This took a long time coming, I know!
Toby and I got to escape to New York on our last weekend together in the US (yep child free thanks to Uncle Rory) . New York has many memories for us both individually and as a couple, we got engaged there, and is also one of our favourite cities.
We took the early bus up to New York. Sadly it didn’t arrive as early as we had hoped. After several people having wrong tickets or no tickets and causing all sorts of who ha, like standing in the door so the bus couldn’t go anywhere till they got what they wanted, we finally made it approx 2 hours later than planned, mind due with no a/c. Trust us to get the bus with the a/c on the blink. We were all sweating terribly, I was glad we got the front seat, the back of the bus would have been much worse, I’m sure!
As soon as we hoped off the bus we had about 5 activities we could do potentially, depending on time before needing to catch the bus back that night. First up was lunch. I had picked the restaurant that I wanted to go to.
It’s called “5 Leaves” and is run by Aussies, friends of Heath Leadgers, in Greenpoint. It was a very cute, cafe/bar. Very popular we had to wait about 30mins before we got in and seated. The good point to that was for me, means it must be a good restaurant if people want to wait. The place had a lovely atmosphere about it and nice and laid back, very Aussie! The MD/part owner was great and had some good stories, like for example about how they got the place furnished, how most of the items in the place were given to them. I really like the decor/design of the cafe.
Now to the food. It was delicious! I had a sandwich and salad and it was the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten, if you go make sure to ask for a BLAT. From memory I think Toby had the burger, he loves the Aussie burgers with egg and bacon in it. Overall it was a great location, great food, great company, and great decor. We highly recommend this place to anyone that wants some food on their sojourn in NY.
Once our bellies were full we went for a walk around McCarren Park a block, which had some lovely history. Our first stop was McCarren Pool.
The McCarren pool, is on the border between Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn, opened in July 1936. One of 10 large city pools built by Robert Moses with federal Works Progress Administration funds, the six-acre pool could accommodate 6,800 swimmers and was said to have been among the largest public pools built at that time. The design, by Moses’ architect Aymar Embury II, features a striped arch, more than 38 feet high, that served as a bathhouse. Free entry!
The other nine WPA pools still function, but McCarren closed in 1983 for renovation. Some residents, claiming it had become a magnet for raucous kids and illegal activities, opposed reopening it.
Now, 26 years later, it remains shut. In 2001, the city presented a $26 million plan for the pool but nothing ever came of it. A spokesperson for the Department of Parks and Recreation said that currently no plans exist for the pool because funding is not available. “Right now, it is the city’s most poignant ruin,” Francis Morrone wrote in the New York Sun last year. It’s now said to cost around $40 million to restore.
Above is it’s former glory, and the pictures with us in it is it’s current state, sad huh. I hope it gets fully restored, being a lover of architecture and history.
Our next stop was just on the other side of the park. The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration, on North 12th Street, built by architect Louis Allmendinger between 1916 and 1921, a few years before the pool. I was surprised it was built with Brick. Before and now.
After that we realised we only had time for one more thing and so chose to go see what is happening with Ground Zero. Three buildings already built and from memory a total of 8 will be replacing the twin towers. The building pictured below looks like armour.
I can’t remember what the monument was of, but hey it was right outside the first building built and it looked cool, so alas we took a snap shot. We then hurried back to the the bus stop to get a bus home. Sure enough, there was a bus before our one still there, so we hoped on and got home a bit earlier than we’d anticipated. A/C intact – yes!!
All in all a really nice day. Toby and I really enjoy our time our together. It sure helps that we have similar interests also.