If you haven't already read part 1 of my NYC Travel Diary then you can read it here.
When it reached 4pm on the Saturday it was time for my cruise so I headed back to Circle Line. I was booked onto the Landmark Cruise which takes an hour and a half and loops around lower Manhattan. It passes the Statue of Liberty (which I was visiting the next day) and passes under the Brooklyn Bridge. This was the highlight of my time in New York! I've always loved boats and seeing a city from the water is one of my favourite things to do. Especially as it was so hot it was lovely to get out of the sun for a bit and catch a bit of the breeze. The tour guide was really great at pointing out everything and telling little back stories.
After I finished the tour I made my way over to the Museum of Sex. Honestly it was a bit of let down compared to the Amsterdam equivalent. I got in for free with the New York Pass but I wouldn't pay for it. It's very small and I personally don't think that anything was particularly shocking or unique. There was nothing that you couldn't see anywhere else. There is a room full of inflatable boobs that would have made a good photo but you have to pay extra to get in and only 2 people are allowed in at once so I wouldn't have had anyone to take a photo!
For dinner I grabbed a quick bite to eat at Chipotle which was right over the road. I think I caught it at a bad time as it was getting late and the food was quite cold. Generally I wasn't very impressed but it was cheap, filling and I just really needed a sit down. I then walked down to see the Flat Iron Building. I've not included any photos as it was pretty dark by this point! Even though I wasn't planning to go to Top of the Rock that night I walked up to the Rockefeller Centre and booked a time slot to do it the next day. After such a busy day my feet were so sore and I was so happy when I got back up to the Upper West Side and could totally crash!
The first thing that I did on the Sunday morning was get the subway down to Battery Park. I took a quick stroll through the park before getting my ticket for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The queue for this was really long but it actually moved surprisingly quick. I think about 600 people can fit on the boat. The Immigration Museum was really, really interesting. It takes you through the procedures that immigrants would have gone through when arriving in New York. It was steeped in so much history. I didn't really have time to explore the whole museum but I got a lot of it covered and would really recommend it!
Our plan had been to go to the Smorgasburg Food Market for lunch in Brooklyn. However, as it was Memorial Day weekend they had a smaller version of the market on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. How convenient? I had a fish taco and a pulled pork taco from one of the vendors and it was amazing! Much better than the mediocre Chipotle!
A bike rental from Blazing Saddles was available with the New York Pass so I rented a bike to cycle over the Brooklyn Bridge. This was a big mistake. There's a cycle lane and a pedestrian lane but in reality everyone was just walking over the cycle lane. I was so distracted trying not to kill someone that I didn't properly appreciate the view. If I was to do it again I would just walk it, I think it would be so much better.
As I mentioned, I'd prebooked my time slot for Top of the Rock so I after my cycle I headed back to the Rockefeller Centre to go up! This was much quieter than the Empire State Building and I enjoyed it a lot more. The Empire State Building made me feel really claustrophobic but I absolutely loved Top of the Rock. It was one of the highlights of my trip.
It was around 6pm when I went up and I ended up spending about 2 hours at the top so that I could watch the sun go down on the city. The Manhattan Henge was actually occurring but it would have been too cloudy to get the full effect from the ground so I didn't mind about missing out. It was so light and airy at the top, a lot cooler which was nice as it was so hot in the city. It was also much quieter there so you didn't feel rushed to leave. It was a nice opportunity to reflect on my trip. At the beginning, I felt totally overwhelmed by New York. As I sat watching day turn to night, I still didn't particularly feel a lot of love for the city but I was really proud of myself that I'd sucked it up and done everything I had wanted to.
When I woke up on Monday morning I was really tired so I knew I wanted to have a chilled out day considering I had to leave at 4pm for the airport. Plus I was running out of money. After sleeping in a little bit and packing my case I headed down to the Levain Bakery. This bakery is famous for selling the biggest, gooey cookies. And they did not disappoint. I went for a double chocolate one and it was amazing. Seriously cannot explain how good this was! I then went for a wee walk in Central Park. Which turned into a long walk. Central Park is absolutely massive. I really enjoyed where I walked but know there was so much more to see!
So that's the end of my New York travel diary and unfortunately basically the end of my trip! I'm sure it will pop up again in future posts! Let me know if you've enjoyed these posts and if you'd like to see more travel posts in the future. May be making a sneaky trip to Oslo this summer...