.: Commuting Stories :.

Hi there!

Wow I seriously have no idea when was the last time I’ve added a post here, but between being really busy at work and any time left for my daughter, all my “hobbies” were on stand-still. No time to write and no time for photos. I really missed both.

I guess it helps that I’m on holidays and this week she’s at the nursery πŸ˜€ (this is a once a year event)

Anyway, I started to take photos again but all from my phone, but I still wanted to share them because they remind me that “the best camera is the one you have with you” and it’s all about paying attention to your surroundings and properly watch what goes around you and take time to appreciate what’s so close to us. All the photos are different, however they are all from the pretty much the same daily commuting journey.

Flight to Lux (ok, this is not from my daily commute)

And on the same evening

On my way to the nursery:

Train to waterloo

Walk to the station

On my way to the office

My old commute before I changed house in October

All taken from my phone as I don’t carry my camera to work. Do you ever take photos on your daily commute?

Have a lovely Xmas break πŸ™‚

.: New York – Day 4 :.

The holidays fly too fast, don’t they? Working week again… 😦

At least the holidays were good for catching up with all the photos from New York! Getting there I hope
As you remember, on our 3rd day in NY it was really rainy. I was hoping for a better day the next day, if for no other reason, just because it was my birthday! But I’m afraid it was mostly cloudy and a bit rainy and quite cold.

We woke up early in the morning (still in UK time), and after another delicious breakfast we’ve headed up to visit the Statue of Liberty. I’ve booked the tickets online (which is totally recommended to avoid big queues).

We didn’t enjoy the cruise as much because it was cold! The views are really nice though. Once we’ve reached the island we’ve decided to walk around first, but it was too windy

Did you know that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to US and was designed by Gustave Eiffel (the same guy behind the famous Tour Eiffel)?

I’m sure the views are a lot better on a sunny day. We’ve decided to stop by our best friend Starbucks to warm up for some coffee before carrying on walking all the way until lunch.

I was fascinated by this building, because it’s simply concrete with pretty much no windows

For lunch I wanted to visit ABC Cocina, quite a well known restaurant in NY by Michelin start Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I’ve really enjoyed the quirky decor and the friendly (and good looking too) staff

Photo from google

It looked really promising! The main concept of ABC Cocina is a relax environment to share some tapas with your friends. We’ve ordered 3 each from the lunch menu

shaved beets, portobello mushrooms, queso blancoand herbs

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mushroom empanadas withgreenchili mayo

The starters were really tasty.

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crispy chickensalad, salanova lettuce, citrus dressing, market vegetables

My salad was really fresh and the chicken crispy as it should be.

The disappointment was the dessert, this was supposed to be a white rice pudding (and I was thinking of the yummy cinnamon flavoured rice pudding from Portugal), but the citrus compote was simply too much. Couldn’t enjoy the combination of flavours and didn’t manage to finish it either.

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caramelized whitechocolaterice pudding

So I would say that, even though I’ve enjoyed the ambiance, it didn’t match the expectation. The food wasn’t that memorable for me. Maybe I went for the wrong choices. I would say the starters were the best.

ABC Cocina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

11/11 is also a very special day all over the world because it’s remembrance day (Poppy day in UK) and means the end of WWI. In France it’s actually a bank holiday. In US they do the veterans day parade, which started at 11a.m and at 16h it was still on-going.

The other highlight I had saved for today was a visit to the famous Empire State building. It feels it takes forever to get to the top due to the queues, but it’s so worth it! Loved it all. It’s a shame it wasn’t as sunny as I had imagined in my head, still breathtaking

Back to the 5th avenue, the parade was still on-going

.: New York – Day 3 (Rain edition) :.

Yap, unlike the first 2 gorgeous sunny days, Tuesday woke up to me a cold rainy morning. Quite miserable to tell you the truth. To be honest I was feeling quite tired from the long walking the previous 2 days, so it was a perfect day to take it easy.

I’m normally not very keen on museums (yes feel free to jump on me), but I don’t. I get bored. Normally I love to visit museums more for the architecture itself than for the museum. I like to read and find things online, so the prospect of spending hours reading labels or doing an audio guide isn’t for me. I prefer to walk until my legs can’t move and get the sense of the city and its vibe. And well, living in London we have free access to some of the best museums in the world anyway.

Anyway, my sister had recommended for us to visit the interprid, as both of us like military history (my favourite museum in London is the Imperial war museumΒ or the British museum for a classic type museum). I guess it comes from my dad, as we grew up surrounded by planes in the house (kit ones or even the little ones with an engine).

It’s a shame it was raining so badly, so I didn’t explore the upper deck properly

We’ve also took the tickets to visit the space shuttle, which is totally worth it!

And the Concorde, one day it will be a lot faster to fly (and safely)

After the museum we’ve headed back to the hotel for a bit of rest, and also at this point he was having a massive back-pain. Not that my legs where feeling any better.

For the afternoon we went to the Financial District. If I would ever move to NYC, this is probably where I would end up working

This is the same area where the Two Towers used to be before 9/11. Little did we know what was going to happen a few days later. The more the reason not to take life for granted and make the most of it with those you love. This is one of the reasons why we don’t leave the house upset with each other and we always kiss each other goodbye.

It was such a cold and miserable day that we’ve called it a day. This time we didn’t went out for any rooftop and decided to chill out in the hotel instead.

.: 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?