In October we had the pleasure to have some friends over from Germany for a couple of days. We always like to show our guests around the area a little and do a short round of sightseeing whenever we get the chance.
Part of the Dutch heritage are windmills and you can easily find many of them scattered across the country. But if you’re really interested in getting to know a little more about them then Kinderdijk is definitely the right place to go. It’s a village in the province of South-Holland and is probably one of the best known Dutch tourist sites. There are 19 windmills to be seen and it’s on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I decided to only take the 35mm lens that day and go with that. It’s one of my favorite focal lengths and the Canon 35mm f/2 is terrific. Bringing just one lens also meant less gear to drag around. Which is usually a plus.
Another place we always like to visit is the beach. That day the weather was pretty good (especially for Dutch standards) which made the afternoon even better and allowed me to take some more snapshots.
Wind and water are two elements you can’t escape from in this little country. But that doesn’t stop some from trying.
The last three days were used for paying a visit to China Town and Little Italy, finish the sex and the city to do list, have a look at the New York City Opera and go up the Empire State Building to name just a few.
In other words, we still had more than enough to do in the 3 days we had left.
After having been on top of the Empire State Building on our last day, it was time to say goodbye. New York City is amazing. We’re looking forward seeing it again (one day!).
Day four! After having brunch (recommendation: Schnippers, located in the NY Times Building) we headed to the Rockefeller Center. On our route we passed the Radio City Music Hall and the NBC Studio’s. And although the buildings are nice, the photos I took aren’t all that. Therefore I am showing you the one below instead. The building is just next to the Radio City Music Hall and NBC Studios and offered an interesting view for a photo (well, in my opinion anyway :)).
At the Rockefeller Center, there’s a possibility to take the NBC Studio tour and go to the Top of the Rock observation deck. We skipped both options and just had a quick look inside and checked out the NBC store. The observation deck offers a better view over Central Park than the Empire State. But we figured that the Empire State Building was the way to go to have a look over the city. And although there wasn’t a big Christmas tree and an Ice Skating Rink, the Rockefeller Center was worth the visit.
We made a turn and continued by walking on 5th Avenue. Half of NYC was covered in scaffolding and this also included the St Patrick’s Cathedral.
On 5th Avenue you can also find the Trump Tower, Tiffany & Co and the Apple Store (and a whole lot of other expensive stores). I did buy something at the Apple store, but not at Tiffany’s. Adri would like to go back and buy something there as well though.
Fifth Avenue took us to our next stop, Central Park. We spend some hours there enjoying the scenery (Squirrels, Cool!). Item number two of the ‘Sex and the City to do list’ could also be scratched off; the boathouse. Apparently it makes sense if you’re a huge fan of the series. Ask Adri if you have any questions about it.
After having crossed half of the park we called it a day and went back to our hotel. That night we also had dinner with friends. A perfect ending for another perfect day.
Day three came knocking on our door. It was time to get our feet moving again. From our hotel we walked to The High Line. The High Line is a park which is built on a section of the elevated former New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. The park integrates nicely with the surrounding buildings, giving it a nice twist.
The park feels modern and clean and has a good vibe to it. Definitely worth going up there and have a walk.
For this day we had planned to see The High Line (check) and also have a closer look at the Statue of Liberty by taking the Staten Island Ferry. That meant more walking and a subway ride. But as always, there’s enough to be seen when you’re on the move in NYC.
The Staten Island Ferry is free and passes in front of the Statue Of Liberty. Of course you can also take a boat to Liberty Island itself, but we liked this option (and not only because it’s free :)).
After the round-trip we enjoyed a long evening walk (by this time we couldn’t feel our feet anymore anyway). We also went back to the Flatiron to get some decent pictures this time. The one shown below is one everybody has. But at least you’ll recognize it (just as you should recognize the Empire State Building by know).
Eventually we ended up at Times Square and got an impression of how it looks like at night. It’s like being part of a giant circus (but a nice one). Live entertainment everywhere.
You can still spot some of the Dutch heritage throughout the city. Obviously there are the street names and neighborhoods (most famously Brooklyn and Harlem) as a reminder. But sometimes it shows in other, can’t miss it, ways as well. And if that wasn’t enough, there were always the bikes to remind us of home.
Day two of our trip in New York had arrived! We decided to start our day by walking to Times Square which was only a couple of blocks away (sounds American enough? :)) from our hotel. The previous day our guide told us we should visit it once during the day and once at night (like any other self respecting tourist would do). Times Square is packed with people and there are brightly illuminated signs everywhere.
From Times Square we walked to the Grand Central Terminal and passed many interesting buildings like the STK building below (hotel, restaurant and lounge) located next to the State University Of New York College of Optometry.
Seen in so many movies it was a majestic feeling to step inside the Main Concourse and have a look at the famous Grand Central Terminal Clock. I wish I had a nice photo of the clock to show you but I don’t (you can Google it though :)). Luckily there’s more to be seen than only the clock.
Next on our to do list was the Chrysler Building which is close to the Grand Central Terminal. The good thing about the streets of New York is that there is never a dull moment because so many things are happening at once.
The Chrysler Building is truly magnificent to look at and of course a must see when you’re in New York. We also had a peek in the lobby, which was rich and decadent. Something you would expect from the inside of the Chrysler building.
We continued our journey and walked to the United Nations Secretariat Building (passing the daily news building) to find out the street was closed by the police (important stuff going on apparently). We headed back in the direction of the Grand Terminal and had a visit at the New York Public Library (first item on our Sex and the City to do list). A beautiful building, unfortunately my pictures were not (story of the day).
We ended up walking to the Flatiron of which I took pictures and made it look rather dull (quite an achievement). We did manage to go back another day and get some better shots though. After having enjoyed a meal with the view of the Flatiron, our feet told us it was enough for the day. Looking up to the sky we saw the Empire State Building. Knowing we would be up there, one of these days.
We made it. And we made it back! New York was amazing.
One week of NYC delivers a ton of photos. Instead of boring you to death with a whole bunch of pictures in one post I will divide them into separate posts (which gives me time to edit the rest of the photos as well).
We arrived on Saturday night and had scheduled to meet up the next day with the best tour guide in town, Linochka. Our guide met us at the hotel and took us by subway to Williamsburg, Brooklyn which was the starting point of our tour. It’s a nice area with a great view on the skyline of Manhattan (and a perfect place to have brunch!). And although the hard sunlight isn’t a good friend for taking photos, it does add (even more) pleasure to be out on the streets of NYC.
After not having found any hipsters (with tattoos) our guide showed us the way to the Brooklyn Bridge and encouraged me to be the model for once as well.
After walking up and down the bridge we turned into the direction of Pier 17 where we had a nice view on the bridge itself and the East River. We also gave our feet a little rest before continuing the walk.
Our next stop was the One World Trade Center (formally known as the Freedom Tower) and financial district which includes the New York Stock Exchange.
Of course there’s no better way to end such a day by having a first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. At Battery Park the tour came to an end. One day was gone already, only 6 more to go.