Live Blog Day 4 – Downtown – Statue Cruise, One World Observatory, 911 Museum, Brooklyn Bridge – Pebble Beach at Sunset, and Bar 54

December 4th, 2021

We had actually tried to take it pretty easy on our tourist activities so far in New York. We have only visited 2 paid attractions (The Summit and FlyNYON) however we had already clocked up well over 20miles of walking and had seen a huge amount of the City. Today, however, despite tired legs and achy bodies we were to revert to tourist mode and hit Downtown hard.

Manhattan Skyline

We awoke to a seriously glorious day. The Skies were clear and the sun beamed down beautifully. Temps were 10-12°C (50-54°F) and the whole city seem so alive and sparkling. New York really is special when it’s like this, and to top it off we were reading reports from home of arctic Blizzards, freezing temps, and deep snow, wonderful!

We headed across times square to the 42nd Subway street station and hopped in the Red Line (1,2,3) straight to BAttery Park, alternatively, take the Green Line (4,5) to Bowling Green from Grand Central.

Statue Cruises

Go City Explorer Pass Attraction 1

Our first attraction of the day was the Statue Cruise out to Liberty Island. We used the Go City Explorer Pass for this and the way the Pass works has changed somewhat. You now do not need to exchange for a ticket but simply queue up and jump straight on board.

The problem with this is that is what everyone else does. There are no usable timed slots anymore and you all just line up in one big queue for the next boat. We were there at 9 am ready for the first departure at 9.30 and still had a heck of a queue to contend with, But we just made it aboard the very crowded first boat our to the Island.

The Bay was flat calm and the cruise out was wonderful there was a big crush on the top deck for the best Photo spots but most of these can simply be captured on the return boats that are much quieter.

After landing on the island we made our way to the Skyline side and found a post for a wonderful Picnic Breakfast. The weather was wonderful and we just took our time enjoying the stunning Cityscape. We then strolled around the Island and go a nice up-close view of the Statue.

After some time taking in the statue and the wonderful location we noticed a ferry was about to leave and was also nearly empty so we hopped on and continued our day. The Ride back takes you to Ellis Island where you can hop off and explore the history of immigration into the United States. We opted to stay on the boat on this trip and headed right back to Manhatten.

One World Observatory

Go City Explorer Pass Attraction 2

We walked the short distance from battery park up through Wall Street, past the Charging Bull, and into 911 Memorial Gardens. Here we picked up tickets for the Museum* and headed over to the One World Observatory.

Unfortunately, the next available time was 13:30 and it was still only 11:00 so quite a bit of time to kill so we decided to pay the small upgrade fee to get us in straight away. We were also able to buy $15 of drinks at the bar for only $10 which seemed like a deal.

The One World Observatory is New Yorks Highest Observatory, in fact, it’s the highest in America, and is still quite modern and has all the fancy bells and whistles you expect. The Ride to the top was so effortless. Compared to the Mayhem Yesterday at the Summit, it was an absolute Breeze.

The Arrival Deck is really something to behold. You are all lined up and a short film is played on the screen in front, then almost without wanting the whole wall lifts up revealing the entire Manhatten Skyline before you! It really is breathtaking!

The Deck itself is all indoors which has its good and bad points. The weather barely affects, unless there is low cloud, and it’s nice and warm with its own bar and restaurant, along with a cafe. The Views are 360° as the deck occupies an entire floor!

The View is seriously stunning and the extra height really is noticeable as you tower above everything in the City. But the location means it lacks a certain something. There is no Downtown View and the MidtownSkyscapers just look a little small from up here. It is a stunning view but we prefer the Midtown Decks.

The other issue is the Glass. For Photography it just kills your shots. There is no way to really compose anything as any angle on the glass and the reflections just ruin things. So all you can do is shoot head-on through the glass and even then you have issues. It’s fine if all you want is a selfie with the Manhattan Skyline behind you.

We spent a whale wandering around taking some photos before hitting the bar for a rest. The $15 stretched to 2 drinks each (with a bit added in) which was great value considering the view!

We then headed down. At the exit, we tried to be clever and ended up getting a bit lost. In the end, we came out in the Oculus and then headed over to the Museum.

September 11th Museum

Go City Explorer Pass Attraction 3

The Museum is restricting how many people are allowed into the Museum when using Attraction Passes so you really have to get there early to bag a ticket, and that is why we got ours before the One World Observatory.

This meant we could head straight in. We have been to the Museum a number of times and this is more of a flying visit to pay our respects. The Museum is a really moving place. It really brings back that terrible day and highlights the immense loss of so many people.

The Events of 911 really are carved into New York the Museum is a fitting and lasting reminder of the loss.


After the Museum we jumped on a Tube over to Dumbo to grab some skyline shots and also a Burger in our Favourite Burger Joint, Shae Shack. We are still undecided between the Shack and In-N-Out Burger so just have to keep trying them until we work it out!

One thing we are sure about is the Brooklyn Bridge Location is Stunning, right under the Bridge. After Burger, Cheesy Fries, and a drink we headed down to the Pier Park, for the Skyline View. Next, we wandered over into Dumbo for more shots of the bridge. The area was really packed and getting a good shot of the classic Dumbo Street Scape was impossible without a thousand people in the shot. So we wandered down to Pebble Beach.

This is a Classic Skyline View with the Brooklyn Bridge in the Foreground and the Downtown Skyline in the rear. As we watched the sun go down the Sky really colored up beautifully. There were several Wedding Partys down here and they will have got some incredible Wedding Photos!

After the sunset, we walked back to the Brooklyn Bridge Park for one last Skyline View. As we did the Sky simply set on fire! It was absolutely stunning and the Photos below are barely edited. In fact, the Statue Photo Below is actually toned down as it just did not look really out of the camera!

These are the Magical little bits of good look that just make these trips so special.

After waiting for the Sky to return to some normality we headed for the Subway with huge grins on our faces. And powered back up to Midtown. We were not really hungry due to just having Shake Shack so decided to hit one of our Favorite Rooftop Bars.

Bar 54

We knew Bar 54 was pretty close but until we pulled up the maps we hadn’t realized how close to the AKA it was. Literally a block across so we headed straight there after a little preening. Bar 54 requires bookings in advance, but we had the foresight to do this while we were still down at Dumbo so we got in no problems.

The Drinks are pretty pricey we ordered two Cocktails and they were $23 search but were seriously good. Due to the now really chilly weather, the Outdoor deck had no seating but you had free access to head out and enjoy the simply incredible view of the City and Times Square Below.

We alternated between the warm and noisy bar and the stunning view from the outside deck.

After this, it had been a long and tiring day with a lot of walking so we headed back to the apartment for another early night ready for another busy day tomorrow!

Walking Total – 23,562 Steps – 12.1 Miles

Live Blog – Trip Report

<<< Day 3 – Night Flight Over New York City – FlyNYON Doors Off

Day 5 – The Edge – Hudson Yards, The Highline – Little Island – The Ride – Steakhouse >>>

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