As I mentioned at the end of my last post after leaving the 9/11 museum I was off to meet a friend for lunch. When I first booked my trip to NYC I was really excited about finally taking a solo trip somewhere and not having to fit in with someone else’s schedule but then my friend Cait said that she might be in the city at the same time and I was so excited about meeting up with her. I’ve been online friends with Cait for almost six years and despite sometimes being in the same country we’d never actually been able to meet up so this was super exciting for me!
I was a little nervous as I headed to the East Village but I really needn’t have been. It was one of the easiest first time meetings I’ve ever had as we chatted constantly about so many things without any awkward silences. We had lunch at a cute little Thai restaurant called Thai Terminal. It was a small place and totally empty when we arrived with an impressive menu. I ended up being really boring and going with the seafood Pad Thai.
The dish was packed with juicy scallops, prawns and mussels and was incredibly flavourful. The portion looks small in the picture but I still couldn’t finish it – for just $12 it was exceptional value for money.
349 E 12th Street
New York City
I’d told Cait about my last trip to NYC and how I was dying for another slice of red velvet cheesecake from Juniors so rather than have dessert at the restaurant we hopped on the subway to Grand Central Station to get some!
Grand Central Station is a fantastic place to visit when you’re in New York as it is a magnificent building with the most incredible ceiling painted with constellations which was restored in the late 1990’s.
The lower levels of the terminal house a food court area with both sit down restaurants and takeaways as well as a few small stores. I was super impressed with myself that I remembered EXACTLY where Juniors was located but then totally devastated that they didn’t appear to have any slices of red velvet cheesecakes on display.
We asked one of the servers if they had any to which he replied no rather flippantly which was annoying as we could see they had whole cakes on display. Surely one of these could have been cut up for us? After all the customer is always right! I started to look at the other options on offer but Cait wasn’t taking no for an answer and asked another server who said “No problem, just give me a few minutes to slice some up”. Now THAT’S more like it! It was still slightly frozen but I told her with a big grin that I was more than happy to wait 20 more minutes to have it given that it had already been over two years since my last slice!
We ate our slices sitting on the floor of Grand Central Station which was the most surreal experience ever and totally did NOT suck. Soon it was time to head to the Rockefeller Center as we’d booked tickets for Top of the Rock that afternoon in the hopes of seeing the sunset.
The Rockefeller is one of the more impressive skyscrapers in New York and was recommended to me over the Empire State building as you get to have that in your pictures and you also get a magnificent view of Central Park from the other side which is one of my favourite places in the city. Once we were through security it didn’t take long for us to be ushered into an elevator and whizzed up to the top. I was actually surprised there wasn’t more preamble to keep you busy before hitting the top. There are two observation levels which are panelled with Perspex so that you can get these great views without being at risk.
The number of selfie sticks we saw was hilarious.
But Cait and I went for an old fashioned selfie with Mister Empire State popping in too!
As sunset approached we witnessed a proposal (one of the reasons we’d decided NOT to visit Top of the Rock on the Saturday) where the male looked as though he was about 12. Cynical, single Brit couldn’t help but roll her eyes. As the sun started to disappear the sky lit up in beautiful colours. As I watched it set I was so happy to have ticked off another item on my 30 by 30 list but also starting to feel pretty tired too.
I was sad to say goodbye to Cait as it had been such a great afternoon but I had to get to the McKittrick hotel for the immersive Punchdrunk production of Sleep No More. I’d fallen in love with the London based The Drowned Man and was sad when it closed so knew that this was a must see during my trip.
I won’t say much about my visit, the whole thing was pretty surreal. I think I enjoyed it less because I knew this would be the only time I would get to see it but I think I managed to cover a few of the key scenes of the show and I got my first ever Punchdrunk one-to-one which was an experience in and of itself. Knackered I hopped in a cab back to the hotel hopeful for a proper nights sleep after being up for almost 20 hours straight!