Friday, 22 December 2017

New York City, Day 2 - USA 16 Dec 2017

New York City, Day 2
Distance 37km Climb 240m
Saturday 16 December 2017

Continuing the celebration in NYC. As with New York City, Day 1 I am still not sure if I should write this up as a walk. Yesterday we walked mainly south, saw some sights on the way. Then walked north saw some more sights before returning to the hotel. Today we would be setting off to wander towards the east. 

After another good breakfast, at the Room Mate Grace Hotel. We started our day by turning left, east, from the hotel. Then turning right on Sixth Avenue and walked a couple of blocks to Bryant Park. It was only a short distance to the Geocache site, "Brit in the Park", snow still covered the site. Following the hints I could not find the cache, due to the snow my hands turned cold almost frozen. I didn't want to use my gloves incase I missed or moved the cache. Never mind I would look again later on.

Walking back through the park towards 42nd Street, we passed the fountain which was partially frozen.

On 42nd Street we turned right, east, towards Grand Central Terminal, stopping off at the Banana Republic on the way. Didn't see anyone tap dancing.

Anne had a look at the Christmas Fair in the Grand Central Terminal. Eventually we left the Terminal walking back onto 42nd Street.

Walking east I knew there were a couple of Geocaches in the area. So we took a left, north east, turning up Third Avenue followed by a second right down 44th Street. I followed the hints for "Don't Overlook It" but could not find the cache.

Continuing down 44th Street the United Nations Headquarters was directly to our front. No national flags were flying, it was the weekend after all. We turned right down First Avenue.

Walking right one block I saw the details of another Geocache, "A Stair with a View", so we crossed the road and climbed the stairs to Tudor City. When we arrived someone was at the top of the stairs so I had to hang around before I could start looking, unfortunately this was another cache I could not find.

Returning to First Avenue we turned left, north east and walked up by the United Nations Buildings.

There are a number of interesting looking sculptures in the grounds of the UN that we could see as we walked passed.

From First Avenue a right up 49th Street, a left onto Second Avenue then another right onto 50th Street. After a few blocks this took us to St Bartholomew's Church.

Crossing Park Avenue and Madison Avenue we had reached St Patrick's Cathedral.

From walking along quite streets, here there were crowds coming down West 50th Street and moving up and down Fifth Avenue. It was very crowded.

Diagonally opposite St Patrick's Cathedral is a very British looking building despite the three large Stars and Strips hanging from its flag poles. It has the British Royal Coat of Arms above the door on Fifth Avenue. Three Lions are above a door on W 50th Street, not shown on any of my maps the internet shows it as the British Empire Building.

Following a visit into St Patrick's Cathedral we came out of a side door onto Fifth Avenue. Turned right down 51st Street and turned left onto Madison Avenue. A few blocks later we turned left up E 56th Street towards Trump Tower. As you can imagine it had a lot of security.

Back on Fifth Avenue we turned right to enter Trump Tower, after a security check we had a ride up the escalators as far as we could, just to take a few photographs. Over the top for my taste, but we had to have a look. At the rear of the Tower is an open covered courtyard Obica where we had a short rest, a cake, a coffee and started planning our next part of the day.

After our break we left by an exit on 57th Street and turned left, Anne spotted Tiffany & Co. So of course we had to go in. The place was packed, I never saw anyone buy anything. I could not see any prices and there was not a lot of stock on display. 

To me the best thing on view was out the window across the street.

Leaving Tiffany & Co on Fifth Avenue we turned right, heading towards Central Park. Passing the William Tecumseh Sherman Monument.

We were heading towards The Frick Collection on East 70th Street. There were a couple of painting by Hans Holbein Anne had always wanted to see, Sir Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell.

After The Frick Collection we returned to Fifth Avenue and turned left, south west. On our way we passed this memorial.

I knew there was a Geocache near here, so after a little bit of wandering up and down the street we entered Central Park on a footpath just before 65th Street Traverse.

From the directions I had I almost walked straight to Geocache "Carpe Diem #5". To me an easy find, which I recorded.

Feeling on a high we set off to find another Geocache site on the other side of Central Park. The path was very slippery what had been snow the previous day was now ice so we had to take care. We passed a statue of Balto, Balto was a sled dog who led his team to help deliver diphtheria vaccine to children in Alaska in 1925.

Walking through Willowdell Arch, under East Drive.

We reached The Mall and turned right, where we had to check out a few of the stalls.

At the top of The Mall we turned left along Terrace Drive.

At the bottom where Terrace Drive joins West Drive, I knew we were near the Geocache site. Taking the bridle path that parallels Terrace Drive up towards the Majestic Apartments I found and recorded the cache "Riftstone." Brilliant, doing so well I though I may get another site before it got dark.

Following the bridle path south west we came across The Green Visitor Centre. People were dancing in one of the large rooms.

Following the directions to Geocache "Dinosaur Train Velociraptor." We walked under the 65th Street Traverse.

After a good look around I could not find it. It was very dark now, we were tired and hungry so I had to leave it. We started back south west in search of food.

Walking down Central Park West we arrived at Columbus Circle. A large complex to our right drew us in, but we could not find anything to our taste.

Leaving the Circle we walked down Eighth Avenue looking for a place to eat. A quick look up 56th Street and we came back to Eighth Avenue. Where we found Luigi's Gourmet Grill. After a lovely meal at Luigi's we felt refreshed and continued south west down Eighth Avenue. The streets were now full of people, pushing and shoving against us. We had caught the crowds leaving the many theatres in the area.

Trying to get passed the crowds we turned down 49th Street, where it was a little quieter.

A little more right and left, some streets were busy. By strange coincidence we found ourselves looking for a bar. All the bars like the streets were packed with people, after all it was Saturday night, what did we expect. As there would be no pleasure in standing in a crowded bar, after being on our feet all day, we decided to return to the Room Mate Grace Hotel.

We were tired after all, so was a good idea. Today my watch had recorded we had walked 37km with a 240m climb. On top of that I had found two of the six Geocaches I had been looked for. I am not sure if I will write tomorrow up as a walk on my blog. I will just wait and see.

More to follow

Boz North
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link to New York City, Day 1 15 December 2017. 
Follow link to New York City Day 3 17 December 2017.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

New York City, Day 1 - USA 15 Dec 2017

New York City, Day 1
Distance 49km Climb 325m
Friday 15 December 2017

Last week we were in Krakow - Poland for a special occasion. This week continuing the celebration we are in NYC. As with Krakow I am not sure if I should write this up as a walk. However just like Krakow, NYC is such an interesting, yet different in so many kinds of ways a lovely place to wander, so I have decided to share.

After a good breakfast at the Room Mate Grace Hotel, we start our day. Leaving the hotel we turned right and walked the short distance to Times Square. As always I have taken so many photos, only showing a few here.

Turning left, south east to walk down Broadway. It was bitterly cold and I was glad of my warm hat, unfortunately I forgot my gloves in the hotel, and today was a day I would need them.

After a few blocks we found ourselves in Herald Square next to Macy's. Little did I know at the time but we would be back here later. For now we continued south down Broadway.

Leaving Broadway we took Fifth Avenue to the right of the impressive Flatiron Building in the Flatiron District.

Fifth Avenue took us into Washington Square Park. Where we saw well feed sparrows, pigeons and squirrels.

Continuing south west, passing through Soho, along Thompson Street. Until we reached Canal Street. I am sure we passed a basketball court I have seen in a film. In reflection we probably passed loads of places we have seen in films. In places it was like walking on a film set.

Over Canal Street we headed down West Broadway.

There was an overwhelming sense of sadness in the area of the World Trade Centre and the 9/11 Museum. We saw the Survivor Tree a sign of resilience in a very moving place.

After a little bit of wandering in the streets below the World Trade Centre working our way south west we reached Battery Park.

We would be coming back to Battery Park by subway on Sunday to take the ferry across to see the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island with a short stop at Ellis Island. But today she could wave at us from across the water.

It was around here I knew there was a Geocache site "Flying into Memories". I could see the clue, it turned out that I did see the cache but did not recognise it as such. Only on speaking to Bigedyben later in the day did I know I had seen it. Not to worry I came back Sunday to find and record this site.  

Leaving Battery Park we headed east. It was around here I wished I had my gloves, it was so cold.

Towards Whitehall Street where we found a place to have a coffee a cake and a warm.

Heading northwards along Whitehall Street I knew there was another Geocache site near the Bowling Green, "Re-Charge". Again no trouble spotting the clues but still could not find the cache.

There were crowds waiting to take photographs of the bull, but we did not wait, just a quick snap as we passed by.

We were back on Broadway, heading north east now. The street had famous names and important dates in history, marked every few steps. When we spotted Wall Street to our right. So we turned down right to have a look.

Passing the New York Stock Exchange.

Turning up left along Nassau Street to have a look in the TK Max, returning to Wall Street. Then having a quick look at the pharmacy that was selling Boots merchandise in a part of The Trump Building, before once again returning to Wall Street.

From Wall Street a left turn took us onto William Street. This was followed by another left turn onto Pine Street which led us back onto Broadway.

Across the road is another Geocache site in the cemetery of Trinity Church on the Astor Cross, "Garden of Eden". This was where I met Bigedyben and it was good to meet him. Unfortunately we did not find this cache but he put me right on the two previous caches.

Following advice from Bigedyben, Anne and I returned south west down Broadway to the Bowling Green. Where we found and recorded the Geocache "Re-Charge". Thanks for your help Bigedyben, I am new to Geocaching and a little help is sometimes needed when things are different. There were more people waiting to take a photo of the bull.

Returning back north east along Broadway passing Trinity Church, we were not surprised to see Batman and Captain America doing a spot of sightseeing.

The weather was turning, snow was now falling. It was stinging our faces as we walked north east along Broadway.

We passed The Woolworth Building. City Hall was almost out of sight with the snowfalling.

We had a look in a few shops, I think it was more to get out of the snow than shop. One was a Christmas shop and another was Bloomingdales. It was turning dark, we were hungry and had been walking for hours so we decided to stop and have something to eat. The first place we found was the Soup'n'Burger Diner. Where we had a lovely meal.

Feeling restored we set off again back up Broadway. In the diner I had seen on my phone there was a Geocache site in Washington Square. I did not know about this on our walk down town. We were only a few blocks away, so we turned left along 10th Street and turned left down Fifth Avenue back to Washington Square.

Unfortunately in the Square my phone was unable to pick up the hint so I did not know what to look for. A little disappointed we returned to Fifth Avenue and headed north east again. One map we had showed we would pass Mark Twain's House, but we didn't see it. Anyway continuing north east we reached Madison Square Park and passed the impressive Flatiron Building on our right. It was still snowing a little but people were out very quickly clearing the paths.

In the park a number of people were putting on a dancing display, as we walked through the park we saw a Gingerbread House. The snow added to the effect making it all look like Christmas.

Leaving the park we continued up Fifth Avenue. Having a look in Lord & Taylor, Anne said how about a look in Macy's. So we walked the few blocks west, back to Hereld Square and Macy's.

Leaving Macy's we returned to Fifth Avenue and saw a much more interesting shop selling massive bronze lions etc. A few more blocks north east and we turned down 40th Street to Bryant Park. There is a Geocache here "Brit in the Park". Unfortunately it was too busy to try and find the cache today so I would try again tomorrow. In the park we passed this little family, standing on a snow covered table.

Leaving Bryant Park, passing the ice rink, we arrived on 42nd Street where we turned right and headed east towards Grand Central Terminal. Behind which we could see The Chrysler Building was all lit up.

Grand Central Terminal was as it says, very Grand. It is hard to believe they were going to pull such a magnificent building down had Jackie Kennedy Onassis not intervened. It would have been such a shame. After a wander round the terminal we returned to 42nd Street and turned a few blocks westward where we found a bar. In which we had a well deserved drink before returning to the Room Mate Grace Hotel.

My watch showed we had covered 49km with 325m climb. I know we had walked more than this as my watch had problems connecting to GPS when we started. Not to worry it had been a great day, what an experience. New York, New York no wonder they said it twice. 

I used to think how sad that the streets are numbered and not named, but navigating our way around it makes it so easy. The only time I had a problem was on the named streets. 

More to follow

Boz North
Details correct at time of writing.
Follow link to New York City, Day 2 16 December 2017.