My first day in New York was an epic one. It was great to be reunited with Michael, and to meet all of his work friends for the first time. Bleary eyed from a night at the Yankees game the night before, they had all still managed to drag themselves out of bed for a morning visit to The Freedom Tower.
I had already visited the 9/11 Memorial with mum two years before, so it didn’t have the same emotional impact as it did first time round, but it’s such a beautiful and peaceful place.
The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are the largest man-made waterfalls in the USA, and sit within footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood.
However, since the Freedom Tower only finished being built in November 2014, it was my first time heading up. The top floor (Floor 104) of the building provides a viewpoint of the city.
^ Sadly, it seemed that I’d brought a spell of the British weather with me, and it was a rather murky & miserable morning. But, still, I have to say that the view hasn’t got a patch on that which you get from the Empire State Building, or Rockefeller Centre and, at $32 per person, it is also considerably more expensive. Nonetheless, we made the most of it and got some group snaps.
Not knowing anything about the Freedom Tower prior to visiting, I have to say that I was disappointed by the lack of emphasis on 9/11, or commemorating the lives lost on that tragic day. Instead, it has been built purely for office space and to provide another observation deck of the city which, given its location, I personally think is a little sad. Hence, Michael and I plodded back outside and took a stroll past the Memorial’s pools, taking in a few of the names of all those who died in the attacks.
The Memorial is such a tranquil place to visit, with the sound of rushing water and newly planted trees providing stillness and a sense of hope in the centre of the financial district.
By this point, we were nearing on midday, and had worked up a serious appetite. There was only one place for it – The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.
Weekend brunches (and holidays) call for champagne. We sat at the bar and enjoyed our delicious bubbly whilst waiting for our buzzer to spring to life.
Which it did soon after. We took our seats and absorbed the quintessentially classic surroundings. The striped awnings, ceiling fans, starched white tablecloths and expert waiters balancing plates high in the air, together with the romantic, relaxing view of the lake, creates a stylish yet homely ambience.
We perused the menu whilst munching on the most delicious complimentary banana bread.
Sadly for the blog, we are too similar when it comes to food preferences, and it was undoubtedly two orders of the eggs royale, intriguingly served with a side of summer vegetables.
Check out that yolk porn.
It was perhaps not the most refined eggs royale that I’ve ever had, with the muffins a little charred and the liberal addition of hollandaise sauce combined with the runny eggs making for a pretty wet plate, but it was one that was RIGHT up my street.
Appetites thoroughly satisfied, we took a stroll along the lake and enjoyed watching the boats lazily row by.
We people watched by the fountain.
Before walking through Central Park, along the tree-lined avenues and past the street dancers, souvenir stalls, musicians and artists.
Central Park is one of my favourite places in the world. It is so different to the parks that we have in London, and is a real gem in the heart of the city.