New York City is amazing for shopping, shows, people watching and nature walks. Oh, did that surprise you? Earlier during our séjourn Charlie at Hotly Spiced commented and asked what JT does whilst I am shopping — he explores — mainly to find cool spots to show me when we get together. I love that he gets excited about showing me his discoveries. This post will tell you about two new discoveries and one we did last year too. They absolutely knocked my socks off (well, they sure would have had I been wearing socks, but it was just too hot!).
I’ll tell you about the High Line first (or better yet, I’ll let the experts tell you about it) Excerpt from thehighline.com:
“The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the preservation and transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.”
Now if you are going to NYC, I strongly suggest a visit to this surprising nature walk. Norma (From Garden to Wok) mentioned it to me when she saw were were going to New York this spring, but fortunately we had already been the year before, so I was able to tell her how excited we were to be able to see it expanded even more!. Splendidly landscaped with a huge variety native plants and trees, this gorgeous raised walkway provides a quiet retreat for a hectic day in a hectic city; New Yorkers alike love to take a break for a picnic, a little reading or even sun bathing (believe it or not). On the Sunday we were in NYC, we did not notice a large number of tourists, just a few; I would guess that the majority of visitors are native New Yorkers.
Every part of the High Line is set up for the enjoyment of the visitor, taking in views, nature and art specifically designed for the High Line. One of my favourite parts is the stage overlooking 10th Avenue. It is equally as cool from the High Line as it is viewing up from the street (we did that last year).
The other surprising escape is a wonderful path along the Hudson River down on the Lower West Side’s famed Financial District. Beginning at Chambers Street, this path goes all the way to Battery Park at the base of Manhattan. The 2.4 km (1.5 miles) walk will entertain you with sculptures, moments to pause and reflect on various memorials and spectacular views of New Jersey across the Hudson River. The New York CIty Police Memorial is a beautiful fountain and engraved wall with Police Officer names who have died in the line of duty; the Irish Hunger Memorial which is is dedicated to raising awareness of the Great Irish Famine during which about a million Irish died (we even spotted wild strawberries on this memorial). There is a bicycle boulevard that spans directly to the New World Trade Centre, it is really awe inspiring.
We walked all the way to Battery Park at the base of Manhattan, it was so incredibly hot and sunny (not complaining) we had to stop and pick up some water from a street vendor. I would like to point out that the water in NYC is quite reasonable even in the touristy areas like Battery Park. In Toronto, our vendors seem to enjoy taking advantage of the lowly wonderer and charge sometimes as much as $4 for a bottle of water they bought in bulk at Costco for 10 cents! We continue towards wall street to a very special area…an unexpected surprise…the old part of NYC. We pass by a 400 year old house, Fraunces Tavern est 1762 http://www.frauncestavern.com/. Very cool but they don’t have outdoor space and we want to sit on a patio for lunch so we continue to Stone Street. Basically just one restaurant after another; I highly recommend a visit, even if you don’t eat there. Original cobble stones line the streets, the buildings are old and quaint and they close the street down so that the restaurants can put their patio tables into the street. It’s very festive. We were there early as we had a 3pm plane to catch at Newark, but JT didn’t want me to miss this experience, and boy am I glad he saved some time to share it with me. This is a side of New York that is very unexpected.
We selected a cute little restaurant for lunch, but I’ll save that for another Restaurant Review Post.