New York - Day Five

Finally I’m back into a normal sleeping pattern, maybe last nights beers helped but today we are starting early to go up the Empire State Building. Our ticket lets us return after 10pm tonight so the plan is to get some nice wintery daytime views followed by seeing the skyline again at night. I’d been told not to bother going up the Empire State Building by a few people but that’s easy to say when you’ve been up it.

I actually really enjoyed it, yes your views from the top are probably not as good as from the top of the rock because you can’t see the building you are standing on but we really enjoyed the audio tour and exhibition along the way. Thankfully the snow had stopped overnight and the sun had even come out for a bit, it was still blooming freezing at the top especially when the winds came around so we took our pictures and didn’t stay too long.

We wanted to get tickets for Broadway tonight so afterwards we headed up to Times Square to see what deals we could get on tickets. Unfortunately the half price ticket booth for same day tickets doesn’t open until 3pm and we had things we wanted to be getting on with so we went to a different sale ticket venue to see what they had on offer. It did mean the obvious shows were either sold out or still very expensive so we decided to choose something random. We found a comedy called No Man’s Land starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan so more on that later.
As we were waiting for tickets we were approached by a TV news crew asking if we’d ever seen snow before. Obviously they were looking for tourists who never had before.

We wandered up to the Rockefella centre to grab a bite to eat followed by a hot chocolate from one of the famous Jacque Torres chocolate shops, personally I’m a fan of simple Cadbury’s chocolate so I found it a little bitter but it did warm me up which was much needed.

The main part of the day is then taken up wandering around the Museum of Modern Art. I’m not a massive art fan, I like what I like and usually a lot of modern art I find quite pretentious. I found MoMA no exception, some very talented pieces and some complete rubbish :-) but either way it was nice and warm.

Next stop was to visit Chelsea Market, another thing mentioned in the tour book. Definitely glad we came here, it wasn’t that it was an amazing place with loads to do or see but it just had a really chilled out and cool vibe.

We tried a salted caramel cupcake from one of the stores then went to check out the wine vault, not that we drink wine but they had other luxury spirits. There was a tasting booth of some tequila, now for some reason this holiday a higher proportion that usually of my cocktails have been tequila and they have left me feeling rather tipsy so I’m not best impressed when he pours out 2 neat shots for us over ice to try. Al knocks his back and actually seems not to mind the flavour so I give it a go. Now it’s the same with any high end drink, the higher the price most often the better it is made and the smoother it tastes. Well this was no exception, possibly the first time I’ve ever sipped neat tequila without first licking salt and then sucking hard on a piece of lemon. I’m not saying I’d still choose to drink it neat but the next drink he made for us mixed in citrus juice and agava syrup into a short cocktail and it was amazing. We asked where we could buy the syrup as I’ve never heard of it in the UK and he points us handily to the fruit market a few shops down. 10 minutes later armed with a couple of bottles of the stuff we buy our high end tequila which can only be found in Manhattan (which means I’ll probably drink it very rarely as I’ll be concerned I can never buy it again) and head home via High Line Park (another to do item but I suspect more so in the summer when you aren’t in a massive rush to get back into the warmth of your hotel room).

So after a little warming up we head out to see our Broadway show, stopping for a quick and simple bite to eat at McDonalds along the way. We didn’t have any idea what to expect for this show and if we had we would not have come. Oh my, perhaps others have heard of Harold Pinter but those I’ve mentioned this to since have asked why we’d have gone to see one of his plays. Although he has won awards, his plays are known for being pretty hard going and I did end up having a hard time staying awake during the second half. Never mind Patrick and Ian were good in the show at least and maybe we’ll try another show another night.

The final part of the night was to go back up the Empire State Building. We rushed straight to the top to see the views. They were very impressive but way too cold to stay out for more than a couple of minutes. I hid inside and let Al get the good shots :-)