Helicopter and Top of the Rock
New York Travel Blog› entry 4 of 8 › view all entries
As the whole trip was for my parents 50th Birthdays and 30th Wedding Anniversary, we needed to sort out some kind of special pressie, after much deliberation we (my brother, sister and I) decided on a Helicopter ride. Mainly because we wanted to do it, but it also made a bad ass pressie!
Early rise, as we decided to walk to the Heliport on 12th Avenue at West 30th about 1.5 miles. We went via Chelsea Market (a must!) and stopped off at Amy's Bread for breakfast (my whole family found it very amusing to take pictures of me under the sign from every angle!). Chelsea Market is cool, it has a walkway through an old factory past little Deli's and bakery's and other food shops, there is also a waterfall (manmade of course) and other quirky bits and bobs making it an interesting place to wander down.
A bit more wandering led us to the Flatiron building and the beautiful Madison Square Park. New York surprised me with the amount of green, open spaces there were just stuck in the middle of skyscrapers and shops. We sat for a while and watched the world go by, so easily done in a big city. I decided to get a Root beer as I'd never had one and what better place to try it than New York, New York....I wish I hadn't it was disgusting.
We then trekked on to the Heliport. We booked online through Liberty Helicopters on the Big Apple Tour (15 mins) for $130 each (£60 in 2008) plus a $30 security fee, this was a bargain as because there were 5 of us we got our own helicopter, so it was like a private booking! It was the best £100 I have spent, the views were amazing and you could see across the whole of Manhattan and beyond.
Afterwards we hunted down some lunch, this was relatively easy as both myself and my dad are map geeks and within seconds found somewhere close! On 10th Avenue was O'Farrell's, a 'traditional Irish pub' and it truly was in every American way. Right down to the American owner who spent at least half an hour telling my dad how he was Irish through and through - my Dad being a Guinness fan and having travelled to Ireland allot asked 'so where in Ireland are you from' the reply 'oh, I've never been' made us all crack up!! Classic! Saying that the place was really nice and friendly, and the food (I had a huge burger and chips) was excellent.
So back to walking, we hadn't discovered what a fantastic invention the subway yet! We strolled over to 5th Avenue, and to the must visit of Abercrombie and Fitch, what an odd shop.
We all left my brother to shop and went to see the Rockefeller centre, there was still an ice rink there but we didn't feel adventurous enough to join the queue! Instead we decided to see the 'top of the rock'. I'm so glad we did, I'm not a height lover, in fact I'm unbelievably scared of them but it was brilliant. The lift (or elevator!) is an experience itself, as you begin to climb the roof lights up and you can see all the way up the lift shaft and also the speed at which your climbing. You then go through a history bit and can pose for a picture on the 'beam' just like the builders all those years ago, there is also a beam to walk across (although it has glass either side so not as scary1).
After a ridiculously busy day we went to a lovely restaurant to eat called ?? (will update when I remember it) which did excellent food.