.: New York Day 2 :.

After the amazing day visiting central Park and midtown, we were ready to stretch our legs and visit Brooklyn. This also meant our first underground ride. Gosh, it felt such a travel back in time! I didn’t took any photos inside, which I have to admit it was a bit shameful, but I didn’t feel secure enough to do so.

It feels like I was travelling in a museum artefact! Well it works. Really loved the concept of the express trains, which skip a few stations and end up being the fastest way down-town.

The easiest way to travel actually, it’s way faster and cheaper than a taxi ride. You can buy the metro card and top it up in any station. A single ticket costs you $3, but with the card it’s $2.75.

Love the architecture! These buildings are simply gorgeous in my point of view

Now here’s something silly, I didn’t check the settings on my camera and apparently I was photographing with ISO 1600, this is why the exposure looked so funny.

Tip: Always check your camera settings and ensure you’re reset them before you turn off the camera. Always!

So many of my Brookly Bridge photos are rubbish and were deleted. Plus the light in the sky was too high, which meant a lot of glare. But still managed to save a few I like

Here’s another place I had on my wishlist but where my photos didn’t turn out the way I was expecting and picturing in my head.

Expectation

Reality:

Tip: The best view from Brooklyn Park is at sunset / night, so ensure you save the bridge for the late afternoon

After a stop at Starbucks (yap, we’ve spend loads on Starbucks, as we went at least twice a day) in Dumbo we’ve decided to go back into the city via Manhattan bridge

The views from Manhattan bridge are really awesome as they include Brooklyn Bridge in the scene

You can also enjoy the views into Chinatown, which I recommend!

After Chinatown, which I found a lot more interesting than it’s London version, it was time for Little Italy. This is where I’ve spotted quite a famous painting by Tristan Eaton (from Brooklyn). You can visit his website here.

After our long walk in the morning, we were more than ready for an american lunch (big portions!). He decided to visit Katz, a famous dinner in the east side. And oh wow, quite an experience!

Katz's Delicatessen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As you get in you notice this buzz of people around. It’s quite big! You will get a ticket upon arrival which you’ll be using at every counter as you order your food. We went for the famous pastrami sandwich. Next time we’ll order 1 for the 2 of us. One was huge! I could barely do half of it

The pastrami was really delicious! I ended up not having any dinner, just a tea, cheese and crackers at the lounge as I was still full!

One of the famous spots that needs a visit is the Grand Central Station

Again it was really hard to get a decent picture and actually I’ve ended up damaging my card trying to get one. Fortunately we’ve later managed to save the photos from the card (just lost a few ones)

But the building is indeed quite beautiful and totally worth a visit. We’ve decided to carry our walk back into the hotel, even though I could barely feel my legs after this point.

It was our first walk through the famous 5th avenue.

Once I’ve reached the hotel (17km later) I could barely move my legs. This is what happens when you do pretty much nothing during the year, your legs can’t cope with all the walking.

After a big of rest and some nibbles at the lounge we went to visit another rooftop, which was recommended by the staff in the hotel (we’ve asked for a nice rooftop nearby).

The Roof @ Viceroy Hotel

I didn’t really took pictures of the rooftop so using the website ones

The Roof Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Which rooftop is your favourite?

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.: New York Day 1 :.

After a good night sleep we were more than ready to go outside and enjoy the views from the central park, so this is precisely what we’ve decided to do. What a surprise! I have to say that although I didn’t had big expectations, the park surprised me a lot by it’s beauty. Even though you can see the huge towards from most of the park, it’s very easy to forget we are in a big city as the colours are so gorgeous and each area of the park so diverse!

What I was expecting

So something similar to Hyde Park in London but with taller buildings around. The reality was way better! This is where it feels it was a great idea to go over Autumn

You can see our hotel from the park (House of Essex)

And the magnificent autumnal colours

After our walk we went to swipe our rooms and then we went back to the city to try to find a data card and for some lunch.

Tip: If you’re going abroad check the number of days you’ll be out and how much your operator will be charging you in roaming. In most European countries for example Vodafone offers the passport, which costs £3 a day to use the same services as in UK. But, if we are let’s say 1 week away, that would be more than a pay as you go card. So do the maths and check what works for you. In some places you’ll find free WiFi, like most Starbucks, but if you feel the need to use google maps while you’re trying to find a place maybe you’ll reach the conclusion you need data!

We had some amazing Tacos in a local Mexican grocery store @ Hells Kitchen. I forgot to take pictures. But this is the place Tehuizingo

Tehuitzingo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Photo from Zomato

You know a place is good when someone that is leaving ensures you know how good it is. So tasty!

And the first rooftop of the week, spyglass. We were feeling tired by then and most of the rooftops only open after 17h, so once we  found one that was nearby and already open we had to give it a go: Spyglass

I ended up going for a cocktail with gin, ginger and lemon (yap, I’ve spend the whole week with a cool, so was feeling sore throat and tired) ($18 per cocktail, which seemed to be pretty much the standard everywhere we went)

Official photo from spyglass

The view wasn’t perfect as the place is pretty cosy, but it was awesome to enjoy the golden tones over the city

After the cocktails we went for a warm shower and rest at the hotel as I couldn’t stop coughing.

For dinner we went to KatsuHama for warm cosy ramen!

Really friendly and relaxing place and the ramen was pretty good, exactly all I needed (although I have to say the sauce was a bit to thick for me)

Katsu-hama 55st Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Could get used to this life!

.: 8 Nights in NYC – 8 Rooftops :.

Can’t hardly believe my first time visit to NY is almost there! Most of the people I know have already been at least once, even my sister managed to get earlier in the year as well. But we’ve never really managed to reconcile our holidays long enough to be able to go, or prior to that when we left university we didn’t had any money. But hey, finally going 🙂

One of the things one must do while in NY is to explore the skyline, and a very good way to do so is to explore the different rooftops in the city. So I’ve decided to create myself a list of 8 rooftops I want to visit. I’ll confirm back those I managed to visit in the end – it will also depend on the weather, as November is not necessarily quite hot, and if it doesn’t rain I’ll be extremely lucky!

In no particular order:

W Downtown Terrace 

Sky Room

 

Tip – There is an happy hour Tuesday to Friday 5PM – 7PM

Bar d’eau

 

Rooftop Lounge Library Hotel

This one looks so romantic

Gallow Green

This one looks beautiful as well and a bit more weather proof

Sheltering Sky

The Strand

This is probably one of the most well known and also most expensive!

The view I’m expecting to get from my hotel

Yes that’s central park outside!

For the last night, the view will change to Times Square

Any recommendations from your side? Which rooftop should I really visit?

 

.: Sky Garden – London :.

There was always a lot of expectation around one of London famous buildings, especially one with such a start like “Walkie Talkie” – or the building that burns cars, not even any cars, a jag!

I used to work next door, and this building was always quite an impressive one. It took them forever to cover the whole building in a protective layer to avoid any more meltdowns.

It’s still quite an impressive shape nonetheless

Not as impressive as The Shard (or the All-seeing eye for me), but with a unique feature, a sky garden. Since I love rooftops, actually anything that offers me a good view, I was more than keen for a visit. Unfortunately the free visits only work during weekdays which meant I had to wait for a day off to have my go. The best way to get there is to book a reservation in one of the restaurants

Note to self: No, it’s not a good idea to go there with only a prime lens (50mm). Which meant my phone was better usage than my camera. Also didn’t help that I received a call from work on my day off and was pretty stressed out!

Here’s the view, way better than what you get from a place like the London eye – which I still find overrated!

My best photos were actually taken with my phone

I don’t think the garden is that impressive, but the light and the view is something quite unique! Love the whole concept and how everyone seem really happy. Totally recommended!

Final note, the ladies on the ground floor were extremely rude! I know it doesn’t look nice for such a “posh” building to have some peasants queuing up, but I felt they were being too rude! It’s not a good visit card to London I would say. “Can you please squeeze in? Against the wall please!” Seriously?

Next time I’ll book myself a table to get a visit over sunset, oh that would be awesome!

How to get there
* The Walkie Talkie is located on Fenchurch Street – actually on the back of it if you want to enter the skygarden. Don’t attempt to get into the front reception and avoid yourself the embarrassment! You need to reach the back of it and there’s a dedicated reception for the restaurants & garden.
* You can reach it by getting out @ Bank on the central line, or Monument for the district line
* You won’t get lost outside, since it’s one of the tallest buildings in the area you just need to follow the skyline

Let me know your thoughts if you have been there already

.: Gin Tonic with a view – Le Chat :.

One of the things which is quite trendy in Lisbon is exploring Gin Tonic. They love having English Gin, but as I have plenty of that here in the supermarkets, what I’m really keen on having is Portuguese Gins. And if I can match that with sunshine and a nice view even better! So that was the plan for one of the afternoons we were in Lisbon.

Le Chat

Le Chat is located in the middle of 24 de Julho street, a famous street just in front of a night-out area (Santos).

Photo from google

Another photo from google

It’s brilliant that Lisbon has so many “views” (Miradouros). I need to explore them all, I’m sure I’ll make it or not ahhahahah

I’ve ordered Gin Mare and he ordered something else along with a dessert

Gin Tonic

Gin Tonic with a view

The view itself is not one of the best, as you see the harbour-side pretty much, but the space is really relaxing.

I felt that the chairs could be a bit more comfortable, and we didn’t really had a table, just a cube on the floor to place our drinks, but oh well!

After our drinks we even had the chance to visit the Zomato Offices in Lisbon 😀 The guys were quite happy with all the female staff around. It seems to be such a relaxed and creative environment, so cool!

Zomato Selfie!

So quite a nice afternoon!