The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 30 August 2012

NYC 2012: Sights around town

I love to explore a new place by walking. New York is by no means a new location for me, but it is a great city for getting by on foot. Larger distances can be covered by cycling, which was what hubby and I did on our weekend in NYC. We hired a couple of bikes and a child seat, and we set off on a 11km ride from downtown up to Central Park, completed the 12km circuit around the park (which has some killer hills!), then back to downtown again. That worked out to be about 34km, and it definitely satisfied my craving for a decent bike ride. But boy, did I hurt the next day - not too surprising since it had been two years since I was on a bicycle, and the rental bikes weren't great to begin with. The last time we were in NYC, our son was only 7 months old; not old enough to appreciate this great city. More than three years later, I took great pleasure in bringing my son around NYC. This boy loves to walk and run around, but I believe I tired those little legs out within the first few days. Here are shots of some of the sights.

Concrete Jungle, as seen from the High Line near the W 16th Street entrance/exit:

A bushy-tailed dark-furred squirrel in Central Park on the alert for one particular little boy who was quite keen on chasing it:

With the Wall Street Bull (photos of me in this blog are rare, usually offered to be taken by others, as was the case here by a tourist whose photo I helped to take):

View of the Statue of Liberty taken from either the Robert F. Wagner Park or South Cove, at 32x magnification (click here for my 2007 post on visiting Liberty Island):

My son got to put on a cop's hat! He brazenly ran up to a couple of cops (presumably on a break) in a downtown park, and asked for a picture. I don't recommend tourists to do this because the police are there to do their work, but I remember doing the same 5 years ago:

A view of Columbus Circle from inside the Time Warner Center:

We walked down Wall Street (as we did most days from our downtown hotel) and happened upon the stock market debut of Manchester United at the NYSE:

Suburban landscape in New Jersey for a Sunday grill by a couple of friends (yes, I know NJ is not in New York, but it was still a part of our New York trip):

A dragonfly at the High Line:

Inside the beloved Chelsea Market, a foodie's delight:

New York is such a great city, and I will return again in a heartbeat. I will have to find cheap flights to New York so that I can visit this beautiful city more often.


  1. Hi Jean,
    I have been following your blog for a while and really enjoy your writing and photographs.
    My husband and I are taking the kids for a short holiday to Hong Kong soon and I would like to ask you a few questions regarding the logistics of travelling within Hong Kong with young kids. I hope that you don't mind. I am really looking for a local insiders view which is hard to narrow down on the internet.

    1) I have 3 girls (ages 4, 3 and 2) the older two are toilet trained, but accidents do happen so how easy is it to find a toilet in Hong Kong? I guess the malls would have access but what about restaurants etc.
    2) High chairs: should I bring a booster seats or do most places have high chairs.
    3) Water quality in Hong Kong: My girls are still have a bottle of milk before they go to bed. Can I wash their bottles in regular tap water or does it need to be sterilised first.
    4) Do we have to be as religious with suncare as we are in Perth (sunscreen, hats always on outside)
    5) I have been keeping an eye on the weather in Hong Kong via my iphone app and everyday it says that there are storms or overcast weather in Hong Kong. should we bring some rain gear? We will be arriving in September.

    Many thanks Jean. I appreciate that any snippets of info that you can give.
    Regards, Van.

  2. Hi Van,

    I would love to help you with your questions!

    1) Parks and major tourist sites (like the Flower Market) have public toilets. However they may not be very clean (arm yourselves with wet wipes!). Most restaurants will have toilets.

    2) Most restaurants have high chairs, big enough even for my son who is tall for his age. The local 'cha chaan teng' (coffee shops) and 'dai pai dong' (open air food stalls) are great for cultural experience, but not kid-friendly so I don't recommend visiting those places for meals with your 3 children.

    3) The government says tap water is good enough to drink, but everyone boils them first (we also filter after it's cooled down). I wash my son's water bottle with tap water, then rinse again with boiled water. You could also sterilise with hot water from the kettle.

    4) Hubby gets sunburn here too! The sun is not as harsh here (and it's often overcast), but it's best to use a hat and sunscreen on sunny days.

    5) Towards the end of September, the weather should start becoming quite good. Hotels usually provide umbrellas, but if your little girls have rain boots and coats, then you could pack them too. Otherwise, they are easy and cheap to get at the markets.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Jean,
    Thank you so much. I really enjoy your New York pics and food travels. I actually follow the martha stewart blog and despite being known primarily for her arts and crafts she is actually quite the foodie as well. She often mentions delis and restaurants that she frequents along with pictures.
    Did you hear of Eataly when you were in New York. It looks amazing. If I didn't have the kids with me I could easily lose myself in there for a good couple of hours.

    I have a few more questions regarding Hong Kong if you don't mind.
    1) Are there indoor play areas in Hong Kong and do you recamend any?
    2) Do you recamend any good optometrist that offers a fast turn around in getting your glasses fitted with new prescription lenses. In Perth most optometrist send the frames over east to be fitted so it can take up to two weeks to get my new prescription fitted. Plus the fact that frames are so expensive also.
    Thanks again, Jean. Your advice has been a great help.

  4. Hi Van,

    There aren't any free indoor playrooms unfortunately (not that I know of anyway). Where will your hotel be?

    I can recommend my optometrist. He's really good, better than all the ones I've had before in the past 20 years in both Australia and Malaysia. My glasses took a week to come in. How long will you be in HK for? If you send me an email (expatfoodie[at]gmail[dot]com), I can email you his details and his email address so you can contact him directly with your questions.