Friday, February 25, 2011

Travel: New York Day Three

So on the second day, after some very well-earned rest, we wen't to the place our college had booked for us to have breakfast every morning. We didn't have breakfast at the hotel like i would do normally when on holiday, because apparently the buffet breakfast at our hotel (The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel, 51st on 7th) was ridiculously expensive, so we went to this little place called "Applejack's Diner". It was a really nice, warm and friendly place. We all ordered off the set menu, where there would be a choice of french toast + bacon or sausage or ham, pancakes with fruit, 2 eggs prepared in any way, with fried potatoes, toast + bacon/sausage/ham, or a cheese or western omelette +bacon/sausage/ham. You would choose one of those, and you would also get a glass of fruit juice and top-ups of coffee and tea. The first morning I went for the french toast with bacon- here's a picture:

Honestly, GOD BLESS the American Breakfast! When you are in New York and sightseeing you end up walking a hell of a lot, so that massive meal really kept us all going. We first headed on to The Rockefeller centre- we didn't actually go up there, but we all had a little look at all the national flags and the ice rink (some of the group went skating- I didn't, because they said you shouldn't really do it unless you ACTUALLY know how to skate, and I have no balance on the ice atall!!) and went shopping in the NBC studio shop that was nearby. I got my mum a bunch of Star Trek merchandise- the original series of course! She is an utter trekkie and loved the presents I brought her back.

We then next went to the Museum of Modern Art. Most of the students I was going with were Creative Arts/ Photography/ Fashion/ Design students, so this trip to the museum was particularly important to them, for 'first hand research' (that's what the lecturer called it) to help them with their courses and inspiration for their practical coursework. For me, it was just really interesting to be honest. I thought it was an absolutely fascinating museum, and absolutely MASSIVE as well- I was there 3 hours and I still didn't get to see everything! The first collection was right up my alley! It was entitled "Design and The Modern Kitchen"- Perfect ey??

It was all about how kitchens and kitchen equipment have changed since World War One, and how much more important part the kitchen plays in our households nowadays. These are a few of my favourite photos- I love this first one- it's a "tupperware party"!!! Hahaha! I can't belive this actually used to go on! When i asked my mum she said she actually went to one as well! Basically when tupperwares were invented you couldn't just buy them in a supermarket, you had to invite a representative around and have a bunch of your friends/neighbours there, and you would have a look at all the different types and then buy some. The other two pics are just peices of art/photography that I liked.

The rest of the museum was cool, here are a few sculptures that I liked within the museum. The first one I thought was so random. What I kinda like about modern art is that sometimes when you are going through a museum like that, you're not actually sure whether you are looking at art or not. Like at one point I thought a box on the floor was a peice of art, but it wasn't it was just a load of workman's tools- lol! And at one point these two guys stepped on what looked like a splodge of rubbed-in chalk on the ground, and one of the guards told them not to do that because it was actually a peice! Haha!

These are two peices that I liked, one is just a massive square bale of hay- c'mon! I'm a somerset girl y'know!!!!!- and the other one is a peice called "Life, Death and Sex". It's not really something that i would put on my wall, as it is a bit of a rude painting, but i still think it's a really clever work of art. Its my opinion that you don't have to LOVE a peice of artwork, to appreciate that there has been a lot of skill/talent put into that, and that it's an intelligent peice.

I thought I would mention as well, the cafe at the museum of modern art had an absolutely delicious looking menu! I mean, unfortunately I was still pretty full from breakfast, but yeah if any of you guys make it to The Museum of Modern Art, leave some time for lunch!

We then made our way to The Empire State Building, we had a pre-booked slot appointment to go up there (because we were a group of 31 and therefore had to book) so we didn't have too much time to eat, so i grabbed one of those Massive salt covered hot pretzels from one of the hundreds of food stalls that line Manhattan's streets. It was soooo good- comforting, filling, and portable- just what you want in a "street food". I also popped into a little shop nearby to get a drink, and suddenly found myself surrounded by GORGEAUS looking food! It really did look like a basic supermarket from the outside, but once in there I saw the majority of the place was took up by three buffet tables brimming with delicious looking dishes, ranging from chinese, to american, to italian.

Cool right? And a lot of the little shops that you see round the centre of New York will not only sell groceries, but will also often have delis, buffets and a guy to make you MASSIVE sccoby-doo like sandwiches. Righty, next stop was The Empire State Building. I won't bore you with the hundreds of pictures I took up there- its very high up, allright? Lol!! You can kinda get how high up it is through one photo anyway I reckon.

We were then given a bit of free time to do what we want. I had a little look in the New York Public Library, getting so so SO lost in all the marble coridoors that all I found was the gift shop and then the exit- I didn't even see any books!! Still, it is a very beautiful looking building, if I lived in New York I would definitely read a hell of a lot more than in Bath, because of having such a nice place to go and read.

I walked all the way back, which to be fair took a while, but what I love about this city, and about a lot of America, is the whole street/avenue system. Everything being in "blocks" really helped me to figure my way around, usually when I go on holiday I have NO sense of direction, and I completely have no idea where I am or where I am supposed to go. In this city I knew exactly where I was, where my hotel was, and if I decided I wanted to go to a certain restaurant/attraction, all I had to do was check what street/avenue it was on and I was there! I had a bit of a swim and a sauna at the hotel spa, which was luuuush and very relaxing, and I dressed for dinner.

For Valentines day my boyfriend got me a book about some of New York's best restaurants, which said where they were, what kinda food it served, and how pricey it would be. I decided to check out one near the hotel- a Japanese restaurant called "Yakitori Totto"- details about the place and the menu can be found on their website: . They are particularly famous for their various types of griddled chicken skewers, and when you sit down you kinda sit on a bench around the big griddle, where once you have ordered, the chefs cook your dishes right in front of you! I ordered some griddle chicken oyster (part of the chicken) skewers, griddled asparagus, boiled rice, Agedashi Tofu, and a dish of sauteed chinese mushrooms and yams. I took a picture of it, although after I had started eating- I was SO hungry! The chicken, asaragus and tofu was simple delicious- i think the mushrooms were to a slightly acquired taste- very pungent, but still tasty in their own way.

What really finished off this day well for me was this dessert- it left me in such a good mood for the rest of the evening, and that feeling definitely went on into the morning too. I order some black sesame ice cream, and MY GOD it was HEAVENLY!!! It is hard to describe the flavour. I suppose it tastes a little nutty, like peanut butter but without the "clagginess" and thers a toasty flavour, that makes it tasty a little like dark chocolate as well. Have any of you tried those 'sesame snap' bars? It kinda tasted a little like that but somehow richer.

I went back to the hotel and realised that I felt completely safe in this city, that by now I had already figured my way around, and feeling terribly confident about how much I would manage to get done during the rest of the holiday.

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