Live Blog Day 6 – The MET, Central Park, Covid Testing, Top Of The Rock, Peking Duck

December 6th, 2021

On our New York trips, we always get one day when the weather is a bit rubbish. Often the weather is absolutely despicable in this one day as a nasty front moves through and drenches the City. However on the whole we normally find the weather to be agreeable most days. With this in mind, we always schedule an inside day for one of our days but pencil it in so we can shift it around and drop it onto the bad weather day when it inevitably arises.

December 6th was this day, and the forecast was for low cloud and sporadic rain through the day. The perfect weather for heading inside. The First stop was the incredible Metropolitan Museum of Art.

First, we jumped on the Subway at Grand Central and hopped up to 88th/Lexington. We grabbed some donuts and coffee and headed into the park for a quick breakfast by the reservoir. The weather was cool and damp, with a lot of low clouds but still ok really. We then headed down to the MET.

The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

New York Explorer Pass 6th Attraction
The Met Entrance

Really this is a must-see on any visit to New York and despite visiting many times there is always something new (well old) on offer and the highlights are so amazing we never tire of seeing them.

There is a new automated ticketing system where you simply scan your pass at an electronic kiosk and you get your entry ticket right away. This was really neat and worked amazingly. So in we went.

Like most the natural way to start is the Egyptian Exhibits and we headed through looking for evidence the Egyptians knew about UFOs, we certainly found a lot, such as diagrams and statues of aliens and Ufo Hieroglyphics, but soon enough Kate told me to stop being so stupid!

The Egyptian Exhibit is really stunning and the highlights of the Museum, and the most recognizable as we passed through the Temple of Dandar.

We were definitely only planning a flying Visit today as we have strong memories of exhausted legs as we explored for hours on end in the past, so quickly moved through the Arms and Amour Exhibits, Medievil, American, And Europen Sculpture headed for the European Paintings and Modern Art Wings which we missed out on last time around due to Renovations.

Here were feasted on Monet, Picasso, Gauguin, Van Gough, Rembrandt, and many more. You do not really have to be interesting in Art to enjoy these pieces or the museum as the collection houses some really stunning and famous pieces and is worth checking out for almost everyone.

After a couple of hours of Culture, we headed out and the weather was holding up pretty well, so we decided to stroll back through the park as we have been neglecting this essential part of the New York Experience so far.

Central Park Stroll

We usually spend a lot of time n the Park as it is one of the most iconic places in New York, possibly America! For some reason, we had been neglecting it this trip and apart from our first-morning run had not been to the park at all.

We entered the park just below the Met and wandered across to the Belvedere Castle. This is one of the high points of the park and offers great views. We then wandered down through the Ramble where we have a history of getting pretty lost but made it through this time quite well.

We crossed Bow Bridge and headed toward the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace. While here we noticed something quite amazing happening. The Clouds above were literally breaking apart before our eyes and the Sun Pouring through. It was quite amazing.

The rest of our walk took us down the Mall, and past the Willam Ice Rink where we stopped for a while to watch the skating. Then down past the Home Alone Bridge and back up to Park West. The park really is a wonderful way to lower the pave and take a little time with Nature and away from the Madness on the Mean Streets of NYC!

Covid Testing

What trip is complete without the fun and excitement of a Covid Test. The playful discomfort as the medic inserts the swap into the back of your brain, the nervous excitement as you await your results, of which a positive could throw all your plans to chaos and disaster, of all the part of our trio the one we look forward to most it the now routine Covid Testing…Said NO ONE…EVER!

Unfortunately, as we left the UK there was no requirement for return testing, but as the new Omicron Varient Surged Pre-Departure Tests were made mandatory for return Travel. We have already tested to come here and would need a test on arrival, but now we needed another, at late notice, in a distant and unfamiliar City.

Fortunately, New York really has this situation down. Covid Testing Booths are set up on nearly every street corner, two on some, and they all seem to offer a really enticing Price Point of FREE!

As we left the Park and walked past the Plaza we noticed a Booth just behind the fountains, there was no queue and we had time to kill so decided to enquire. The Tests were indeed free, PCR, Available to Non-Residents, and would provide us with a full travel-ready certificate within 24-48 hours, well before our flight. So we filled in the forms and got our test. It took around 10 mins and we were on our way

Note – This is only our experience and we advise taking this with caution, but our results were delivered to us before we woke up the following morning, less than 18hours after the test. We still advise taking the longest estimate as your guide and not expecting rapid turn-around even if they do often come back this fast.

After this, we really didn’t have that much of a plan for the day. The weather was really uncertain and we were waiting to see how it all played out before deciding. As the Skies had miraculously cleared we thought er would see if the Top Of The Rock at Sunset was an option.

We headed into the Rockerfeller Center and joined the Queue to get tickets. There was basically no line so got straight to the front. We requested Sunset tickets for later in the day and this was no problem.

Normally you would not be able to get sunset tickets this late in the day as it really is the most popular time. We assume the poor forecast had put people off so as we moved fast we were able to get our tickets without any hassle at all.

Margon Cubana

As our entry time was not until later we headed back to the apartment for some lunch. We stopped off at Margon, our favorite Cuban Joint for some Cubana Sandwiches. These were seriously Awesome! We ate these back at the Apartment and then had a chill-out and sorted a few things out ready for heading home in the next few days.

Top Of The Rock

New York Explorer Pass 7th Attraction

We headed back to the Top of the Rock at our allotted time and headed on up. The TOTR has always been one of our favorite Decks and we were a little worried it may have lost some of its prowess due to the New and Fancy Edge and Summit Decks.

After the short ride up to the top, we stepped out onto the Rock open-air deck and all worries evaporated. The view out over the City is breathtaking. It really is just such a special place. Great views out over the park and stunning views of the Empire State Building with Downtown in the distance.

The Vista today was one of real Drama! The cloud base was just above the high towers and there were wispy clouds forming around the artificial mountain tops and the distant parts of New York faded into the gloom.

As I began Waxing Lyrical about the stunning scenery that was unfolding before us, Kate reminded me how usually such a gloomy and murky setting would have sent me into a rage. And she was right, it was a wonderful scene and I was genuinely happy to be able to capture the cityscape in a different light, but I was certainly blessed with the luxury of having seen it many times before!

The Outdoor deck really makes the TOTR what it is and the top part of the deck only has small drops to the lower deck so is unprotected, no glass, no wire just uninterrupted views, and possibly the best view in the City. After all these times after all the other decks, the Top of the Rock continues to take your breath away!

Not least because while the outdoor nature of the deck is its major upside, it’s also its downside. The wind was now howling, and the temperature up here was getting pretty low as night came. It had almost been T-shirt weather before but now some cooler air was definitely moving in. As we waited for Sunset the temp REALLY dropped dramatically.

We have never seen the Rock so Quiet at sunset and we had our own space and just huddled together trying to stay warm as the sky cycled through its day-to-night colors. It was Dramatic but not overly colorful there was a large band of cloud that seemed to kill off most of the color. It was an ok sunset, but still a really wonderful scene and a really different take on New York.

After it began getting darker and we could no longer bear the cold we headed back down. We headed past the tree for another look at the best tree in the world and decided to pop into FAO Swartz for some Home Alone Vibes.

Peking Duck

Back at the Apartment, we ordered some Chinese Food for delivery. We always have a Crispy/Peking Duck for dinner on Kate’s Birthday and as that was tomorrow and we would be otherwise engaged we decided now would be a perfect time.

We ordered a Duck from the Peking Duck House via Grub Hub. Unfortunately, this KO’d my Halifax Clarity Credit Card. At the time all we knew was it had refused to work on GrubHub but in reality, Halifax had put a block on it, which was embarrassing at Tea at the Plaza Tomorrow.

We slapped a different card into Grubhub and this worked and the Duck was on its way. We were not overly sure how this would work with us being in an Apart-Hotel, but right on time we got a knock on the door and the food was right there.

There was a huge amount of food. The Duck came with 10 huge pancakes, far thicker and more rustic than what we are used to back home and with a barrel of Hoi Sin Sauce, Cucumber, and Spring Onion and a portion of rice! Far more than we needed but we attacked it with Gusto. A little Sad we were not sharing with our precious Cat, Maui, who would have loved to help!

The whole point of having an apartment was so we could do this and just enjoy some easy downtime on our own terms and that is exactly what we did that evening. Just chilled in front of the TV while we digested the evening’s meal.

Walking Total – 21,553 Steps – 10.9 Miles

A moderate day on our feet, but the Met is always hard work and while the walk in the park had been leisurely it still took its toll, but overall a less damaging day on the legs and feet.

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Day 7 – Empire State Building – Holiday Tea At The Plaza – 230 Fifth >>>

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