North Face Adventures II

Refreshed after 17 days at home in London off the back of 6 weeks in Southern Africa we kick off the 2nd part of our 4 month adventure on 1st October with 5 days in New York. Its busy, bustling, crackling with energy, incredibly expensive but quite frankly fantastic. Our hotel, Yotel is perfectly positioned in Midtown just 2 blocks from the hypnotic 24/7 temple of neon that is Times Square.

Despite regularly taking the subway to get around Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York like London is at heart a walking city and we find that we regularly hit 25,000 steps a day!! But back to the subway the once lawless, graffitied metal tubes that hurtle every minute across the city are now fast, efficient, clean and safe. The subway map is fairly logical you just need to figure out if your ultimate destination is up or down town. We bought a 7 day unlimited pass for $33 with $1 for the metro card which at $2.75 for a single ride represents excellent value and is without a doubt the best way to get around.

There is an abundance of sights and sounds in New York and it can be a bit overwhelming for 1st timers. We went with a rough plan of what we wanted to see and do and tried to keep it as flexible as possible in line with the weather. We soared over midtown Manhattan at the top of the Empire State Building, we cycled the whole of Central Park, sang our way along Sesame Street, took the subway to the end of the line to Coney Island beach on a scorching hot day in Brooklyn, sailed past Lady Liberty on the free State Island ferry, walked the high line on the West side, queued for the best pizza in New York and it was delicious, paid our respects at the sombre 9/11 memorial, followed the journey of emigrants to New York at Ellis Island, drooled over the abundance of food goodies at Chelsea Market and spent a hell of a lot of time looking up at the soaring skyscrapers of Manhattan.

The New York I remembered from my frequent visits in the 1990’s is still there but it’s been updated, rebooted and refreshed into a more welcoming friendly and extremely engaging model. If you haven’t been before, why not? and if it’s been a while go again you won’t regret it.

After 5 exhilarating days we’re ready to leave for our next stop, Maui, Hawaii to visit my Mum and Step Dad who like to spend some of the winter there. The flight incredibly is 11 hours and requires a change of plane in Honolulu – book em Dano!! Can’t wait for those Pacific beaches.

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