Back in March, Phil and I spent two weeks visiting New York and Boston (travelling there via Reykjavik).
It was our first time visiting both cities (and the US for that matter) so I’m far from an expert on what to see, but I still thought it would be fun to share what we did.
As a first-time visitor I made a couple of discoveries:
- No-one could understand what I was saying! Clearly my accent is stronger than I realise as I had to repeat myself a lot in restaurant & shops. One guy on the street asked if I was speaking ‘Deutschland’.
- Jay walking isn’t a big deal, as I had been led to believe by the movies (in fact everyone walks into traffic all the time).
We managed to visit a respectable number of museums: the Met, Natural History, Frick Collection, Guggenheim, Cloisters, African Burial Ground museum, FIT and National Museum of the American Indian. In Boston, we really enjoyed the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (which is housed in a stunning building), MIT museum (lots of kinetic art & holograms), and Fenway Park.
Make sure to check a list of museum free & pay-what-you-choose days (like this one). There are also great museums, including FIT and National Museum of the American Indian, which are free every day.
As first time visitors, we took in lots of the most famous sights, including Liberty and Ellis Islands (and would highly recommend the free ranger tours – there are signs on the islands where you wait for the next tour to begin), top-of-the-rock, the Highline and walked across Brooklyn and Queensborough Bridges.
We visited a few movie locations, including from Home Alone, and Ghostbusters. 55 Central Park West, where Dana lives in the film, is a luxury apartment block off central park (residents have included Ginger Rogers, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan). The Ghostbusters headquarters was a working fire station, but is now sadly shut down and currently surrounded by scaffolding.
For shopping, we really enjoyed Brooklyn Flea, ABC Carpets (which reminded by of Liberty’s homeware sections), various green-markets, the second-hand shops on West 17th Street, and the Strand Bookshop, which has an excellent mixture of new and second-hand books.
I had prepared a long list of doughnut & ice cream shops to try. We especially loved Donut Pub, which is a family business, open 24/7, and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, which is open late. We also enjoyed doughnuts/cake at Sullivan Street Bakery, Dough (at Brooklyn Flea), Doughnut Plant (who have fabric doughnuts on the wall), and ice cream (sold from a converted firehouse) at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. We got a giant slice of pizza at Ben’s Pizzeria, near to the Comedy Cellar, which is featured on the opening credits of tv show Louie. And we ate giant portions of macaroni cheese at Kellogg’s Diner in Brooklyn (right by Barcade).
We loved the original Barcade (bar & arcade) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where all of the vintage arcade machines cost 25 cents. We visited Dave and Busters arcade in Times Square to play newer arcade machines, and happened to visit on Wednesday when the games are half-price. We would have also visited Coney Island arcade but it was closed for the winter. And on the subject of gaming, we couldn’t resist Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Plaza.
And, last but not least, I also visited a number of sewing and knitting locations. I had (restrained) shopping trips to beautiful stores Purl Soho and Brooklyn General Store. I met up with Amy, Karen, Sonja, and Emma Jayne to visit the Garment District (Mood and Elliott Berman). And, amazingly, we managed to bump into Peter en-route to Mood! I went to look at the ‘Little Singer Building’, which was once the Singer headquarters and has a beautiful wrought iron facade. And, I popped into Workroom Social in Brooklyn. I should note that I (dozily) had just assumed that Workroom Social had a storefront where I could just turn up. It doesn’t, but luckily Jennifer spotted a tweet of mine saying I was planning to visit, so let me into the studio, where a sweater knits class was in session with Olgalyn Jolly of O! Jolly! The studio is beautiful and when I get to visit New York again I’d love to actually take a class there – rather than just crash one! (P.S. If you’re visiting Workroom Social, nearby Covenhoven (recommended to us by Jennifer) is a good spot for a grilled cheese and craft beer).
In Boston, Jenny took time out to meet us for tea, and to shop in Gather Here. Gather Here have a beautifully curated fabric selection, I could have bought lots but restricted myself to one length of fabric, which is in the process of becoming a Kenedy Dress.
Further post to follow with photos from the textile exhibitions I visited while in New York and Boston.