Travel To Relax – Driving Around New York
In our previous videos we drove from Miami
to New York and enjoyed Christmas. Today we continue exploring the Big Apple. Enjoy! We check out from our hotel near Times Square.
It is our intention to spend the rest of the day exploring the city from behind the wheel.
We drive east on 48th street and then turn left onto 6th Avenue, surrounded by a sea
of taxicabs. We once again arrive by the corner of the Radio City Music Hall.
We continue speeding north towards Central Park.
We turn left onto West 59th Street,
Central Park South towards the Columbus Circle. The tall towers at the end are the Time Warner
center. They are home, of course, to Time Warner Incorporated; as well as the Mandarin
Oriental Hotel, CNN Studios, a shopping mall and a theater. At the Columbus Circle we turn
right onto Central Park West, and the Upper West Side.
On the corner of 64th street we
see the Harperly Hall, formerly Madonna’s home. She sold it in early 2013 for almost
$20 million. By 65th street we encounter the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and continue
going north, cruising along the lavish condos of the rich and famous. The prominent tower
a couple of blocks away to the left is the San Remo, home to Demi Moore, Steve Martin
and many other celebrities.
Even the late Steve Jobs used to own an apartment there,
although he never lived in it and eventually sold it to Bono. The building to our left
is the Dakota, where John Lennon used to live with Yoko Ono. She still lives there. The New York Historical Society, The American
Museum of Natural History.
And this massive building in front of us is the Beresford,
home to Diana Ross and Jerry Seinfeld. I don’t know about you but I’ve seen enough celebrities
for one day. Suffice to say that in order to live in any of these buildings to the left
you need to have some serious dough, seriously. And as central park ends at Frederick Douglass
Circle, so does the luxury, and it’s time for me to fill up.
I mistakenly pulled up
to the full service pump, we don’t have those where I live, it was a costly mistake.
We continue onto Harlem, a major African-American residential, cultural and business center.
During the 1920’s and 30’s there was a great artistic movement in theater, literature,
and music called the Harlem Renaissance, and ever since it has been up and down with periods
of crime and great violence, and calmer periods like the present. It is still mostly a poor
neighborhood, with all the problems that come with that. Contrary to popular believe, this
was not the birthplace of the Harlem Shake. As we turn right onto 135th avenue, we are
going into the Spanish Harlem.
Sometimes it is cool just to stop and see
the people crossing the street, the cars going by, a train far away in the distance, a slice
of life in the city, a slice, if you will, of the neighborhood. We go back, back south
on 5th avenue, and continue zigzagging. East on 124th Street, south on Park Avenue, which
in this area goes right next to the railroad tracks.
We turn west on 106th. The red brick low income buildings, and yet
another slice of the neighborhood, through its people crossing the street.
We have turned
off the GPS so we even take a wrong turn here. Sometimes though, it is good to get lost.
I mean, we obviously seen the map, and know the basic layout of the city, but it is good
to explore its nooks and crannies sometimes. South we go on 2nd Avenue, approaching the
Upper West Side, one of the most affluent neighborhoods. We observe the contrasts of
the big city; from one of its poorest neighborhoods into its most exclusive one, it is merely
a couple of blocks.
Look at this nice high rise. Wouldn’t you like to live there?
South we go on Lexington Avenue, and turn right onto 81st street, but oops, it is blocked
so we must maneuver backwards. Not the safest thing.
We turn right again two blocks down, on 79th. We drive west crossing famous Madison Avenue.
We reach Central Park.
Here’s another slice of the city life… A little different, wouldn’t
you say? We turn left on 5th Avenue, going south, one of the most famous avenues in the
city. Fifth Avenue divides Manhattan into east and west. It has been called the most
expensive street in the world.
Just as we start approaching the south end of Central
Park and the shopping section of this avenue a light snow starts to fall, as predicted
by the weather service. We are from south Florida, so the slightest bit of snow is a
major event for us. It is very exciting even if the snow melts as soon as it hits the ground.
And it starts to fall a little harder. We approach the corner of 59th street and 5th
avenue, the southeastern corner of central park.
This is where the famous Plaza Hotel
is located, and the also famous glass cube Apple Store.
We enter the famous shopping district with Lois Vuitton and Tiffany’s leading the way.
Yes it is Tiffany’s from the Audrey Hepburn movie. I think that every major luxury retailer
has a boutique within these 10 city blocks. By the way, Frito Lay did not pay us any money
for the product placement. I don’t even like their products.
We particularly admire the
holiday decorations at the Fendi Store, in front of the Saint Thomas Church.
We continue passing by Cartier and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, which is under renovation. Nothing
to see, unfortunately. We pass by the Rockefeller Center as we start to get a glimpse of the
Empire State Building to the right. We continue going south along Fifth Avenue
To our right the New York Public Library.
Here’s a view of the Empire Spate Building through the sunroof.
We enter the Gramercy Flatiron District, at its heart, Madison Square and the iconic Flatiron
Building, one of the tallest in the city at the time of its completion in 1902. Across
Madison Square Park, there is the Metropolitan Life Tower, which was the world’s tallest
building between 1909 and 1913 only to be surpassed by the Woolworth building. The snow
starts to fall even harder now. Fifth Avenue ends at Washington Square Park,
in the Greenwich Village.
Now lets get lost under the snow, shall we? It is what we came
here for after all. All this area is part of the New York University,
of course we didn’t know that at the time. We turn left onto Greene Street, and then
right on 8th street, the Cooper Union Library to the right. This black cube is called “Alamo”,
and it was sculpted in 1967 by Tony Rosenthal.
It is a popular meeting place here in the
east village. We continue going east on 8th street until we reach Tompkins Square Park.
This area is called Alphabet City because the avenue names are letters. For example,
the avenue we are turning into is Avenue B. We go further south on Avenue C, Loisaida
Avenue until we reach Houston, I mean Houston, which is spelled like the city of Houston
in Texas, but pronounced Houston.
Houston Street is a boundary between neighborhoods,
most notably Noho, which stands for North of Houston, and Soho, South of Houston. Ugh,
It is really coming down now. We go back north on 6th Avenue, also called
Avenue of the Americas. We turn left, or west, onto 16 street, then south on 7th and west
on 11th street right at the intersection with diagonal Greenwich Avenue, in order to see
the neighborhood away from the main streets.
We make a right on Hudson and then back south
on Bleecker, into the heart of the Village. And they have the sign to prove it.
We eventually go south on Broadway towards Chinatown. We get a glimpse, in the distance,
of the Woolworth building, as we mentioned before the tallest building in the world for
several years. Eventually we turn left, or east, onto Canal
Street, the main drag of Chinatown.
But before immersing ourselves in Chinatown lets turn
left right here onto Mulberry Street to see a little bit of Little Italy. Little Italy
is basically just a couple of blocks and perhaps a little too touristy, I mean even the fire
hydrants are painted in the colors of the Italian flag. It is very picturesque.
Then we immerse ourselves into Chinatown, which feels like a different country all to
itself. We decide to continue towards downtown under
the pouring snow.
The snow, however, doesn’t deter the tourists from taking a picture with
the famous Wall Street bull sculpture. The bull is a symbol of financial prosperity and
sometimes just optimism, wishful thinking. Ever heard of a bull market? We are actually
a couple of blocks away from actual Wall Street and the Stock Exchange. But it is getting
late and I’ve been driving for hours.
We are tired and hungry.
I make a wrong turn and we end up on the Brooklyn Bridge, crossing the east river into the borough
of Brooklyn. At this point we are not really in the mood
for sightseeing so we just turn around, take the bridge back to Manhattan. We have decided
to sleep in New Jersey, for economic reasons mostly. Besides we are going to the hotel
next door to where we stayed back in 1994.
A trip down memory lane.
After getting stuck in rush hour traffic, we are able to take the Holland tunnel to
the New Jersey shore. I have no video of the rest of the day, but lets just say that because
south Florida we don’t really invest a lot of money in tires, I almost paid for it, as
the streets in Jersey were more than a little slippery due to all the snow and ice. We finally made it skidding all the way to the
parking lot. Good night.
Coming up next we continue driving around.
We will visit the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, and take a quick look at the Bronx
and Coney Island. Then, it is off to Atlantic City to try our luck at the slot machines.
Eventually we will revisit Washington DC, on our way back south to Miami, Florida. As
always, thank you for watching and see you on the road..