Friday, December 28, 2018

Manhattan: Walking the High Line and Chelsea Market

We walk through Times Square on our way down to Macy's and the High Line, a 1.45-mile (2.3 km) long park, greenway, and elevated walkway created on the old New York Central Railway freight line tracks through lower west Manhattan.  In Times Square, the neon signs are still lit up in the daylight and the square is filled with people staring up at the videos, messages, and advertisements.

 Times Square in the morning

Macy's flagship store is located at Herald Square, on West 34th (inspiring the 1947 hit movie "Miracle on 34th Street), between 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) and 7th Avenue, and is completely decorated for the season, with windows packed full of holiday sights.

Entrance to Macy's

Macy's windows

The streets from Macy's to the High Line (we enter the High Line at West 30th and 10th Avenue) are full of random decorations in front of the buildings, some up for the holidays, some more permanent.

Sights along the streets

The High Line is full of people walking on this cold day and enjoying the sights of southwestern Manhattan, ranging from views of New Jersey across the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty visible from one of the small parks on the path, and all the new construction filling the area.  The High Line is also packed with art:  sculptures along the path and paintings on the buildings.

 Views along the High Line

Statue of Liberty in the distance

 Art along the High Line

At the southern end of the High Line, it's a short walk to the Standard Hotel, where the ice skating ring from previous years has been replaced with a winter garden in which people can stroll, sit, and enjoy their hot chocolate.

 Winter garden at the Standard Hotel

Two blocks over from the Standard Hotel is our next destination, the former Nabisco headquarters, which relocated here from Chicago in 1906, after the company was formed by merging over 100 bakeries into the National Biscuit Company, later renamed Nabisco.  This 22-building complex, now known  as the Chelsea Market, is an indoor urban food hall, shopping market, office building, and television production facility.  Chelsea Market was recently purchased by Google, whose New York headquarters is located across the street. 

 Chelsea Market

We've had quite a walk so far today and start to think about lunch and plan the adventures for the afternoon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Manhattan for Christmas

We're in New York City a few days before Christmas and first walk from Bryant Park to our hotel, passing a few fabulous decorations along the way.  It's starting to look a lot like Christmas!

 Random sights along the streets

There are two important landmarks that we have to visit soon after our arrival:  Times Square and Rockefeller Center.  We walk through Times Square and gaze in awe (as always) at the brightly-lit billboards surrounding the square and the people from all over the world filling the area.

 Times Square

At Rockefeller Center, the tree is lit and the ice skating rink is full of people enjoying the weather, the crowd, and the season.  Skating stops briefly in the rink, leaving two people on the ice for a proposal (she says yes).  The 2018 tree is a 72-foot (22-meter) Norway Spruce, topped by a 9 foot, 4 inch (2.85 meter) Swarovski Star with 3 million Swarovski crystals on 70 triangular spikes.

Pause in the skating

Rockefeller Center tree, day and night

And, on our way out of Rockefeller Center, we pass the Radio City Music Hall, where the Rockettes are putting on their annual Christmas Spectacular Show.

Radio City Music Hall

We've hit some main sites and are starting to feel at home.  Tomorrow, we'll head out to revisit a few old favorite places (Central Park) and find some new ones to explore.