Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day 15: Miami, bitches

The dreaded time has come, we have left NYC. NYC truly ranks as one of my favourite cities in the world, everyone is so nice there, and the shops are amazing, and everything is open so late. I almost shed a single manly tear as I boarded the plane. I tried to use our 3 hour flight to knock over 3 blog posts of what we did in the last 3 days, I can report that I fell asleep about 10 minutes after we boarded the plane, I had a window seat – thanks Anna! I woke up and probably had around 1.5 hours left to go and started the Day 13 blog. Dedication. Delta is not too bad to fly with, complimentary drinks and stuff, free snacks – the Delta cookies are delicious! The flight was so so so packed, they were offering to check in luggage for free, and to give people free upgrades or $400 Delta Credit if they moved to the next flight!

Miami is so ridiculously humid, we’ve been keeping an eye out on the weather reports and it’s supposedly thundering and stuff, and hurricanes may come in the next 10 days – we will be outtttaaa here by then. The water is amazingly blue here, though the sand sucks, feels like I’m stepping on uneven cement that has been bashed by Thor’s hammer, I was wincing as I walked to the beach and some guy laughed at me while I yelped. The water is so warm and nice; supposedly it’s 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, even at night! There are so many guys body building by the beach, they are all super tanned and well oiled!

We’re staying at Miami Hostel International; this place is known as a party hotel. I am too old for this now man, not really, I’m not old, but I do not have much party in me at all, give me a nice apartment any day! As I type this, music is blasting from the lobby (thank goodness I can sleep through almost anything, Anna can attest to that!); everyone has gone to the clubs and bar hopped since it is Wednesday. We are staying in an apartment for 6 girls and everyone is super nice, 2 girls are from Sweden and 2 from Switzerland – what a mix! Wi-Fi is retarded here, it is only meant to work in the lobby (I’m guessing it has a very limited range of like 10m), so once you enter your room, it starts dropping off and stuff, Anna can use the internet on one end of her bed, I am directly above her on a bunk bed and I cannot, so I’m sitting on the floor near the door as I type this! I am a classy girl.

The rooms are very clean, and have free lockers. The bathrooms are also quite clean, but the door doesn’t close – WHAT IS WITH OUR LUCK WITH BATHROOM DOORS?!! Our last apartment’s bathroom door was dodgy as hell too!

We’re going Sawgrass Mills for an entire day the day after I think, and we’re going to the Holocaust Memorial and Ocean Drive tomorrow… and then going for a dip in the beach, we only put our feet in today. Crossing my fingers that it does not rain/thunderstorm.

I’m getting so tanned, we only walked out for like 1hr and I can see the difference between my leg colour and where my shorts were… WHY? WHYYYYY? I am going to return to Australia as BBQ-Karen!

Anyway, I’m going to try and book Yosemite and Grand Canyon now. Apparently Las Vegas will be hitting 40-42 degrees Celsius, WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! You know what that means? We will be throwing money at Casinos!

Taken with Instagram at Miami Beach International Travelers Hostel

Taken with Instagram at Miami Beach International Travelers Hostel
Holy shit, look how tanned I am compared to Anna! DODO I TOLD YOU I TAN EASY! YOU DID NOT BELIEVE! ARE YOU A BELIEVER NOW? ARE YOU!?!?!?!?!?

Soooo nice (Taken with Instagram at South Beach | Miami Beach)

K.

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Day 14: Washington Square Park, Century 21 (HAHA!), B&H Photo, Totto Ramen & Momofuku

I’m going to keep this short.

Totto Ramen

Totto Ramen is a pretty popular ramen restaurant in Midtown West Manhattan, it is 2 avenues and 2 streets away from us and Wendy had previously recommended it. I was very insistent that we had to go for lunch, we were meant to leave at 11:30am, but ended up leaving at 11:50am, the line was super long outside and we ended up having to wait 1 hour before we finally sat down and ate. 15-20minutes of it went by pretty quickly though, we were playing with this little 2 year old girl outside, her parents must have been so thankful, as she was a cheeky little monkey. Every single time her dad told her to stop walking down the stairs, she’d walk one step down and stare at him, he would tell her to come back very sternly and she would take one more step, she was pretty much just testing how far she could go before she would get into trouble. She ended up walking into the store and her dad quickly grabbed her and carried her back up the stairs. She ended up saying hello to us and amusing us for 20 minutes while she played with my finger nails, I could tell she was so baffled as to why my nails were RED and hers were not, she would touch my nails and examine them, and then stare at her own, so cute! She played ‘hide the map’ and ‘guess which hand Karen hid the coin’. Adorableeeee. Anyway, I digress from Totto Ramen, food was good, we both had the Spicy Ramen, I had chicken and Anna had pork – pick the pork, it is far superior, they glaze it and then caramelize it. Yummo.

Taken with Instagram

Century 21
HA! I asked to go Century 21 again! I am choking on my words as I type this, this time we went to the C21 at Lincoln Square, the C21 here is more organized and there are less people than the Downtown store, though the Downtown store has more stock, I recommend everyone go to Lincoln Square. New stock comes in every Wednesday for both stores, so if you want to avoid the flocks of people who are on the prowl for a good bargain, then go some other day. Anna bought a Kenneth Cole bag for like $70 off, what a win!

B&H Photo Video
Next stop was B&H Photo Video, my boss has insisted that I must visit the store just to see how ridiculously huge it is – it is huge, with every lens and camera you can imagine, though the way you purchase things there is so weird: you pick what you want in one area, go to a separate area to pay for it, and then pick it up again in another area. I didn’t get anything, I was too confused about the layout of the store and sort of overwhelmed by a billion gadgets. It was nice to see the actual store though because I bought my 24-70mm lens online from them many moons ago!

Washington Square Park
We went to Washington Square Park next and it was so nice, we had to walk a bit to get to it and we walked through NYU, saw some of the dorm housing, saw some people graduating and stuff too! I want to go to NYU and study!!!!!! The park is so nice, Americans definitely do parks better than us Aussies do, there was a nice big fountain in front of the arch, people were taking their dogs out on walks, families were out and about, sun was shining… we sat around for half an hour before walking to Momofuku Noodle Bar.

Taken with Instagram

Taken with Instagram

Momofuku Noodle Bar + Maccas
Anna and I always make the most stupid food choices while waiting to eat dinner. Yesterday we had 2 cupcakes, today we had a big box of spicy snack bites from McDonalds because we needed to use their toilets. SMAAAARTTTT… S-M-R-T. Anna finished most of the box, though the damage was already done for me, I was kind of full. HOW AWESOME IS THE SAUCE HOLDER THING???? Why don’t our McDonalds do that?

$4.99 (Taken with Instagram)

We got to Momofuku at 5:20pm, opening time is at 5:30pm, and were promptly seated! It got pretty busy after 6:00pm but I think you only wait around 15 minutes; it only gets bad during weekends. We only ordered 4 pork buns and a sangria slushie, the pork buns were just as I remembered, soft, tender and delicious! Anna agreed, but she was very very full by the 2nd one, she could not for the life of her understand how I had an eating competition with those pork buns. We were seated right in front of the kitchen, so it was pretty fun watching them plate stuff.

Packing/Cleaning
I spent 30 minutes watching youtube clips on how to pack my luggage efficiently, I decided on using the bundling method – it’s winning man, I like it, I like it until I need to pull clothes out, then it’s a bit annoying. Go google it, people fit so much shit in a carry on using this method! I managed to squish all my items (see distressed photo below) in without much effort at all!

What have I done?!? I have 4 weeks left!!!!!! (Taken with Instagram)
so distressssed

We decided to do a quick clean of the house even though the owners of the apartment never specified that we had to, they are just so nice, and it didn’t feel right to leave it in a huge mess. It was good as new by the time we were done, we cleaned the bathroom, the kitchen, vacuumed the floors – we are going to be winning housewives. We are all set to leave NYC L I don’t want to go. Don’t let me leave you NYC………………………………..there is still so much that I have not done, like the MET, Guggenheim Museum, Central Park Zoo, we haven’t even done Central Park properly!!! Oh well, it gives me an excuse to return one day.

Also, I lied, this wasn’t particularly short, it never is is it?

Oh oh, we stayed at an apartment that we booked on TripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g60763-d1992371-Large_Sunny_Quiet_Studio_in_Midtown_Manhattan-New_York_City_New_York.html#review_120125300

I highly recommend it to anyone going to NYC, it’s in Midtown West Manhattan on 10th Avenue and it is within walking distance to Times Square, Central Park, Subways, laundromats, 24 hour pharmacies, an awesome fruit stall, D’Agostinos, and 9th Avenue (so many restaurants!).

K.

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Day 13: Union Square, SoHo, Century 21 revisited, Serendipity

We managed to knock down most of the things we wanted to do today, and we didn’t get lazy about any of it either, with a forceful determination, Anna and I woke up and left the house at 12:30pm – not lazy? Yeaaaahhh right. We didn’t even set particularly ambitious plans, since we jammed packed every touristy sight to visit when Doodles was around! Doodles landed in Sydney at around 6pm today (8am Sydney Time), and was already up and strolling around Cabramatta, the lucky girl doesn’t have any jet lag and didn’t even take the sleeping pills that were readily available to her. I on the other hand will be taking advantage of whatever sleeping aids I get – noise cancelling headphones, sleeping pills, a sleeping mask, the works!

Union Square
We first hit up Union Square, the park there is pretty I guess, I didn’t know what else was to see there, I saw a H&M store and got excited, I left this top I wanted 2 days prior because the lines are so so long on a weekend, shopping on a weekend should be avoided by tourists as all the locals flock there. Actually, it’s pretty insane on a normal day as well. While we were taking a romantic stroll at Union Square Park, it started to rain, yes, these are the tears of New York City from knowing that we will be leaving in 2 days, that’s what I tell myself. Anyway, we bolted down the subway and quickly abandoned our plans of visiting Washington Square (that’s where the big arch thing is, they have something that looks similar in France, it’s the setting of Suits episode 1, where Mike tells Trevor that he’s known his social security number since he was 9 and will f&^% him upppp – woo.. I am a Suits nerd.) EH, we will visit this tomorrow, and I know we will, since I am from the future and have already been there.

Taken with InstagramCentury 21

Oh gosh, I am going to eat my words here, I previously lamented about how incredibly shit it was and how crowded it was, I think my exact words were “HERE IS WHERE CLOTHES COME TO DIE!” Actually, those were Katie’s words. It is crowded all the time, but when you have time and are not in a particularly sort of rush, it’s not too bad. They have a ridiculous selection of sunglasses in the Downtown C21 store, I managed to get a pair of Michael Kors and Steve Madden sunnies, a Michael Kors black leather wallet that I kind of love, and a big fat red travel wallet (I put my phone, my money, my passport, my keycards, my receipts, my coins… my life, my mum and my dad inside). Anna also managed to get a Kenneth Cole bag, a nice Tommy Hilfiger wallet and a sunglasses case. FRUITFUL! IT WAS A FRUITFUL ADVENTURE!

SoHo
The fact that we have visited SoHo for the 4th time is evidence as to how incredibly awesome the shopping is. Best shopping in NYC, I say! I slipped into H&M to find my floral top and came out with 2 tops, a dress, and a bikini. WOO. I have an obsession with bikinis, sunglasses, and bras. I need to stop. Anna? Help me????

Serendipity + Magnolia Bakery
Next, we headed to Midtown East to try Serendipity again, the last time we went at 11pm and there was a 45min wait. This time, we went at 6pm, SURELY, we’d get in immediately right? WRONG. 1 hr wait again, I don’t think there is EVER a right time for Serendipity in NYC, so if you want to go, be prepared to wait. Anyway, we were determined and just put our names down and went for a browse in the Bloomingdales across the road, we also went into Magnolia Bakery because I wanted a mocha. I don’t even normally drink coffee, this is how it all starts, first it’s a mocha, then BAM, I’m a coffee fiend and it’s the end for me. No, I will not allow this to happen, I quit mochas! I will save myself! We ended up 2 cupcakes each, Anna with a caramel and red velvet, me with a vanilla and banana… I will never know what compelled us to think that it was a good idea eating 2 cupcakes before dinner. Some lady kept talking to me while I was eating my cupcake.

Taken with Instagram

45 minutes went by and we went back to Serendipity and got seated fairly quickly. The décor of the place is adorable, it feels like you’ve stepped into vintage fantasy land, there’s  was a huge huge clock next to us, and there are vintage paintings everywhere. They are most famous for their Frrrozen Hot Chocolate – how it can be Frozen and Hot, I will never know, but we ordered one of these. We also ordered spicy chicken wings and a Turkey sandwich – hello America, land of the excess, we are learning your ways. The table beside us were going crazy with their food, I think they ordered like 5 big items and like 4 drinks – TWO PEOPLE ONLY. Anyway, the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate came and it was HUGE, I’m talking the size of two of my fists together huge, nothing special though… it tastes like Gloria Jeans Iced Chocolate, in fact, I would have to say Gloria Jeans is nicer because we have better cream. EHHH. The spicy wings I would have done without too, it’s just sticky and tastes like someone has poured hot sauce all over it. The Turkey Sandwich, now this, EVERYONE SHOULD ORDER! So delicious, so big, served with Irish Soda bread that Anna did not like but I loved.

Anyway, while we were waiting for our meals to come, Anna and I were complaining about not having seen any celebrities, we put our names on the stand-by list to go to David Letterman, but never got a call back, we were devo, Vanessa saw Melissa George, and that makes me even more devo. While I was people watching, a man was blocking the pathway of a waiter because he was playing with his kid and the waiter asked him to move, he quickly got up and went back to his seat and then I froze, this man looked oddly familiar… I quickly turned to Anna and I really did look like this: O_O, I have the worst poker face in the entire world, do not ever take me to poker. I grabbed her arm and started mumbling “OH MY GOD ANNA, OH MY GOD!! IT’S THE LEAD FROM ROYAL PAINS!! YOU WATCH ROYAL PAINS DON’T YOU?!?!? I WATCH ROYAL PAINS!! IT’S HIM! I KNOW IT! IT’S HIM! WHAT DO I DO?!?!?! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DOOOOOO?!?!”, she turns to him and calmly goes “Yeah, it’s him”, wow, she must regret going on holidays with this nut job. He was on the table diagonal to us, 2m away from us! He seemed nice, played with his kids a lot and was polite to waiters. Ahhhh, that made my day, that 45min wait was worth it! I can officially report that we had our first celebrity sighting.

Taken with Instagram

Taken with Instagram

Anna (Taken with Instagram)
gorgeous NYC sun set, omg, NYC I love you!

 

Woot. Signing off.

K.

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Day 12: Dodo’s departure

Dodo left today and we had her farewell lunch at the Shake Shack near the theatre district, it was a nice long walk in the heat 🙂 Be prepared to hover over tables to get seats if you want to go, the place is packed all the freakin time. We had their shakeburger, cheese fries, vanilla shake and a coke – all were equally as delicious!

After that we did some last minute souvenir shopping in Times Square (there’s 2 stores further down from TKTS that are decently priced) and then went to pink berry for some froyo, and then went home to head over to Vanessa+Andrew’s to drop Doodles off. It is so different without her, no more morning disco lights and dancing haha. 

Anna and I pretty much passed out when we got home, woke up at 8pm, and went to Ajisai Sushi on 9th Ave for dinner, we were craving Japanese so badly. They mucked up our order – they gave us a sushi set instead of sashimi set when we already ordered an 18 piece sushi set for 2, so we paid around $80 (incl tips) for a ridiculous amount of sushi. Lame.

Sad and uneventful day haha.

K.

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Day 11: MoMA, Grand Central Station, High line

Since it was Dodo’s last full day, we decided to pack it in, I think we did pretty well, we left the house at 10:40am and got back just before 8pm – my legs and feet hate me, FYI.

We finally went MoMA today, it only took like 5-6 days! The Museum has 6 levels, with level 5 housing Van Gogh, Matisse, Monet and more – there was an entire room dedicated to Monet’s garden lily paintings, they’re huge! It’s all kinds of amazing seeing those paintings in real life, I got super excited when I saw Starry Night too! Doodles and Anna hadn’t had breakfast yet, so that was all that was on their mind. This was included in the New York Pass (I think we’ve hit like $270-300 on the card now wooooo, we paid $180).

Taken with Instagram

Taken with Instagram

The next destination was Magnolia Bakery! Doodles and I were itching for an ICED MOCHA, yes, I was not stupid this time, we also got a cupcake each, pretty good, I can see why people rave about it.

Taken with Instagram

Magnolia bakery cupcake! (Taken with Instagram)

Next stop: Grand Central. We initially intended to walk it (down 10 streets and a couple of avenues I think), but we luckily found a subway that took us directly there (the 7 train near Bryant Park). The place is so so so amazing… the ceiling is made up of a series of constellations and is painted to look like the sky. We tried to find the stairs where Serena and Dan first met properly, but failed miserably. We spent about 10 minutes trying to steal APPLE WI-FI, we’re like moths to a light when we find out there’s free wi-fi. There are mass tourists taking photos there too, like all the time.

Taken with Instagram

Finally!!! (Taken with Instagram at Grand Central Terminal)

Lunch was had at Cafeteria in Chelsea, the wait was ridiculously long so we ran into Loehmann’s Department Store to kill time (45 min), we went back and still had to wait another 15 minutes. We were seated out in the sun and all ended up with a tan during a 1 hour lunch. Doodles and Anna were extremely hungry by then and were desperate for a bagel, they both ordered a bagel and Dodo ordered an additional Smoked Salmon Benedict, I ordered a Peach Salad with some meat and goats cheese with a balsamic glaze, a Mac Attack ($14 for a tasting plate of 3 different types of their Mac and Cheese – we picked the Gouda, Truffle Oil and Cheddar), their Mac and Cheese is quite popular and I have to say it’s pretty damn good. I did not know that Chelsea was the equivalent of Sydney’s Kings Cross, there were so many same sex couples out and about, holding hands and having lunch. Thanks for the recommendation, Katie!

Taken with Instagram at Cafeteria

Next, we made our way to the High Line, it used to be a train track I think, and is now a linear park across New York City, it has such nice views and there’s little areas with water and people sunbathing and lots and lots of green, there’s also Cafes up there. Sydney should do something like that near/at UTS, it’s really something having a nice park surrounded by buildings and concrete, it’s like a nice sanctuary! We only walked about 4-5 streets and decided we needed to hit up SoHo & Times Square for Dodo’s last minute shopping.

Taken with Instagram

Taken with InstagramWe had some drinks later at night with Vanessa+Andrew to say Bye to them and Doodles, they are flying on the same day/same flight, thank goodness Doodles has company going home! We had some salami + cheese + fruit plates with Moscato and Sangria. Yeah, we fancyyyyyyyyyyy. They went up to the roof top to admire the NYC skyline/night, while I was an anti-social and stayed downstairs, my leg was so tired! 😦

Taken with Instagram

Anyway, I am done!

K.

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Day 10: Bike riding in Central Park, Thunderstorms, Broadway

MOMA did not happen again. This is all I willing to say about MOMA.

We had previously decided that we could go watch a broadway show in NYC, Lion King tickets were unfortunately sold out because we were being lazy and slow, so we decided to watch The Phantom of the Opera. MY FAVOURITE 🙂 I’ve watched it so many times. TKTS at Times Square and the Financial District sell 50% off tickets, we went to the Financial District Store, it is on 199 Water St, NYC and opens at 11am, the line starts at like 10am though. Phantom of the Opera was on at 8pm and we JUST made it, we ended up paying $70 for them, since the show was off broadway, the theatre was more intimate and we sat much closer than we would have in Sydney if we had paid $70.

Our little party got a bit lost before getting to TKTS and I managed to see that the Bodies Exhibition was like 2 minutes away from TKTS  – score, the exhibition is $30 and part of our New York Pass, I conned Anna and Doodles into going! I was pretty interested in it anyway because Wendy had gone prior to that and recommended it. This is an exhibition that showcases preserved human bodies, a lot of them don’t have casing either, so you see all the muscles, nerves, ligaments, bones, fat etc. The bodies were all bodies donated by the Chinese government, with no verification that the bodies do not belong to executed prisoners – there was a whole fiasco around that. There was a section that was strictly dedicated to embryo and foetal development, it was so incredibly fascinating. They had the embryo and foetuses in little jars and you saw the developments from week 3, 5, 8, 9, 12 and so on. It’s a good thing to go see if you have it on a pass or something, it’s not something you see everyday. No photos though, they didn’t let us and I don’t think it’s particularly respectful either.

We went Bike Riding today, a 3 hr bike hire thing in Central Park is included in our New York Pass so we thought we’d use it before it ended. Random people on the street were commending us on our efforts of riding a bike in the ridiculously humid weather. I highly recommend riding a bike through the park, you get through things much quicker than walking, there’s also a one way bike path on the road… so you need to go the entire way around the park in one direction unless you want to do what we did and get sort of told. We checked the weather today and were advised that there would be thunderstorms, 25 minutes into the ride, the weather took a turn for the worst, we quickly got out of the park, returned the bikes and ran home (3 avenues away!).

Keeping it short today, because we did not do much. My luggage is sooooo full and I have 5 weeks left, Doodles is so taking things home for me.

K.

New York Pass
http://www.newyorkpass.com

Central park (Taken with Instagram)

Taken with Instagram

The Phantom of the Opera (Taken with Instagram at Majestic Theatre)

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Day 9: Lions, Dinosaurs, Neanderthals & Whales

The plan & the result:

  1. Visit the American Museum of Natural History – tick, accomplished this!
  2. Visit MOMA – no tick, yes, this is probably the 4th time we’ve attempted to go to MOMA and failed.
  3. Visit Top of the Rock – tick? 
  4. Eat dinner at Carnegie Deli, apparently they have the best sandwiches ever and they are huge – tick, sort of. We got lazy and had it delivered 4 streets away. 

American Museum of Natural History (included in the New York Pass)
4 levels of historical goodness, this place is MAGICAL, it is so huge and just mind blowing. They have 5 floors (lower level all the way up to level 4) of exhibits: think marine life with a life sized whale replica dangling from the wall, mammoth bones, t-rex bones, stuffed bears, lions, tigers, the evolution of humans, and space etc. I don’t think any amount of words can describe how incredible the place is, it’s an amazing feeling looking at how far the world has come and how we have changed, the world is pretty spectacular. Hmph, I’ve used so many synonyms – mind blowing, incredible, spectacular, magical… haha, what’s one more?  It is fantastic.
My favourite exhibit was probably the evolution of humans on level 1, Dodo is a toss up between the humans & dinosaurs, and Anna’s favourite was the dinosaur exhibit on level 4. The place is packed and there are children everywhere, asking their cute little questions, curious children are so cute. Bring a cardigan, some areas are chilly as hell (ahem, stupid Space & Planet area). Try to eat lunch beforehand or after as well, the cafeteria/cafes are expensive and the food ain’t great.
The American Museum of Natural History was probably one of the things I was most excited to see on this trip and it definitely did not disappoint. It was everything I thought it would be and more, I don’t even think we got to go through 2/3 of it before we left and headed to MOMA, thinking we’d make it before it closed.
Lions! (Taken with Instagram at American Museum of Natural History)
 Taken with Instagram at American Museum of Natural History
So cute! (Taken with Instagram at American Museum of Natural History)
OH. You are so cute.
I am a t-Rex, hear me roar! (Taken with Instagram)
Taken with Instagram
Wise words.
MOMA (included in the New York Pass)
Ahhhhh, what can I say about MOMA that I haven’t said already? We missed it again, for probably the 4th-5th time, I don’t know why this keeps happening. It’s depressing! This is actually getting to the point of being incredibly embarrassing, and I’m contemplating lying on my blog and saying that we went just so I don’t come back to this blog one day, reflect on this, and think of myself as a failure… It was worse this time because we got to the door at 5:25pm, without realising that MOMA closes at 5:30pm. WHY??? The stars have decided that we will never go to MOMA – or it could just be that we are silly and don’t check closing times. :X
TOP OF THE ROCK (included in the New York Pass)
This was meant to be done at night, but we were so sure that the moment we stepped foot into our little studio apartment, it would be all over… no more top of the rock for us! So we very smartly decided to go there at 6pm. The lines were a bit long and we were getting agitated, they make you watch a 12 minute video about the history of Rockefeller, the history of the Christmas tree at Rockafeller… I don’t care. Top of the Rock is a 360 degree view of NYC at the top of the Rockefeller Centre, you hop into an elevator (with an awesome see through roof with lights shining everywhere) and travel up 70 levels and have pretty amazing views of the city. This > Empire State Building, we had a lot of fun up there and took many amazing photos and 1 silly video (which I am trying to upload as I type this, but my EeePC can’t hack it, the dumb thing). My skirt kept flying up, so to the ladies, wear shorts if you’re going to go up there, it’s windy as hell.
New York, I love you! (Taken with Instagram at Top of The Rock Observation Deck)
I love New York.
MAGNOLIA BAKERY
I finally got to go to Magnolia Bakery!!! I’ve been using their Vanilla cupcake recipe since forever and it’s nice to go to the actual store + every girl has told me to go there. I must report that I did not get a cupcake :X There were so many people, and I hate crowds. Oh, I neglected to mention that today’s weather was 95 degrees Fahrenheit again, it was also humid as hell and we were all sweating and close to passing out, so guess which genius naturally decides to get a HOT MOCHA at Magnolia Bakery? I’ll tell you, it wasn’t Amanda or Anna. The person at the counter specifically asked me “Hot or Cold?” and I paused and said “Hot.”, she stared at me blankly for a while and did a quick shrug and went to prepare my drink… I walked to Doodles & Anna before paying for the drink and Doodles was very quick to go “WHY DO YOU HAVE A HOT MOCHA?”, my response? “I’ve been wondering the same thing for the last 30 seconds.” :/ So out we walked into the sweltering heat, where I drank my hot mocha and tried to justify that it tastes better hot, on a hot day… I know, sense… I do not make. So there, the story of my life. We also managed to find the LOVE sign and took many happy snaps there, I’ve been longing to take a picture since like 2009? So it’s been a bit of a wait.
Taken with Instagram
Taken with Instagram
HOT MOCHA! HOT MOCHA! WHO WANTS A HOT MOCHA ON A HOT DAY?
Stupid people sitting there. Slap you.
CARNEGIE DELI
We have also been told to eat at Carnegie Deli and get a sandwich as they are HUGE… we we meant to go to the Deli, it was on our way home and maybe about 20 metres from us, but we instead decided to order take out, it was FREE DELIVERY, come on, who can say no to FREE DELIVERY?????? Anyway, Doodles gave them a call and we placed our order, about 15 minutes later, the order came and we paid the guy, tipped him properly and sat down at the table to eat our dinner, we opened the big paper bag and we totally did not get what we ordered – FYI, we ordered a corned beef sandwich I think, we ended up getting a big box of corned beef with potato chips, 2 slices of bread, and 2 pickles… It was apparently an ‘open sandwich’, whatever that is. So there is another lesson to be learnt here: check your bag while the delivery guy is still there! The corned beef was pretty yummy, though the mac & cheese was a bit bland. Now we have to go there and find an actual sandwich. Fail.
Anyway, we’re going to try and get half priced tickets to go see The Phantom of the Opera  tomorrow, CHEERING, YEEEEEEWWWWWWW. It’s my all time favourite broadway show, THE PHANTOMMMMM OF THE OPERA IS THERE, INSIDE MY MIND… THE PHANTOMMNM OF THE OPERAAAAAAAA. *CHEERS* I think we’re going to attempt to go to MOMA again, though I probably shouldn’t have said that, because I am certain that I have now jinxed it and we will not go. We are attempting to conquer Central Park again… Ha Ha, what a joke right? I have no faith in us, we walked the bottom corner of the park and almost passed out… but this time, we have bikes! Should be fun… when we fall off.
Anna managed to upload some of the stupid videos we’ve been shooting, so if anyone wants to have a look at how silly we are and feel good about how un-lame they are…

 We’re pretty lame, I know.

Doodles, girl where you heading at the end of that video???
Ok, everyone is asleep. I am about to face plant into my keyboard… again. Bye. Ciao. I’ll update the blog with some addresses tomorrow, when I’m bothered, or maybe I lie.
Some extra photos from my SLR:
K.
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Day 8: NYC heat wave

Remember all those things I said that we would do today? HA, so did not happen. We are horrible tourists, no?

In case anyone has forgotten, our planned itinerary went something like this:

  1. Leave the house by 9am and take a walk to Central Park, this walk takes about 15-20 minutes, as we live in midtown Manhattan.
  2. Walk north and head towards the Guggenheim Museum, we anticipated that this would take about 50 minutes based on Google Maps.
  3. Spend 1 hr in the Guggenheim Museum and catch a subway to the Bronx to watch a Yankees VS. Atlanta Braves game.
  4. Head to Sylvia’s in Harlem for a late late lunch.
  5. Go to the Museum of Contemporary Art (yeah, we only planned this and abandoned it like 3 times. Please see previous posts.)

Reality was something like this:

  1. Woke up at 9am, sat around for 1 hr and left the house at 10am. Walked outside and was slapped in the face by 95 degree Fahrenheit weather, that’s about 33 degree Celsius for any Aussies reading this.
  2. Walked to Central Park, drenched in sweat, blood and tears. Dragged ourselves around the park for about 40 minutes and realise we were still on the lower end of the park, we pretty much walked 15m and sat down for 5 minutes about 3 times. At the entrance to Central Park, there are loads of guys on those tuk-tuk things that try to get you to use their services, we politely declined because we thought we were machine enough to walk it, it’s also pretty pricey starting at $5, and then $1 for every street + tips. I’m sure they had the last laugh though, we were suffering about 40 minutes in, with no tuk-tuk in sight, we had a quick look at a map and realised we were about 20 streets away, we are such amateurs. After demolishing a hot dog and some snow cones, we made the unanimous decision to skip the Guggenheim and to head straight to the Bronx, it took us a while to exit but we got there! We managed to get onto Madison Avenue and saw Amanda’s dream Prada wallet and some bags (I have to admit that I got bag envy, I don’t even like bags?!?! So pretty!), I wanted to stay in the shop forever, the air con was blasting and it was amazing. We also found Laduree, ohhhh my love.. my darling… I bought 6 macarons and promptly demolished them, they are not as good as I remember.Image
  3. We went to the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, went to the ticket booth and the cheapest tickets were $80, they are $9 online, we did not have a printer so we initially thought we’d just buy it there – we did not, we left and went to Sylvia’s. Though I can report that there were so many people and the atmosphere was fantastic, the stadium was so loud with people cheeeering, it would have been fun to go inside.
  4. Sylvia’s is a famous restaurant that is celebrating their 49th year this year (I think), they serve Soul Food and have been featured on Masterchef Australia. The restaurant is pretty close to the subway, so whoever goes there should visit. Their portions are HUGE. Amanda ordered Crispy Chicken with Beef Ribs, Anna ordered Crispy Chicken, and I ordered a Salmon Croquette (I had a hot dog, okay? I was not particularly hungry! I’m not weak!). I should also note that these are entrees, they come with 2 side orders, Doodles’s meal was like $18.95, Anna’s $15.95 and mine $12.95 – the size of these plates were GINORMOUS, yes, that big that it was deserving of CAPS. Doodles was the only one who finished about 90% of her meal, MACHINE. She promptly fell into a food coma the moment we hopped into a cab to go home, I wasn’t trailing far behind her, I kept banging my head into Anna’s shoulder when I was sleeping – I was only told about this, I remember nothing! The staff at Sylvia’s are amazing, they are so nice, one of the staff there ran out after us to ask how our meal was and to ask how we heard about them, they are so incredibly hospitable. I recommend them!
  5. We left Sylvia’s at around 2:30pm, we walked outside into the sweltering summer heat and decided that we needed a cab. We were not in the mood for the stuffy subway air. Doodles and I passed out in the cab and we got home before 3pm – the earliest time yet. We turned on the air con and all slept for about 2-3 hours. We were listening to the radio and were advised to stay inside the house tomorrow with aircon, or to go somewhere with an aircon, last year when the heat wave hit, 31 people died. That’s what you want to hear.
  6. 9pm – went to drinks in East Village at some bar that had 10 in it, I don’t remember. We had some Sangria and caught up with one of Doodle’s UTS friends who recently got engaged – like super recently, 1-2 days ago! It was so exciting! Congratulations to them both, they will have immensely good looking children. So it was nice to go out and celebrate.
  7. 2:40am – I am sitting here blogging while my two travelling partners have passed out. We have … plans tomorrow. I will not divulge our specific plans as I have done before, as it is moderately embarrassing when I come back to say that we haven’t done half of it.

I don’t know where to include this, so I’ll just dump it here so I can look back one day and laugh…African Americans love Amanda when she wears her fedora! If I had a dollar for every time someone tried to hit on her when she went out with that fedora… there was this one guy selling Yankee caps today at the Bronx subway station, he’s screaming “5 DOLLARS! 5 DOLLAR CAPS! 5 DOLLARS!” and the moment Doodles walks past him, his tone completely changes “Oh hey gorgeous, you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, that hat looks so cute on you.” THIS HAPPENS SO OFTEN?!?!

ANYWAY. That was fun. I spend a good 30min-2hrs a day recounting things, I will come to appreciate that I did this in a couple of years time.

I think the key thing to take away from this blog post is to not walk around in 95 degree weather, unless you want to have heat stroke and have your face get really intimate with the concrete floor. Look at the weather for your travels and plan your trip around it, you do not want to be walking about Central Park in weather like that, you want to be in a museum with air-con, you want to CAB IT TO A MUSEUM AND NOT TRY TO BE HEROES AND WALK THROUGH A PARK THAT IS PRETTY MUCH THE SIZE OF MANHATTAN. Also carry a big bottle of water at all times.

I have been told so many times that I am so incredibly abrupt with my blogs 🙂 if you know me, you will know I talk EXACTLY like that, isn’t this just like hearing stories from me directly, as if I’m verbally telling you? When we get back to Sydney, no one is going to ask what we did on our trip, Ha!

Okay. Ciao. I’m going to pass out on the couch now.

K.

So beautiful, so so beautiful.

Whaddup, Laduree? Why you so pretty?

Food coma. @amanda_doodles was a MACHINE!!!!! (Taken with Instagram at Sylvia’s)

The reason behind our food coma. The reason why Amanda is going to roll back to Sydney. I joke, I love you. You’ll waddle.

Sylvia’s Harlem Restaurant
No bookings necessary, just walk in.
http://www.sylviasrestaurant.com/ 

328 Lenox Ave New York, NY 10027
Tel: (212) 996-0660
Fax: (212) 427-6389

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Day 7: Empire State Building, NBC Tour, NY Library, Bryant Park

I am le tired. I think 5-6 days of excessive walking has finally caught up to me big time, we got home at about 6 and we’ve been lounging around ever since.

We visited another New York icon today – the Empire State Building! We were warned that we could expect 2 hour waits if we went after 11am, we lagged (as usual) and got out of the house at 10, so didn’t get to 5th Avenue until just before 11am. Dodo was lured into a KFC and bought a huge piece of chicken for $3 – it included a bread roll too, Australia, learn from the States, stop over charging us please!!!! I gave in and ended up buying some chilli cheese fries from Nathan’s hot dogs, for some reason the meals aren’t as nice as the Nathan’s store at Coney Island.

We got to the Empire State Building, did the Skyride (Fun! Narrated by Kevin Bacon, who made a joke about the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon), bought post cards, and then headed to the observatory on the 80th floor – The NYC Pass only gives you free entry to the 80th floor, you can add another $17 to go to the 102nd floor I think. It only took us about 15 minutes to get through the line and we were up up and up! We had the option of waiting 20 minutes for the elevators to go up 6 floors, or walk it to the 80th floor, and we opted to walk it. Tick, exercise for the day done! I can see Dodo frowning as she reads this. “Pft, that was exercise? WEAK!” She will think to herself.

Anyway, Empire State Building was cool-ish, it’s something you must do if you go NY I guess. We headed to Macy’s next to have a browse and to look for my DG 2096 sunglasses, they don’t sell them anyway and I am devastated. Macy’s is HUGE, it’s a huge department store the size of Parramatta Westfields. We crossed off most of the levels that we weren’t going to go to (men’s clothing, kids clothing) and then took a stroll around, we weren’t there for long, nothing to see, prices out of our range… though we did eat a large Ben and Jerry’s Icecream and pretzel hot dogs. Dodo has pretty much eaten a hot dog a day, machining.

We then made our way to Bryant Park/New York Public Library, both are gorgeous! I did some post card writing in the park while we bathed in the New York summer sun. We had a reservation for the NBC Studio Tour at 3:30pm so we headed to the Rockefeller Centre to get to that. The tour was so-so, though it was cool going through a working studio since all 3 of us are TV buffs. I LOVED the merchandise (Greendale Community College jumper, I’m talking about you), but they were overpriced and nothing was in my size, I’m also on my first leg of a 6 week trip, so best not to pack too much junk (it’s probably too late for me now).

I’ve made plans to visit the LOVE sign at Rockefeller to take a photo and have abandoned them daily in a exchange for getting to go home earlier, I am a fail traveller. I think we did a sufficient amount though, right? We walked home from Rockefeller and strolled into a nail parlour to get a manicure and pedicure, MY FIRST! It was bizarre, people who know me will know that I really hate people touching my feet, I hate people clipping my nails even more – it’s like watching someone chop off an arm, it is really that bad for me, it IRKS me, but after 6 days of walking, we were all in need of some pampering… I sit here typing with perfectly cut and painted nails 🙂 While I am not a convert, it was pretty nice to be pampered! I then tippy-toed all the way home because I couldn’t be bothered to put my vans on properly. There’s a sight for ya!

We made a nice home cooked dinner because our fridge is filled like no tomorrow, Pasta with bolognase and a salad for those who were wondering. Dodo and I are also drinking wine, Dodo has drunk a copious amount of wine in the last few days, a bottle of Sangria a day! The bottle shop owner even recognises us now and calls us neighbours.

Anyway, I’m going to go and be classy and eat from our cheese and fruit plate while sipping on my Moscato D’Asti – or I might just pass out from exhaustion (this is 10x more likely to be my night).

I still need to watch Suits, oh my…

Our plans tomorrow are a walk at Central Park (FINALLY, YAY, 30 STREET WALK YAYYYYYYYY *DIES*), Guggenheim, Yankees game at the Bronx (if you don’t see another blog post in 24 hours, please call 911 for me, or the Australian Consulate, I love you Mum), and dinner at Sylvias. We were meant to go MOMA today but it was closed, so might try to fit that in too (Ha! Unlikely). American Museum of Natural History on Thursday, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cheeeeeering! Bike ride at Central Park on Friday (yes! get to cruise around in my sexy kicks).

We’ve used $150 out of $180 on our NY Pass with 3 days to go, BAM! In your face NY pass!

Okay. Bye.

K.

Top of the empire state building! (Taken with Instagram)

Empire State Building Views

Inside the New York Public Library

New York Public Library (Taken with Instagram)

Outside the New York Public Library

@ The Empire State Building

Bryant Park & the New York Public Library.

NBC Tour Pass!

Taken with Instagram

Dinner is served

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Day 6: Food pron, SEX, wax, and romantic cruises for 3

I am going to keep this so short, and maybe a little sweet. I am so ridiculously tired, I was only meant to blog for 15 minutes and ended up still sitting here after 1am. We did the following today:

  1. Eleven Madison Park – amazeballs, a bit more on this later.
  2. Museum of Sex – so explicit, so good. Such funny gifts in the gift shop.
  3. Madam Tassauds – got conned into going into the scream house and got chased by actors in masks, I was swiftly abandoned by Anna and Amanda who held hands and ran through the attraction. I was by myself doing a long scream, chanting “dear lord dear lord dear lord” and “I hate you! I hate you!” to the actors – they touched my head and blew on my neck!! It was fun though, but omg, I cannot do those horror houses. I threatened to give one of the actors a concussion with my camera. I know, classy girl.
  4. Ripley’s Believe it or not? – the black hole was a spin out, and the laser race looks fun, you do this spy stuff and try to get through a room with lasers everywhere, the quickest time was 21.3 seconds by a little girl called Isabel – she must have flown.
  5. Circle Line sunset cruise – so romantic with Anna and Amanda, I fell asleep in the first 10-15 minutes. It is a nice sunset cruise around New York for about 2 hours, I think it’s less than $40, but it’s included in the New York Pass that we bought.

Eleven Madison Park

I am not very far from face planting my keyboard, I am so tired, but I will quickly talk about EMP. I am also hungry, and blogging about this does not help that, sleep will mask the hunger… that is how much I need to talk about how amazing EMP is. This place is phenomenal, you MUST book it if you come to NYC. It is consistently rated 4-5 stars and is a 3 Michelin star restaurant – my first 3 Michelin star restaurant. Woo. Service is impeccable and food is amazing. The menu just features one ingredient per dish so you have no idea what the actual meal is going to be aside from the main feature ingredientWe had a party of 4 so we just picked everything on the menu and told them to put down the dishes wherever they wanted – this was good, as anyone who knows me can agree that I have major food envy, I always manage to stare at my dinner date’s meal like we are star crossed lovers, this way, it wasn’t my fault that I didn’t get the best thing, it was EMP! We opted for the $74 four course lunch, while that sounds pricey, it is SO worth it. I probably spent about $125 on this lunch (I had 2 glasses of wine), but no regrets :). They have all these little extras before your meal and before your dessert, it is worth it. I really tried to write down what every dish was, but gave up without much of a fight, maybe I’ll flick through the cookbook, come back and write down what everything was, we’ll see, eh? This meal has ruined me forever, this is a common theme for food in NYC!! I don’t know how I can return to Sydney and eat a nice meal without comparing it to EMP… I don’t know how I can eat a cookie without thinking of the oozing chocolate from Levain Bakery. I. Am. Ruined. Anyway, photos are better than my 1am gibberish!

 Eleven Madison Park takes bookings 28 days in advance, do it exactly 27-28 days before you want to go, or it’s unlikely that you’ll get a booking. Get a booking on http://www.opentable.com.

Eleven Madison Park

http://elevenmadisonpark.com/

11 Madison Ave, NY

My work here is done. Lots of walking tomorrow, I’m scared already. I’m still hungry. I love you New York, don’t let me leave you, I’ll leave the life I have behind for you!!!!!!!!

Edit: it is 1:42am, I was meant to be asleep 2 hours ago. I talk too much, but we all knew that already, nothing new here!

K.

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