Refreshed after a good night’s sleep in our sumptuous beds at the W, we were ready for anything as we strode out on to the street. Constantly fighting wall-to-wall-people on the sidewalks, takes a bit of getting used to, but you soon master the art of people dodging. Which we soon did as we set out looking for breakfast in Times Square. ended up in the Hard Rock Cafe. http://www.hardrock.com/cafes/new-york/ All you can eat for $17. Cereals, bacon, egg, pancakes, sugar bread, potatoes, croissant etc.

After that, we went in search of the offices of the TV and Film Locations bus tour we wanted to go on and reckoned we walked about two miles to find them. I wish I had worn a pedometer during my stay, because I reckon I did more walking in five days in NYC than have ever done in my life. After that we somehow found ourselves walking the whole of 5th Avenue, inevitably ending up with parcels to slow us down.

Unplanned and it was such a beautiful day, we headed for Central Park and found ourselves taking a horse and carriage ride. Now famous for all the wrong reasons as New York City’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio, wants to replace the horses and carriages with vintage cars. The Mayor has the animal lobbyists on his side who maintain this time honoured form of equine propelled transport is outdated and cruel. Our horse looked fit enough and although the temperatures were heading towards 20C, he wasn’t sweating, but I read later that the horses are worked for 9 hours a day. Another bone of contention is whether the horses should be exposed to the phenomenal amount of traffic in NYC. I did spent some time on the Internet, searching for articles on the horses being involved in RTA’s and over the last 20 years there appear to have been three incidents. There are currently around 200 working carriage horses in NYC and if they are all retired, not to mention the drivers being out of work, this would only contribute to the “homeless horse” crisis in the U.S., which already sends 90,000 to 100,000 unwanted horses to slaughter in Canada and Mexico each year, which is quite shocking. So, I think I would vote for saving the New York carriage horses.

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Central Park covers 843 acres and is open from 6.00a.m. to 1.00a.m. Amid all the concrete and chaos, it is a relaxing place to spend a few hours. So, after our carriage ride, it was back to shanks’s pony as we took a stroll around the southern end of the park, but there is a great deal more to see and do. http://www.centralparknyc.org/about

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Back on Fifth Avenue, with the temperature still rising we tried to find a place to eat. Starbucks are everywhere, but the tables are limited and some have no tables at all! So on a whim we hailed a cab, my legs were beginning to complain by this stage and my stomach beginning to growl. So we went off to Soho and the Antique Garage Restaurant which had been recommended to us by friends before we left. We had to wait of course to get a table, it is very small so book. The three piece Jazz band are sort of wedged in amongst the diners. There is a great atmosphere though and the food from panninis to salads, to steaks, is excellent. http://antiquegaragesoho.com/ Chatting to a native New Yorker whilst queuing for the rest room, she reckoned it was one of the best restaurants around.

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Whilst in Soho, we had another shop. Hollister had a sale on. For those of you who have not enjoyed the Hollister clothes shopping experience. It all happens in the dark. I wondered why there were so many armchairs with blankets on scattered through out the store that was on two levels. Asleep in most of them were husbands or boyfriends of who could keep their eyes open no longer. There was a 30% off sale in progress, only three assistants on the the tills, so the checking out process was taking over an hour as the queue snaked its way around the top floor. Enough to make anyone want to go to sleep.

Another taxi back to Times Square. Wear you seat belts, you are in for a roller coaster ride.

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