Our sole purpose of staying in Allentown was to avoid getting any closer to New York City than we had to with the bus, and to have a sure-fire way of routing around it using interstate bypasses without taking I-95. We figured we would get enough traffic to contend with by simply driving in and out of New York City and New Jersey in the car.
We opted to stay at the Allentown KOA. Aside from finding that the drainage ran right by our front door, it was fine. It was very picturesque and the owners pleasant. The front desk lady sounded just like my aunt Joan, with her thick Philly accent.
We spent a couple of nights in NYC at the Hilton Garden Inn off 8th and 48th. It was super close to Times Square and cost half what the Marriott Marquis did. I used to stay at the Marquis frequently, but that was when I had an expense account. At upwards of $800 a night, I won’t be staying there again.
Our first day in New York was spent visiting the Empire State Building. We only went to the 86th floor because the case for spending another $40 to go up an additional 20 floors wasn’t compelling. The views were very nice, as you can see. Before we set out, we had lunch at the Playwright Celtic Pub. My pesto chicken sandwich was good, but Alayne’s Reuben was only so-so.
The first night out, we did visit the Marriott Marquis to enjoy sunset cocktails in their rotating restaurant named The View, which is on the 40th floor. It was very nice, but not cheap. Once past 8 p.m., they charge a $16 per person cover charge. You’d think for that sort of money they would at least keep the windows clean. Nevertheless, it was a very nice evening that was topped off with an excellent nuevo-Mexican meal at Toloache. My miso-tequila brazed cod was delicious, as was Alayne’s seafood tumbada with lobster, crab and other goodies. We also enjoyed a Hamachi ceviche appetizer.
Our second day in NYC was spent going to Liberty and Ellis islands as well as seeing the World Trade Center memorial. I’ll let the captions for the memorial speak for themselves, and if I ever catch my granddaughter acting like that (which I most certainly don’t expect), she’ll have cause to remember that moment for the rest of her life.
During our second night in NYC, we mainly hung out in Times Square. The weather wasn’t super-cooperative as you might notice by the umbrellas. Nonetheless, we enjoyed it and capped the evening off with a modern Italian dinner at Becco’s. I’d been there before, and knew the food was good. It’s so good that Christian Slater was eating behind us the first time I was there (as if his taste in fine dining could somehow rival my own).
And there you have it. Lots of sightseeing, and fine dining as usual.
Following what felt like a very short week, we were off to our next stop.
That’s the report. Catch up with you in Connecticut.