A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about shopping

Shop until you drop


View New York with the Bro' on bejjan's travel map.

Most part of this day was dedicated to shopping. Yet another warm and muggy day along the Streets of New York and it was even worse down under in the subway system. But it was still worth the effort to go down in the overheated subway and ride a few stations than to walk the same distance along the streets. We entered Port Authority Bus Terminal and just as last time I was here (3 years ago) it was not easy finding your way to the right gate. The bus terminal consists of 6 floors on which busses leaves from four of these floors. There are totally 223 gates to choose from, so you should definitely make sure to be there in time avoiding stress. My brother Danny and I found our gate with 10 minutes to spare. We had purchased return bus tickets with Gray Line but you can get to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in other ways too.
The bus ride took about an hour and upon arrival at Woodbury we went straight to Visitor Center to collect our discount coupons (included in the Gray Line bus ticket). A well needed map is included as well, which is needed since the shopping area is big! There are 220 stores to choose from and all are at ground level, so you will be walking a lot if you want to visit every store. But on the other hand, there is something for everyone. For example, more common brands like GAP, Aéropostale, Reebok, LOFT and MaxMara and if you want to spoil yourself there are Dior, DVF, Gucci, Michael Kors and Armani… and of course Calvin Klein ;)

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As a Calvin Klein freak that store was a must :) I must have spent like an hour and just wallowed. But who wouldn’t have done that with regular discount and additional 45 % off? I can tell you that the suitcase I had brought was quickly filled up after that visit ;)
It’s obviously not just shoe and clothes shops in the area, also a lot of dining options are also available. McDonald’s, Vegetarian Food, Tacos, Pizza, cafes, ice cream and so on. One definitely does not have to go around hungry, that’s for sure. All and all, my brother and I were there for about 4 hours, but it was enough for both of us to visit the stores we wanted. So, it was just to bring the now well-filed suitcase and sit down in the bus for a ride back to New York. Depending on when you take the bus back you must bear in mind that you may end up in the middle of New York’s rush hour, so you must ensure having time marginal in case you have somewhere to be after the shopping. Once back in the city, we went down to the subway to get back to the hotel.

During the afternoon we used our tickets to Empire State Building that we had bought in advance. These tickets are not specific for one day or time but are valid for one year from date of purchase. I had made sure that we had gotten tickets for observation deck on the 86th and 102nd floor. However, it’s not certain that you get to visit the top floor due to weather or wind, and then you don’t get no money back (access to the 102nd floor costs $20 extra per person). Therefore, we had made sure to visit the building on a nice day with great views and almost no wind. But at this particular day the elevator between 86th and 102nd floor was out of service due to “mechanical error” as they said, but we would get our money back for our prepaid tickets. We were lucky anyhow, now when we couldn’t visit the top floor.

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Well up on the 86th floor you will get a fantastic view of New York. As a recommendation you should visit a cloud free day during day hours. Thanks to the 360° view you will see Central Park, East River, Brooklyn Bridge, Hudson River and Statue of Liberty among many things.
We ate at Wendy’s before sunset and now we had time scheduled (8.15 pm) for Rockefeller Center and its observation deck Top of the Rock. These reserved tickets are booked for a specific time and you can’t access the building prior that time. But I needed to use the restroom so the guard was nice enough to let us in earlier.

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The observation deck was crowded and just as the sun had gone down, we all stood there waiting for Empire State Building to light up. Eventually a guard came and announced that Empire wasn’t going to be lighted up tonight due to the terrorist attack in Istanbul. That was one of the highlights during the visit at Top of the Rock, to see Empire State Building light up, but that wasn’t the case this evening. We got a little disappointed though. But we still got great pictures of New York and the millions of lights light up the city during at night.
The evening ended up in the top roof bar at our hotel with a Mojito drink each.

Posted by bejjan 09:01 Archived in USA Tagged new_york shopping empire_state_building rockefeller_center top_of_the_rock Comments (0)

From death trap to tourist trap


View New York with the Bro' on bejjan's travel map.

As soon as we stepped outside of the hotel it was like hitting a wall of muggy air. Now it was extreme! But the weather reports told about a hefty thunderstorm later on today, thank God!

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The day started with a visit at Intrepid Sea, Air &Space Museum. It’s a big aircraft carrier that participated in several wars; World War II, Cold War and Vietnam War among others.

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F-14 Tomcat

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MiG-21

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EnterPrise

The ship contains not only fighter jets manufactured by Grumman, Mikoyan Gurevich and McDonnell, but also a full-sized Concord aircraft and a submarine (that you can climb into) and the space shuttle Enterprise are on display. For the more adventurous one is flight simulators and a lot of other things to explore. Well worth a visit even if you’re not interested in airplanes.

After lunch we walked south along Hudson River to eventually end up at the High Line. The wind was fresh along the water but it was still muggy and humid. Unlike last time I was in New York, they now had built the High Line even longer with yet another segment.

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The High Line has its origin in the railroad which transported freight along 10th and 11th Avenue between 1846 and 1941. Annually the trains transported 3 million tons of freight (food) between cargo terminal on Beach and Hudson Street to Chamber Street. The trains were sometimes several blocks long and disrupted the intersecting traffic along the avenues. Despite the low speed at 10 km/h fatal accidents between trains and pedestrians were common. Although cowboys (so-called West Side Cowboys) were introduced early on riding in front of the train waving a red flag the accidents continued and the railroad got called Death Avenue. A report from 1908 showed that 436 people had died along the Death Avenue during a time period of 56 years, children were overrepresented among those.
So in 1929 an agreement to start building an elevated railroad system to replace the tracks on the ground was reached. The train continued to roll on the ground along the avenues until March 29th in 1941 when George Hayden on his horse Cyclone was the very last West Side Cowboy to ever ride in front of a train on Death Avenue. The elevated track wasn’t built directly above the avenues but meandering in between the buildings and linked to the fabrics and factories in the city. The need of the cargo train was reduced during the 1950ies when the trucks were popular and in the 1960ies parts of the railroad were demolished. Cargo trains kept on rolling until 1980 when the train traffic completely stopped. Today the High Line has become a 2,5 km long green park and a well-needed break from the intense traffic on the streets of New York, like a green oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle.

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When we had walked as far as we could on the High Line, we were not far away from Christopher Street and the candy store named Sockerbit (Swedish for “bit of sugar”). And yeah, they have Swedish candy. At exorbitant prices, but still ;) And Romerska Bågar, at pick and mix… which is not easy to find in Sweden nowadays. So obviously some candy was bought there. When we were on our way down to the metro to go back to our hotel a big thunder was heard and then it started to rain… YES! Finally! Well needed.

Our hotel wasn’t far away from the biggest Macy’s store at 34th Street, so we took the opportunity to visit later in the evening. An enormous department store with floor after floor filled with clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories and so on. I can almost guarantee that anyone will find something here. And if you’re not interested in shopping the wooden escalators might be worth a visit.

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Like a magnet I was drawn to their Calvin Klein department and found a nice shirt with embroidered back. It almost also came down to a pair of shoes, but they didn’t have my size. Even my brother found clothes that he bought and he ended up leaving Macy’s with a bigger shopping bag than me, ha ha ;)

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The evening ended with a drink each up in the top roof bar at the hotel and Empire State Building was lighted up with red-white-red colors to honor Canada Day. Danny and I wanted to try out as many different drinks as possible during the week and this evening was no exception. I tried out a Chocolate Martini that was okay in the beginning but tasted mostly chocolate in the end.
The long-awaited thunderstorm appeared during the evening. From the top roof bar, it looked like some kind of strobe light was directed up towards the low clouds, but we realized pretty quickly that it was lightning. And you could barely hear the rumble of thunder due to the music played in the bar. So, we decided rather quickly to go back to the hotel room before the heavy rain started.

Posted by bejjan 09:19 Archived in USA Tagged new_york shopping empire_state_building fighter_jets the_high_line Comments (0)

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