Saturday, June 5, 2010

Running Around Midtown East (Manhattan, of course!)

Well so much for sitting on my butt and getting errands done today! Another busy day with Kingsley. Today we headed into New York City again, but to Manhattan this time, for a very special errand! My best friend from work just quit and is moving to China for a year to teach English to children in the Hunan province. So today I was taking her out for one last brunch in NYC before she leaves the country. We went to Bar Americain, which is kind of an upper-crusty restaurant owned by celeb chef Bobby Flay. Kingsley joined us for brunch. While I chowed down on a cracked wheat waffle with apple cinnamon butter and fresh blueberry syrup, Kingsley supped on some yummy apple-raspberry jelly:

After breakfast, we snapped a quick shot of Kingsley outside the restaurant:

Then, since we were in the neighborhood of a couple well known NYC sites, my friend agreed to help me show Kingsley around and take some pics. First, we walked east a few blocks to the famous Radio City Music Hall. Radio City has held countless concerts throughout the years, many of them featuring famous incidents, unusual pairings, or memorable special happenings. It's also home to the famous Rockettes. Here's Kingsley from across the street:

Just a hop over from Radio City is the famous Rockefeller Center. This has a lot of famous things associated with it - a huge annual Christmas tree, a skating rink during winter, the building "30 Rock" where the eponymous show is set, at one time (no longer) the famous Diego Rivera mural Man at the Crossroads (discussed at length in the movie Frida), an underground concourse, and great views of the city. Here are some of our pictures from there (sadly none of the ice rink, because it's the middle of summer!!!):

Right around the corner from Rock Center is Saint Patrick's Cathedral - a gothic cathedral built in NYC in 1878. Not old for most countries, but fairly old for New York! It takes up an entire city block! It's been featured in several movies. Here's a shot outside:

At this point our feet were getting sore (as we were wearing cute sunday brunch shoes not 'walk-around-the-city' shoes!) so we headed back to the car but went one block out of our way to take a picture in front of the Museum of Modern Art. The MoMA is home to several priceless works such as van Gough's Starry Night and Dali's The Persistence of Memory, as well as several Rousseaus and Picassos.

After such a busy weekend, we will probably have a quiet week! But we'll be back soon with more updates.

Visiting the Bronx and Scenic Vistas on the Palisades

Today I got a call from a friend of mine who lives in Riverdale, a neighborhood in the Bronx (which is one of the five boroughs of New York City) inviting me to come hang out at her house for awhile. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take Kingsley on his first (of many) trips to NYC - a relaxed outing at a friend's house.

As we were setting out, Kingsley claimed a front row seat by the windshield, so he could keep his eyes peeled for interesting sights (please ignore the huge crack in the windshield, btw!)

As we were driving, Kingsley pointed out that I should take pictures of the roadsigns, for posterity, so he could later look back at maps and remember exactly where we'd gone! Here's a shot on Route 4 as we head towards NYC, and another shot of the sign telling us we've reached the George Washington Bridge:


For those of you following who are not from the NY/NJ area, the George Washington Bridge (usually referred to as the GWB) is the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world - it carries 106 million vehicles per year! It was built in 1931, and connects Manhattan, NY to Fort Lee, NJ. It has fourteen lanes of traffic - 8 on the upper level and 6 on the lower level - the only suspension bridge in the world to have that many lanes! It was really hazy and humid today, so I couldn't get great pics of it. If you'd like to see a great birds eye view check out this wikipedia photo. Here are some shots of Kingsley checking it out as we cross the upper level.


And here we are officially crossing from the state of New Jersey into New York (sorry for the blurriness - taking pictures while driving is hard!):

Here we are at my friend's house in the Bronx.

After a nice long visit, we decided to head home for NJ. Here's another shot of Kingsley on the bridge that I thought turned out kind of cool:

As I was crossing the bridge I was wondering if there was anything else that I could take Kingsley to see before we went home, and I remembered that it is just as easy to get home to my house from the Palisades Parkway as it is from Route 4 (even though I never go that way). And on the Palisades Parkway they have several neat look-out points where you can see the Hudson River, Manhattan, and the Bronx. So I decided we would drive home that way to see the lookouts. Here are some of the pictures we took:

We were both too cheap to pay a quarter to use this viewer thing!

Looking across the Hudson River towards the Bronx.

The Henry Hudson Bridge which connects the borough of Manhattan to the borough of the Bronx.

The GWB from father afield...see how hazy it was??

Kingsley looks North towards upstate New York.

A train traveling North across the river.

It was a nice relaxing day, even though we went out. Tomorrow will probably be more low-key. Usually on Sunday I grocery shop, do some cooking for the week, and sometimes visit my parents. Be back soon with more Kingsley updates!! :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kingsley is here!!!

Kingsley has arrived safe and sound (though slowly!) from South Africa. Can't blame my lovely partner Katara, just the damn postal service. Anyway, I'm just glad he's here!

Check out all the cool stamps on the envelope!

As soon as I opened up the envelope, Kinglsey bounded out!

He's such a gorgeous horse! It must be his elfin blood that gives him such natural beauty! ;) After I had a chance to visit with Kingsley for a few, I checked out some of the other stuff that came with him, like this awesome passport!

And check it out, he's already got a second stamp in it for his arrival into the US!

Kinglsey soon inquired if there were any other animals in the house, and I apologized for forgetting my manners and quickly introduced him to Beatrix.

Then, because it was Friday, and we were all tired from working (or traveling) all week, we settled in to relax and watch some Angel (which I've been rewatching lately for the first time since it aired on TV).

Hopefully the weather will be nice tomorrow and we can get out into town and Kingsley can start to see some stuff!