The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world. F. Scott Fitzgerald
31.03.2016 - 07.04.2016 8 °C
Touch-down at JFK and Silky had rolled out the red carpet for us. Not really of course, we got to his and Hannah's apartment on the Upper East Side and after ringing the doorbell 5 or 6 times we decided the only thing to do was hunker down and enjoy a couple of ales. Thankfully he did turn up eventually and we were able to dump our bags and hit the big city. Our plan was to see as much as possible on and off the beaten path so prepare yourselves for photo-overload.
Central Park in springtime is beautiful, full of blossoming trees and our first site of daffs since 2014!
After all that peace and quiet it was time to venture into midtown Manhattan. Times Square, St Patricks Cathedral, The Rockefeller Center and yellow cabs flying in every direction up 5th, Park and Madison Ave.. Sadly the iconic old-school taxis have been phased out for something more appropriate for the 21st century.
As we weaved our way downtown the perfect geometrical grids and towering sky-scrapers gave way to the Soho streets where we met up with Silks, Hannah and Kezza to sample the local pizza slices and pile into a stand-up comedy show.
Nothing says Manhattan like a jog round the Empire State building followed by a cocktail-led brunch. Silks and hannah were not only impeccable hosts but they also knew a LOT of places to booze!
Our first day in Brooklyn to see the Nets, no sign of the Jiggaman, he was probably worried about being upstaged by Mr Whammy (not pictured).
Met Gallery, largest art museum in the US and an incredible collection taken from all corners of the globe.
Grand Central Station, you go for the architecture and stay for the freebies. Free caps and tickets to see the Yankees you say? Yes please, 4.
First donut in New York, chalk it up.
Getting highbrow in New York Public Library
Talib Kweli once said " Brooklyn, New York City, where they paint murals of Biggie" and he was not wrong. The long-awaited hip hop history of our adventure began here in BK and for half the team it was a dream come true and a chance to wax lyrical about the fascinating behind the scenes stories of every building and street touched by that magnificent art form. For the other half it was mostly long rambling stories that started off vaguely interesting and then moved into territory that was best blocked-out by a hidden pair of earphones.
Prospect Park in near-freezing conditions. Hiding out with the bonzais seemed like the only option.
New York Transit Museum
Back in Manhattan we took our time visiting the One World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial. Enough column inches have been filled on this, we would just like to say it was extremely moving, tasteful and forward-looking.
Uptown Baby, Uptown Baby, we gets down baby etc...
Less far along the road to gentrification than Brooklyn, Harlem remains the black cultural and political capital of New York. With the bad old days of repression and denigration and the ensuing lack of education that followed hopefully firmly in the past it's an incredible place to soak up diverse and interesting culture, cool art, mouth-watering food and Jazz history starting at Duke Ellington Circle.
The 4 elements of hip hop
Sylvias Soul Food
Big L Rest in Peace
El Barrio, New York's only Latino museum
Museum of The City of New York
Harlem Graffiti Wall of Fame
After pounding the streets of Harlem we wandered over Madison Ave Bridge into the Bronx
Bronx Museum of Art
Kool Herc, credited with originating hip hop music at block parties on Sedgwick Ave right here in the Bronx in the early 1970's. A true pioneer and legend of the breaks. To all the DJs out there this is the man you have to thank for the fact that we now rock two turntables instead of one.
As the mercury plummeted we wrapped up and headed from one Bronx institution to another. Gooooooooooooooooooooo Yankees
Back in Brooklyn, this time Williamsburg for some Halcyon record-digging and classic Thursday night bowlathon at Gutter