My wonderful wife Gill loves the countryside, mountains, fresh air, walking and historical buildings.
I’ve always loved New York City, having been a frequent visitor whilst living in nearby Bermuda in the 1980s. But Gill’s first visit to NYC, a decade or so ago, wasn’t an unmitigated success. Mainly exploring central mid-town Manhattan, she felt hemmed in by the towering buildings and was largely unimpressed by the city, its architecture and history.
Yes, she’s hard to please!
Returning recently for a few days, en route to visit friends in Connecticut and Bermuda, she challenged me to make her fall in love with the city.
We spent a large part of one day exploring the “High Line”:http://www.thehighline.org/, the restored old railway line butting up against the Hudson River, snaking from 34th St. down to 12th St. in lower west Manhattan. Gill loved the imaginative planting throughout the project, and there are loads of other attractions to enjoy both on and from this inspired addition to the city.
Close by the High Line is the cool Chelsea area. We’re Leonard Cohen fans – he’s much more inspirational than most people assume! – and enjoyed passing by the Chelsea Hotel, scene of one of his best known songs. And in just 15 years, the indoor “Chelsea Market”:http://chelseamarket.com/ – a huge area and once the site for the National Biscuit Company factory – has become one of the world’s best food markets.
At the southern end of the High Line, take time to explore the Meatpacking District. Old industrial buildings have been imaginatively restored into fun markets, full of eating and drinking options. The striking new “Whitney Museum of American Art”:http://whitney.org/ building is here now, for art connoisseurs.
No trip to New York would be complete without an immersion into Greenwich Village. Gill loved the (relatively) historic low-level residential buildings and atmospheric streets. We stumbled across vintage 1960s cars and period-dressed actors, making a TV series. We watched the chess games played out in Washington Square Park. And we enjoyed a spectacular evening of raucous, sweaty and rude blues and R&B music in “The Groove Club”:http://www.clubgroovenyc.com/ on Macdougal Street.
By the time we’d submerged ourselves in the subterranean beauty of Grand Central Station, and ambled around the huge green space of Central Park, my mission was complete.
It’s official, Gill Morris loves New York City. Phew.