An early rise on day two as it was Lee’s birthday! Hurrahhh – I had sneakily put up a banner in the night and managed to secretly buy birthday cupcakes the day before at the train station!
Our first port of call was Central Park for tandem biking! It’s about 10km all around the park so we were in for an exciting ride. Lee took the first cycling session doing most of the leg work hah (great birthday treat right?), and we took in the gorgeous sunshine and scenic views of the park…
It was hard work all that cycling and despite really trying and massively failing at heading up the front of the bike (Lee was just too heavy), I needed a snack, so I tested out a cheese pretzel (much to Lee’s disgust) to keep my energy up. Probably not the tastiest snack in the world but I enjoyed it all the while.
At 7.30 we were due to meet for a walking tour; “The dark side of the High Line” so rather than relaxing, naturally we walked for an hour to get to the meeting spot! We met a lady called Meredith who enlightened us on the history of New York, some ghost stories and interesting “dark facts” about the meatpacking district, Greenwich Village and the area surrounding the High Line – here are a few facts you might not know –
- New York was originally called New Amsterdam, but it’s name changed when the Brits invaded and they renamed the city in honour of the then Duke of York.
- Greenwich Village was actually a village originally, just north of the city – many of the more wealthy New Yorkers would live there and commute further down the island into the city.
- Following the industrial revolution in the 1800s, the city started to grow and freight trains would bring goods into the city, to be transported via the port of NY.
- The meat packing district, was where the live stock was handled; blood literally ran through the streets, bleughh.
- The freight trains would run down 10th Avenue, but it got the nick name Death Avenue as so many people were hit by these trains – so dangerous!
- It was because of this, the High Line was built – the raised train line which stopped these awful deaths. The High Line ran from the 1930’s up to the 80’s and since then a charity has been formed to restore the High Line and make it into the lovely park it is today!
- The Jane Hotel is famous for being a little haunted – it’s the hotel that the Titanic survivors stayed at, and apparently people have heard crying there, eek!