Click on images to view full sized.
...Most days I start out with a long list of possibilities to select from for that day's events and activities, only to ignore them all and do something else entirely. At some point during my day however (if I am not ensconced comfortably in a museum somewhere), I know I am going to need to rest and regroup, preferably in a location that has food, clean restrooms, and air conditioning. And preferably away from the heat, noise, hustle and bustle and humidity of the afternoon city. I have several favorite resting spots, and I thought I would write about them today. You never now when you might be in need of one yourself. Some are perfect as afternoon havens of rest and relaxation, others less so.
I've mentioned Brookfield Place before on this blog, and I'm sure I will do so again because I use this as my personal 'cooling center' when I am in this part of Manhattan. PROS: It has lot's of public seating, food options aplenty, clean restrooms, free WiFi, air-conditioning, great views of the Hudson River, a weekly schedule of free music and arts events, and fancy shopping options if you need them. CONS: None that I can think of.
If you are visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, or One World Trade Center and need somewhere to rest and recuperate after, this is definitely the place to head to, and since it is right across the road from these hot spot visitor attractions, I'm surprised it is not packed. The fact that it isn't, suggests that most visitors don't know about Brookfield Place or its public facilities.
By the way, there is a long underground pedestrian tunnel that connects to the Oculus and the vast subway and PATH rail networks that are located there. The Oculus itself has dozens of options for shopping and eating, but no public seating apart from that provided by restaurants and cafes, which are generally reserved for paying customers.
Location: 230, Vesey Street, Manhattan.
Above and Below: Brookfield Place. A place to eat, shop, rest, and relax.
PROS: Lot's of public seating, plenty of food options, restrooms, free WiFi, and air-conditioning. CONS: due to the volume of people at this location, the restrooms are generally busy and not alway in the cleanest condition. I'm sure the janitors are doing their best, but the constant flood of visitors seeking relief in the two large restrooms on the lower ground floor must make their task almost impossible. As for the views, there are none to speak of until you surface onto the plaza above.
Despite the caveats noted, this is a place where you can go to hang out for ten minutes or ten hours! I'm sure the location closes down at some point very late in the evening or in the early morning hours, but from what I have observed, as long as you are not troubling other people, you can stay as long as you want.
Location: On Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets.
Above: 30 Rock, the building that hosts the Top Of The Rock viewing experience.
Above and Below: A towering installation from Jeff Koons entitled, Seated Ballerina.
Above: This terrace double as an ice skating rink in winter and an outdoor restaurant over the summer.
TIME WARNER CENTER, COLUMBUS CIRCLE
PROS: This is my 'go to' place for the cooling air-con, clean restrooms, reasonably priced sandwiches and coffee (or higher class eating if that's your thing), and fancy fashion shopping options -- although I rarely if ever shop there. In fact, I have no interest in 'fancy shopping options' whatsoever, but that's another story. CONS: My main complaint about this location is the lack of available public seating options. To put it bluntly, there are no public seating options. Like the Oculus, the only available seating is provided by restaurants and cafes to paying customers. Out of interest, on its website, the Center claims to have "A prestigious collection of the largest Michelin-starred restaurants under one roof..." So if you are planning on eating a fancy meal there, make sure your credit card is well primed.
Personally, I think the owners of this building are doing the least possible to fulfill the requirements of their contract with the city. Often, agreements with city authorities to build massive skyscrapers such as the Time Warner Center come with stipulations for accommodating the public in some way. The owners are certainly doing this, but it is clear they don't want Joe Public hanging around, cluttering up the open spaces in their building -- especially if they are not there to spend their money. I go here for the sandwiches and coffee from the Bouchon Bakery Take-Out (not Michelin-starred!), and the restrooms, and for a much appreciated cooling break from the humidity, but that's about it. This is not a place to linger at.
I'm sorry, but I give up! I've been trying for far too long to load some images of the Time Warner Center in this slot, but I suspect a combination of aging iPad 2 and less than user friendly Blogger software has tested my patience to the effing limit, and I give up!
So instead I have loaded three other images: above is the delicious Juiciest Lucy Inside Out burger (I'm sure it's called something like that!), which I had at A.G. Kitchen at 269 Columbus Avenue, Manhattan. Well worth the USD$17.00 cost.
And below, the scariest woman I have encountered so far on this trip! She resides in the Met Museum, and is not someone you'd want to bump into after the lights go out! You have been warned.
ONGOING WEEKLY EXPENSES
Museum Memberships $19.15 ($25.15)
AT&T SIM card $13.60 ($17.85)
MTA Pass $28.00 ($36.80)
Accommodation $152.00 ($200.00)
Total Ongoing: US$212.75 (AU$279.80)
ADDITIONAL DAILY EXPENSES
Sunday 9, July | Expenses $32.50 ($42.80)
Monday 10, July | Expenses $118.65 ($157.10)
Tuesday 11, July | Expenses $78.00 ($101.30)
Wednesday, July 12 | Expenses $30.75 ($40.05)
Thursday, July 13| Expenses $47.65 ($61.00)
Friday, July 14 | Expenses $37.75 ($48.25)
Saturday 15, July | Expenses $30.00 ($38.30)
Total Daily Expenses: US$375.30 | AU$488.80
TOTAL EXPENSES WEEK 4: US$588.05 (AU$768.60)
*Figures in brackets are Australian dollar amounts.