Battery Park & Soho day.

It was another cool start to the morning at just 7° but at least it was sunny. Mark, the girls and I headed out for a walk and we decided to go down to the Hudson riverfront. The street where our apartment is runs parallel but just below Canal Street and so we headed across in westward direction to get to the river. This is a pretty walk through streets lined with cafés, restaurant and schools and it only takes about 10 minutes until you reach the water. We noted a nice waterfront path that continued southward and so Mark and I decided to venture back here after breakfast to walk this coastal path down to Battery Park.

We all had separate plans for the day: Ali and Brett were walking Wall Street, Annabelle and Matt were doing the Highline and Mark and I were heading to Battery Park.

The walk to Battery Park took us an hour and it was a lovely walk along the waterfront down to the bottom of Manhattan. I’d highly recommend doing this! There is a wide esplanade for easy walking and a few bars and cafes along the way. I could imagine this would be a lovely place in the afternoons as it would catch the setting sun.

We took the subway home to save some time as it was already 11am by this stage and we had some walks planned for the afternoon. By the time we eventually left the apartment it was after midday so we headed for some Yum Cha at the place Ali and Brett had tried some days before. The Golden Unicorn was about a 15 min walk from the apartment but this gave us a chance to see the Chinatown beyond Canal Street. The Yum Cha was nice but I suspect Mark felt he was back at work.

Our plan was to head up to Union Square to take a walk of the area using a downloaded walking tour from the app ‘Detour’. This had the advantage of allowing us flexibility with our time and, also, of being free! No tips needed here today!

We completed the tour of Union Square in the allocated 30 minutes and then opted to take part of another walking tour up towards the exclusive Gramercy Park. On the way we came across Pete’s Bar, one of the oldest continuous bars in the city since 1864, and ventured in so Mark could have, you guessed it, a beer! Inside was a dark intimate space with pressed metal ceiling, a large aged timber bar, rich dark timber seating stalls and the walls lined with photos of Hollywood celebrities, new and old. One would imagine the timber bar would have seen a lot of interesting things over the decades! Our last stop was at Gramercy Park, an exclusive area in NYC of luxury homes surrounding a private gated park where JFK once reportedly played as a child.

We left Gramercy Park and caught the subway down to Soho where we did another Detour walking tour. The most fun part of this trip was they get you to call in at a shop where they give you a small magnet to use for testing the cast iron frontages of buildings in the area. We went up to a third floor loft of one building, that is now a retail shop, but it is set out as a 1960s era loft apartment, from the days when living in these commercial buildings was illegal. The narrator described how she lived like this as a child with her parents and how at night, when the heating was turned off, she’d have to sleep in her coat and how they also had to black out the windows so the inspectors wouldn’t find and evict them. We ventured past areas we’d been to before but the narrated tour was still lots of fun and informative.

The tour finished near our apartment so we headed home to get ready for our last night with Ali and Brett. We were going for pre dinner drinks to Employees Only and then to dinner at Boucherie.

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