Travel Diary | NYC 2017 | Day 2 – One World Observatory
24th October 2017
So much for the whole “I’m going to publish a post about my trip to New York every Tuesday.” thing.
Yes, sorry for the delay in getting this post to you but I’ve been really busy recently, and my internet connection has been absolutely awful. Our street doesn’t have fibre at the moment, but they’re currently installing it and it’s so temperamental.
Anyway, if you missed day 1 of my New York Travel Diary series, I recommend you read it before reading this one. You can catch up here.
Here is day 2. The downtown tour bus, 9/11 memorial, One World Observatory and a stupid amount of walking.
We were up at 7am on the Tuesday, ready for our first full day in the city. We’d beaten the jet lag by staying awake until 9pm the previous evening and I cannot explain how much of a difference this made. Also, not having a cold helped.
Downtown tour bus
I personally think the best way to get your bearings if you’ve never been to New York before (I had, Tyrone hadn’t) is to go on one of the tour buses and do a Downtown route. It’s gives you an idea of where everything is, and just how big Manhattan is.
So, after picking up breakfast at a Seven Eleven we headed to Times Square and got our tickets for the downtown hop-on hop-off tour bus.
🗽 Top tip: If you’re going to go on a tour bus, use the Big Bus company. We used a different company last time we went and they were nowhere near as good as Big Bus. The commentary was fantastic and they even provided ponchos just in case it rained.
🗽 Top tip: Before you go to New York, consider buying an Explorer Pass. They’ll save you time and money. We bought the 3 attraction cards which were £68 each. If we’d bought tickets for the three activities we did individually it would have cost over £100 each. Plus it saves you time queuing to buy tickets at some attractions.
The downtown tour bus takes you from Times Square (just outside of M&M World) all the way down to Battery Park, then back up to Times Square again via a different route. As I say, it’s a hop-on hop-off bus so you can get off and on again as much as you like.
We got off the bus close to the 9/11 memorial so we could visit it. Even though I’d been there before, I still found it emotional.
I learned that white roses are placed into the names when it is someone’s birthday.
One World Observatory
As we were close to World Trade One (the new World Trade tower), and as the queue was non-existent, we decided to go up to the observatory. Our Explore Passes weren’t valid for the One World Observatory so we had to pay $34, which I didn’t think was too bad.
I don’t want to spoil the experience for anyone who hasn’t been up yet, but I will say that there’s lots of surprises on the way up.
It was a little bit cloudy on the day we went up as it was raining (hence the grim photos). But we could still see for miles.
As the observatory is complete enclosed in glass, it’s hard to take photographs without getting a reflection.
I did a little Instagram live video when I was at the top. Did you manage to catch it? No? Well… it’s gone forever now!
I also did a little video on Instagram of a part of the floor which looks like a glass panel as you can see the traffic below. However, it’s just a video! Sorry for fooling some of you!
Exploring Downtown Manhattan
I don’t know what came over us but we, rather madly, decided to walk back uptown, but following along side the tour bus route ready for when our legs gave up. While this may seem like a crazy decision, I’m glad we did it, because we discovered so many cool places along the way.
This included an amazing shop called the Poster Museum which, as you might have guessed, sold posters. I’d been looking for a James Bond poster for the new house and fortunately they had quite a few for sale. I bought a small Dr No one that I knew I’d be able to fit in the suitcase. I’m pleased to say it made it home in one piece.
We then popped into a popular looking pizza place to refuel and to use the Wifi. Two slices of pizza and a drink for $5.
🗽 Top tip: Fellow Brits, don’t use your phone’s mobile data when you’re in New York (although O2 charged me just for having my phone on in America so I might as well have used it). There’s WiFi literally everywhere you go. Thanks to Hiro for the heads up about LinkNYC!
There were a few gaming and comic shops we wanted to visit in the Downtown area so we sort of planned out a route to include these shops along the way. At one point we ended up in this huge fancy dress shop and it was incredible. We easily spent an hour in there and I have no regrets!
We also found the Converse shop where you can design your own pair of shoes and they make them there and then in store for you.
We got to Union Square Park before we gave up on walking. Our legs were tired and we were soaking wet. We jumped back on the tour bus and headed uptown.
Tired and damp, we headed back to the hotel to dry out and to research somewhere to go for dinner. I fancied Mexican food and Tyrone found a Dos Caminos relatively close to the hotel. It felt very fancy, yet it wasn’t too expensive. I had tacos and Tyrone had enchiladas. Thumbs up for being vegetarian friendly.
🗽 Top tip: If you are a vegetarian, you might want to double check if things on the menu are veggie friendly. Because the majority of the places we ate at didn’t mark on the menu if things were suitable for vegetarians or not. Is this an American thing?
Even though we had walked our legs off in the day, we headed back to Times Square so Tyrone could take some photos of New York in the rain. He got some really cool pictures with the lights reflecting in the puddles (he should start a blog just to showcase his photography!).
Then it was back to the hotel for a well earned sleep!
Keep your eyes peeled for my day 3 post, where we visit Central Park and do far too much walking again!