OK, where was I, ah yes…. the morning of Day 2.
First of all let me put it to everyone who has never had the chance to visit New York City, that to see any meaningful part of it in the four days is absolutely futile. All that achieves is the overwhelming desire to go back and do it all over again. I also had given myself a task, to do my level best to eat my way across this city.
The previous night at Les Halles, engaged in conversation with a couple of delightful women Dar and I were given the basics of New York travel and the hot spots of the non tourist food scene.
Armed with that information and my stubborn insistence that we not eat breakfast at the hotel. We hit the streets with empty stomachs and open minds. Luckily for us a corner shop on the corner of 29th st and 6th Ave provided exactly what I was looking for. Inside the busy shop, people of all stripes crowded around the counter. The place had an energy to it, rushed but organized. My first taste of a proper NY Bagel with Lox served as breakfast as we headed up the street bound for the subway.
In planning our trip to NYC, people had tried to steer us away from using the subway, saying that they smelled of pee and homeless people. But being reassured that subways were the cheapest, easiest way to get around the city we charged on regardless. Finding the a station was the easy part, was it the right station to get up to central park… we had no idea.
Fighting off the urge to jump on the first train that happened along we consulted the map, and determined two things. We were in the wrong station but could get up to Central Park after a short walk. Taking in the scene in the train reinforced what I had hoped, people regardless of location are people.
This was not the scary ride that had been portrayed in film and television. It was working class people reading newspapers, listening to I Pods, bored, tired on their way to work.
Finally emerging on the street somewhere, still not sure where, we started walking till we found the edges of the park. Central Park in NYC is massive, an urban oasis of green and calm. I instantly noticed a change in the atmosphere as we approached the edges of the park. The pace seemed to slow, people strolled instead of using the standard New York power walk.
After a short walk past the French Embassy, our first destination of the day came into view. When people tell you that everything in New York is big, believe them. The Metropolitan Museum is simply massive, 2 million square feet, stretched over four blocks of prime Manhattan real estate. To call it world-class is an understatement in the extreme.
Once inside we were greeted with sensory overload in a magnificent way, massive archways led to the various galleries, ancient statuary lined the corridors as we walked overwhelmed with the enormity of the place.
One room opened into another priceless artifacts EVERYWHERE.
Given that we had limited time we almost ran through the museum. It really was a shame but knowing myself I could have spent two weeks inside reading every plaque and investigating every nook and cranny. If you get the chance do give proper time see this incredible place.
Next Up…Madness in Manhattan