After 9 1/2 hrs of travel time we finally arrived! Our hotel or should I say motel was warm and welcoming. It featured a King size bed, flat screen TV and one unusual aspect, the bathroom sink was outside of the bathroom.
After quickly settling in and getting a bite to eat across the road we took the bus into New York City. It was a pretty comfortable ride, the bus stop is about a 5 min walk down the road from the hotel and for $3.20 the bus which is actually a coach bus will take you from New Jersey right into the downtown New York city bus terminal.
Our first stop on the agenda was to grab a 7-day unlimited metropass for $30 at the terminal and then check out the SoHo and Greenwich (pronounced grenitch not greenwitch!) village areas. We began in SoHo where we walked down a very busy Canal street packed with vendors trying to sell us fake Rolexes and Ray-Bans until we came to Broadway, a trendy street full of great shopping and beautiful architecture.
After doing some shopping we headed up West Broadway and ended up in Washington Square Park. This beautiful park was great to see at night time and was filled with talented street performers.
From there we headed down Macdougal street and ended up at “Pasta Bistro Grill”. They have 21 different pasta dishes and although the pasta itself is nothing to write home about the sangria there is delish!!! By the time we finished dinner it was time to head back to the bus station and catch the last bus back to Secacus at 11:30pm.
This morning we woke up and headed on down to Harlem for some chicken n’ waffles. Thanks to our awesome tourism book we found a yummy soul food restaurant called Sylvia’s on Lenox Avenue.
After Breakfast we toured around Harlem and saw places such as the Apollo theatre where Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and other amazing artists first got their start.
After seeing the neighborhood areas we walked down through the campus of New York City College and then ended up on the beautiful campus of Columbia University (I may consider doing my MBA here).
After scoping out the campus we took the subway down to Central Park.
Note: If you’re looking to see “Shakespeare in the Park” you need to enter into their ticketing lottery. In the morning of the day of a show you enter into the draw on their website, just before 1pm they randomly select people to give the free tickets away to and they get back to you that afternoon if indeed you are one of the lucky chosen to see that evenings performance (Lucky for us we did get some!)
After arriving at Central Park the first thing we did was grab a free map from the information booth thats just inside the entrace of the park. Our first spot to check out was the merry-go-round thats in the park, its $2.50 per person per ride but its a great experience! From there we headed over to the Wollman Rink that has amusement rides during the summer.
From there we headed over to the Balto statue and then to the Stunning Bethesda Terrace & fountain
After taking tons of photos at the fountain we headed over to the Alice in Wonderland statue and managed to sneak in among the mass of tourists vying for a photo with the statue and grab a quick pic.
After hitting this touristy hot spot it was time to go grab our free tickets! On the way there we stopped by the Belevedere Castle and of course Strawberry Fields, a section restored by Yoko Ono that has a mosaic with the name of the Lennons famous song.
After finally seeing all the sites we wanted to in Central Park we headed over to Columbus Avenue where we discovered the “Shake Shack”. A delicious place near central park if you’re looking for a pretty decent burger, fresh cut fries and a yummy milkshake. After dinner we headed back over to the theatre to grab our seats. The show to our surprise was a spin off of various fairytales. It was called Into the Woods and was based off the book by James Lapine and featured music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It had celebrities such as Amy Adams (Enchanted) and Donna Murphy (Wicked mother in Tangled). The play was absolutely amazing!!!!! It was also perfect weather which was great seeing as how the theatre is completely open to the great out doors and we even had pretty decent seating!