New York City: A Night Out, The High Line Park, Top Of The Rock, The Russian Tea Room & A Rooftop Party

What a packed week it’s been in New York! Mixed emotions about leaving; sad to say goodbye to some wonderful friends and leave this incredible city, but excited to move on again and catch up with an old friend from last time out!

A Night Out

Ingrid and I met up outside the Electric Room, which she had been told was one of the hottest places to go in West Village right now. After we got in, without queuing or paying we quickly realised that everything she had been told was almost certainly a lie. We found that everyone inside seemed to be having a pretty average time. People sitting in groups of twos and threes, some people old enough to be my grandparents and I wondered if this is was anywhere close to what it is like to be a character in a Brett Easton-Ellis novel. After one drink, Ingrid and I both decided that a dive-bar would be a better option and we caught a cab across town. Spotting a sign that read “5 shots for $10” we knew we had found our place. Several shots later, last orders were taken and we grabbed some pizza to end our night.

The High Line Park & Top Of The Rock

The following morning I was feeling somewhat out of sorts. Two nights on the town had taken it out of me so I took a relaxed approach to seeing some more of the city. My first destination would be the High Line Park, recommended to me through Twitter, I hadn’t heard of it until I had arrived in the city. The High Line is built on an old freight-train line above street level in the west of Manhattan and is perhaps the most interesting park I have ever seen.

It certainly ranks as one of my favourites to walk through, if drinking laws in the U.S.A. were somewhat more liberal it would be a great place to enjoy a couple of beers with friends. Walking the length of the park took me most of the way through the Meatpacking District, offering stunning views across the Hudson into New Jersey and the city of Manhattan itself and fortunately, today the weather was much improved!

You Can Just Make Out The Empire State Building In The Background

Once I had finished walking through the park I grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading to the Rockefeller Centre where I hoped to be able to see the sunset over the city and watch it light up as night fell.

There was only problem with this hope, everyone seemed to have the same brilliant idea. Once I got to there and had joined the queue the next available slot was at twenty past nine. This gave me two hours to kill and the first thing I found to do with my time; visit the Lego store across the block.

As If I Could Resist!

I didn’t spend too much time and fortunately avoided spending any money. I then took a walk around the area heading West initially to try and catch the sunset but I gave up on realizing how long it would take. Once the sun had gone down I headed back towards the Rockefeller Centre, stopping by at  Times Square as after dark it was a must see.

Eventually the time came around and I was able to catch the elevator to the Top of the Rock! The experience begins once you step inside the elevator, a see through ceiling lets you watch the floors fly by as you race up the tower and once on the top, the view is magnificent.

The Russian Tea Room

When we had been sat on the beach in Key West (nearly a month ago!) Nik, Ingrid and I had talked about going for tea in New York once I had made my way there and today we were finally going. The Russian Tea Room has been in the city for more than 80 years, claiming guests such as Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen and Madonna. It makes a claim to be a fairly exclusive joint, so I was expecting another pretentious affair but when we arrived it was fairly quiet.

Too quiet in fact, as Nik for some reason or another “couldn’t make it.” Ingrid and I got on with brunch and, obviously, tea. For a brief moment, I was in my British element; talking Ingrid through which tea she would probably like the most and we ran with a lapsang suchong. Coincidentally, this happens to be the best tea anyway. For myself though, I tried a Russian Country, which I was told by our waiter to try it with sour cherries. It was interesting, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Once we had finished eating, we each ordered a cocktail in preparation for the coming night.

Rooftop Party

That night, we headed over to Guillaume’s appartment, Nik and Ingrid had met G in Miami after I had left. Nik had eventually caught up with us on the Subway and was subsequently guilt tripped for the rest of the evening for being supremely unreliable. The weather had once again turned against us, and we didn’t spend much time on the rooftop of the appartment.

Once inside we were introduced to all of G’s friends , a great mix of people. I picked up an interesting statistic while I was here; 10% of New Yorker’s believe that 90% of New Yorker’s are not originally from New York. He was moving apartments the next morning and was holding a leaving do. It was a pretty cool place to hang out, John, one of the other guys who lived there had some of his paintings out, furniture was sparse and I was beginning to think maybe I want a place like this for myself.

Plenty of beers and margaritas were consumed by all. After some time of drinking, the executive decision was made to head out into the city to find somewhere to drink, and, for those so inclined, to dance.

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