NYC, The Calm Before The Storm

It was the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday and there was no doubt that we were in Super Bowl Country as we deplaned in Newark. The weather was great, in the mid 40s with clear skies. We hit it right in between two snow storms. With the nice weather and the anticipation of the big game everyone seemed in a good mood.

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There were volunteers in bright yellow jackets stationed all over the city from inside the airport, to Penn Station to Central Park. They were ready to help out any lost fans with needed information.

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They did hand out a cool subway map, on one side it had the subway lines and on the other there was a map of Super Bowl Blvd with all the NFL attractions. It ran along Broadway from 34th Street to 46th Street, ending in Times Square.

 

We felt like we were the only ones not going to the big game. We really just came to NYC for a day in the city. The loads were light and the forecast was clear and in the 40s. It seemed like a no brainer.

We went to the ticket machine in Newark and got round trip tickets (my daughter was free, as it was a weekend and she was under 12 yrs old), jumped on the AirTrain for the short 5 minute ride to the NJ Transit Station.

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Within minutes we boarded the train to Penn Station NY.  Be careful, there is also a Penn Station in NJ. In less than an hour after landing in Newark, we were in central Manhattan. I have found it is the cheapest and fastest way into the city.

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The kids really wanted to head to Central Park, so we took the C Line subway to Columbus Circle. We bought a Metrocard, which had also been transformed into Super Bowl stye.

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Columbus Circle is on the southwest corner of Central Park at 59th Street.

 

Central Park is just amazing, no matter what time of year. Here in a city of 1.6 million and countless tourists, there was so much peace and beauty.

It was a perfectly mild day, so the snow was a ton of fun. I studied my Frommer’s New York City day by day book,  while the kids climbed the rocks, had a snowball fight, made snowmen and even found a small hill they could slide down.

After a few hours I dragged them out and we headed to Alice’s Tea Cup, Chapter I on West 73 Street.

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Love this place. There are actually 3 locations in Manhattan. As I had expected on a Saturday, it was about an hour to 1 1/2 hour wait for a table. They do not take reservations over they phone, you have to go in person to put your name on the list. We gave our name and number and went for a walk around the Upper West Side and down around Lincoln Center.

They called us when our table was ready and we headed back to enjoy a cozy lunch.

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After lunch I wanted to go check out Chelsea Market in Chelsea, cleverly named right? But the kids just wanted to go back in Central Park. So, we decided to walked south through the park again, past Strawberry Fields 

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and continued south towards Columbus Circle to catch the A or C train to 14th Street. It was about a 35 minute walk with many distraction along the way.

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Chelsea Market was 1 block off the subway on the corner of 15th St and 9th Ave. It used to be an old biscuit factory that has been transformed.

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Great little shops and restaurants.

We exited with our gelato out the back on 10th Ave, which was right by where the Highline Park was. We climbed up the steps to the old railway and walked the 15 blocks up above the traffic below, basically along 10th Avenue. It only goes to 30th Street, but construction is underway for it to continue to 34th Street.

Now it was about 4 pm and we had a few hours before we had to head back to the airport, so we decided to go check out some of the attractions on Super Bowl Blvd along Broadway and 34th Street.

It was totally nuts. Tons of people; we could not move at all.

There was the ESPN booth, the NFL Rush Zone, etc…just Crazy.

It was a short 2 block walk back to Penn Station from Macys. Before we knew it we were back at Newark just in time for our flight home.

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We had walked at least 4 miles around the Big Apple and only spend $36 on transportation. Like I say, you just can’t afford to stay home, what a great day!

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