Journal entry from day two in NYC:
Today's agenda: Wall and Broad. Another subway ride to Battery Park and the Financial district. I thought there wouldn't be as many tourists, I was wrong. Maybe there were more. In an interesting mix of locals and us others. We walked through the streets with our necks craned gawking at the architectural design of each and every building. They were so intricate and all so different. When we came to Battery Park I was astonished at how much damage Sandy had done to the area. So much roped off, still under construction and still cleaning up. And then I laid eyes on her. Lady Liberty. Standing tall and proud in the distance. We dared not take a ferry ride, although the island was open. We stared from the shore line and took a selfie with her instead.
Can you see her? There squint your eyes a bit.
There it is. And from there we walked some more. This time ditching our rain jackets for a welcome dose of sunshine. Over to Wall and Broad, a quick gaze at The Bull. Did you know it has it's own police officer? Maybe making sure no one climbs on it or defaces it. Not sure but he was taking notes on a piece of paper and in my mind I made up the story that he was probably writing a book about all the silly tourists he watches day in and day out. I would totally buy that book. Take note any NYC PD that read this blog. Ha! It was then that we came across Tiffany's. A distinct blue flag waving and I just couldn't help myself. I stopped. Right in the middle of the street. Yes I did. Because I am a fan. Not of the jewelry per se, but the iconic nature of the establishment. We walked past the Federal Memorial Hall, the place where President George Washington took his oath of office. There is even a bronze plaque outside that shows him kneeling at Valley Forge and an even larger than life statue of him on the steps of the building. Come to find out just a day was before the 225th anniversary of his swearing in was celebrated here.
NY Stock Exchange
In what can only be described as a gaping hole we saw where the Towers once stood. World Trade Center, building 7, is almost complete. And my oh my is it breathtaking. Being there, seeing the devastation, the chaos and visitors center that stands now was just eery. I had chill bumps. There are no words. Really. I couldn't even bring myself to take any photos. Tears fell and we had to leave.
So we did. Right into Ohara's Pub with the local lunch crowd for a pint. We toasted and gazed at all the fire department and police department badges that had been pinned around the bar. All from places that came to assist after 9/11. Moving.
And then another subway ride to Chelsea. Or otherwise known to me as Foodie heaven. The Chelsea market is indoors and packed with restaurants and boutique bakeries and shops. Each offering their unique fare. Not to mention the Food Network studios are right above it. Yes they are. We lunched. We shopped. We bought dessert for later and then we walked along the Hudson river and through the Chelsea boro back to our hotel. What a walk. There were schools with fenced in black top playgrounds. Local cafes beneath the tree lined streets. Flats and sidewalks filled to the brim with garbage bags.
This grocery, oh my. This is where I would shop everyday if I lived in Chelsea.
So excited after this full day to be meeting Cousin Tucker for dinner. He met us at the hotel and from there we caught the subway to Little Italy for pizza at the birthplace of classic NY pizza. Or at least that's how the story goes. Very well could be too, the oven dates back to 1905. And the pizza, the best we've ever had! For real. Thanks Lombardi's!
Best. Pizza. Ever
Tucker and Me
Tucker showed us an area by the name of St. Marks that he and his Friends visit every now and again. We walked around Tribeca and Soho and took in the sights. My take (on St. Mark's): liberal, punk, goth, hookah bars, a late night crowd sort of place, adventurous. Funky hang outs and a hip scene. Husband Jared and I felt old. Very old. Warning: Here's where the journaling gets a little sappy. We raced to the train station with Tucker and hugged him goodbye, hoping he would make his train so he wouldn't miss the shuttle back to the Hofstra campus. When I did and Husband Jared gave him money for his train ticket it was almost surreal. I mean. I changed this boy's diapers. Babysat him. Stood up in church the day he was dedicated. And here he was. All grown up and man like. Filling us in on college life and future plans and all these experiences that have shaped him. So incredibly grateful. Ahh. And I made him text me when he made it back to the dorm. Because I am that cousin. Whatever.
We left Tucker and continued walking. Rockefeller Center, NBC studios, MOMA, The Photography Museum (all of which were closed for the night) and finally Grand Central Station for a pit stop, because it was open. Of course. Again, the architecture of the station struck me. Ceiling mural of the astrology signs complete with lights, celebrating it's centennial and the original clock gracing the information desk. I do wish I had taken a video clip of the sounds. I stood at the top of the steps and listened. People buzzing. Conversations happening. Phones making all manner of noises. Footsteps. And clicking and loud speakers and and and. City music is what I call it. You can hear it on the streets too and underground and in buildings and elevators and restaurants. It's unique and every city has their own heartbeat. I like New York's.
Oh the lights, magical.
Bustling station, at all hours, day and night.
Selfie, again. But the clock, we had to capture the clock.
Good night New York!