This trip is for business, but I need to be in Boston the following week, which means some sightseeing in Manhattan is possible at the weekend, before taking the Amtrak up the east coast to Boston from Penn Station. Even before the weekend, there are some amazing views from some of the offices I visit.
Despite its size, Manhattan is a fantastic place to take some time and walk around on foot. My hotel is in midtown, close to Bryant Park, which in Summer is a lush green space to sit and watch the world go by. But New York has been in the midst of a cold snap, and today it’s no place for lingering. Even the fountain is adorned with icicles.
Walking north towards Central Park, past the Radio City Concert hall, there’s a seemingly impossibly tall and thin skyscraper being built. Such is the price of land in this city to make such construction viable.
Arriving at Central Park, the skaters are out in force.
But the Chess and Checker Boards are deserted, and Bethesda Fountain is dry.
Destination for this morning is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest Art Museum in the US and colloquially known as “the Met”. It’s located about halfway up the park on the east side.
The Met is enormous, and to study all of the exhibits in any detail would take days and numerous repeat visits. Even just walking past every exhibit would take a couple of hours, such is the scale of the place. And it’s not just the physical proportions of the building which impress; the sheer diversity and completeness of art from different cultures and periods almost defies belief.
After numerous hours in the Met, I retrace my steps down through Central Park and back to midtown, another lengthy walk. A few pints of American IPA in a welcoming Irish Pub seem well deserved.
My train to Boston leaves from Penn Station just after 4pm. Penn is conveniently located in midtown 10 minutes walk from my hotel, and unlike an airport there are no security queues to grapple with, so there’s no need to arrive too much in advance. Time for sightseeing before heading to the station.
The High Line is a 1.5 mile park and greenway, built on the remains of an old elevated railtrack running down the west side of Manhattan. It’s both a pleasant walk and, over the course of multiple visits to the city, a great place from which to see the changing seasons and cityscape. I try to walk it whenever I visit.
Starting from Hudson Yards, the skyline is dominated by glass and steel, buildings I remember as concrete skeletons surrounded by cranes on a previous visit.
There are numerous dedicated vantage points on the High Line, but even more places where the natural scenery makes one for you.
Arriving at the end of the High Line on West 10th Street, I take a slight detour through Greenwich Village before heading north back up 6th Avenue to collect my bags and on to Penn Station.
The train is a little late behind schedule, but the seats are very welcoming after so much walking over the past two days. Winter time means the sun is setting over Manhattan as the train heads north of the city, and the views over the Atlantic as we head up the coast are invisible. A little over three hours later we’re pulling into Boston South station.