New York, New York! Part 3, or Do It Like The Locals Do

So it’s Tuesday today, my third day in the US, and I’ve got ambitious plans for the time ahead. Finally I’m meeting my colleagues, with whom will do the pub co-working spaces crawl which will actually end up in a Mexican place with margaritas. Ok, that was a spoiler, here come the details.

I’m still capable of getting up in the early mornings way before the alarm rings, and it still fascinates me (now, when I’m writing this from gloomy autumn Budapest where I’m sleeping every spare second I have it’s really very hard to believe in!).

It’s a jeans day today, as there will be lots of walk, and I can’t wait for the day to start. Yogurt and some raspberries are packed for breakfast (OMG, I LOVE American supermarkets! It’s such a blessing after the Hungarian ones! Sorry, Hungary, yes, I do love you a lot, but the supermarkets are disastrous here! If in the US I had troubles not buying more than I could eat, back here I’m heading to the cashier’s with an empty trolley as there was nothing, absolutely nothing that would catch my eye and want me to buy it 😦 Such a sad story for such a foodie as I am!) and I’m out to the train station. This morning it’s particularly tough for some reason, and I have to skip 2 trains before I finally manage to squeeze in (Now some high fives go to Budapest, as I never ever experience it here).

Finally, I’m at my destination, which is another WeWork, Penn Station this time. I’m anticipating to finally see my colleagues, while I grab a coffee and start going through my emails. The day promises to be intense – while checking out 3 locations, I have to conduct 3 more interviews (one of which would lead to a hire, WOOOHOOO!)

I’ve alreadypasted-image-at-2016_09_15-05_17-pm written lots of praises to the WeWorks, each of them can boast some unique feature, and I mean some of them are REALLY unique! For example, 5th Ave boasts a recording studio!

And this is Kevin, he’s greeting everyone at Empire State 🙂

Ok, work is fun, but not as much fun as Mexican food, Margaritas and even more sightseeing!

So after checking all the locations and finishing with the work, we are heading to Dos Caminos, a chain of restaurants, but with really great food (guacamole is the best I’ve ever tried!).

We first hit one which location I tried to remember so hard, but failed, but they had a private event there, so they kindly sent us to the closest one, which is in the Meatpacking District. The district takes its name from the time when all the meat was packed here and then distributed around whole Manhattan. Currently it is considered to be a quite fancy and hipster place to live in (and if I’m not mistaken, was heavily featured in Sex & the City).

Food is great (but too much as usual) and Margaritas are strong, while we are true startup crowd who don’t know working hours, so one of my colleagues is up to another meeting with a potential candidate, so we need to finish early (and it’s Wednesday in the end!!!)

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(I wasn’t sure my colleagues would appreciate me exposing their faces on my blog, so only their drinks here!)

Thankfully, it’s my colleague, not me, who has to have another interview today, so I can enjoy the perfect sunset on the High Line, which was recommended to me by several people, and which happens to be steps away from where I am.

The High Line, once a railway road, is currently a 2.3 km long hipster park, known for street food, street art, street exhibitions  and street views. It runs from three blocks below 14th street through Meatpacking District and Chelsea up to 34th street on the elevated part of the road, which allows visitors to observe great panoramas and sunsets.

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They say it’s a perfect place for a Sunday picnic, but even if you haven’t brought your own food, you won’t stay hungry – there’s lots of places where you can buy something to your taste.

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So my after-work walk starts here, in the pre-sunset rays mildly touching my skin.

There are lots of plants growing along the Line, and most of them have their names on the tables, so if you are a curious botanic, that’s a place for you 🙂 As I’m more keen of the city sights, I enjoy the numerous viewpoints that open enjoyable views of the NYC.

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What I liked about the High Line is that it’s pretty diverse – the scenery changes from quite urban to “botanical garden” to “foresty” type and then back to urban again.

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There are also spots with street art pieces, some of which are permanent, while others are rather exposed there for exhibitions.

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It’s a quiet, enjoyable and relaxed stroll, and I notice lots of people in a similar mood to mine – most probably friends meeting after a long working day, couples enjoying the warm September days, families spending some quality time with their kids…

imag8158Fortunately or not, I haven’t encountered any nude sunbathers beyond that point, maybe because it was a bit too late or a bit too cold!

As I’m walking along the Line, sun starts to slowly go down, and I’m anxious in anticipation of the sunset – for me, it’s one of the most romantic moments, the ones when you appreciate the beauty of the nature and feel like you are a bit closer to it. Nothing can compare to sunsets at the sea or ocean side, but even in the cities they are quite spectacular, especially if that city is New York. And to make it even better, the sunset I’m expecting to witness right now is occurring over the Hudson river, making it even more beautiful.

I believe enough has been said, so it’s time for a photo here, though obviously there’s no photo that can convey the true beauty of those scenic views.

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Since I’ve started my walk from the Lower Manhattan going up, I will need to make it all the way back towards the PATH station to get to my temporary home in Jersey City, which I’m quite happy about – I’m getting tired, but that’s a pleasant fatigue, and I know that I’ll enjoy the imag8169walk back.

Also, there’s one more place on my list which would be perfect to end the day at, and I’m heading there – to Gaonnuri – a bar and restaurant on the 39th floor in the center of Manhattan.

One more skyscraper, but I still can’t get enough of the views, the atmosphere, the feelings that I’m experiencing in this fantastic city.

Cold champagne tastes so good, and wishing this city (which obviously never sleeps!) goodnight, I’m heading home.

Wednesday greets me with morning sunshine, but there’s something in the air – oh yes, it’s humid as in Bangkok again! Well, I love tropics so not a problem at all!

My morning starts a bit earlier than usual as I have to pack – in the evening I’m leaving to Boston, but only to come back in 3 days – NYC has so much to offer, that I’m not ready to say goodbye to it yet, there’s still so many things on my bucket list, and the tastiest bits I’ve saved for later.

As soon as I’ve got everything I need (or at least I think so!) in my backpack, I start my usual journey to work – this time it’s WeWork Times Square, which eventually becomes my favourite and there’s a reason to it:

Rooftops are definitely my soft points, I love working on balconies, terraces and other open spaces, but rooftops are the #1 choice. I really hope my colleagues will eventually choose this space, and I’ll be enjoying my morning coffees with a view when coming to NYC for business.

The work goes well and time flies quite fast. I manage to finish everything in a quite timely manner (which is not usually the case), and head out of the co-working, as I have one more thing to do before I jump on my bus to Boston – the Top of the Rock!

I was hesitating whether I should climb another 70-storey building in NYC, as I’ve already been on the Empire State, but everyone I’ve asked said I definitely should. And you know what’s the advantage of Top of the Rock over the Empire State? Well, it’s that you can see Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock! Besides that, you can also see the Central Park, and that’s when you understand how huuuuuuge it really is! There’s one more advantage – Top of the Rock boasts both open and closed decks so you can enjoy different types of experience (open is of course much better!) and you can still get your pictures even if it’s raining (remember I mentioned the abnormal humidity in the morning? There was a reason for that!)

That was a spoiler of Top of the Rock, and as you might have figured out, if I were to choose between climbing the Empire State or Top of the Rock, I’d choose the latter, but I prefer not to choose at all, so do both if you can. The only thing which is definitely fine skipping is the higher observation deck of the Empire – it costs extra 20 bucks, it’s closed, so the feeling is not that great, and you literally can’t notice the difference between 86th and 103rd floors.

So, Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Plaza is where I’m heading now. It’s 15 minutes walk away, which is nice and convenient, so I’m slowly strolling into that direction. When suddenly I hear some music and decide to check it out (I still have some time to not rush). And… it’s Broadway, baby! I can’t take my eyes of this performance, as I once used to dance myself, and what I see evokes such nostalgic feelings and emotions in me! There are not too many spectators and I can’t understand whether they are rehearsing or actually performing, and what’s the occasion, but it looks extremely cool! I see people stopping by just because they can’t pass by as I couldn’t too.

They finish one dance and start another, but at this point I really need to go, as my ticket to the Top of the Rock which I bought online is timed.

I’ve said enough about that place, what I haven’t said is that the pictures below are taken just a moment before the heavy rain kicked in!

So here it is, Top of the World!

By the time I get down, the shower is in its full power, and I realise that I might have problems getting to the bus station. Originally I planned to walk, but now it doesn’t seem like a good idea:

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I’m trying to get an Uber, but with no success, so I’m checking the metro routes. There’s one but I still need to walk about 15 minutes to the nearest station. It seems that I don’t have any other choice, so I run! With my sneakers and tank top on, with no warm clothes in my backpack to change when I finally reach the bus (I usually do have warm stuff, as I normally get very cold in transport, my backpack would contain a hoodie and some warm socks, but not this time, as I’ve got a router which I need to bring to my Boston colleagues, and it takes up to 70% of my backpack space).

By the time I reach the metro station, I’m totally soaked! And no wonder that when I leave the underground there’s no more rain (well, thanks for that, at least I can wait for the bus without getting even more wet, as it appears that there’s literally no station – just a sign that the Boston bus will pick you up here).

Finally it arrives and I immediately change to the warmest thing I have in my backpack – my pajamas. It will take me about 4 hours to get to Boston, so I’ll have enough time to think about all my adventures in the NYC, eat my bagel (finally I managed to buy it, it’s delicious, and it’s perfect food for a journey!) and have some sleep.

So I’m waving New York goodbye, but only to say hello again in 3 days.

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