Our second day in New York City found us making our way from Casablanca to Madison Avenue and 41st where we visited the New York City Public Library. From there we took a lovely stroll on The High Line and ate lunch at the Chelsea Market, which was followed by yummy cocktails at sunset with rooftop views. It all made for quite the day, having walked a total of eight miles. Who says NYC is not pedestrian friendly?
The New York Public Library
On our last visit to the Big Apple, in 2016, we were saddened to learn the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library was closed for renovations, so a return visit was in order and it did not disappoint. Besides housing millions of books, the architecture alone is worth a visit.
We took our time and rambled the marbled hallways, peeked in to all the nooks and crannies we could find and stepped in to many of the multiple reading and research rooms that were open to visitors, such as the map room – at least that’s what I’m calling it – which was filled from floor to ceiling with… you guessed it, maps. And, globes.
I know, you’re probably looking for a photo of the maps, but the architecture of the room was the real show stopper.
The New York Public Library is the 4th largest library in the United States and any visit to NYC should include a visit to the library. Now, can you guess which library is the largest library in the United States? Oh, and you may have noticed the title of this post actually reads, “A Night at the Library” and maybe you’re wondering if the NYC Public Library hosts slumber parties. That may not be a bad idea. Bring your sleeping bag, pick out a good book and spend the night at the library. What do you think? Our overnight stay was actually at the Library Hotel, just steps from the library. Keep reading!
Walk The High Line
There are endless places to explore in NYC, I think we could visit the city a dozen or more times and still not see it all. We haven’t even left Manhattan yet! But, I see this as a good thing, lots of incentive to return for future visits. Along with visiting the library, we very much wanted to walk The High Line.
The High Line is a public green space. Basically, it was an abandoned elevated railroad track that once saw freight trains transfer goods to/from Manhattan’s large industrial districts. Rather than destroy the former route, it was converted to a public green space and walkway.
It’s really quite something and makes for a beautiful walk through the Chelsea neighborhood. It’s not hard to imagine what it would have been like to live alongside those tracks, which at some points, were just several feet from residential buildings. A lot of rumbling going by!
At 1 1/4 miles in length, walking The High Line makes for a lovely stroll and it doesn’t matter in which direction you walk. We actually walked one way, which led us to the Chelsea Market where we had lunch, and then we walked back the same way we came, which allowed us to see it all from a bit of a different perspective. And, don’t forget to look to your right and left as you walk along because you never know what you’ll see.
The Chelsea Market
I think if we lived anywhere near The High Line, we’d most likely walk it every day. It’s a great way to get some exercise while taking in the change of seasons, of the foliage, and to just sit and watch the world go by. I think we’d also end up spending time – and shopping – at Chelsea Market.
Sometimes, it really is best to travel in the off-season and a visit to Chelsea Market is
probably definitely one of those destinations best experienced pretty much at any time other than during the busiest summer season. The market, on the day we visited, was packed.
In its day, the National Biscuit Company housed it’s factory in the block long and block wide building now known as the Chelsea Market. The High Line trains serviced the butchers who lined the street beneath the tracks, and in front of the factory. It was the hub of what is known as the meat packing district in Manhattan and given that six million tourists find their way to the market each year, it still is.
The market has a plethora of vendors, everything from goat ice cream to farm-to-table eateries, gift items and pretty much anything else one can think of. It’s definitely worth a visit and makes a great mid or end point when walking The High Line.
A Night at the Library Hotel
Happy hour was calling so after back tracking our way along The High Line we made our way to the Library Hotel, which is just steps away from the NYC Public Library. It’s not hard to imagine the theme of the hotel, right? If you’re a book lover, or a lover of the written word in any format, the Library Hotel is to be experienced.
As much as I love books – and I do love books – I travel with a Kindle and I probably have 50 books waiting to be read. Books, are my treasures and I definitely have a collection that I will hold on to until the day I leave this earth, but I no longer buy books, unless it’s a gift for someone else.
Now, that’s not to say I won’t add a book to a holiday or birthday wish list, but I no longer buy books for myself. When it comes to retirement and downsizing one’s lifestyle, it’s hard to hang on to a vast collection of books. Over the past several years, three major downsizes and a move across country, I’ve had to let go of buying books. As much as I love my Kindle, the one thing it won’t give me is the feel of a book cover and the actual turning of the pages. That, I miss. Greatly.
Staying at the Library Hotel surrounded with books is a word lovers dream. I can’t say enough about the hotel, the ambiance and the incredible hospitality of the staff make for the loveliest of hotel stays. The amenities are luxurious and plentiful. Anything one can possibly need is provided from fuzzy warm bathrobes and slippers to the finest soaps and shampoo, to decadent chocolate squares resting on your pillow ensuring sweet dreams.
And, don’t forget about the 14th floor where you’ll find an absolutely serene rooftop garden and writer’s den by day, and Bookmarks Lounge (great name, right?) by night where one can sip yummy book-inspired cocktails.
I don’t think we could have treated ourselves to a more adventurous day in NYC than we did on day two, capped off with a fabulous stay at the Library Hotel, it was a day and a half. Way better than a sleeping bag on the library floor. But I still think that’s a pretty great idea.