As the warmth of the sun radiated down on us from the clear blue sky above and the now-familiar jagged outline of the city’s skyline dominated the view beside us, I felt utterly at peace…
Time stood still as we made our way across the creaky wooden slats of the mighty Brooklyn Bridge, its steel rods casting kaleidoscopic sculptural shadows along the bridge’s footpath in front. Stopping every few minutes to take in the view, familiar landmarks popped into our peripheral – Lady Liberty far off in the distance standing tall and stern – the One World Trade Center reflecting light across the city from its mirrored coat and a swell of cars, people and streetfood carts below that make up life on the ground.
I didn’t think Brooklyn Bridge would capture my heart and soul as much as it did, but I never wanted that walk to end…even though every step was agony after walking almost 50 miles in 4 days!
We finally reached the other side and headed down to Dumbo (a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn) and wandered through the pretty streets, along the East River until we found the perfect spot overlooking the harbour.
We’d heard about Smorgasburg in Williamsburg – a Brooklyn flea food market and wanted to check it out, so took the East River Ferry two stops to get there. Being on that ferry looking out at the view on the gentle waves, the sun beaming down was perfection. We could have sat there all day, and if there was more time on our trip, we probably would have.
Smorgasburg was HEAVING when we got there. You couldn’t get moved. At least a hundred street food stalls, each one with a more witty and delightful menu than the last were packed into this scrap of land just off the river. Fresh lemonade stands, fries with EVERYTHING poured on, tacos, burgers, oysters, pulled pork… you name it they had it. Only, we couldn’t get near for want of trying. Some stalls had queues 40-50 people deep and we began to feel seriously hangry.
I can’t tell you how great some of the food was, because we were too hungry and waiting in those queues in the heat just wasn’t possible, so we headed further into town and found a perfect little spot with an outdoor beer garden where we sat drinking fresh peach bellinis well into the afternoon.
Tonight was our last night in New York (sob!) but Ashleigh had something amazing planned. She’d made us a dinner reservation at upmarket steakhouse Mortons in Manhattan, booked weeks in advance.
A little bird had told them it was her birthday and we got nothing but the best. Prosecco on arrival, a table overlooking the whole restaurant, a personalised birthday menu and of course after-dinner birthday cake! We ordered two 6oz fillet steaks, triple-cooked potatoes and broccoli rabe served with parmesan and lemon. Everything we ate was out of this world.
Our steaks, cooked medium/rare were slightly salty, moreishly meaty, juicy and just unbelievable. The triple cooked potatoes came in at something ridiciulous like 1500 calories but who cares, they were cheesy and crispy and creamy and we couldn’t get enough.
We just about managed to squeeze in a birthday cake of chocolate soufflé served with the nicest vanilla ice cream I have ever eaten before finishing off our bottle of wine and heading out into the city.
Drunk and in love with New York, we walked the few blocks back to the hotel dressed to impress. Me, in my trusty pink flamingo skirt and Ashleigh in her dazzling LBD – it was the perfect end to our perfect trip. Perfect perfect perfect.
(Did I say perfect enough times?)
New York had one last surprise for us as we turned the corner towards the Rockefeller Centre….
The city had only just replanted the spring bulbs there with an extravagant display of flowers and trees around the fountains. All lit up, it was a total surprise and a perfect photo opportunity for our last night.