New York City – Central Park & Environs!

Robin Boyle North American, Travel

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This continues on from New York – Lower Manhattan!

With only one day left in New York, there was much we had planned to do but could not fit in. We concentrated on the Central Park area. The weather was chilly and overcast, with rain from time to time, making good photography difficult.

Empanadas for breakfast

Our barman from our first night, Brandon, had told us that we must go to Empanada Mama, in 9th Avenue, just at the end of our street. He explained how it serves over 40 different types of empanadas and that it is open 24/7. The only time we could fit it in was for breakfast on our last day. We tried six different flavours but could have eaten sixteen. Here are shots of the menu to indicate the variety of deliciousness of these little pastry parcels.

Columbus Circle

We held off for coffee until we had walked up to Columbus Circle where there is a concentration of high quality food outlets, including Per Se, the Michelin three star restaurant. Good coffee and pastries are not hard to find. There is an enormous basement level “market” selling all types of wonderful products.

Lincoln Centre

We walked on to the Lincoln Centre, a complex with separate venues for ballet, opera and concerts. We booked to see a performance by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at 7.30. Across the road is The Smith, one of our “must visits” from our barman Brandon. The photo below was taken mid-morning. We booked for 9.30 pm – then we would experience a totally different ambience.

Central Park

It was my first ever visit to Central Park, an extraordinary range of gardens and special features, edged by beautiful buildings. The deciduous trees had not yet budded but there were many fruit trees in blossom, and bulbs had recently come to life too.


Metropolitan Museum of Art

The MMA is just amazing – surely in the top few museums and art galleries in the world. We could only spend a few hours there. We needed days.

Fifth Avenue

A stroll down Fifth Avenue reveals some famous names and brands; the Plaza Hotel and Saks are some of the well-known landmarks.

The New York Philharmonic

This is one of the world’s great orchestras. Conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, the orchestra played Mozart’s piano concerto No. 22 and Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony. (If you are interested, click here for the Second Movement of the Bruckner and turn the volume right up.)

The last supper in NYC

The Smith at Lincoln Square (it has several locations) had been recommended to us by our barman, Brandon. It was just 200 metres from the concert hall. When we arrived at around 9.40, we were thankful we had made a booking as the place was packed and there was a large queue. For us, it was a remarkable dining experience: such a buzz, very interesting food, such a contented crowd in several connected spaces, and we could hear each other. It is very difficult to explain the experience in words and it was difficult to photograph at that time of night: the second photo below is from their website. Thanks to Brandon for a perfect last food experience in NYC, If we ever had the chance to make a return visit, we would grab it. And we would also try Brandon’s several other recommendations that we couldn’t fit in.


Tomorrow we start driving northwards. For a continuation of our travels, see: Boston – We eat at the chef’s bar!