We had a great long weekend in The Big Apple this past April. There is just nothing like the energy of a big city and we just love to be in New York when we can. This time, we did a wonderful touristy thing – a lower Manhattan “Architecture Cruise.” We boarded our boat at Chelsea Piers and it took us south from there down the Hudson and past Liberty Island (with pause for photographs of Lady Liberty of course.) Passing Governor’s and Ellis Islands, we rounded the southern end of Manhattan near The Battery and then North up the East River as far as passing under the Williamsburg Bridge. The theme of the tour was that it was hosted and narrated by a charming and very knowledgeable architect who told us all about the history of many buildings along the way, not only right on the water but in view within the city as well. It was fascinating to see the city from the water, which is not something I had ever seen before. (A very young Working Stiff probably took the Staten Island ferry long ago but we can’t be sure at this point.) It is fair to add that the fact that the small refurbished motor yacht on which we rode was serving wine by the glass was an important and welcome part of the overall experience! It was particularly nice to see the new look of the World Trade Center area up close and we took many pictures of the awesome Freedom Tower. Fortunately no planes did emergency landings on the Hudson while we were there!
For information on various Manhattan cruises, check out The Classic Harbor Line at sail-nyc.com.
We took the 1.5 hour lower Manhattan tour which is now called “The Statue and Skyline Tour,” but there are others to choose from. The tour we took was about $42 per adult which included one glass of wine per ticket. (Fear not – you can buy more.) We would love to do one of the around-the-island cruises on one of our next visits. For this trip we stayed at The Westin Grand Central, which is of course right near Grand Central Station and roughly across the street from the Chrysler Building. A really good general location to operate from in Midtown East. Staying at nice hotels such as a Westin in New York can challenge the budget, but what are you going to do? It is the center of the world!
Check out the Westin and other hotels in the Starwood chain at www.SPG.com. I have stayed at many Starwood properties (Four Points, Sheraton, Westin, W, Aloft, St. Regis) both all over the US and abroad, and can recommend them whole-heartedly.
The Working Stiff