We’ve been privileged to spend several wonderful days in New York City with Julie and Tracy. On Wednesday, we pulled into Newport Yacht Club Marina on the New Jersey side of the harbor. Around 11:30 that evening, the girls arrived by car from their home in New Castle, Pennsylvania. We’ve been going full tilt since then.
Thursday’s big adventure was a trip to the 1776-foot tall One World Trade Center, the edifice built to replace the twin towers which tragically fell on 9/11/2001. We decided to head up to the observation deck for a view. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it for the unforgettable view, which was incredible. The whole experience was very Disney World-ish with the latest technological and multimedia presentations while in line to ascend to the top, as well as in the elevator itself. But, the highlight is the awesome 360° panorama of the New York City… and it does not disappoint.
Thursday evening, we were treated with additional grand views of the Manhattan skyline at night as we dined at the Weehawken, New Jersey Chart House. The food, as usual was delicious, but the view from our window table was even more delightful. What a great first day with Julie and Tracy.
Our location in Newport Yacht Club Marina is ideal. The PATH train is less than a block away. For $2.10, it takes us right into Manhattan, and does so quickly. It runs 24 hours/day, which is also convenient. Once in town, we take the subway to get around.
Friday was an even busier day. For me, it was about as close to a perfect day as possible. There was Italy, art, and jazz. It began with a lunch time departure on the train over to Manhattan. We exited the train on 23rd St., which was just a block from one of my favorite places to visit in NYC, Eataly. Eataly is the largest Italian marketplace in the world, comprised of a variety of restaurants, and food counters, bakery, retail items, and a cooking school. We went to the Pizzeria within the complex and enjoyed some wonderful authentic Italian fare.
From there, we walked several blocks down 23rd to the Green Line and caught the subway up to 77th street, from which we had several more blocks to walk to the marvelous Metropolitan Museum of Art. It would be easy to spend days in there, so it was a challenge to decide what to see over the three or four hours allotted to explore. We decided to focus on European Art and spent the entirety of our time in just two sections of the massive art museum. It was obviously amazing to stand in front of some of the greatest masterpieces in the world. I only wish I had several days to spend at the Met.
After a few hours at the met, we walked back to the subway station to take the Green Line to 59th, where we connected to the Yellow Line which took us to Times Square. It was just getting dark, enabling us to appreciate the massive electronic billboards which dominate the view from the street. We spent just a few minutes jostling our way through the crowds before boarding the subway again to head for our evening destination on East 27th Street, the Jazz Standard, a great jazz club in NYC which serves southern cuisine and barbecue along with providing some wonderful jazz performances.
We arrived early to get the best seats and ended up with stage-side seating to soak up the music of Cecile McClorin Salvant and the Aaron Diehl Trio. Salvant is a 26-year old, grammy nominated French-American Jazz Vocalist. She and the band were wonderful. Salvant’s voice is big and beautiful and full of rich blues tones. She is a throwback in many ways, reminiscent of Billy Holiday and Bessie Smith. It was a wonderful night of food, drink, jazz, as wells as time spent with family. What an incredible conclusion to a memorable day in the Big Apple!