Shortly after Caroline and I got married, we decided – on a whim – to go to New York City for a few days. At the moment we were (and still are) too broke to go on an actual honeymoon, but a spontaneous short honeymoon in New York City definitely made up for that. It was nice to spend some time away and relax after the busy weeks and stress before the wedding.
Jazz, Natural History, Broadway and Cocktails
We hooked up with my best man and his girlfriend, who were spending some time in NYC before flying back home to Belgium. The first night we had dinner in the Hard Rock Café on Times Square and went to a jazz club in Harlem, which definitely was another unique experience. The next day was Caroline’s birthday and we spent the day in and around Central Park and visited the phenomenal American Museum of National History. I feel like you would need an entire week to see, read and learn about all the exhibition and displays they have going on there; it’s truly ginormous.
Before heading to the museum, we managed to score some discount tickets to the Broadway musical ‘Bullets Over Broadway’, which we went to see in the evening. Here’s a tip: you can get great discounts on several Broadway plays at one of the ticket booths on Times Square or you can, of course, get your tickets online. After the play and a couple of cocktails we made our way to one of the numerous rooftop bars in Manhattan. The views were fabulous – the Empire State Building was all lit up – as were the cocktails. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of that night, except for a couple of blurry iPhone pictures.
Staten Island and Ground Zero
I do, however, have a bunch of nice photos of the following days. After my best man and his girlfriend had left, Caroline and I went out to explore more of Manhattan. It was the ideal opportunity to do the things that we had missed when we were there last, in December and January.
The Staten Island ferry is one of only very few free transportation opportunities that are actually worth the journey. It is in the first place aimed at commuters traveling to and from work between Staten Island and Manhattan. The beauty of this particular ferry crossing is that it takes you right past the Statue of Liberty and offers extraordinary views of the Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines. We only heard about its existence after our last trip, so we absolutely had to check it out this time. The crossing takes about half an hour and you can just step off the ferry and get on the next ferry back to Manhattan. It’s awesome.
Caroline and I also went to see Ground Zero and the place where the Twin Towers used to be. I think it’s so important to visit places like this. They help you understand better what happened there and seeing sites like this are, without exception, humbling and moving. We went to the 9/11 Tribute Center, which has, among other things, testimonies by survivors, firemen and other people closely involved in that tragedy. Ground Zero itself is also free to visit; the entrance fee to the Tribute Center is $15.
We walked back to the subway station past Wall Street and saw dozens of people trying to get their picture taken with the famous Wall Street bull.
On our last evening in New York City (for now) we went to another Broadway play, this time we paid the full price to go see James Franco, Chris O’Dowd and Leighton Meester in ‘Of Mice and Men’.