… following on from Part One of our trip. We had five more full days of exploring to do.
On the Tuesday the weather was horrendous, we were even tempted to stay in, but then decided against it and headed to the Museum of Modern Art. I was really looking to checking out MoMA, and it was so interesting. We spent a good few hours exploring the multi-level museum. The highlight was a performance-based exhibition where a group of young people were carrying out all these bizarre activities like hiding under large coffin-shaped boxes and whistling to each other and climbing over each other on these weird apparatuses. When they started banging on pots and screaming, Andrew basically ran out of the room to escape, it was pretty hilarious.
Given the wet weather, it was the perfect day for a big, warming of ramen. We satisfied our cravings at Ippudo Westside with delicious steamed buns, with deep-fried beef tongue, and tonkotsu ramen. Full and happy we made our way back to our apartment, with a mandatory stop to see the lights and hustle of Times Square. I’m not sure if it was the time of year, or maybe I’m just used to living in London, but I felt that New York was quite quiet throughout our trip. For me, it was much less stressful than the crowded streets of London which was a nice surprise.
On Wednesday we moved into our Airbnb in the Lower East Side. We had made the great decision to split our stay between Midtown and LES in order to get more of a flavour of the local areas. Before check-in we had lunch at the infamous Katz’s Deli, where a scene in Harry Met Sally was filmed. Katz serves legendary pastrami sandwiches and I also read a blog which recommended the hotdogs – both were amazing. LES definitely had a lot more character and I loved seeing more street art dotted around the place. We enjoyed a sunny stroll along the Highline and finished the afternoon with a drink at the Rooftop Bar which offers great interrupted views of the Empire State building.
I did a lot of research before our trip and gathered recommendations from our friends, as well as through numerous blogs. Our friends insisted we have a drink (or many) at McSorley’s Old Ale House, claimed to be the oldest Irish tavern in NY. The old-time bar only serves two types of beer (nothing else) – light and dark – and they are always served in pairs. The floor is sprinkled with sawdust and the walls are covered in memorabilia, none of which have been removed since 1910. This place has so much character and we had a great time here learning about its history and throwing back a few too many beers. That evening, following another recommendation, we had dinner at the tiny eatery Prune, which has a unique and very tasty menu.
The next day we jumped on some citi bikes and rode across the Williamsburg bridge for a day of exploring away from Manhattan. We started in Williamsburg itself and stopped in at Egg for a yummy breakfast before heading through the Navy Yards to Dumbo. The trendy, cobblestone streets under the Manhattan Bridge is a popular spot and we really loved the vibe here – it helped that it was a really beautiful day too.
The popular pizza spots in Dumbo – Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s – were both rammed with queues flowing out onto the pavement so we hunted out a lesser known pizza joint with decent reviews. It was great being able to cover loads of ground on the bikes and get a look at different areas. We rode through Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens to the craft brewery Other Half Brewing Company. After a few very tasty pints we had another beer at Threes Brewery before biking over Manhattan Bridge. By this time we were half cut and it was dark but the biking lanes around the city make it very easy to get around.
Our final days in this city were a blur of bagel breakfasts, shopping, department stores, more rain and pizza. Exploring a city like New York can be tiring and I’m glad we had a decent number of days to explore, we were able to take things easy, even having time to have some afternoon naps to refuel! We reflected on our eight days here together and decided we loved this city, there’s so much to see and do and the food was exceptionally food (I don’t think we had a bad meal!).