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New York

New York is a pretty cool place. Lively, noisy, busy.
We learned the hard way that you need to sort out a decent place to stay well in advance of arriving in the city. Though we had a place organised, it turned out not to be very nice, so we ended up spending most of our first afternoon and evening tramping the streets looking for and alternative. Everywhere we tried there was no room at the inn. I began to get a bit of a taste of what it must have been like for poor ole Joseph, Mary and l'il baby Jesus. Finally after hours of searching we found somewhere...

Things definitely began to look up after that and we had a really good time taking in the sights, shopping 'til we dropped, eating good food, and even managed a bit of chill time too.

Particular highlights were the Twin Towers and spectacular views of the city, Staten Island ferry, China Town, East Village, Greenwich Village, Prospect Park, Harlem, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge. The architecture in the city generally is pretty amazing. My favourite building is the Chrysler Building.

On the food side definitely recommend Sylvia's in Harlem (328 Lennox Ave between 125th & 126th St.) for some seriously tasty soul food and great live music while you eat.
The walk through Harlem is also pretty interesting. The whole place just seems to be buzzing. Have a wander through Spanish Harlem, check out Harlem Market, Malcolm X's Shabazz and bookshop and when you've done all that and more definitely head for Sylvia's for a good feed.

Another great find was Babbo's in Greenwich Village (110 Waverly Place between 6th Ave & Macdougal St.) - expensive but worth every penny for the excellent food and laid back but very efficient service. I've never seen any one look so cool as the barman who looked after us while we ate. Orders flying around every where for food drinks - you name it - he took it all in his stride and remained super calm, friendly, and attentive the whole time. Babbo's is the place to go if you really want to treat yourself to that special meal on that special occasion...
Whilst in Greenwich Village lesbians / women can check out Crazy Nanny's bar (21 Seventh Ave cnr of Leroy).
The atmosphere was really laid back, friendly and hassle free.

We did an awful lot of walking and went back to our hotel with pretty sore feet at the end of each day. Much as I liked Manhattan it was good to finally get home and away from all the noise and fast pace. There was so much to see and do in a relatively short space of time it wasn't exactly the sort of break to take if you wanted some serious rest and relaxation.

For a comprehensive guide to New York visit:
www.timeout.com/newyork/index.html and
www.travel.roughguides.com (links open in new browser window).

Click on a picture to enlarge it and get a short description of the place

photo Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge

 

photo New York City
View from Brooklyn Bridge

 

photo China Town
Windy day in China Town

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