As promised I am back with part two of my New York City travel diary. The second day of our trip was intense even by my standards. It was definitely the day we saw and did the most and I swear we walked liked 14 miles or so. Don't quote me on that math but we did start our day pretty early and hit the ground ―walking. By the end of the day my legs and feet were killing me and I could barely stand. But would I do it again? Hell yes.
We began our day by taking the subway over to the historic neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. The charming neighborhood is best known for it's gorgeous row houses and peaceful atmosphere. I could have spent all day exploring the neighborhood and perching on beautiful doorsteps like the ones below. After a quick stroll through the neighborhood we made our way to Brooklyn Heights Promenade where we took in the view of the Manhattan skyline from across the East River.
The promenade leads right into Brooklyn Bridge Park which is where we continued on to. On our way to park I loved seeing a bird-eyes view of all the outdoor activities that take place below the promenade, including the basketball & tennis courts, the roller rink and the up and coming swimming pool. Again it really leads way to the cute neighborhood vibes. The park, as expected, was breathtaking and packed with people enjoying the snippet of summer weather that greeted the city.
Following a brief stop in the park we made our way over to Washington St. in DUMBO to the iconic Manhattan Bridge photo spot. You know the one that you see over and over again on Instagram. But here's a little tip for you, don't try and capture those bridge shots, during high-noon, 12pm, as the sun is way too harsh and will leave all your photos dark or streaked with ugly shadows. Sadly, that is exactly what happened to me and its the reason why I only managed to get one decent photo. Direct overhead lighting is a photographers worst nightmare. Perhaps I need to search on Amazon for one of those pocket reflectors...
After taking a moment to silently curse the sun for ruining my photos we made our way over to the pedestrian entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge and began our walk over to Lower Manhattan. Believe it or not but crossing the Brooklyn Bridge was another big highlight of my trip. It has been something that I always wanted to do and I am glad that I was able to experience it for the first time with my family.
Once arriving back in Manhattan we soon made our way over the Financial District to see the World Trade Center as well as the 9/11 Memorial. The last time I visited NYC, back in the 2007, I had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero and see the shell that was left after such a callous and devastating event. I remember leaving really confused and sadden as I just couldn't understand how someone could go out of their way to hurt so many innocent people. And to this day I still don't fully understand but I am happy that such a beautiful memorial exists as a reminder that the good will always prevail in the end.
We were also able to take a quick tour of the Westfield World Trade Shopping Center, and if you're an architecture nerd or just a fan of cool buildings then I suggest you take a visit and check out this space. I honestly can't help but compare the inside of the mall to the outlining shape of a dinosaur.
After visiting the Memorial we made our way over to the West Village to walk along The Highline. Which was another highlight of my trip. I could have seriously spent and entire afternoon up on the highline. I loved how relaxed it was up there and how everywhere you looked there was something extraordinary to look at. Thanks to my Uncle the tour guide I also learned how the space came to be. In the 1800s through to the mid 1900s the space used to be both a functioning and elevated railroad but was soon abandoned and developed into a public space bound by preservation. The Highline runs from Gansevoort St. through to West 34th St. and is lined with greenery and well cultivated art pieces. I believe the final installment of the park opened just over a two years ago. As much as I would have liked to have been able to say we walked the entire highline, we were short on time and did have to cut in through the Chelsea street entrance. But hey, we did walk the majority of it. I honesty think that the space made me fall just a tiny bit more in love with New York City, and when I go back, and I will be going back, I would love to spend some more time there.
Once we made it to the end of of the Highline we had to quickly hurry down and head back over to the Rockefeller Center for our Top of the Rock tour. Originally we were suppose to go the day before, the first day of out trip, but because I had really specific preferences for our tour we had to adjust our plans. I wanted to go just before sunset so that I could take advantage of the lighting during "golden hour" as well as get a few photos during sunset, but unfortunately all of those times slots were booked up that day so we decided to go the next night. Despite how crowded it was on top of the Rockefeller building, and it was crowded, I'd be the first to say it was completely worth it. The view of central park alone was enough to convince me. Next time I visit NYC I would like to go on top of the Empire State Building for an even higher view of the city. Perhaps we'll even go for the nighttime view, just so I can see what the city looks like when its lit up.
And that concludes the second installment of my New York City Travel Diary. Like I said day two of our trip was intense, I still can't believe how much of the city we were able to see that day. Special thanks to my uncle the tour guide it would have not have been possible without him, and special thanks to all of you if you were able to stick around till the end of this post. I know it was a long one but I honestly couldn't condense it. I loved every minute of this day and I wanted to share it all with you. Anyway, stay tuned for part three of our trip as we head to the Upper East Side.