3.05.2011

New York: Part Three

After much detailed map studying and a quick check with the concierge Scott was ready to tackle the New York City subway system for the first time since we left the airport. It's a bit daunting to figure out which trains go where, where they intersect (or not) and to figure in random track outages which were usually announced in a slurred garble not unlike Charlie Brown's teacher (we had to ride into Brooklyn on our first outing then change to an uptown train in order to get back to Battery Park). But I'm proud to say that we got the hang of it quickly and rode it faithfully from then on (enough so for me to feel like the unlimited passes were a good investment after all).
Our first stop on our third day in The City was to head down to Battery Park which is waaaay down south.
Since we wanted to go on the islands we skipped the free Staten Island ferry (it just goes around and back for views) and made our way over to the Statue Cruises area.
Notice that information clearly posted in red about where to buy tickets? Yeah. We didn't. After waiting in line for quite a while and seeing various people holding tickets I started to wonder, "Hmm...wonder what that's about." Luckily we asked before getting too much further in line and Scott hopped the barricade to go buy our tickets.

Um, yeah...we were prepared.

We did however purchase yummy roasted almonds and water prior to all that, so you see where our priorities lie.

Soon we boarded our ship and were able to take in the amazing views as we puttered along toward Liberty Island.
Once we docked we made our way over to The Lady, stopping first to pose in front of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge since that's the bridge one of Tony Manero's friends jumped off of in Saturday Night Fever. There we go again with the priorities.
Then we went to see The Lady.

Isn't she magnificent?
We certainly thought so.
Next up was a brief ferry ride over to Ellis Island.
Now here's where I have a little confession to make, by the time we disembarked from the ferry, entered the Ellis Island museum and picked up a handy dandy map detailing the exhibits offered on all three floors, Scott and I looked at each other to assess our individual commitment to exploring all three levels and realized we just didn't have it in us. Maybe if we had more time (we still had a few stops to make before our show that night) and hadn't exhausted ourselves at the Met the day before (and walked 22 blocks in one fell swoop don't forget) we might have been more enthusiastic.

I do regret missing it though.

I hope my ancestors will forgive me.

Next up was a visit to Ground Zero which was only a short subway ride away.
I have to admit I wasn't quite prepared to walk straight up from the subway tunnel and see the actual site. Like right there. For real. It seemed so large and so small at the same time, and still so raw and open even after 10 years. I tried to imagine the two buildings filling that void and I tried to imagine that horrible day the days that followed and my brain couldn't fathom it. Still.
We wanted to go into St. Paul's Chapel which is right across from the WTC site that had offered relief to the recovery workers and had become a place for families to post pictures and notes regarding their missing loved ones, but it was already closed for the day. After asking a helpful New Yorker for directions we soon found the 9/11 Museum located right next to Fire Station #10 that had been one of the first responders that day. We came this close to going through the museum, but to be honest, there was something in the way the man at the door tried to hawk tickets (like high pressure sales or something) that rubbed me the wrong way, like someone was trying to profit from the tragedy (and I know I'm probably wrong but that's how it felt at the time) and it felt all sleazy and ick, so we passed.

And I do regret that now.

Also directly across from the WTC site is a giant department store called Century 21 that I'd heard about and kept seeing bags everywhere, so we popped in briefly just to see what all the fuss was about, because fuss there was. Barely three steps inside and my claustrophobic-o-meter started going off due to the fact that almost all of New York had the same idea. I couldn't handle it, but Scott managed to elbow his way to the men's department and found some warm and cheap Calvin Klein gloves, so he was happy as a clam.

When we were down by Battery Park and then wandering around the Ground Zero area we saw several street performers from musicians of all variety (and talent) to costumed performers (I missed taking Batman's photo in Times Square the day before).
I guess seasoned New Yorkers may get tired of street performers (and subway performers) always passing the hat but we enjoyed it (mostly). Our favorite though happened later in the day as we headed to Union Square for supper. We walked up from the depths of the subway right into a large crowd gathered around to watch this...
This guy (and his buddies) put on a show that lasted quite a while with him promising to jump over a row of ladies and working the crowd for money. Scott and I got a kick out of it (remember, we're hick tourists).

Next up was supper at our new favorite place on the planet:
We enjoyed the hip atmosphere (we like to pretend we're cool and trendy...it's a stretch), the tasty corn croquettes appetizer, our entrees (gussied up sandwiches) and most importantly...
the most delectable desserts ever.Scott got the banana split waffles (which let it be known that all future waffles shall pale in comparison) and I got this chocolate truffle cake thingie with ice cream and a shot of iced hot chocolate which was, in a word, sinful.

Max Brenner, will you marry me?

Our night finished up on 42nd St. watching this:
Which was practically perfect in every way.

More NYC stories coming to a computer near you very soon...stay tuned.

4 comments:

  1. Oh yay! So glad you saw Mary Poppins too!
    I'm lovin' your posts, btw. You know, we were very lucky to be there St. Patricks Day last year and it was in the high 50's and not a cloud in the sky....
    I'm thinkin' I might not get so lucky next time!

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  2. i'm glad you saw Mary Poppins too! It's one of mine and my mom's favorites! It sounds like you guys had A LOT of fun! I didn't get to The Lady when we went several years ago, but when I go back (whenever that will be) I plan to do that first! Maybe I'll visit your ancestors for you! ;)

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  3. i am loving your nyc posts. it makes me miss it there. and i'm incredibly jealous of both your food adventures and your stylish ways! someday i must learn to not wear sweatpants every day!!!

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  4. ooohhh, Mary Poppins in NYC!! awesome! we saw it in Dallas, and daughter saw it again in Houston, what a wonderful show!!!

    heading to the next installment....

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