Note: Manhattan Island was once the home of the Leni Lenape Indians, whose ancestors had been settled there for 12,000 years. When Henry Hudson sailed across the Atlantic to explore the New World in 1609, he navigated the river that was later named after him, and the Lenape came out to greet him. Dutch settlers soon started a colony on Manhattan Island, calling it New Amsterdam. Because the Indians had no custom of owning, buying or selling land, they eventually agreed to trade Manhattan Island to the Dutch for twenty-four dollars’ worth of items such as knives and axes. Later the English took over the colony, changing its name to New York.
Today New York City is the largest, busiest and most exciting metropolis in the United States. Each of its five boroughs – Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island – offers unique neighbourhoods, fascinating museums, shady parks, and more! ~ New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z by Laura Krauss Melmed.
9 March 2011. S had to leave early for the embassy to get some tasks done and that means I had the morning to myself. Time to roam the streets!
NYC is easy to get about on foot more than anything else, in my humble opinion. The subway is confusing, to me, and the cab fares exorbitantly high and you also risk being trapped in the traffic. Walking is the best form because you can take in the sights and stop as and when you like, take a breather, have a cuppa and off you go again. Another plus – NYC is easy to understand, divided into streets and avenues. I must have my fair share of exercise for the 2 days since I walked from Chinatown to 94th street on the first day and then from lower Manhattan to Chelsea and back again on the second. Now, the knees are sore.
Having my two objectives in mind – visit bakeries and practise photography – I set out and tried to accomplish as much as possible. There is freedom in taking pictures in US because the folks here do not really care too much about it as compared to my Malaccan experience in which some of the store owners barked at us for trying to take shots in their shops.
I like the time alone in the morning as I strolled through the streets and then having a break at Central Park before meeting S in the afternoon for lunch (middle eastern chicken with rice) from the food cart and then some baked good at Bouchon Bakery, Thomas Keller’s bakery! Our lunch cost us $5 (we shared) and a macaron cost more than $3 for one. What a contrast! But the pistachio macaron is really delicious and let’s see if I could find time to bake them.
Williams-Sonoma at Time Warner Centre happened to have a free tea tasting session and after our macarons, we skipped down to have some afternoon tea, complete with scones and those delectable jams! In for a treat!
10 March 2011. Somehow, S had to go back to the embassy again to get something done. We had planned to go on the Brooklyn Bridge together but now, the plan seemed to have to be changed. I decided to try to get some pictures of busy Lower Manhattan area but eventually found myself on the bridge.
10.45am – S is done with her task! Sarabeth’s Bakery at Chelsea market is our meeting place. Oooh! The aroma of those baked goods! Since it’s nearing lunch, we settle only for coffee and tea and of course, a good chat and rest.
Lunch was at a Hong Kong eatery in Chinatown. Oh! Those are familiar food and setting! I simply adore Chinatown with its very big supermarket which stocks most of the things you need and those stalls selling fresh fish and vegetables! How I wish they have it here in Boston! The Chinatown is very much like Hong Kong and I love love love it! Bought back a bottle of dark soy sauce and dragon beard candy, a childhood favourite! Of course, it doesn’t taste as nice as the authentic ones sold along the streets.
You know, I think I kind of like NYC now. Just a little!
So, my To-Do List #3 is completed! Yay!