lunch from a stand outside. We then re-entered Central Park and walked through it a second time. For the kids, there is a lake we passed where you can remote-control miniature sailboats. If you want to try it out, though, be warned, because it can be hard to control them as you have to make them catch the wind to make them go forward.
Next, we exited the park on the East side and stopped for some incredible gelato at a street vendor stand called Grom, by 72nd Street. Grom started in Italy and now has two other locations in NYC (which are not street vendor stands). Afterwards, we searched for a Subway station, so that we could take the Subway back to our hotel.
We ended up at Lexington Avenue- 59th Street station, which, fortunately, was a good station for getting to our hotel because it was on the NQR lines (the yellow lines), and our hotel was near 34th Street–Herald Square station, which is on those lines. I enjoyed riding on an air-conditioned Subway train.
To end the day, we decided to have dinner at Lombardi’s, which opened in 1905 and claims to be the first pizza restaurant in the whole USA. To get there, we took a D line Subway train (one of the orange lines) from Herald Square to Broadway–Lafayette Street. What was great about our journey was that the D is an express line, and the station we wanted was only two stops away from Herald Square.
The restaurant had a nice atmosphere, with brown walls and red-and-white-checked tablecloths. We ordered two pizzas, which were both quite big: one plain margherita pizza and one with sausage and mushrooms. They were both very good, but, unfortunately, not the best pizza I’ve ever had. No offence, Lombardi’s, but I think that Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven has some of the best pizza (see 5 Great Trips in 2014).
After we finished our pizza, we left Lombardi’s and walked over to Broadway. We then walked up Broadway to a store called Forbidden Planet, which sells science fiction and comic books, and bought a few books there, including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Next to Forbidden Planet is the Strand Bookstore, a famous book shop founded in 1927 which has a wide range of books on offer.
Finally, we took the Subway (the NQR or yellow lines) back to our hotel from the nearby 14th Street–Union Square station. We got off at 28th Street, a Subway stop also near our hotel. When we got back, we were very lucky because we were able to see a beautiful sunset from our west-facing hotel room!
This is not the end of our time in New York! For even more, see my next post, New York City Part 2!