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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - a superb recommendation from a TB. It's got so many famous pieces of art inside and is free to go in on Fridays after a certain time.

Once I got back from the States, I had to do a lot of catching up with people.  A group of us had a bit of a Uni reunion one weekend and thought 'let's go to NYC' in the new year.  Great!  We organised it pretty quickly and went at the end of January.  The last time I was here, it was hot, this time it wasn't!  I was looking forward to seeing the city on a weekend as well, as last time the trip took us to Boston for the Friday and Saturady nights.

I flew on my own for the first time as we all live in different cities and getting on the same flights would have been expensive.  This was fine.  I watched a few films, did some reading, and was there without noticing the time.  I got checked in and met up with the guys for a few drinks.

Pop Art - one of Roy Lichenstein's more famous works.
  We didn't last long! 

The next day I managed to get up at a reasonable time and get some of that New York breakfasts and coffee I'd been missing!  I stayed just off Time Square and was particularly happy with that.  I did some shopping on 5th Ave and in the Soho district, and seen as the pound was strong, at that point, compared to the dollar, I got some great deals!  In the evening I went to MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) on a TB recommendation (which I'm very grateful for).  It was really lucky - it's free to visit on Friday after 4pm, which was spot on timing for us!  I loved it in here.  I've become quite a big fan of art in a short space of time and now I try to get to see a few museums when I've got a bit of time.

My favorite - Andy Warhol's Double Elvis
  I saw some great works by Matisse, Franz Marc's 'World Cow', and Van Gough's 'Stary Night' and 'Olive Garden'.  These were alongside a few works by my favorites, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.  It was a great day which we followed up with a Friday night on the tiles.

The Saturday morning didn't happen!  We all needed some valuable 'sleep time' after Friday, but when we all came to, it was a day to do your thing.  Some guys wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, but for me that was all still fairly fresh from the summer.  Instead I wanted some 'chill out time' in Central Park.  I did go to the 'Top of the Rock' (The Rockefeller Centre) and have a look around St Patrick's Cathedral though in the early evening.

Andy Warhol's Soups
  That's a beautiful building if you ever get to see it.  There was also some campaigning going on for Hilary Clinton and that was interesting to see.

After a brief snooze, shower, shave, etc we went out for the night at the Meat Packing district.  There were quite a few really cool, but very pricey bars down there.  It's quite pretentious as well and we couldn't get into a club being that we were in a small group of three guys.  Nevermind.  Not to be put off, we found another bar and met a load of New Yorkers, played some fuseball, got badly drunk and staggered into a taxi and off to another club.  I don't have an accurate memory after that, but I do remember climbing into bed at around 5am highly satisfied with my level of inebriation.

Pablo Picasso's Three Musicians

The next afternoon I got up for a late lunch adn decided to walk off the hangovers and do some site-seeing.  I went around the city and saw the Manhatten and Brooklyn Bridges, Wall Street, Grand Central Station, the World Trade Centre Site, the Library and a few other buildings.  I chose to get the sub back up as walking was proving difficult by this stage, but that proved to be a bit of a mistake.  I was due to meet the guys in a bar on 52nd street and 2nd Avenue.  Instead I must of snoozed off for a bit before I realised I'd gone too far.  I got off the sub to have a look around and get my bearing and there in the distance was Manhatten.

Vincent van Gough - Starry Night (and the Olive Trees was next to it - thought to represent day and night somewhere in Holland)
  I'd gone quite deep into Brooklyn and was now fully awake.  The next sub got me back on course and I found my way to the bar.  I can't remember my excuses for being late, but I'm sure it was some crap invented on the spot.  At least I'd made it (only just) before the kick off of the Superbowl - NY Giants versus New England Patriots, who were the red hot favorites.  The bar we were in (Turtle Bay I think it was called) was excellent for viewing sports; plenty of big screen action and loads of atmosphere.  At half-time they dished out free pints of Cools Light - excellent for the alcoholic argument of 'what makes you bad makes you better'!  The game was pretty entertaining adn it was difficult not to jump on the band wagon and get stuck into it - even if, like me, you knew very little about American Football.
Belvedere Castle - Central Park
  Ely Manning and co provided a lot of entertainment and pulled off a brilliant touch down with one of the last plays of the match.  Giants won and teh celebrations began.

We piled out onto the streets with hundreds of other fans and just soaked up the scene.  Everyone was best friends all of a sudden; all hi-fiving, all singing, jumping around, and between us, we managed to block off 2nd Avenue for a while until the police showed up and moved everyone back into the bars or on their way.  It was great fun and I'm so pleased I was part of it.  Back in the bars everyone was still on the vibe and so we got stuck in.  I made a lot of friends that night, but it certainly wasn't difficult.

On our last day we had to take it easy.

Central Park from the top of the Castle
  Everyone was done in and badly in need of a good rest.  We managed a little bit of shopping and had a really nice meal.  We'd pre-booked some tickets for the evening to see the Knicks before we came over, so that was our plan for the evening.  Oh my god - ask any Englishman to anme a basketball team and most will say 'the Knicks'; I'm sure this is the same about football (soccer) for Americans who'll probably say Manchester United.  The Knicks suck!  Sorry if this offends any Knicks fans, it's just I thought they would kick ass.  I watch out for them now all the time on Sky Sports and they never seem to win - I'm hoping it's just a poor season they're having - hey I'm an Evertonian so I know about rocky rides with your club.
New York Presidential Primary Campaign in Time Square.
  Madison Square Gardens is a great venue though and it does get a high attendance.  I would certainly go again to this and hopefully get a better result (they were playing the LA Clippers this time). 

We decided to get some food after the game and head straight to the airport.  It was a great weekend and I still feel New York City has a lot more to offer despite being twice now and doing almost completely different things.  I'll be back again at some point, I'm sure of that.

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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - …
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) -…
Pop Art - one of Roy Lichensteins…
Pop Art - one of Roy Lichenstein'…
My favorite - Andy Warhols Double…
My favorite - Andy Warhol's Doubl…
Andy Warhols Soups
Andy Warhol's Soups
Pablo Picassos Three Musicians
Pablo Picasso's Three Musicians
Vincent van Gough - Starry Night (…
Vincent van Gough - Starry Night …
Belvedere Castle - Central Park
Belvedere Castle - Central Park
Central Park from the top of the C…
Central Park from the top of the …
New York Presidential Primary Camp…
New York Presidential Primary Cam…
View from the Top of the Rock
View from the 'Top of the Rock'
Superbowl Sunday - New York Giants…
Superbowl Sunday - New York Giant…
The after party on the street - Su…
The after party on the street - S…
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station
Empire State Building
Empire State Building
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
The Wall Street Bull - it is suppo…
The Wall Street Bull - it is supp…
NY Knicks at Madison Square Garden…
NY Knicks at Madison Square Garde…
NY Knicks
NY Knicks
This is the difference between Lon…
This is the difference between Lo…
More proof!
More proof!
Under the Clock, but not meeting a…
Under the Clock, but not meeting …
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photo by: herman_munster