New York – Another bite of the Big Apple

Lower Manhattan as seen from the Liberty Cruise

Lower Manhattan as seen from the Liberty Cruise

Since New York proved to be absolutely photogenic with attractions aplenty and copious amounts of good food, here is a continuation of the previous post, New York – A bite of the Big Apple. Turns out, I needed another bite!

One World Trade Stunning glass facade of One World Trade

Located in Lower Manhattan, the 104-storey One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere and the fifth tallest in the world. For better time management and to ensure availability, it’s strongly advisable to purchase tickets online for the One World Observatory and September 11 Memorial and Museum, ahead of your visit.

Art installation inside September 11 Memorial - Squares in different shades of blue

Art installation inside September 11 Memorial – Squares in different shades of blue

9-11 Museum (Section of North Tower steel facade) 9-11 Museum (Segment of North Tower Radio & TV Antenna)

There’s extensive information on the 9/11 attacks and remnants of the twin towers in the museum, and the memorial is to remember the lives lost on that fateful day. Surrounded by trees outside, the two square pools are where the twin towers once stood.

One World Trade - looking upOne World Trade - Memorial Pool

One World Trade is a stunning structure. The reflection on the glass façade was such that the skyscraper became one with the sky. A sixty-second ascend in the elevator took us to the 100th floor, and the sweeping vistas over Manhattan and the other boroughs were impressive.

Brooklyn Bridge, East River, Brooklyn and Queens (upper left) from One World Observatory

Brooklyn Bridge, East River, Brooklyn and Queens (upper left) from One World Observatory

A glimpse of the Statue of Liberty from One World Observatory

A glimpse of the Statue of Liberty from One World Observatory

Admiring the sunset from One World Observatory View from One World Observatory

A feast for the eyes followed by one for the tummy; with fried pork ribs, Parmesan and white truffle fries, and a Queens lager at One Mix Bar.

Fried pork ribs at One Mix barTruffle Parmesan fries at One Mix bar

And we went up the famous Empire State Building to get a glimpse of the twinkling city lights at night (no pictures here, but there’s something even better – wait till the end!)

A brunch that was nothing short of remarkable was at Tartinery, in the Plaza Food Hall, which has many local eateries. The Tartines, open face sandwiches, were fresh, wholesome and delightful. On seven-grain bread, both the smashed avocado with asparagus, arugula and pumpkin seeds, and smoked duck with goat cheese, walnuts, tomato and honey were hearty and delicious.

Smashed avocado & poached egg open face sandwich at Tartinery Smoked duck, tomato, walnut and honey open face sandwich at Tartinery
It’s no secret that I love a good view. As expected, the city’s skyline looked utterly amazing from the water. On a clear, lovely day, we took the Circle Line Sightseeing Liberty Cruise, which sailed down the Hudson River, past Tribeca, World Financial Center and One World Trade towards Ellis Island.

A water taxi and Empire State Building in the background

A water taxi and Empire State Building in the background

The amazing Statue of Liberty

The amazing Statue of Liberty

And there she was – the majestic Statue of Liberty. It was amazing to finally see this landmark in real! An interesting fact I learned was that pier numbers (above pier 40) are determined by adding 40 to the street number, i.e., a pier that is on the 43rd street is pier 83 (40 + 43).

Panorama of the Yankee Stadium

Panorama of the Yankee Stadium

We also caught a game of football (or soccer – Fine, I’ll allow it just this one time since we are talking about America) between New York City FC and DC United at the iconic Yankee stadium, and saw Italian football maestro, Andrea Pirlo, in action.

Football maestro, Andrea Pirlo, in action

Football maestro, Andrea Pirlo, in action

NYC has plenty of world-class museums. One is the visually pleasing Solomon R. Guggenheim museum. The spiral design inside the Guggenheim was unique and one of the coolest I’ve seen. The atrium was art in itself. Like the art collection it houses, it was futuristic and full of vision.

Glass dome at Guggenheim Spiral design inside Guggenheim

Inside the Guggenheim - looking down

Inside the Guggenheim – looking down

Among several interesting collections, there were paintings by Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Renoir, and a wonderful display of abstract art by Kandinsky, just to name a few. The ‘Woman Ironing’ painting by Pablo Picasso, which depicted the plight of laborers during the late 19th to early 20th century, was poignant yet eerily beautiful. Created to capture the agony and to honor a Colombian nurse tortured to death, ‘A Flor de Piel’, hand stitched rose petals spread out on the floor, was another eye-grabbing installation at the temporary exhibition by Colombian artist, Doris Salcedo.

Art collections and installations at the Guggenheim

Art collections and installations at the Guggenheim

Also deserving of a visit is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met. I was in awe of Temple of Dendur, a gift to the US by Egypt for helping save various monuments during construction of the Aswan High Dam. There rested this incredible artifact in the center of a beautiful space with huge glass windows in the background that drew attention to the greenery of Central Park.

Temple of Dendur

Temple of Dendur

Central Park through large glass windows at the MET

Central Park through large glass windows at the MET

Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat and Wheat Field with Cypresses are in this museum too. In another area, there was a special provisional exhibition, Van Gogh: Irises and Roses, which showcased some of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings in beautiful, contrasting colors and with his signature brushstrokes. There was also a ‘China through the looking glass’ exhibition which explored Chinese influences on Western Fashion. Dresses by well-known designers such as Roberto Cavalli, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren and Christian Dior were on display.

Art and installations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Art and installations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Symmetry inside Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)Helicopter inside MOMA

From classic, symmetrical arches at the MET to a helicopter inside MOMA – Since we really wanted to see Vincent van Gogh’s most famous masterpiece, The Starry Night, we visited The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Like other onlookers, I was mesmerized, and I’m at a loss for adjectives to describe how special it is.

The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Other inspiring works of art we had the pleasure of admiring were Pablo Picasso’s Three Musicians, Girl Before A Mirror, Woman with Pears and the sculpture, Woman’s Head. Henri Rousseau’s The Sleeping Gypsy and Rene Magritte’s The False Mirror, resembling a huge eye that makes the viewer feel like they are simultaneously seeing and being seen, were absolutely remarkable as well.

Paintings and sculpture at MOMA

Paintings and sculpture at MOMA

Teatime one evening saw us at Bouchon Bakery at the Time Warner Center where we enjoyed a fine-looking fruit tart.

Bouchon Bakery - Fruit TartColumbus Circle & Central Park from Warner CenterColumbus CircleOne57, a luxurious residential tower as seen from Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle provided pretty decent views. The sensational skyscraper (right photo above) that looks like hues of the blue sky is One57, a luxurious residential tower further beautifying the skyline.

One evening, we feasted on fantastic Mexican food at Sinigual. The Mojito and Margarita happy hours sure didn’t hurt! I loved the soft tacos, which came in a variety of short rib, prawn and chicken. The fish tacos were tasty too.

Soft Tacos at Sinigual Fish Tacos at Sinigual

I recall another excellent dinner at Marea (holds two Michelin stars) which serves fine Italian fare, leaning towards seafood dishes and hand-made pasta.

Pasta at MareaEmpire State Building on India's Independence Day

On our last night, we took a walk past the Empire State building, which was lit up in Indian flag colors in honor of the Indian Independence Day (August 15th). After a quick pizza stop, we strolled further to catch a glimpse of the quirky looking Flatiron Building.

Empire PizzaFlatiron Building at night

Since you’ve made it to the end, here’s a little clip to get you in an “Empire State of Mind” – Could only resist the urge to sing along to Alicia Keys’ famous song for so long. Let’s hear it for New York!

I loved New York’s vibes, and left the city with great memories and a yearning to return.

Additional photos:

Beautiful rainbow over Brooklyn (seen from One World Observatory)

Beautiful rainbow over Brooklyn (seen from One World Observatory)

One of the reflecting pools at One World Trade

One of the reflecting pools at One World Trade

Slurry Wall Segment and The Last Column inside the National September 11 Museum

Slurry Wall Segment and The Last Column inside the National September 11 Museum

Mesmerized at MOMA - Admiring The Starry Night

Mesmerized at MOMA – Admiring The Starry Night

Do you love New York City? If you haven’t been, would you like to visit the Big Apple?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *