Four Days in New York City

by Gray Cargill on September 3, 2010

Yellow Cabs

I thought it was high time I wrapped up what I did on my June New York trip. You already know I stayed at the Pod Hotel, ate at Thai 51, and spent some time in Brooklyn with my cousin.  I’ve also written about my travel takeaways from my trip and my experiment with going carry-on only for the trip.  What else did I do?  Here it is, my four day weekend in the Big Apple:

After our adventures in Brooklyn, my cousin and I walked around Chinatown and Little Italy for a bit.

Chinatown Market

Chinatown Market: It's amazing some of the stuff they sell

Little Italy

Little Italy has lots of sidewalk cafes

Later that afternoon, I spent some time at the Met.  I loved this museum, and I wish I’d had more time to spend there.  They have an impressive armory, among other things.

Egyptian temple at the Met

The Met has an excellent Egyptian collection

Met Statue

The Met also has an extensive collection of Greek and Roman statues

But what I loved almost as much as its collection is the lively street scene out front of the Met.  I sat on the steps for awhile, with a hundred or so other people, listening to a saxophone player and people-watching.

The Met

The Met

I met up with my friend Darlene Friday night for dinner.  I can’t remember the name of the restaurant we ate at; I am terrible at taking notes and photos when I’m with other people!  In any case, it was good food, good company, and a good time–though service was a little slow, as I recall.

Most of my weekend was spent at TBEX10, the travel blogger’s conference.  I got to meet so many travel bloggers I’ve connected with online, plus some new ones, but of course with 300 attendees, I didn’t get to meet everyone.   I definitely picked up some good information over the course of the weekend. Finding my way to and from the various after-party venues on my own (in the dark, no less) helped me gain confidence with navigating Manhattan.


Sunday night, I took the 6 Train to Grand Central Station to check out the architecture there, and yes, it was as impressive as I’d heard it was (both inside and out).

Grand Central

Entering Grand Central terminal from the train station

Grand Central

Grand Central

Grand Central

Exterior of Grand Central

Next up: Times Square, one of my favorite places in the city.  It reminds me a bit of Vegas, with all the neon and bright lights.

Times Square

Times Square: Great for people-watching

Times Square

Times Square is pretty at night, but a bit too commercial

There is no lack of chain restaurants (and a few local gems) for dining in Times Square.  Unfortunately, at this late hour, all of them were packed with long wait times, and I was starving.  I wound up dining at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone, which was tucked around the corner and upstairs, and so, I think, was a bit too hidden for most tourists to notice.  My salad and calamari were both fine, nothing exceptional.  Eating at a chain restaurant wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for dinner in New York City, but that’s what happens when I’m starving and I don’t have a plan.

Radio City Music Hall

After dinner, I walked up to Rockefeller Plaza where I’d hoped to go up to the Top of the Rock to catch sunset views of the city.  I was too late.  It was already dark out by the time I got there.  I met up with Jason Hussong of JasonsTravels and Cherie King of Flight of the Deaf Travelbee, along with Cherie’s aunt; they had just come down from Top of the Rock.  I had a fun time hanging out with them for the rest of the evening. They got a bite to eat from a food cart at Rockefeller Plaza.  We also went up to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but my night shots didn’t turn out very well, so I went back again the next day.

St. Patricks Cathedral

St. Patricks Cathedral

On Monday, I went up to Central Park in the morning to walk around.  It was a very hot day (again), so I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible.

Central Park

A lake in Central Park

Central Park Musicians

Musicians in Central Park

For lunch, I met JoAnna Haugen (Kaleidoscopic Wandering) at Rockefeller Center. We had a quick lunch at a little deli chain called Toasties that was packed with business people at lunchtime and had very good, reasonably priced food.  Keep it in mind for your next trip to New York.

Salad Pizza at Toasties

Salad Pizza at Toasties

Lunch had to be quick because I’d received a call from Jetblue earlier telling me my flight home that night had been canceled.  I scrambled to get on an earlier flight that I thought I’d have plenty of time to catch after lunch. Unfortunately, I was wrong.  I had to call Jetblue and reschedule for the next morning and booked another night at the Pod.

On the bright side, this gave me time to go up to the Top of the Rock for their magnificent views of the city.  My photos didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped, as it was a fairly hazy day.

Central Park from Top of the Rock

View of Central Park from Top of the Rock

View from Top of the Rock

View from Top of the Rock

Monday night was a quiet night for me.  I could have tried to buy a half-price ticket to a Broadway show that night, but the extra night in a hotel had put me over budget for the trip, and I wasn’t in the mood to spend more money.  So after dinner at Thai 51, I wandered around the streets in New York City, taking photos, then called it a night.  I definitely need to see a show on my next trip, though.  In four trips to the city, I still haven’t managed to do that!

New York City

New York City buildings

NYC Street

NYC Street

Gray October 14, 2011 at 6:17 am

Ooh, have fun, Jenna! Yes, definitely try Toasties. I hear ya on other people slowing things down. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to slow down a bit, though.

Jenna Vandenberg October 14, 2011 at 12:05 am

I had to reread this post as I’m headed to NYC in a few days. I hope I can pack as much into four days as you did. I’m not traveling solo though, that always slows thing down 🙁 I’ll have to remember Toasties for lunch.

Candicewalsh September 7, 2010 at 3:58 am

Damn, you covered so much more than me in just a few days! Could spend forever there and not see it all.

Anonymous September 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Really? I didn’t feel like I covered much at all. But then, I usually am quite the commando when I travel.

Connie Hum September 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I miss living in NYC so much! Thanks for your post and pics for reminding me of what a wonderful place it is! I still miss it, but at least I can feel like I was there with you!

Anonymous September 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Oh pshaw! I do not put you to shame. Thanks for the compliment, though. I think it’s all too common that we forget to blog about the place where we live–we forget that it’s a tourist destination to other people!

Anonymous September 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Oh, you’re so welcome. Thanks for the kind words.

GRRRLTRAVELER September 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Really nice photos! You put me to shame. I lived there for 8+ years but barely blogged it. Great job!

Anonymous September 5, 2010 at 2:31 am

Rats! I should have let you know I was coming….although with the conference, my schedule was pretty packed. Next time! Well, HTZ was open when I was there. Maybe that’s why there weren’t too many people there, everyone thought it was shut down? Next up is Paris in November. I have got to start planning for that….

Anonymous September 5, 2010 at 2:31 am

LOL! Actually, it was delicious–and much healthier than a pepperoni pizza, I’m sure. 🙂

Anonymous September 5, 2010 at 2:29 am

Wow, I’d have a hard time choosing between NY or London, too.

Sabina September 5, 2010 at 1:01 am

I love New York. I”m glad you had a great time there. But salad pizza? Hopefully it tasted better than it sounds and looks.

Wdwprince September 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Next time we have to say hi. It seems like you had a busy trip. I love Chinatown. I’d like to see you do a more in depth report on one area. Hawaiin Tropic Zone? I thought it was shut down. There was some sort a scandal a while back about sexual harassment of one of the bikini clad waitresses. Where to next?

Luke September 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Awh, heck… jealousy does not even begin to describe how I feel after reading this.

I am torn between doing my post grad in New York or in London and this post has definitely tipped me in the obvious direction, despite the bankrupt state it will leave me in!!

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