Friday, 27 June 2014

Lovely Washington Square Park, New York City.

If you find yourself in the vicinity of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, try and find a little time to chill out in the lovely Washington Square Park,
It's landscape is filled with beautiful trees, benched sitting areas, granite seats surrounding the Washington Square Arch and fountain and open area. 
A lovely green hilly shaped grass area for young children to roll and crawl around safely.
A 'play area' for large dogs, and another for small dogs, with sitting places and space for exercising your best friend.
There are chess tables to exercise your mind and meet with friends and new opponents.
The surroundings are a safe, calming, happy, friendly atmosphere with a communal spirit, music is played by buskers adding to the charm. Food and drink available at the park, rest rooms and a Starbucks at Faye's at 45 West 4th Street, in the area of New York University campus.
A subway is a short walk away.


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Bryant Park a Haven in busy Midtown Manhattan.

Bryant Park is a small square at the back of the New York Public Library, it is a vibrant, relaxing, gathering place. We were there on a hot sunny day, around lunch time, surrounded by office workers, shoppers families and tourists, all stopping off for timeout on their busy day, to relax, eat, and mingle.
There is a big grass area in the centre of the square, with removable tables and chairs to place wherever you want on the gravel surrounding the grass. The perimeter is filled with well maintained and manicured gardens, attracting birds, butterflies and dragonflies.
There you are in the middle of Manhattan amidst traffic and the sound of the City looking up at skyscrapers but feeling tranquil.
Outside the restaurant live music is often performed adding so much pleasure to the atmosphere. I noticed a friendly security guard walking around keeping a watchful eye, event organisers busying themselves with details, park refuge guys emptying trash as it constantly built up.

Even the wash rooms are to be commended, the entrance has a beautiful floral display and the design of the interior has been well planned and very decorative, they are clean and well maintained.
All in all we loved our visit to Bryant Park and shall definitely return.

P. S. When returning home and researching I learned that the park is privately owned, by Bryant Park Corporation and has many events planned each year.


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Staten Island Ferry Trip.

For a trip on the Staten Island Ferry, you enter the Ferry at the docking station just off Battery Park, Lower Mahattan. The transportation gateway is an impressive building with seats, food booths, toilets and a pleasant atmosphere. We went mid morning to avoid getting in the way of busy workers on their way to work, and were surrounded by tourists, we didn't wait long, then everyone started boarding with an air of excitement. 
We all found our spot and set off, safety announcements were made and plenty of notices telling you were to obtain a life jacket if you should need one! There is ample seating in or out on deck and plenty of standing room.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and everyone seemed to have a camera and were snapping pictures as we sailed along.
The view is spectacular of NYC and there are plenty of photo opportunities of The Statue of Liberty in all her glory and of Ellis Island, I felt an immense sense of history as we passed.
The journey itself is pleasurable as you cross the vast expanse of water, a cargo ship went past, reminding us that we were close to the Ocean.
We got to Staten Island and docked, again with safety procedures in hand! it was all very well organised.
Most of the passengers at this time were only there for the ride, and headed straight back onto the next ferry, us included. To catch the returning ferry you have to be quick and we were just about running to get their before the gates closed. It was a funny spectacle to take part in, people de-boarding and hurriedly breezing through the station for the next boat!
Safely back on board, the journey back was as scenic, we went to the other side of the boat for more photo shots of the amazing New York sky line.
To conclude, I found the experience, very pleasurable, interesting, scenic, fun and quite sociable! 
Thank you New York City Department of Transport for this free crossing of the Hudson River.