There were two reasons why I wanted to go to NYC this time. One, as a present for my husband’s 40th birthday. Two, to scratch off “going to NYC on NYE” from my bucket list. I prepared nothing for this trip due to huge amounts of work at the office, so we thought we’d just see what we’d get up to on NYE. Times Square was out of the question because tickets would set us back more than the actual plane ride to get to NYC and I didn’t feel like standing in the cold for over 10 hours just to see the ball drop.
Anyway. We got up, got dressed and our plan was to go to the Guggenheim today as we’d never been there before. As the weather was so nice, we changed plans quite quickly and set onto Battery Park to take the boat to Ellis Island. Tip: most attractions are open during the holidays, apart maybe from Christmas Day. Check the websites and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you can visit.
You can get your tickets to Lady Liberty and Ellis Island online – but like I said, little to no preparation was done beforehand. If you’ve never been to Ellis Island before, I do suggest you buy your tickets in advance and even try to get some tickets for the guided hard hat tour through the dilapidated hospital site. Check out my previous blogpost to read all about it: https://thetastytraveller.be/2014/11/02/nyc-history-ellis-island/
I don’t know if you remember this, but a few years back, hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc in New York and Lady Liberty and Ellis Island were closed for public viewing for a while. It’s only since recently that Ellis Island has reopened it’s doors – albeit with some of the exhibitions still closed or incomplete. Nothing was lost, but lots was damaged due to the water entering the buildings. At the moment, the site is still trying to get all the water fumes out of the building. Once that’s done, all exhibitions will be complete again. But this is no excuse not to visit Ellis now!
We’ve been there several times before and we still find new things to do or to see. This time, we went to a viewing of a film about the history of Ellis Island. There was an introduction first by Ranger Walker. Not Walker, Texas Ranger, but close. Ranger Walker was clearly passionate about his job. He talked us through what we were going to see and he answered all our questions. It never ceases to amaze me how proud the Americans are of their heritage. It might not be as old and long as here in Europe, but my god, are they spirited when they talk about the past! Thumbs up for Ranger Walker. Go see him when you’re at Ellis Island and ask him about the place, he’ll be more than happy to help you out!
Another reason why I love Ellis so much is the views you get form the island onto Manhattan, Jersey City and Liberty Island. The photo opportunities are numerous!
When leaving the boat at Battery Park, you have a perfect starting point to visit the Financial District. Shout “Wolfie Wolfie Wolfie!” on Wall Street and get your picture taken with the Charging Bull. Go into the Tiffany’s store here and gawk at the marvelous jewelry that is on sale at excruciating prices. I tried the puppy look on my husband. Didn’t work.
By now, I started to get hungry, so I turned to my beloved Yelp for help. I felt like pizza, so we were lead to Adrienne’s Pizza on Stone St. We’d never been in this part of town before! There were cobbled streets filled with little restaurants! My kinda place 🙂 Adrienne’s was loaded full with locals, all on heir daily lunch break. The staff was incredibly swift and got us a table almost immediately. Adrienne’s let’s you make your own pizza out of numerous selections of toppings. Get one pie if you’re with two at the table, it’s more than big enough. The pizza was heavenly! We will be back for sure – hopefully during summer time, because then the entire street gets out the tables and you can sit outside. For dinner there’s another menu by the way with set pizzas, pastas, salads, …
So, I bet you’re wondering how new year’s eve went in this hustle and bustle city? Well, we went for dinner in Piccola Cucina Osteria. It’s very piccola like the name says . That means that you’re almost in each others lap with the tables next to you. But seeing as it was NYE, I didn’t mind as we were immediately thrown into the festivities of the other tables. Service is good, food is ok, prosecco was perfect. We spent the entire evening talking to the couple at the table next to us. And this is what makes this ending of 2014 so perfect: talking about just about everything with complete strangers which weren’t strangers anymore going into 2015. That is why I love America. You never know who you’re gonna meet.
Happy 2015 everyone!
Your tickets to Ellis Island and Lady Liberty can be bought online: http://www.statuecruises.com/choose_tickets.aspx
Go check out Adrienne’s Pizzabar http://www.adriennespizzabarnyc.com
Meet new people in the Piccola Cucina Osteria on Spring St or learn about their restaurants in Miami and Ibiza http://www.piccolacucinagroup.com