I have made a new reservation. I am never drinking the night before I get on a plane at 8:45 am again. It just makes the flight just too damn long.
Anyway, here we are after another joyous Air Canada flight* -delayed out of Vancouver by an hour thus arriving in Newark an hour late. AC may be the only airline unable to make up time in the air. The drive into NYC took twice as long as normal because:
1. On Sunday was the Puerto Rican Day parade thus 1,000,000 people came into the city and all sorts of streets were closed to traffic and
2. The Tony awards were that night as well, closing more streets in Manhattan. Our driver -“We New Yorkers don’t like award shows. They mess up traffic.”
After arriving at the Yotel Hotel and checking in electronically- no front desk, we dump our bags and head off in search of some edible food. (See sarcastic * above).
The view south from our 15th story perch. That’s the Hudson River and right where where Captain Sullenberger “landed” his Airbus 320 a number of years ago.
Our hotel is at 10th Avenue and 42nd Street, just 7 blocks from Times Square. It was a madhouse, and as far s I know there was nothing special going on there. At one point I thought “This is the only time I’m coming up here – just too many damn people.” That may change but still…
We found a lovely little Italian restaurant just off Broadway where we ate and Terry drank. Then it was more walking, finding the theatre where we will see Springsteen, seeing the Brill Building where Carol King and many others got their start, looking at all the other tourists looking at the lights and locating where the ball comes down. It was a lot to do when one isn’t feeling 100%, let me tell you.
Monday dawned a little cloudy and after an interesting breakfast – ever ordered an mushroom omelet with home fries and got an omelet, home fries, cold mushrooms on the side AND two sunny side up eggs?–we boarded a Hop On Hop Off tour which headed from midtown to downtown, basically along Broadway and 5th Avenue. (Those street names just roll off the tongue now.) The fascinating thing was the traffic – it is just as bad as one sees on tv/movies. Everything moves dead slow with generally no problems – just a fair amount of honking. What is interesting is that when the lights change, traffic stops immediately, pedestrians walk and no one tries to force their way through. Very civilized.
We passed an Irish pub, Empire State Building, the Flatiron building and billions more fascinating buildings before getting off at the tip of Manhattan at Battery Park.
Then we started to walk. First it was up to the Memorial which was quite an emotional site and there were a few tears shed even though we aren’t Americans. It was impossible to get it in one photo.
This is a Callery Pear tree and is called the Survivor tree. The firefighters found it damaged but still alive in all the rubble. They took it out to a nursery where it was brought back to health and ready to be planted on the tenth anniversary. However, the night before, a big storm came through and knocked it over once more. It took another two years, but it is now back at the Memorial (no longer referred to as ground zero).
This is the Oculus Shopping mall right next door – an amazing place.
All around the area, which still has parts under construction are these huge fences with murals on them.
The coolest one was this one though, particularly with the Oculus above it. Terry was wishing she’d had worn a black and white top.
Included in our hop on hop off was a tour of Hudson River and a trip around the Statue of Liberty.
Then it was off to find lunch which we had in a really nice little gyro/falafel place. You know – one that wasn’t anything special, just good food, eclectic art, and a take out counter.
And then you look at the menu.
Rib-eye $40.00? Spicy frankfurter $31.00? Lamb chops $40.00? Take another look at the room/kitchen behind Terry. OMG
After nourishing ourselves it was time to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, around Brooklyn, along the Brooklyn Promenade, back across the bridge and then 3.5 more miles back to our hotel.
The bike lane proponents in Vancouver would be so thrilled. Two equally wide lanes for both pedestrians and bike riders.
Unfortunately there are way more people than riders. Look beyond the goofy guy. There were literally thousands of people crammed into the same amount of space. The bikers were impatient–“This is a bike lane, assholes!”–if you happened to try to pass a slow walker when one of them flew past. One biker had a whistle in his mouth and just kept blowing. In the first 250-300 yards, vendors were set up in the pedestrian lane, cutting in half the room available. it was just plain stupid. I’d love to know how many accidents there are annually.
Downtown Manhattan from the bridge
Downtown Manhattan from Brooklyn. “On the Waterfront” was filmed right here – before it was developed into this leafy park.
I just liked this place.
By the time we got back to the hotel we had walked over ten miles and were quite tired.
Tomorrow is Uptown. See you then.