It was Friday morning and our second full day in the city and we had a few things in mind that we wanted to do. We left our hotel after having some breakfast and headed for the bus to take us to Chelsea. We had a little wait for the bus, but it wasn’t too bad apart from the cold. The bus driver on this bus was actually really nice (we had a few during our trip that weren’t the friendliest). He asked what our stop was and we were on our way. 20 odd minutes later we were in the area we wanted to be and the driver quickly came over to me and released my wheelchair from the tie-downs. “Have a good day” he said as we exited the bus. I love when Americans say that. We both enjoyed the bus ride down to Chelsea as we got to see parts we hadn’t seen before. Looking out the window and watching New Yorkers go about their day as normal as we passed by. We had a wander around for a little while before stumbling upon ‘The Diner’ and as we were starting to feel hungry decided to pop in for some lunch. It was a really cool Diner, we loved the look of it inside, and it had a retro/50’s feel. The food was amazing and so fresh. We had a good table by the window, the sun was shining so it was really nice to sit there and people watch while we had our lunch. I had the Mediterranean Chicken Wrap and it tasted so good. We both loved our food that much that we kept talking about how good it was for the rest of the trip and even now when we think back we remember it being the best food we had eaten that week. Wow. Pretty strong statement huh!
Our next stop was The Chelsea Market, which was just across the street from The Diner. It had a lot of eating places and quirky little shops inside. We probably would have ate something if we hadn’t just had an amazing lunch. We went into a few of the shops for a browse and then went for a look around Artists & Fleas as I had seen online that it was a cool place to visit. Artists & Fleas is a market that has independent makers and collectors sell art, fashion, jewellery etc. It was a lot smaller than I had imagined and at times it was a little tight for manoeuvring around in my wheelchair, but nonetheless manageable. I was interested in one stall in particular. The artists name is Pamela Barsky and she makes cute funny zippered pouches. I spent ages reading all the quotes and funny sayings on the pouches before I finally decided on the one that said “I absolutely adore New York”. I felt it was so fitting to how I feel about the city. I now wish I had bought some more…maybe next time.
We had booked a tour of the 9/11 Museum for 4.30pm. Our original plan was to get a bus there, but we decided after the Chelsea Market to walk as we had plenty of time and we thought it would be more fun to see what we’d come across on our walk through the different areas. Despite the cold it was a really nice day. The sun was shining and the streets were calm and peaceful. We love wandering around New York away from all the hustle and bustle of the main streets and areas like Times Square. It feels completely different and more like what you see New York to be in the movies. I also much prefer strolling along the quieter streets in my wheelchair and being able to look around and have the chance to take everything in. Instead when I’m in busier areas I’m focussed on not slicing open the ankles of the person in front or constantly anticipating their next move, as most of the time they are oblivious to little old me down here in my chair out of eye level. I’ve had to dodge a fair few backpacks from bashing me in the head as well. On our way Downtown we stumbled upon Perry Street and I remembered it from the research I had done online of things to see and do in New York, that I didn’t want to miss it, so we had to veer off our route a little. It was worth it though because we got to see one of the most iconic places in New York City…the Carrie Bradshaw House from Sex and the City. I was never a massive fan of SATC, but it was really cool to see that famous front door and stoop and have my photo taken outside. As you can see in the photos I had to wait my turn for a photo and the road was getting dug up (sort of ruined my photo a little). The houses were lovely in the West Village. I would love to explore and spend more time in the different neighbourhoods if we ever go back to New York.
The 9/11 Museum was huge. The last time we were in New York the museum wasn’t open yet, so we wanted to go this time. We didn’t have any problems with accessibility in the museum and there was a disabled/family room which was great. No hunting around for a suitable toilet this time. All the staff were very helpful and attentive, they would come up to us often to ask if we needed any help and also give us little personal tours, explaining what it was we were looking at and telling us stories about that day. The museum had a very sad and eerie feeling to it. It was strange to imagine what had taken place right there on 9/11. It is easy to spend a few hours walking around and we didn’t even manage to see it all. It’s different being there and seeing all the photos and names of the people that lost their lives, you begin to realise more the impact that day had on New York and all those families.
By the time we left the museum it was dark so every tree was now twinkling with Christmas fairy lights. We spent a little time taking photos by the trees while waiting on the next bus. It was lovely. When the bus dropped us at our stop we decided to head back to the hotel rather than look for a restaurant for dinner as it was getting late, we were both hungry and tired by this point. On our way back to the hotel we passed the Rockefeller Christmas Tree again and managed to get a few more photos. The tree is amazing. We enjoyed some room service and relaxed the rest of night.
Stay tuned for the next instalment of ‘disabled and the city’.