“All non-emergency vehicles must be off all NYC roads by 5 pm until further notice.” Looking around the practically deserted Met, it was clear to see the automated emergency alert caused by Storm Jonah had sent a panic around the building.
Staff fretted about how they’d get home, while some even protested that the museum was still open to the handful of diehard tourists who’d trekked through the blizzard to be there. But now, New York City was closing down.
We’d landed in town late the night before, just as the snow had begun to fall. What began as a dusting soon turned into a deluge and by the time we awoke, the streets were lying under a two-and-a-half-foot thick blanket of the white stuff. ‘Monster Blizzard’ exclaimed the angry red ticket tape on the rolling news, as the picture showed frantic residents attempting to shovel their drives or start their cars in vain.
A quick scroll through Twitter confirmed the worst. Flights grounded. Statue of Liberty – closed. Empire State Building observation deck – closed. Rockerfella Centre – closed. All those with sense had deserted Manhattan. But, for us, it felt like a once in a lifetime experience to have the frozen Big Apple almost all to ourselves.
Armed with almost every piece of clothing in our carry-on suitcases, we – that is my boyfriend, parents and me – wrapped a scarf around our faces and waded through an avalanche of snow to our first destination. Brooklyn Diner for pancakes, of course.
While filling our stomach, we weighed up our limited options and decided our only choice was a visit to The Museum Of Modern Art. Opened in 1872, The Met is home to over two million works of art. The impressive roll call of artists includes Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Johannes Vermeer.
But, I’m afraid to say, I only deigned to skip up the gallery’s famous steps that snowy day. I’m not much of a museum goer and, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting a thrilling day. But, how I was wrong. The museum really is quite magical and well worth a visit.
After we’d gotten our cultural fill (and the blizzard had finally closed the museum) we headed to Grand Central Terminal. We spent a good few minutes admiring the iconic green ceiling and marble concourse of the train station. But then, we only had one thing on our minds – booze! So, we strolled to the southwestern corner of the building to Campbell Apartment.
Once the opulent office of American financier John W. Campbell, this lavish setting now serves as one of Manhattan’s most iconic cocktail bars. And, it looks like it’s come straight off the set of Mad Men. Today, the venue has been carefully restored to its 1920s splendour. Features include a sleek mahogany bar, imposing stone fireplace, and ornate leaded window. Basically, the ideal place to enjoy our first drink in the Big Apple.