The day we met Alec Baldwin!

Today we read that the Union Square Market was going to be on a Monday – as it’s the public holiday, so we hightailed it down there to have a look around.  On one of my last journey’s here I purchased a fabulous framed photograph from a stall at this market, so was looking forward to it.

IMG_6797

When we go there though it was just the farmer’s market… still good, but not what we were after…

IMG_6798

So we walked through the park and headed south down Broadway towards an art exhibition that I had read about.

IMG_6801

But after walking a few blocks the exhibition tents weren’t coming into view where I thought they were meant to be, so I double checked my map… and we were on the wrong street, so a quick right hand turn was made and we were back on track.

IMG_6803

We were commenting on how lovely this street was and I was thinking that if I had steered us in the right direction from the get go, we would never had walked down this street and then……. who should be getting out of his car with his wife and four kids?

Alec Baldwin!

IMG_6805

In New York you’re meant to just ignore famous people when you see them, but I couldn’t quite help myself.  “Hello Mr Baldwin.” we said. “Hello Ladies.” was his reply as he broke into some light humming while he put his bags on a luggage trolley.

We at least waited until we were at the end of the street to take our discrete photos.

IMG_6807

Reeling at our star sighting we pursued the art exhibition and then headed down to Washington Park for a sit and a stare are people.

IMG_6808

There was a fair bit of squirrel action in this tree – it’s the oldest tree in the park, we were informed by a passer by who was informing anybody who might be listening.


In the centre of the park there is a huge fountain and surrounding it and plenty of seating for people to just sit and watch.

IMG_6824

There were a few stalls there selling bits and pieces like these revolution badges and magnets….  One of them said “Go Fact Yourself!”  Clever.

IMG_6826

There was also heaps of people playing music either on their own – busker style, or in a group like these people.  They all had instruments or makeshift percussion and they sounded great.  People were stopping a while to have a listen.  It was a great atmosphere.

IMG_6828

The land was once marsh land and in 1797 the City’s Common Council acquired it for use as a “Potter’s Field” and for public executions, giving rise to the legend of the ‘Hangman’s Elm in the park’s northwest corner.

Isn’t that spooky?

maxresdefault.jpg

There was some kiddies doing a bit of jump rope for heart style double dutch… the man there was yelling at them to do it right – so it must have been great fun for the kids!

IMG_6832

And this kid who I think was busking, but really he was just walking around, back and forth to his mum, then back to his ‘post’ where he’d play a few notes and head back to mum.  Is there anything more fun than a kid with a trombone?


Then there were people who just wanted a bit of sun…. it was completely overcast today.  Completely.

IMG_6834

This man was just minding his own business, asking for donations for bird feed.  He obviously loved those birds and probably had a name for each one.  As we were slowly walking towards him ML overheard a man saying to his son, “He has to be crazy!  Nobody in their right mind would let pigeons crawl all over him.” So that was a lovely introduction for the young boy in acceptance and a well rounded love for all animals.

IMG_6835

Then there was this man, playing his harp.  I love the sound of the harp and insisted we sit for a minute to listen.  He was so soft though that we couldn’t hear anything.  We could see his fingers moving and his lips were moving in a song like motion, but no sound.  I had a dollar at the ready to give to him, but that went straight back into my pocket.  He was clearly there for a bit of practice.

IMG_6836

I love me a bit of Banksy art and my lovely cousin Chris just sent me an email letting me know that there had been some Banksy pieces found around NYC just recently, so I was on the lookout….. I don’t think this is one of his, but wouldn’t it be great it if was?

IMG_6843

Alec Baldwin’s neck of the woods is so lovely, just look at the pretty flower boxes.  It really doesn’t take much, does it? (Says the person with 6 brown thumbs!)

IMG_6845

I still love fire escapes.

IMG_6849

We had a little giggle at the name of this street, but apparently Dave Van Ronk was a popular American folk singer…

IMG_6850

He loved a bit of old English ballads, blues, gospel, rock, New Orleans jazz, and swing. He was also known for performing instrumental ragtime guitar music – so a real allrounder!

Dave_Van_Ronk.jpg

We were headed up to 14th Street to get the subway home when I realised we were crossing Grove Street which meant that just down the street is the “Friends'” building.  Nothing was ever filmed there – it was just used as an exterior shot for the opening credits, but everybody loves it.  So ML donned her new poncho and we turned left.

IMG_6852

Passing the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

IMG_6854

And “Marie’s Crisis” – this is a place where they apparently play show tunes and popular songs and everybody is encouraged/expected to sing along.  We had planned to go there while we were here, but we completely forgot about it until ML spotted it!  Must try and fit that in!

IMG_6857

Grove Street is so lovely – and packed with bloody tourists [:-/]  Look at the lovely little bird house somebody put on the tree.

IMG_6860

And here it is.  It doesn’t even really match in with the interior apartments in Friends – the window placement doesn’t make sense, but then again it is only TV and we shouldn’t worry ourselves too much with continuity.  [NB: I just told ML about my theory that the outside doesn’t match the inside and she said “I don’t know why you’re worrying about it?”. Good to see we’re on the same page.]

IMG_6861

Then on the ground level of the building is not the fictitious cafe – Central Perk, but the very real restaurant called Little Owl.

IMG_6862

I have been here a couple of times on previous visits and have loved it – my favourite dish is the Meatball Sliders and they’re still on the menu – so clearly I’m not the only one who loves them.

IMG_6867

I think if I were to live in NYC this is the area that I’d have to move to – in fact probably this street.

IMG_6869

And probably into this house.

IMG_6871

This house probably has its fire escape at the back…
IMG_6872

After about 2 seconds discussion it was decided that we would about turn on our journey to 14th Street Subway and walk down to Little Italy for a late lunch/ Duplex dinner before returning home.

IMG_6878.PNG

Number 10 Downing Street is looking a little shabby since T. May moved in!  Just saying….

IMG_6879

We weaved our way through the streets, which is the best way to see/find interesting things – like this little line of market stalls.  The first one was an eccentric old lady selling her collection of old jewellery including some amazing brooches.

IMG_6880

Now, I love me a brooch, so I made a small purchase.

IMG_6922.JPG

Then around another corner we came across the NYFD doing what they do best.  I’m not sure what was wrong, but it required 4 fire trucks, about 20 firemen and a big ladder.

IMG_6887

There is art everywhere you look – this had been spray-painted on the ground.  Honestly, if you’re not looking up, you have to be looking down – your neck really gets a work out here.

IMG_6892

We weren’t sure if this was somebody moving or if all this stuff had just been tossed from an upstairs apartment window…. nobody looked too fussed.

IMG_6894

Then we made it to Mulberry Street – the heart of Little Italy.

IMG_6896

We parked ourselves at Da Gennaro restaurant and enjoyed a lovely Italian meal and a couple of wines.

IMG_6900IMG_6902

This lady was actually dining with this man, but she insisted on standing next to him the whole time.  It looked like she had a firm grip on his shoulder.

IMG_6907

Then as a little treat we ordered dessert and ML had her first ever taste of a real New York baked cheesecake – her verdict: “I don’t like a baked cheesecake, but that was lovely!”

IMG_6909

Then unfortunately this chap started playing his piano accordion just as it was time for us to leave.  Typical!

IMG_6910

ML had been talking all day abut having to get some cash out at the ATM… but had second thoughts about using this one.

IMG_6913

Honestly, sometimes she’s so picky.  Don’t worry Colin – I didn’t really use it!


Then we hit Times Square again and everything just seemed as it should be – especially with this lady posing on this stand.  She wasn’t a model or anything – just posing, as you do.

IMG_6914

Bev O’Brien – this photo is especially for you…

IMG_6917

And Jo Coppin….. this one is especially for you.

IMG_6920

You’re welcome ladies.

Uptown & Downtown & Uptown…

Woke again today to a rainy looking New York City.  As it’s the Memorial Day long weekend everybody kept telling us that NYC would be deserted…. but they weren’t considering the tourist quota.  We were treated to a game of who’s got the bigger… testicles car, as these little rainbow coloured match box cars revved the shit out of their engines for a good couple of light changes.  Ahhh, the sweet soft melody of the inner city.

IMG_6705.jpg

Today’s mission was to head down to 34th Street as ML needed to pick up one last thing from Macy’s and this weekend is their big Memorial Day Sale, then the rain stopped so we decided to walk down to the Flatiron building.  I’ve now walked from the bottom of Manhattan all the way up to Columbus Circle.

IMG_6711

Beauty…wherever you look.

IMG_6712

On the way down Broadway we passed some of the more classier stores.  We seriously considered purchasing a weave, but I wouldn’t know what the hell to do with it.  I’d be that person who was wearing it backwards….

IMG_6713

And this the end of town where you can buy a watch like this….

IMG_6714

Or this…

I really did consider buying this one ⬇️

IMG_6720

Or maybe it’s a diamond grill that you’re after?

IMG_6716

teeth-grills-word.jpg

And for the religious folk among us… how could you pass up this little number? That’s diamanté Jesus yo!

IMG_6718

Now this little shop did lure us in with its sparkly handbags and clutches where ML made a small purchase and I couldn’t decide so left empty handbaged.

IMG_6719

Across the road from the Flatiron building there are some food markets, that we wandered through.  The rain made it a bit tricky to stop and look at everything.

IMG_6724

And there she was in all her glory

IMG_6727

Can you believe that it was 32 degrees yesterday?

IMG_6730

Check out these cool people doing a windswept pose.

IMG_6735

Across the way in Madison Square Park there was a lovely flag display (so patriotic!)

IMG_6740

And some interesting art work.

IMG_6742

Makes more sense when you get on the right side of it.

IMG_6745

The artist is Diana Al-Hadid (click on the link if you want to know more about Diana and her art… it’s quite interesting)

IMG_6743

I know I’ve said it before, but I love the parks in NYC.  They’re always so well maintained and pretty.

IMG_6746

Would you call these ‘stool pigeons”?

IMG_6747

We broke the walking up with a little stop into the Belgium Beer Bar…

IMG_6751

Where we were served by this chap with the best bowl haircut I’ve seen in a long time.

IMG_6752

We had one drink and ML, being very sensible, thought we should move on…

IMG_6754

So we said goodbye to the Flatiron area and headed up 5th Ave.

IMG_6755

We made it the whole way to the NY Library (at 41st Street) before I found any free wifi in order to see which stores stocked our merino wool runners so I could get a pair for Me Jenny (surprise!), and I found a store in… would you believe it?  The Flatiron area, well just a few blocks south of there in Soho.

IMG_6762

So we crossed a few blocks and got on the green line at Central Station to head back downtown.

IMG_6767

This is such a beautiful building!

IMG_6769

We found ourselves in the shopping district of Soho…. can you believe that people were lining up outside to get into stores?  This wasn’t the only one we passed. ⬇️

Anyway, we found the store and realised that they weren’t the same shoes and there were about 6,000 people in there, so we did an about turn and headed for the subway again.  Downtown, uptown, downtown and now we’re headed back uptown!

IMG_6773

Right next to the subway entrance was this cool little market space.

IMG_6785

There were handmade things, jewellery and retro clothes….

IMG_6788

And New York themed art…

IMG_6791

I considered buying my sister a little gift for when she arrives next week…..

IMG_6787

There was even a DJ station and some cool tunes playing.

IMG_6789

Then it was back onto the subway again.  There’s funny little artworks like this in nearly every station.

IMG_6794

Because it was a bit rainy and chilly I decided it was the perfect day to try out the Soup Man’s (The Soup Nazi from Seinfeld) famous soups and I was not disappointed.  I went for the Chicken Enchilada Soup with the addition of sour cream and cheddar cheese and this is what they put in the bag…

A little chocolate, a slice of bread and an apple!

It was delicious and I will definitely be going back to try one of the others.

IMG_6795

Broadway

I love me a Broadway show.  Last night we saw “Summer – The Donna Summer Story”

tmpJJExY_.jpg

which was brilliant – made only more fabulous by the two unrelated people sitting across the aisle from us.  Both die-hard Donna fans and dancing like they were in a hip hop music video in their seats.  The chap, who we had seen earlier in a piano bar having a sing was rubbing his face like J-Lo does in the raunchy parts of her film clips – it was hilarious!  He was sliding down in his seat so to make it easier to gyrate, then the arm would shoot up and he would point a finger like he was at a rock concert.  Honestly, you could hardly take your eyes off him…. I missed a lot of the actual show.

37708768354_39d607d662_o-h_2017.jpg

The cast was fabulous and lots of women dressed androgynously so as to portray both men and women characters which was cool and there was lots of feminist banter throughout, which the crowd of mostly women and gay men (at a guess) were eating up – clapping and woohooing.  The story was told by 3 main actors all playing Donna at different stages of her life.  They were awesome and divas in their own right.

donnacover_wide-66f4ada6ad074d313dc2d09191585ab0621e58fa-s900-c85.jpg

And tonight I saw “The Boys in the Band”.  Look at the stars in this cast!

IMG_6686

ML had decided not to come to this one, so we picked up my ticket from the theatre and then went for a bite to eat before heading in different directions.  We chose the City Kitchen…

1-MAIN-City-Kitchen-wide-shot-Credit-Michael-Kleinberg-for-City-Kitchen-at-Row-NYC.jpg

… which is an upstairs food court of sorts with a great view of 45th Street & 8th Ave below…

image.png

… who just happened to have a street fair on this weekend, so we got to watch the pack up process.  Honestly, you could give yourself whiplash!

Then I took my seat, and a pretty good seat it was to – right in the middle… the stage is really cool – it’s a two story apartment with a sunken lounge.  So the audience watches as if they’re acting in a doll’s house.

IMG_6673.jpg

The Boys in the Band is a play by Mart Crowley.  The play premiered Off-Broadway in 1968, and was revived on Broadway for its 50th anniversary in 2018. The play revolves around a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party in New York City and was groundbreaking for its portrayal of gay life. The play has been called “A true theatrical game-changer, The Boys in the Band helped spark a revolution by putting gay men’s lives onstage — unapologetically and without judgement — in a world that was not yet willing to fully accept them.” {thanks Wikipedia}

CrowleywithBoysCast1.jpg

It was hilarious and moving and thought provoking and after 2 hours of non stop drama without an intermission – I wanted it to keep going.

96329-12.jpg

Then the walk home through the throngs of people in Times Square… You can just make out our apartment window.

IMG_6675

None of these people were keeping the pedestrian flow zone moving…

IMG_6680

Each week they’ve had something different like this in the square. People were lined up to have a turn.

IMG_6678

I heart Broadway 💕

 

“Will I do, Carson?”

I love apron drama and they don’t come much better than Downton Abbey.  Today we went to the Downton Abbey Exhibition, which was created by the creator/writer of the show and was very well done indeed using all sorts of new fandangled technology that they would never have understood in the “Big House”

IMG_6614

IMG_6658

There were 3 floors: Downstairs – showing all the servants’ quarters, the kitchen and Carson’s pantry, etc… Upstairs – showing the families digs and the top floor displaying all the lovely costumes.

IMG_6617

The characters appeared on screens as you walked through and talked to you as if they’d bumped into you in the house somewhere.

IMG_6619

We purchased the added headphone gadget that gave you behind the scenes information and cast and crew telling you about what it was like to film in the house.

IMG_6621IMG_6622IMG_6624

You could apply for a job at the house by answering 10 questions and they assigned the role that most suited your answers.  I somehow got Cook – and Head Cook at that!  Obviously none of the questions asked “Can you cook?”

IMG_6625IMG_6632IMG_6634IMG_6636

I wished I had lived back in those days for the fashions alone.

IMG_6630IMG_6631

One of my favourite characters in the show was Maggie Smith’s “The Dowager Countess, Violet Crawely.  She had some hum-dinger quotes…

IMG_6637IMG_6638

The exhibition ended with the obligatory walk through the gift shop where I purchased a fridge magnet…. which had nothing to do with Downton Abbey, but I loved it.

IMG_6687.jpg

Mist rollin’ in from the sea…

In nearly every shop that we walked past there was a ‘help wanted’ sign in the window.  This was the strangest though…

IMG_6572

This weekend is the Memorial Day long weekend – the official beginning of summer and there is expected to thousands of people descending on The Hamptons.  We were avoiding coming here on any weekend to escape the crowds, so we’re super lucky that we missed this one.

So as of Saturday, the beaches will look nothing like this one… (this was a picture that I accidently took whilst holding the camera by my side walking back to the car)

IMG_6577

So our second day was all about checking out the villages and driving up and down the lovely tree lined streets looking at the pretty.

IMG_6583

IMG_6578

If you were going to start a business up here – it would have to be gardening!

IMG_6585

How’s this ones got the convertible MG in the driveway – how perfect.

IMG_6579

Checking out all the beaches…

IMG_6581

IMG_6586

IMG_6589

It was at this point that we noticed a bit of weather on the horizon.

IMG_6587

Fog and mist, as Paul McCartney predicted, rolled in from the sea…

IMG_6588

Which was weird because if you turned slightly to the right the ocean looked like this…

IMG_2937

You could even notice it on this pond…

IMG_6601

And it quickly moved off the ocean and onto the street…

IMG_2958

Then as quickly as it appeared – it as gone!

We parked up at Bridgehampton and had a quick walk around before stopping for a spot of lunch.

IMG_2988

I think this is maybe what Leo Thayer went into after his music career was finished.

IMG_6595

All the villages are so pretty.

IMG_6596IMG_6597

Pierre’s was the only place we could find for lunch.  It was a semi pretentious French restaurant with bored staff who weren’t giving us the time of day – but we were hungry and they only other option was to get into the car again and search.

IMG_6599

As soon as we sat down – before we were given menus or anything, this woman approached the table and handed us a postcard with a shop name – she was spruking a pop up shop upstairs from the restaurant that was selling clothes, shoes, etc…. the designer was from St Barts and the clothes could only be described as ‘resort wear’ that we would never wear.  Over the course of our lunch this woman had 3-4 costume changes and then sashayed up and down the restaurant handing out the postcards to the very small handful of diners.  Nobody seemed to take much notice of her but us and we were intrigued every time she’d disappear up the small staircase to see what she’d be wearing next…

Lunch and a show!

IMG_6600

More wandering…

IMG_6603IMG_6605

How sweet is the Chamber of Commerce building?

IMG_6607IMG_6608IMG_6611IMG_6612

Then with about half an hour before we were due to return the car we did one final drive through an area we hadn’t been to yet to the north of Southampton…

IMG_2948IMG_2944IMG_2945IMG_2946

Then the car was returned…. the Jitney arrived and we travelled in our luxurious coach without incident all the way back to 51st St and 3rd Ave… It was nice to be back to the noice and the people and our little apartment.

The Jitney

What’s a trip to New York with a ride on The Jitney out to the Hamptons?  I mean, I ask you.

There are a number of ways you can get to the Hamptons from NYC.  You can drive (no thank you), there’s the train (which takes 3.25 hours because it stops at every little town long the way), you could take a helicopter or small plane (to your private mansion) or you can catch “The Jitney” – a luxurious coach transportation…. this is what we chose.

The pick up point was on Lexington between 59th & 60th – opposite Bloomingdales.

IMG_6432

We had been looking at the subway map to see if there was a way to get there easily, but I read the map wrong (I know – that’s unheard of!) and we ended up on 53rd street instead.  Our instructions were to be waiting at the spot at least 7 minutes prior to departure at 9.50am, so we fast walked the 6 and a half blocks and made it right on the dot.

IMG_6436

However, the Jitney was 20 minutes late.

IMG_6434

But once we were on we were trè excited…. we’re going to the Hamptons!

IMG_6438

We made a few stops before getting on the Long Island Expressway to pick up more people.  This chap here was sitting alone, so there was a spare seat next to him.  The bus wasn’t completely full, but there were limited seats left when 3 ladies hopped on and tried to sit next to him.  He said to the first lady before she even sat down, “You don’t have to sit here, there is plenty of room at the back.”  The lady was confused and I don’t think that English was her first language, so she asked, “You don’t want me to sit here?” and he repeated, “there are plenty of seats down the back.”

IMG_6439

The bus was starting to move again and the ladies still hadn’t worked out their seating arrangements, so the first lady moved down one seat and sat next to another gentleman, so the second lady sat next to the first man and their 3rd friend sat in front of her.  The second lady didn’t speak English at all.  The man spoke up again and told the second lady that there were plenty of seats down the back, but the first lady said, “No, she can sit there.”

We were watching it all unfold from our seats on the other side of the bus and couldn’t quite believe what this man was doing/saying.

The 3 ladies obviously felt uncomfortable, so they all got up and moved down to the back where there was indeed three seats together, but then everything erupted.

Person A = said man
Person B = the man behind him
Person C = the woman in front of us

IMG_6440

When the ladies got up and moved, these two zeros jumped to their defence.  “You should be ashamed of yourself.” “You should be embarrassed of your behaviour.” “You are not a gentleman!” “You can’t do that, if you want to sit by yourself – you move to the back – those ladies have every right to sit on these seats – they belong to everybody!” “How does it feel knowing that this whole bus thinks you’re a asshole?”

Things quieted down after that… but the man in question showed absolutely no remorse and was not apologetic and after explicit instructions from the driver not to talk on your phone – he made two calls.

Anyway – we got to Southampton and luckily for us, our car hire place was right there in the same building.  We had booked a Mitsubishi Mirage, but when we got there our new best friend, Samantha upsold us to a Maserati!  I bet she corners like she’s on rails… but I wouldn’t know ’cause I never when over 55mph.

IMG_2880

Does it suit me?

IMG_2881

It was brand new (only 93miles on the dial) and had all the gadgets that open and shut…. including this slightly ominous feature – It’s a tag you can pull if you are ever locked in the boot, um……

IMG_6447.jpg

So we drove east from Southampton and then up to Sag Harbor which is one of the prettiest little villages on Long Island (and so far I’ve seen 2).

We found a park easily…. (nice wide bays)

IMG_6454

… and walked directly across the road to the American Hotel for a lovely luncheon on the verandah to watch the world go by.

IMG_6452

Although you’d rather be looking at this pretty lady, wouldn’t you?

IMG_6456

The restaurant had a French feel to it and we were served by a gent from Asian decent with peroxide blonde hair and a fabulously happy demeanour.

IMG_6460

I’ve got no green thumbs, but could this be Geraldton Wax?

IMG_6472

She was fancy on the verandah with your table cloths and your pretty plates.

IMG_6466

As we were in coastal seafood territory, it was an obvious choice to choose some seafood for lunch.  ML went for a lobster BLT – almost seems sacrilegious! and I went for this delicious bowl of lovely mussels. Scrumdiddliuptious!

IMG_6475

This still feels like Monopoly money.

IMG_6479

After lunch we went for a wander up the street.  It was quite reminiscent of Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula where my lovely friends Tammy & Matt have a thriving business managing holiday homes – if you’re ever in the need of their services – Rest Easy Services they’re awesome!

Girl Scout cookies – they’re a real thing!

IMG_6486

They like to play up the ocean/beach/seafood/fishing vibe here…

IMG_6491

I’d like to try ALL the things on this menu!

Fliss & Rich and any of the plethora people who once worked at Cafe Del Pescatore, do you recognise the fisherman in the yellow raincoat with the beard and the pipe in the window?

IMG_6492

I’ve found my shop!

IMG_6496

It was closed. 😦  Blooming Shells!

IMG_2901.jpg

There is a common theme all along Long Island and that’s the windmills.  Apparently Long Island has the most windmills in the whole USA.  Back in the day with windmills were used to process grain, Long Island, which is 125 miles long and only 20 miles wide and relatively flat, so it catches a nice wind, is where they were put and many are still there today.

IMG_6489

Every village has a lovely ye olde variety store…

IMG_6498

Where you can find products such as this…

IMG_6497

And at the other end – top end shops that sell beautiful bags like this one… I was very tempted, but didn’t like the idea of ramming it into my suitcase.

IMG_6499

Once lunch had gone down we jumped back into the Maserati and like bogans, cruised the streets looking for lovely houses.

IMG_6501IMG_6502IMG_6504

It was getting late into the afternoon, so we headed further along the island to the edge of Montauk where we were staying for the night.

On the way down we stopped at the beach and saw our first house on the beach – just like in the movies…

IMG_6513

We had chosen Wavecrest Resort which was a bit like a seaside motor inn with two story buildings that all face the water.  This is the view from our room…

IMG_6508

The panoramic shot makes it look like it was far away – it was more like this….

IMG_6509

I’ve stayed in some funny places before… the old hotel in Lewes, UK for my friends Tanya & Nick’s wedding… in that room the whole floor had a 30 degree slope meaning things would slide of the bedside table… Hotel Jen in Singapore, a brand new hotel where all the light switch and power sockets were put on the wall by the blind work experience person… The B&B in Richmond, Tasmania where the room I shared with Me Jenny had a mirror over the four poster bed and a feather boa hanging in the cupboard… so it came as no surprise when we entered through the front door into the kitchen/bathroom area – handy if you every want to brush you teeth whilst cooking up a storm.  Also the beds were wonky… one was way higher than the other one, but also had a 30 degree angle on it – (may everything is straight and it’s me that’s on the lean?)  Despite all that it was very comfy.

These were the wall decorations – any ideas what H & K might stand for?

IMG_6510

Whilst flicking through some of the mags on offer at the hotel, I came across this add for wedding events… at The Sloppy Tuna.  I don’t about you, but I don’t thing the words sloppy or tuna should be anywhere near a wedding invitation.

IMG_6518

After a little settle in we decided to head into Montauk while we still had sunlight… and headed to the lighthouse – ‘The End’ of the island.

IMG_6525

The lighthouse itself was closed, but we parked up to have a walk around… the curb was quite high and our Maserati is quite low – not a good combination.  The car was fine, but the number plate had seen better days  – well one better day – we were the first people to ever rent it!  Not to worry, we popped it in the car and I borrowed a screw driver from the hotel and fixed her right up… now I understand why my Dad travels everywhere with cable ties.

IMG_2913.jpg

With sunset fast approaching we headed for a good vantage point to have a bevy and sit and watch it go down…. or if you’re a star gazer – we watched as our place on Earth as it turned away from the place in the sky where the sun is stationary – less romantic, but astronomically correct.

IMG_6542

This was a seafood/sushi restaurant with a bar attached and they had a small balcony section outside.  We asked the woman at the ‘welcome’ lectern if we could just have a drink and watch the sunset.  Her frown didn’t change throughout the encounter as she informed us that tables were for people who were dining.  A second woman pounced on the situation and directed us to the bar to purchase our drink and said we could sit out on the balcony… simple.

We used this opportunity to take a million selfies of ourselves – just like the kids do…

IMG_6536IMG_6527IMG_6546

Which is hilarious when you don’t really want to or know how to pose…

IMG_6561

The woman on entry didn’t make us feel like we wanted to dine at this establishment, so we jumped back in the Maz and headed to the other side of the inlet to a restaurant we could see from the balcony and all was well.

Welcome to The Hamptons.

In Search of Stars

Today’s mission was to find the filming location of one of our favourite TV shows – ‘Younger’ and maybe do some star spotting.  My cousin, Chris sent me a website that lists all the locations around New York and today we hit the jackpot.  My first location was the corner of 4th Street and Bowry Street in the Lower East Side…

But first…. let me ask – Was this meant to read “Keith”?

IMG_6354

The one thing that I’m loving to do here is just walk around, taking in the sights of the buildings, the shops and the cafes.

IMG_6356

When I got to the corner of 4th and Bowry Streets, there was nothing except Phebe’s Bar and Grill… but no filming.

IMG_6358

So my next location was at the corner of Orchard and Rivington in the same area and this looked way more promising.  I came across what looked like mobile trailers.

IMG_6360

Then around the corner, there were more film trucks…

IMG_6366

And even some tents with filming equipment and lots of people standing around just waiting for…. something?  Nobody I recognised though and it would have been awkward to stand around with them, so I kept on walking.

IMG_6368

Yumi Kim is a frock shop, but look at their pretty bin area.

IMG_6369

This is how you park cars here.

IMG_6371

There’s something about these yellow school buses that I just love.  Maybe it’s that I used to have a Fisher Price version as a child?

IMG_6372

On my first trip to New York during the Girlie Tour of 2009 Madds, Tanya, Saskia and I stand in a tiny one bedroom flat in the East Village.  I wanted to see if I cold find the building again, but I couldn’t remember if it was one 3rd Street between 1st and 2nd Aves or 1st Street between 2nd & 4rd Aves… or some other street between two other avenues, so basically, I don’t know where it was.  I did pass some lovely little places though.

IMG_6373

Then came a familiar street.  St Marks Place.  We dined on this street a few times, in fact we all still remember the Dukkah Eggs we all enjoyed one morning.

IMG_6375

At Cafe Mogador… Hmmm Dukkah Eggs!

IMG_6377

Across the road there were a group of people standing around this massive hole in the ground all talking about what they think caused it, how deep they thought it was and how long they thought it would take to get fixed.

IMG_6378

Down the street a bit is The Crooked Tree where they serve scrummy crepes.

IMG_6380

And here is Griff Dogs, a hotdog place that has a public phone box inside – you go in and dial a number, then if there’s room, a secret side door open and you enter into a tiny little secret bar that stands about 4 people.

IMG_6381

Heading into Alphabet City and into Tompkins Square Park…. I love the green spaces in New York.

IMG_6382

This one has a dog area as well.

IMG_6383

And an active bird population…

IMG_6388

And squirrel…

IMG_6390

Then as I wandered around Alphabet City I came across quite a few vacant blocks that had been transformed into community gardens.  It’s lovely.

IMG_6391IMG_6392

Not a lot of space here to park your hog… (Shoulls, are these good ones?)

IMG_6393

Cool murals on the walls…

IMG_6395

More gardens with award winning art.

IMG_6396

As I walked west it started to rain.  Not too heavy, but enough to put your hood up and open the brolly.  So I caught the L train from east to west and wandered around Greenwich Village.  I love Bleeker Street, and stumbled upon the Magnolia Bakery (made famous by Carrie on SaTC) and it was packed!

IMG_6400

Then I wound my way through the streets…

IMG_6403

… until I got to Perry Street.  This is the street where Carrie from Sex and the City’s stoop is, but that wasn’t the reason I was there today – no-siree… Today I was going to nonchalantly walk past Hugh Jackman’s apartment building and see if he noticed me.  To be honest I would have been happy with Deborah as well.

IMG_6405

I’d read that his apartment was on the corner of Perry Street and West Street – facing the Hudson River, so there was a choice of two…

IMG_6410

I think it’s this one…. but they weren’t home, damn it.

IMG_6407

So I cross the highway and walked along the river… in the rain.

IMG_6415

IMG_6413

The view over to Jersey.

IMG_6414

It wasn’t enjoyable to be walking in the rain so I turned at my next opportunity and made my way back through the lovely streets, past the lovely stoops, back to the subway.

IMG_6419

I’ll tell you who didn’t mind the rain… these guys.  The black one on the left was getting a telling off by the lady.

IMG_6422

Build a Bridge!

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 4.27.25 pm.png

New York City is home to over 2,000 bridges and tunnels.

Many of the city’s major bridges and tunnels have broken or set records. Opened in 1927, the Holland Tunnel was the world’s first mechanically ventilated underwater vehicular tunnel. The Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, George Washington Bridge, and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge were the world’s longest suspension bridges when opened in 1883, 1903, 1931, and 1964 respectively.

We’ve been through a few of the tunnels so far and crossed the Queensboro Bridge on our way in from the airport, but today was all about the Brooklyn Bridge.

IMG_6304

ML suggested that we catch the subway across to Brooklyn and walk back over to Manhattan… this could have something to do with the 11.6kms we walked yesterday (although ML actually did way more because her steps are smaller so she has to take more… and she said that her legs felt great this morning after donning some DoTerra Magic oil – Love the Ice Blue!), but in the end, it turned out to be a great idea…

So we donned our matching shoes and rode the subway to Dumbo, Brooklyn.

IMG_6226

We took a left out of the subway and started walking towards the bridge.

IMG_6227

We passed some lovely looking streets before realising that we were walking the wrong way…

IMG_6228

So we back tracked a couple of blocks and found ourselves on some lovely tree lined streets.

IMG_6229

I’m not sure what it is… the window decorations or the fire escapes, but I just love these buildings… I mean, they’re square and bland with no balconies… so I don’t understand it, but I’m still drawn to them.

IMG_6233

It helps if you’ve got a bit of ivy growing on the side as well.

IMG_6234

We think that this little house was possibly an old fire station house.

IMG_6235

If I had to live in Brooklyn Heights, I’d like to live on this street.

IMG_6237

This one has even got my name on it!

IMG_2808.jpg

And look at this house with the little garden to the side and the garage.

IMG_6238

We made it to the water and was to take in the view…

IMG_6242

Then we noticed these roof top terrace apartments – check out their view!!!  I live there now.

IMG_6244.jpg

Because we’re high on a hill, we had to make our way down to the water by way of this gorgeous walkway.

IMG_6246

Seriously, I can’t decide which house I want to live in!

IMG_6247

Probably not one of these though – you could see straight in through the windows.

IMG_6250

But they did have a lovely view of the lady…

IMG_6249

At the end of the suspended walkway there is a fabulous garden and park with winding paths like this one.

IMG_6253

And open spaces like this one…

IMG_6254

That all lead back to under the bridge.

IMG_6255

That’s the Manhattan Bridge in the background.

IMG_6256

You can catch the ferry from this point or there is the famous? Brooklyn Ice-cream Factory….  People were literally lining up out the door in teh sun to buy an icecream and then sit in this space in the sun to eat it.

IMG_6268

I’m not sure why the Brooklyn Bridge is so iconic, I mean there are prettier bridges in the world, but people just love this one.

IMG_6258

And as a result… here we are!

IMG_6260

They’ve tried to get the love lock thing going here like they did in Paris, but it hasn’t really caught on…

IMG_6264

Did you know that in 1776 Britain tried to attack, invade and take over New York?  You learn something new every day.  If we’ve learned anything from the royal wedding and Meghan’s veil, it’s that the Commonwealth has 53 countries under its belt and I think that’s enough for any Kingdom.

IMG_6269

Then we headed to the entry of the bridge to make our own crossing…

IMG_6273

People here LERVE to line up for things!  This line is for a burger joint… but it doesn’t matter what it’s for – they just love to form a line.

IMG_6274

Then with a little help from Google Maps and our witts, we made it to the bridge!

IMG_6275

This lady is obviously sick of Brooklyn and she’s moving to the big smoke… either that or she works in Manhattan and just popped home for lunch.

IMG_6277

The top of the bridge… These are obviously here because people keep trying to climb to the top.

IMG_6281

There were a number of people popping on graduation garments… it must be a thing.

IMG_6282

It jut got prettier the further we crossed…

IMG_6284

It’s crazy that more people aren’t killed here on this bridge by  both stupidity and cyclists.
Can you see the white line down the middle?  The left side is for walkers – going in both directions and the right hand side is for bikes – going in both directions – quite fast… so when you have people / families / walkers with headphones on all walking slowly on the right hand side – probably thinking “this is so much better on this side where there are not many people walking’ and never once wondering why… I mean, fair enough, the lanes aren’t clearly marked, so you can’t really blame them…


And this is why… stopping to pose for gratuitous selfie shots of yourself in front of or on top of famous monuments… it’s a thing.

IMG_6305

And we joined the throng of people who stopped right in the way of everybody else to take a photo.  If you can’t beat ’em…

IMG_6287

This photo was a mistake, but turned out kinda cool…. it marks the midway mark of our pilgrimage.

IMG_6296

Which was cool and weird at the same time… cause ML is actually the new Geisha Lady in my life.. she’s taken over from Me Jenny’s title of Geisha Nana because she insists on walking 4-10 steps behind me at all times… even if I slow down.  I know I walk fast and tend to take a naturally longer stride… so this my usual view of ML… I’m thinking of installing shoulder mirrors so I can keep an eye on her.

IMG_6319

But at this point when our shoes aligned…. I was able to get this photo of us side by side.

IMG_6310

See, it’s rare!  I had been waiting in this spot for a good minute so ML could catch up to me.

IMG_6321

We got to the other side and felt like we’d achieved our objective for the day – with a bonus walk through Brooklyn Heights.

High five us!

When we got home it was decided that we could have 5s’ies up on the roof, so we waited until a bit later than 5pm because the sun was still pretty high in the sky, then we took up a beverage and some chip and dip up and took it all in.

That’s Central Park behind us.

IMG_6340

Just out of interest…. if there are any builders or architects or engineers out there, could you please tell me if this is a swimming pool?

IMG_3671

This is the view down to Times Square…

IMG_6332

Cheers everyone.  Until tomorrow… x

I think I broke Marie…

This weekend there was an International Food Festival on 9th Street…

Screen Shot 2018-05-20 at 5.37.18 pm.png

Which promised to bring huge crowds…  It was a glorious day, so there’s no reason the people should stay away…. in fact, even bad weather doesn’t really keep the people away.

Screen Shot 2018-05-20 at 5.37.28 pm.png

The feast fest spread from 42nd St all the way to 57th.  We started on 50th and headed south with a plan to walk down one side of the street and then up the other to the end.

IMG_6105

We got about 3 blocks down and realised that the majority of the stalls were the same as the last Street Fair we went to, so as it was really hot in the sun, we about turned and headed north toward our predetermined final destination of 57th Street.

Passing a “Lobster Rollin'” truck

IMG_6106

How cool would one of these be in Gero?

IMG_6110IMG_6111

Then it was all about the balls…

IMG_6112IMG_6113IMG_6114IMG_6116

We sampled some of the wares on offer – a German bratwurst, southern fried chicken, bbq’d corn on the cob and some fried mac & cheese balls and we drew the line at the deep friend ice-cream.

After 55th Street the fest turned into a kids carnival with jumping castles, etc.. so we high tailed it  up and out of there.

The heat of the day – 26 degrees, but feels like 30 called for a seat on the footpath to have a drink and stare at people.  We chose the first place we came across, a French cafe called Cognac.

We hadn’t been sitting long before this impromptu photo shoot happened….

IMG_6133IMG_6136IMG_6144

You’re welcome ?

IMG_6147

We had left the apartment this morning foolishly thinking that the temp might be similar to yesterday and dressed accordingly.  We were mistaken and way too hot, so we popped back to the apartment to rethink our wardrobe, drop off non essentials like umbrellas, coats & scarves and change into some shorter trousers.

We headed east along 51st and the plan was to wind our way up to 59th and 2nd Ave…  to cross over to Roosevelt Island.

Oh look Darl – Cartier!

IMG_6151

Looking across the way to the funny shaped building.  I love that NY is so creative and different.  No two buildings are the same, so every direction you look is something new and interesting.

IMG_6153

Like this lovely little one snuggled in between those two big ones.

IMG_6154

Here’s that random building that I noticed from the top of the Empire State Building…

IMG_6157

We passed Bloomingdales…

IMG_6163

and the Magnolia Bakery (from the Sex and the City fame… (although this one is in a different area)

IMG_6164

We were looking for a place to sit outside to have a drink and watch people… but they are few and far between which is why they are so popular.

IMG_6193

Look at this gorgeous little puppy.  He was so well behaved just sitting and staring…. pretty much what we wanted to do!

IMG_6195

On the way ML told me of a tip she had from her friend & neighbour, Jennie about a cafe called ‘Serendipity 3’, which Oprah herself also recommended.  It was right on the block we were walking to, so it seemed silly not to stop in and try something.

IMG_6181

Their speciality is frozen hot chocolates.

IMG_6165

Their decor is eclectic and fun.

IMG_6167

ML ordered the peanut butter frozen hot chocolate and I went for the mint….. And this is what we got…. now don’t have a sugar fuelled aneurysm, I could only manage half of it before I felt sick.

IMG_6173

They also sell random merchandise…

IMG_6178

We rolled out of there and down the street.

So… Roosevelt Island.

ap_080908049341-fc5223eb22f036a120bea0a2ea04a34fb4887dd4-s900-c85.jpg

Here’s what I know about Roosevelt Island….

It has been used as a prison, an lunatic asylum and a hospital.  Back in 1839, the New York City Lunatic Asylum opened, including the Octagon Tower, which is now a residential building.  The asylum at one point held 1,700 inmates, twice its designed capacity. It was known as Welfare Island when it was used principally for hospitals, from 1921 to 1971. It was renamed Roosevelt Island in 1971 after Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt Island is owned by the city but was leased to the state of New York’s Urban Development Corporation for 99 years in 1969.

You can get across by driving (or walking) across the Queensboro Bridge…

IMG_6206

Or you can take the tram (cable car)…

We lined up to take the tram across, but then watched as about 50 people in front of us  pack in like sardines into this car and all of a sudden it didn’t look much like fun, so down the stairs we went and headed for the Manhattan side of the East River.

IMG_6203

There is a walk way that runs most of the way up the river, but as a main road runs alongside that, there aren’t many places to cross over, so we walked a little way up and then crossed over the pedestrian bridge the first chance we had – otherwise we would have been adding another 16 blocks to our walk.

IMG_6210

Along the path is this dog run where dogs are allowed off their leads.  There were a few canine arguments, but otherwise they all played nicely together.

IMG_6208

This couple was taking their 5 dogs on leads and see that big pram?  That had another 5 little dogs in it.

IMG_6212

We tried to take a route home that we hadn’t been before and came across some lovely buildings….

Do you think their name is actually Uniform?  And do they sell/clean/make uniforms?  How did they break into the shoe repair game?  So many questions!

IMG_6214

It doesn’t take much to make your building look pretty….

IMG_6216

… and check out this house – they’ve got a double garage!!! That’s not something you see every day in NYC.

IMG_6218

Schmoozing past the Plaza and there was a wedding going on.  What a lucky couple to have such a wonderful day – yesterday it didn’t stop raining.

IMG_6219

I don’t know if the city has a lost and found section, but I couldn’t bring myself to send this weave in…  I’m still trying to work out how it dropped out of somebody’s hair and it reminded me of this SNL clip:

Go to this link… scroll down to the video link… watch the whole thing if you like cause it’s hilarious – or cut straight to 5.50 for the bit about the weave.

http://msmagazine.com/blog/2010/11/12/we-heart-the-real-housewives-of-snl/ 

IMG_6220

Speaking of lost and found, these little babies were abandoned next to the subway entrance… They looked a little small for me and I don’t quite understand the concept of a boot with an open toe…. so there they stayed.

IMG_2805.jpg

By the time we got back to our apartment we had walked 11.6kms and ML was a tiny bit shattered… I think I may have broken her.  But not to worry cause she’s rubbed on some magic DoTerra oils and tomorrow she’ll be right as rain – I hope so because we’ve planned to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Let’s see what happens.

“Nanette” by Hannah Gadsby

So we just went to see Hannah Gadsby at the Soho Playhouse, a small theatre that seated about 180 people – snugly.

We were sent down to this bar and thought – surely this isn’t the room she’s playing to… it would only hold 50 or so people!  Maybe they don’t know her her in America?

IMG_6101.jpg

But this turned out to be the bar area and later we were shown into the actual theatre… still snug though.

Soho-Playhouse.jpg

I hadn’t read any reviews about Hannah’s show, but I did know that she had won all sorts of awards.

IMG_6103.jpg

I’ve seen her on the telly and at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and in The Great Debate, so we were expecting an evening of entertainment hilarity.

And that’s what we got, to start with, and throughout the show… From start to finish I was in all sort of tears – of laughter,… then of anger, of shock and in sorrow as Hannah told her story and took a stance against hiding behind the punchline any longer.  There were parts that were quite confronting and uncomfortable…. and that was clearly the point.  One reviewer, Sarah-Jane Collins said this: “It is not adequate to describe Nanette as comedy, it is not fair to describe it as anything else, but it is something entirely its own, and it is a joy and despair to watch it unfold.”  Her full review is here.

Here is another review by the New York Times – they sum it up better than I could.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/arts/hannah-gadsby-comedy-nanette.html

HAN_ComedyCOMAU-TourSQUARE-500x500-730x730.jpeg

If Hannah’s intent was to have her audience walk away taking a damn good hard look at themselves, then tonight was a job extremely well done.

Going to the Chapel

Today’s the day… I’m very excited!  This day has come around soooo quickly since the engagement was announced.

The wedding day of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle.  I love them!

06-Prince-Harry-Meghan-Markle.w710.h473.jpg

Without much thought for people in the USA, the guests started to arrive at 9am GMT – that’s 4am in New York!  So we’d clearly have to wait for the reruns to see those people.

IMG_6067

I did get up at 6am though and donned my tiara just in time to see Harry and Wills arrive.

IMG_6068

ML appeared just in time for Meghan to arrive.

IMG_6069

We created our own high tea complete with vegemite on biscuits, cucumber, turkey and cream cheese on bicces, an assortment of sweet biscuits, them some gluten and dairy free things at the top – just to mix it up, red velvet cake pops and some pallet cleanser strawberries….. this is how it’s done Lillies Victorian Establishment!

IMG_6079

George, Charlotte and the other kiddy bridesmaids and page boys did a fabulous job at looking super cute.

IMG_6092

Here she comes…. look at those boys with their new haircuts!

IMG_6086

These two look so in love.  I love it!  Meghan’s dress was beautiful and she chose a great tiara from Liz’s collection.  She’s so naturally beautiful.

IMG_6083

It was so emotional… I just had to get through it with the help of red velvet popcicle.

Great kiss – not awkward at all.  Well done you two!

IMG_6089

And then on their carriage ride, it was like they could see me through the screen!
Hi you guys!

IMG_6084

Once it was all over, we watched the rerun so we could see all the celebs…

The US commentators didn’t like the fact that Victoria looked so miserable though.  It’s her schtick.  I read somewhere once that she is photographed so often that it would feel daft if she were smiing ALL the time.  she looked lovely in navy.

IMG_6094.jpg

Well done Becks, looking very dapper… funny nobody mentioned the fact that he wasn’t grinning from ear to ear.

IMG_6093

I don’t know who this lady is, a model maybe? but I love her dress.

IMG_6091

And Pippa wore a beautiful dress as well, even though she did look a little like this Green Tea can.

IMG_6087

I ended up watching the whole thing through again…. I loved every minute.  The US Reverend, the gospel choir, Meghan’s Mum, Camilla’s hat, the beautiful chapel, the carriage ride, Kate’s whole outfit, the inclusion of Diana’s sister, Lady Jane,  and the fact that they asked members of the public and not politicians.  I can’t wait to see all the official photos and hear the stories of the reception and after soirée…

… but now it’s time for a bit more royal nigh nighs.

IMG_6073

No soup for you!

Everywhere you look in New York there are familiar buildings and parks all from the movies and TV shows that we’ve grown up with over the years.  Today, by accident, we found The Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.

IMG_2732IMG_2733IMG_6057IMG_6058

I think we’ll need to come back here for a soup before we leave….Jambalaya!

She She – Rockin’ the Subway

There are all sorts of musicians and buskers in the subway and usually you just listen as you walk past, not really giving them much attention… but today somebody caught the attention of both my ears and my eyes and I felt compelled to stop.

Meet She She!

She was fantastic!  So much so that when we got home we googled her – http://www.sheshedance.com and it appears that she is more than a subway busker…  She’s done all sorts of things.

Watch here – you’re welcome.

 

The Right Royal Balls Up

Last week ML and I happened upon Lillies Victorian Establishment.  A lovely little bar/restaurant who offered High Tea – we thought this would be fabulous to celebrate the royal wedding.  They were all booked out on the Saturday, so we booked ourselves in for today.  We got there nice and early and were the first ones there.

IMG_6022

The place is decked out in union jack bunting and pictures of Harry & Meghan…

IMG_6054IMG_2730
Why yes Megs, I’d love to be your bridesmaid….. that will certainly cement my chances of ever becoming a bride myself.

IMG_2713

There is so much to look at in here….

IMG_6056IMG_6055IMG_6052IMG_6038IMG_6030IMG_6029IMG_6028

Even the ducting was pretty…

IMG_6023IMG_2726

Although the candles had seen better days.

IMG_2727

The ceiling was impressive.

IMG_6019

We were served by Caitlin, who was lovely and very attentive.  We chose the High Tea for two…

IMG_6021

and pots of tea were brought out…

IMG_2724

ML and I were feeling all weddingy and excited for what was to come…


and when it arrived, I’ve got to tell you – we were underwhelmed.

The top tier – fair enough…. the second tier – they’re meant to be scones! and the bottom tier – they are crust on, thick breaded sandwiches made with 3 day old bread – now I get that people are starving and would probably have loved this array, but I couldn’t quite justify paying $66 for it.

We took one bit out of a sandwich each and felt that the imposter ‘scones’ were likely to break our teeth if tried them, so we called Caitlin over and explained that this wasn’t going to happen.  She was very good and took it away bringing back the menu to choose something else.

Actually this photo doesn’t make it look nearly as mediocre as it was.

IMG_2728

ML ordered a BLT and I ordered a Tuna Melt – not very royal or weddingy, but we rolled with it.  When two BLTs arrived I asked Caitlin what had happened to the Tuna Melt to which she said, “Sorry, what? I thought you said “BLTs – two of them”.  Oh Caitlin.

We had talked about wearing our wedding tiaras to the high tea, so I’m glad we didn’t do that – sitting there in tiaras with our BLTs!

We finished up and consoled Caitlin, making sure that she didn’t feel bad about the whole debacle and walked up to Whole Foods to purchase food to make stuff for ourselves – tomorrow is going to see a Royal Wedding High Tea like you’ve never seen before – held in our own apartment.

events_hightea.jpg

Lost in Translation

A few years back I came across this comedian – Anjelah Johnson and this was one of her first joke bits….

Since then she’s created another character – Bon Qui Qui – a ghetto chick who works at the King Burger place and is constantly calling for “seccurity” when people place complicated orders….

ML and I both thought she was pretty funny, so when we saw that she was touring and going to be in New York while we’re here, we booked tickets.

IMG_6013.jpg

We were pretty excited as we sat at Caroline’s Comedy Club just around the corner from the apartment, and there were a few other comedians who came out before Anjelah.  The first guy talked for about 15 minutes about how famous he was in New York and that the audience should be clapping him more cause of how famous he is….. 2/10.

The second guy was half Asian and half African-American – he called himself “Blasian” and all his jokes were based on the cross culture turmoil that is his life – he was on stage for approx 3 minutes…. 5/10.

Then another guy came out and he was quite funny.  I can’t remember what he talked about, but I remember thinking that he was more enjoyable that the first two…  6.5/10.

Then Anjelah came out and the crowd went crazy.  We thought, ‘Oooh, this is going to be good.’

On discussion after the show, I asked ML what she thought and she said that there was a moment where she thought she might fall asleep, so obviously she wasn’t griped, and neither was I.

IMG_6014.jpg

We both agreed that her show wasn’t funny and that she lacked a connection with the audience.  Sure there were a few moments where ML and I exchanged looks of – ‘that bit was funny’, but I can count them on hand, using only 3 fingers.  She had some good ideas that could have been turned into funny bits, but she didn’t take them anywhere.  Some people in crowd were laughing at absolutely everything she said, but there’s always at least one of those people in a crowd, and I know that I’m a very tough audience member to crack – especially when it comes to comedy, but she just didn’t float my boat and then….. she did the nail salon bit to finish because that’s what the people were asking for.  Her fans won’t let her move on to bigger and better things.  It’s like going to a John Farnham concert and the crowd only wanting to hear “Sadie, the Cleaning Lady”.

Her Bon Qui Qui character has become bigger than Ben Hur and has a record deal with Warner Music.

5555504.jpg

She’s released a comdedy rap album that I can’t believe anyone would buy, but then again somebody was probably saying the same thing about Weird Al Yankovic and he did ok.

evenworse.jpg

I think going to a comedy show is always going to be hit and miss, more so when you don’t know the comedians, but this had a bit more of a sting of disappointment because we did know her.

Oh well – you can’t please everybody.

The People of Walmart⁕

Last night we were Googling which Walmart Superstore we would go to on yet another rainy New York day.  The closest Walmart is in on the Jersey side and there were a lot… and I mean A LOT of discussion on forums and Trip Advisor on A) how best to get there from Manhattan and B) why people would even go there.  One poor man simply asked: “Is there a bus to Walmart?” and hundreds upon hundreds of responses from well meaning people (assumingly New Yorkers) asking why on Earth would he waste his precious time in New York going all the way to a Jersey City Walmart when NY has perfectly good Target stores and a K-Mart?  “I mean what could you possibly want to buy so badly that you can’t get it at Target?” One responder lamented.

Internet-Trolls_Plaid-Zebra.jpg

So, these “well meaners” didn’t help us out either… as our question was exactly the same and I didn’t feel that I needed to justify to a bunch of internet strangers why we wanted to  look at a Walmart – ’cause we don’t have it at home and it’s new and different…. actually now that we’ve been there, it’s not that much different to Target – just cheaper.

IMG_6006.jpg

So I worked out that if we got the train across to Jersey we could get an Uber the rest of the way.  We got to Penn Station, found the NJ Transit area and just by chance I saw the name of the suburb where Walmart was in – Secaucus….

IMG_6005.jpg

… which turned out to be a major transit hub – funny nobody on the forum mentioned that!

9055635-large.jpg

Then we called an Uber – the lovely Nelson from the Dominican Republic was our driver and he was a happy fellow…. we were through the doors with a massive trolley in our hands within 20 mins of crossing the Hudson – easy.

We also read quite a few Yelp reviews on this particular Walmart and people were not happy, nor were they kind – some even named names!  There was whinging aplenty about unstacked shelves, terrible non existent service and LONG waits at the checkout.

916576292.jpg

We were really looking forward to it!  Thank goodness, our experience was very different.

We didn’t look at the grocery section, just the clothes, shoes and accessories…

wal-mart-exp-reno-004-960x639.jpg

…so there was another couple of hours we could have spent there, but thinking about carrying all our goodies home was playing heavily on our minds (and in our fold out carry bags) – so we kept it simple.

Walmart_15_cent_price.jpg

We found everything we were looking for and more!

IMG_6007.jpg

And we were helped by the most fabulous person – BreeLyn, who we learned is half Puerto Rican and half Italian and next summer she is going to travel to Napoli to eat authentic Italian food and squish grapes with her feet at a winery.  We also learned that her favourite show of all is Australia’s own “Wentworth” – or as most of us would know it as “Prisoner” (cue Bea Smith on the laundry press with – KA’SHOOOOOSH!  Poor Lyn aka Kerry Armstrong)

So good stock levels – ✅
Friendly, helpful staff – ✅
A quick run through the checkout – ✅

In fact, there was only one person in front of us with minimal items and the bloke on the checkout was lovely, friendly and even made a bit of a joke about how we were going to get our items in the three small bags we had – we did it with ease thanks Raajnit!

groceries.gif

I have to say it was a tiny bit disappointing that we didn’t see one single “person of Walmart” during our visit.  For those not familiar, the “People of Walmart” is a website where people post photos of other people who have cared a little bit less (or more) than they should about their presentation and have then taken themselves off to Walmart to do a spot of shopping.  It’s most unbelievable which is what makes it so voyeuristic.  I know what you’re all thinking though…. if we didn’t see any, then maybe WE were the people of Walmart today!!!!

One the way home, we Ubered back to the station with Amett from Egypt who was driving a massive Chevy Suburban – the biggest car you’ve eve been in.  He told us all about the places he’s lived all over the world and how well his two children are doing in US colleges.  He was very proud.  Seriously, this car has got 3 rows of seats and then a massive boot in the back – HUGE!

2018-suburban-1lz-gba.png.jpg

So amongst our purchases were mainly small things that we easily packable and things we can’t generally find in the Mandurah Target.

I got these cool nail art things…

IMG_6017.jpg

And that’s that job done I’d say.

UPDATE:  So it turns out that Walmart are not the most socially or ethically conscious of companies.  Since publishing this post I have been enlightened and done a bit research myself.  The dailydot.com published an article in 2015 entitled: 10 Reasons Walmart is the Worst Company in America and look, it’s not good.  I wish I’d known before yesterday, it would have saved me the journey all the way to Jersey. I think that’s the last time I go to Walmart.

Guess who I saw at the theatre…

I’m a big Harry Potter fan – like a big one.  I’ve read all the books and seen all the movies (numerous times – sometimes through no fault of my own – they just seem to play them over and over on the telly!)  Anyway, I’ve been to the Warner Bros Harry Potter world spectacular exhibition in London with another mad HP fan – my lovely friend Saskia and today I got to go to the Lyric Theatre….

IMG_5984.jpg

… to see Harry Potter and the Cured Child – a carry on story set 19 years later.

nest-main-tablet.png

The play was never a novel, but a novelised script was released.

IMG_5983.jpg

This next bit of info is on Wikipedia, so I’m not giving anything away….  Harry, as we know, is married to Ginny and they have three kiddies, James, Albus  & Lily.  Harry is now a Ministry of Magic employee, as is Hermione, who is married to Ron and they have two kiddies… Rose and somebody else.  Rose and Albus are about to attend Hogwarts.  Wikipedia goes on to tell way more of the story, but I don’t want to give anymore away.

Harry-Potter-Cursed-Child-Movie-Trademark-Registered.jpg

The show is absolutely amazing.  It’s done in two parts so part one was shown at the matinée at 2pm, then Part two at 7.30pm.  So it’s a big commitment, but I wish it had gone on and on.  It was so well staged with magic and moving props and people and things appearing out of nowhere.  The story is so well written – I laughed and cried…. and I caught the chap next to me wiping a tear away at the same time I was and he’d seen it before in London, so it wasn’t just me.  The audience was clapping and ooohing and ahhing the whole way through.

IMG_5982.jpg

And… speaking of the audience, guess who was sitting a couple of rows behind me?

NPH-David-Burtka-x633_0.jpg

This is my second star sighting in one day – while I was waiting in line to enter the theatre the woman who used to pay CC Babcock in “The Nanny” walked past.

48151ccee6e16ab2f95d3515801bfe02.jpg

I would definitely recommend this show to all Harry fans… if you haven’t read the books or at least seen the movies, you might not know what the hell is going on, but you’d still be amazed at the staging and the magic.  Apparently it’s set to hit Melbourne in 2019, so  it might hit Perth in 2037 – get ready people.

 

Cinderella is going to the ball

Today’s forecast – hot (about 30 degrees) with early evening thunderstorms and heavy rain…. so that’s something to look forward to… So to get out of the humidity, we hightailed it back to Macy*s to purchase me a ball gown for the Midwest Charity Begins at Home Gala Dinner.

a2985a9d78c2920e45ba2cabcc088af8--s-prom-dresses-royal-blue-prom-dresses.jpg

After trying on about 6-7 frocks of differing sequinned patterns, I purchased: One frock and one glitzy earring (x 2) to match.  We waited at the counter for what about 10 minutes while a lady returned a couple of items.  We tried the next counter, but there was nobody serving there.  We waited for about 5 minutes (the other lady was still going at her counter) and then Sarah turned up.  Sarah was lovely, but we were very concerned that she wasn’t going to make it through the transaction – she was wheezing and some sort of asthma attack was coming on…. but she pushed through and got us 25% off.  Thank you Sarah!

We came out of the lovely air conditioned Macy*s to about 90% humidity and found a bistro for a light lunch.  We’ve both decided that we love to sit up at the bar when dining and want to know why we don’t have this option in Australia… or do we and we just don’t go out enough to know?

69df7b40f904f246a7d41bc2e8423c67_full_size.jpg

We didn’t want to eat too much because tonight we had reservations at Nobu 57.  So we got home and the skies opened up just in time for us to walk the 6 blocks to the restaurant.  We found handy walk way that cut through all the buildings crossing about 5 blocks, so we were undercover for a lot of the walk, but we still arrived in sodden shoes.

1409519304968_wps_13_rain.jpg

The food was absolutely amazing!  I’ve been to Nobu once before with ML and she did all the ordering then as she’s the master at all things fish due to her vast experience in both the fishing and aquaculture industries, as well as her training as a beauty therapist…. so I was happy to leave it all up to her again and just hope for the best.  Let me tell you – I was NOT disappointed!

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 1.27.19 am.png

We were meant to be going to one of our free comedy shows, but we were enjoying the food so much and hadn’t quite finished…. we were never going to make the theatre in time, so we cancelled and had dessert.

nobu2.jpg

A productive day followed by a delicious evening.

The Street Fair

We woke up this morning to rain… rain… rain and it was heavy!

IMG_5844

We sat and watched it for a while and then it just stopped, so we took this as an opportunity to get down on the street and across one block to Broadway to look at the street fair that was going on.  After accidentally walking into a street fair last weekend I did a bit of research and found that there are different sections of streets blocked off every weekend, so the fairs move around all the time.

IMG_5867

This is what happens when it’s raining and you get sick of being lost!

IMG_5858

There are essentially the same stalls at each fair – food, sunglasses, leather bags, phone accessories, hats and t-shirts with NEW YORK emblazoned on them, but it’s always fun to wander the streets when they’re blocked off.

IMG_5861

IMG_5854

Most people will have heard of The Naked Cowboy, and if you’ve been to Times Square before, you will no doubt have seen him.  He’s out there every single day in his tighty whiteys with his guitar and boots.

IMG_5851

And he swings his guitar behind him and picks up the ladies for photos….

How’s Old Mate here standing and staring?

IMG_5852

We got a bbq corn on the cob – which was delicious.

IMG_5868

We made a couple of purchases and then ML headed back home whilst I took full advantage of the break in the rain and headed west along 50th street – this is the street we look down from our window.  I wanted to go all the way to the Hudson and have a look.

The landscape changes somewhat when you cross over 9th Ave… There are not as many people – in fact, none!

Space is short on the island, so this is how you park cars here.

IMG_5872

The playgrounds are also making the most of the space that they have.

IMG_5876

Here’s something that I’ve never seen before – an Amish Supermarket.  I don’t know much about the Amish community, but from what I do know, they don’t generally have anything to do with the modern world….

IMG_5879

… but their market is pretty digitalized.

IMG_5880

The street got noticeably emptier after I crossed 9th Street.  This is where the tour buses must park while the groups go on their tours.

IMG_5887

It’s also where the car dealerships are… Lexus, Toyota…

IMG_5883

… and these ones.

IMG_5885

Oh, and Porsche… I know that one – and the clue is in the name.

IMG_5886

So all the services and facilities like this car wash and one block back was a building full on mini storage sheds, that you wonder where local people go – it’s all on 12th Ave.

IMG_5895

I hit the Hudson at 12th Ave and turned left for a bit of a meander when I came across the Intrepid – an aircraft carrier that you can go onto and have a look around.  I asked an information fellow how long it would take to go through and he said “Oh, you can spend hours in there.”  We had a show to get to, so I thought I’d come back when I had more time up my sleeve.

IMG_5894

Somebody please explain to me though…. how is this thing floating?  How?

IMG_5900

There was a group of kayakers and a couple of SUPers having a close up look.  I’d be happy to kayak, but I don’t think I’d like to fall in to this water – which is definitely what would happen on a SUP.

IMG_5901

I kept walking down to Pier 84 which is where the Circle Line Ferry leaves from…

IMG_5904

Also, you can take a ride on The Beast – this is not my cup of tea, but…

IMG_5906

But there’s a line up of people waiting to get on it… in New York – there is something for everyone.

IMG_5907

This is more my style.  On a nicer day I’ll be jumping on this one.

IMG_5908

I zigzagged my way back through the 40s and up through Times Square in time to have a small sit down before we had to get to our show.

IMG_5912

There are 100s of artists lining the footpaths doing drawings of tourists, but this is the first time that I’ve ever come across a sculptor.  I think I’m going to get one of these done.  The lady turned her head at the last minute – but it really did look like her.

IMG_5913

Do you remember Karen & Abe from the piano bar?  Well we took their advice and joined a club where you pay a small membership fee and then you are given the opportunity to book free tickets to shows – I say free, but they charge a $3.50 booking fee per ticket, but $7 for two people isn’t something to be complaining about.  For bigger shows, you don’t necessarily get to choose your seats, but again, you’re seeing something for next to nothing.

IMG_5915

So for our first show we chose “Comedy Sportz” – like theatre sports and it was hilarious. It was only in a really small theatre and the stage was tiny, but it was great with voluntary audience participation – the voluntary part is very important because I don’t really like it when actors/comedians pick on audience members… anyway, it was really funny.

IMG_5919

There are two teams and a referee and the audience claps the loudest for the funniest team.

IMG_2656

Then the winner wins this trophy – it’s from 1987.

IMG_5917

An hour and 15 minutes later, it’s over and they take down all the props for the next people to use the space.

IMG_2659

It was discussed earlier in the day that after the show we should head up to a roof top bar for a champas to toast our mums (Jen & Shirl) for mother’s day.  When we came out of the show it was raining again, so we walked in the direction of the roof top bar that we can see from our apartment… it’s at the top of one of those trendy new hotels where there is no check in counter, just a round table of computers where you check yourself in – thus no people to answer any questions.

IMG_5953

We took ourselves to the lift, but you needed a room key to activate it – it was ALL too hard.  Next door as Emmett O’Leary’s Irish Pub and that’s where we went.  ML had a cocktail to start…

IMG_5923 2

…and I, being in an Irish pub, ordered a Guinness (with a splash of black currant in memory of the Lady Guinness we drank when I traveled to Ireland with Madds, Lu & Tans)…. and they were poured by a lovely bartender named Jonathon from Ecuador!

IMG_5922

It was lovely.

IMG_5925

Then we had a prosecco to toast the Mums – Happy Mother’s Day Jen & Shirl

IMG_5933

After a day of cold, we felt like a hot homestyle cooked something.  I went for bangers and mash…

IMG_5930

…and ML ordered ribs that were the size of her head.

IMG_5928

We had a few more drinks while Jonathon wrote down on a napkin all the things he recommends we do while in New York…

IMG_5954.jpg

I think we’ll check out The Dead Rabbith.

Don’t pay the ferryman… ’cause it’s free.

There’s rain a comin’ this weekend, so today whilst the sun was still shining, we decided to jump on the ferry and do Staten Island.

IMG_5720

The ferry is free – which is awesome, and it also means that ALL the tourists like to jump on and enjoy the 20 minute ride, then jump off and jump on the next one back again.

IMG_5721

The first time I was here that’s what we did.

IMG_5722

The ferry goes right by the Statue of The Lady, so unless you want to get right up close and personal, you don’t really need to pay to go to Ellis Island.

IMG_5727

ML taking it all in on the non crowded side of the boat.

IMG_5730

When the ferry pulled out from the pier, we weren’t sure whether it would turn around or if you drive from both ends, so we just went left…. while everybody else went to the right.

IMG_5732

This is what we could see from the back of the pack…

IMG_5734

So we went back to the other side to enjoy the space… See you in about an hour Manhattan.

IMG_5739

That’s what we would have looked like.

IMG_5738

We were nearly at Staten Island – that’s it on the right and a lady from India who was standing next to us asked me if that was the Brooklyn Bridge.  When I said no, she jumped in with “Is it the Manhattan Bridge?” – I didn’t even know there was a Manhattan Bridge.  This one, that looks a little bit Golden Gatey, is the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, named after Giovanni da Verrazano, who was the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbour in 1524.

IMG_5740

Last time we jumped off and straight onto the next ferry back to Manhattan, but this time I wanted to stop and have a look around.

This was our first view.

IMG_5744

But then we walked into town passing this lovely old building – Borough Hall.  We’d read about a series of murals that we wanted to have a look at and walked up and around the other side of this building in search of them.  ML decided to use the facilities inside while I sat outside and tried to work out where the murals were….. turns out that they were inside this building!

IMG_5745

Here is Giovanni discovering Staten Island in his pantaloons.

IMG_5750IMG_5751

This building is also the Bureau of Marriages.  ML said she saw a woman in a wedding dress up on the 3rd floor, so that’s nice.

IMG_5765

After that there really wasn’t much else to look at and Staten Island is really hilly, so we headed back to the port to wait for the next ferry.

We made sure we got of the port side. for the return…. although if a boat has a wheelhouse at either end, does it really have a port and starboard side?  Anyway, we headed for the side that we’d see The Lady on, but this was a different type of boat, so it had glass windows, which hadn’t been cleaned today….. or any day that we could tell.

IMG_5769

What we did manage to see though was the Coast Guard riding on our flank the whole way across the river.

IMG_5771

With this bloke at the ready with his machine gun, so that creates a feeling of calm.

IMG_5772

Then, there she was, welcoming the huddled masses.

IMG_5785

….and we were back safe and sound in Manhattan, thanks Coast Guard.

IMG_5793

Our next destination was going to be Chelsea Market up on 15th Street, so we decided to walk for a little bit through Battery Park – well it was my decision.  I made ML walk with me, but I know she appreciated it once she saw how how pretty it was.

IMG_5800

We walked past the war memorial and searched for people with our surnames on the memorial walls.

IMG_5803

I found heaps, but ML, not so many = 0… her surname is “Duplex”, not as common as “Brown”!

IMG_5804

More walking through the park…

IMG_5805

Until we saw in the distance people were holding massive snakes, putting them around their necks and taking photos.  We didn’t want any part of that kind of business and took a swift left turn.

IMG_5810

Past some artwork and then…

IMG_5812

back on the pretty path.  This walkway goes all the way up to the Upper East side if you follow it one enough…. in fact just a few more blocks up is where Hugh Jackman lives.  Do you think it would be weird to just hang around outside his building?

IMG_5820IMG_5822IMG_5831IMG_5833

We hit Rector Street which is where the next subway station was and headed back into the thick of it.

Then a couple of blocks over behind the Google building was the Chelsea Market.

IMG_5838

We were both starving by the time we got there and raced into a creperie which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea….. if we had just walked around the corner sooner, we would have come across this little beauty of a place.

IMG_5839

Damn it!

IMG_5841

Maybe next time Chelsea Market.

IMG_5843