As Ellen said before our visit, New York is the sort of place that you feel that you know before you get there. So many movies and tv shows feature parts of the city that they are all so iconic.
We did have a list of things that we wanted to visit, and it was very exciting to see things in real life that we have only seen on film. Although I visited New York about 18 years ago, that was only for a weekend, and being so near to 9/11 many things still weren’t open.
We stayed in a very lovely hotel, near to Grand Central Station, which is just as beautiful as it looks, even the ticket booths are masterpieces of art.
Our hotel was called Pod 39, and is similar to ones that I have stayed in before for city breaks, with a bunk bed layout and a small bathroom.
However the beds were very comfortable and the location was excellent. We weren’t really in the room much anyway, and the hotel had a lovely comfortable lounge with games and free hot drinks and water available so we spent some time there as well.
Our first day out was to the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and we could not have had a better day for it. Although it was cold, the sky was a wonderful blue which made for excellent shots of Manhattan from the ferry.
The Statue did not disappoint and the accompanying museum was excellent with really good interpretation, not only of the story of the build, but also looking at how the statue has been portrayed in all sorts of different ways since it was built.
There was a lovely quilt and a Barbie dressed as the statue, which Ellen suggested should be one of my next makes.
They had used the restoration in the late 1990s as a chance to show how the statue was made, with recreations of the moulds that were built for the casting, including a recreation of the statue’s foot.
I didn’t realise that she was bronze coloured to start off with and the green is the patina that has built up on the metal over time. I think it looks a lot better green, especially against the blue sky. We also saw the original torch, which had to be replaced due to its collapsing on itself.
The Ellis Island Museum was equally well interpreted, with lots of the stories of the migrants and their many reasons for coming to America. It was very poignant seeing the large hall where they would wait to be assessed before entry, and the postcards of the numerous ships that brought them from all over the world.
I have always had a huge interest in migration and people’s stories of why they leave their homes and having visited other museums, such as those in Oslo, that tell the story of those who left, it was fascinating to see where they arrived. Being part of a family who have migrated, and who now live all over the world, it is always really interesting to me to hear these histories.
Our second day was to Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum. Central Park is somewhere that I have been to before, and it never ceases to amaze me how large it is, and how great it is to have that space in the city. They also have the fattest squirrels I have ever seen!
The Met Museum was stunning, as we knew it would be. The scale of the collections is amazing, whole Egyptian temples, courtyards of castles from Spain, Tiffany loggias and windows and so much wonderful medieval art.
There were also some gorgeous early 18th century samplers.
However, the most stunning piece in the collection for me was this store of linen, buried with one of the Egyptian queens for the afterlife.
The fact that it is still around, thousands of years after being woven, such simple textiles but amazing that all that work of the weavers centuries ago still exists.
We also spent a lot of time just marvelling at all of the wonderful buildings, the Chrysler Building is a real favourite of mine, but I also loved Penn Station.
This beautiful building that was one of the ones represented by brass plaques in the pavement. I think it looks like it came from a Lord of the Rings film.
New York still had the skating rinks at the Rockerfeller Centre and Bryant Park, and trees and decorations everywhere, so it still looked very Christmassy.
We managed to tick off our food bucket list as well with pizza, bagels, pancakes, hot dogs and burgers, only failing to find a gluten free pretzel.
A brilliant trip and I am so glad that we were finally able to get there. These next few months are hopefully going to be full of us doing things that we have been planning for a long time.
I am loving my winter sojourn in Cyprus so far and shall be sharing the first set of pictures with you later in the week. I have been so lucky with the weather, so have been out enjoying the stunning coastline here.
Until then have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.