Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Days 2-4 in New York

I have to backtrack a little to day 2 in New York. We saw St. Paul's Chapel - the oldest public building in continuous use. George Washington was inaugurated here and every President of the USA has prayed here. It is (was?) right across from ground zero and not a single pane of glass was broken during the attacks - no other building that close to the attacks can say that. It was turned into a triage center for the wounded in the days after 9-11.

After we went to the 9-11 Memorial we went to a discount store called Century 21. It was like TJMaxx on steroids. And it felt like Black Friday with all the pushy shoppers. There were 3-4 floors of the store. There were lines and lines for the dressing rooms. And some weird policies like no trying on shirts in dressing rooms - just try them on over your shirt out on the floor. Anyway, we shopped a bit, split up, shopped some more, met up again and bought some stuff for Justin. We walked out on the street and went to consult our trusty map. But where was the map? We couldn't find it. It was in Justin's bag. And where was that? Not with Justin. He had left it in the store when he was trying on clothes. Instantly our hearts sank. No one in New York City would return a lost bag, would they? It didn't have his wallet in it, but it had his iPod, our return flight tickets, our car rental receipt and confirmation and other important things.

Downhearted, we ran into Century 21 and split up. I asked an employee about the bag. She told me about the lost and found in the basement. I hurried down there and another employee had the bag and was attaching some kind of claim receipt to it. I was able to claim it and nothing was missing at all. Phew!

And then we continued on to Katz's Deli.

So day 3. Central Park. We took the subway and found a Gray's Papaya on the way and had a hot dog and papaya juice. The juice was really yummy. The hot dog was...well...a hot dog. Personally, I think all beef Ballpark franks are better. And cheaper. But we had a hot dog in New York. I also popped into a little bakery and bought mini pumpkin pies that we later ate in the park. We saw a fancy building and tons of people were taking pictures of it. There was a man in uniform out front. Justin asked him about the building and all he would say was that it was the Dakota. And he was kinda rude about it. We overheard some other tourists - it was where John Lennon was shot.

Then we went to Central Park. We saw Strawberry Fields - which is an area dedicated to John Lennon.

And then we saw...Pheobe Buffay? J/K But a funny street performer hula hooping and playing the violin at the same time.

Belvedere castle. I remember it from a scene from the movie Step Mom.

We ate lunch at this fancy pants place - the Boat House. It was spendy and fancy, but fun.

We got pretty good at the self-portrait.

And then we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

We picked a few wings we really wanted to see, but we couldn't help ourselves and looked through a few more of the wings. We cruised through. I don't think we spent more than 30 seconds at an exhibit, and still we took about 4 hours to cruise through about 40% of the museum. Cool stuff.

Like Greek armor.

And sexy nakey Greek statues.

And medieval stained glass.

And medieval knights riding into battle.

And cursed mummies.

And their cursed tombs.

And Sunflowers by Van Gogh.

And one of my favorites A Sunday on La Grand Jatte by Seurat. Seriously, this image is on my credit card. :)

And the random decorative arts area that showcased fancy, artsy home furnishings from bygone eras. Strangely enough, this was our favorite wing.
Oh, and Justin wore the shoes he had bought the night before. Bad idea. We did HOURS upon HOURS of walking between Central Park and the Met. And his feet were blistered and sore after the first 30 minutes. Not a fun time for him.

So we bagged our plan to go to Brooklyn for dinner and we ate in Times Square near our hotel again.

The next morning, we took a bus tour of lower Manhattan. It was interesting and we learned a lot, even if the tour guide made his political and religious views extremely apparent. We made our way back to Century 21 (the outlet store). I had bought a pair of jeans two nights before but didn't want to wait in the huge line to try them on, so I didn't try them on...and big surprise, they didn't fit. I had removed the tags but I still had them. I had to snake my way to the returns department in the basement and wait in line forever to have a clipped customer service agent tell me they don't do returns if the tags are removed so I would need to go up to the adjustments counter in the women's department and they could reattach the tag there, then I could come back and return the pants. Seriously? Okay. I finally find the adjustments counter and no one is there. I ask a nearby employee about it. She said, "No one is there. You'll have to wait until someone is at that counter." I asked how long that would be. She looked at me like I was an idiot. She repeated that I would just have to wait. I asked if I could expect to wait five minutes or five hours or if she even knew. She just shrugged and walked away. The customer service in NYC was dumbfounding. Another employee overheard the exchange, noted the rising hysteria in my voice, and came to my rescue. Even though she didn't work in adjustments, she knew how to work the stupid little gun that reattaches tags back to clothes that that plastic string stuff. So she did it. It took her two seconds. Then I went back, waited in line again, and finally returned the pants. Justin and I both ended up buying coats because we were getting too cold with just our jackets and sweaters.

And then we went to Battery Park for a ferry ride around the harbor to see the Statue of Liberty. I couldn't get tickets and we always seemed to busy to do the free Staten Island ferry at night. It was our last day, so we paid for a ferry ride.

We saw this sculpture at Battery Park commemorating all the immigrants that came/come to our country.

And we got some great views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Governor's Island, and New Jersey.

The tallest building over my head is the Freedom Tower still under construction.

And then my camera battery died. No pictures of the Statue of Liberty. :( She was beautiful. And bigger than I anticipated.

After we disembarked we took the subway over to Brooklyn. There was a terrible subway singer. It was bad. I was tempted to throw her on the rails. Or at least pay her to stop singing. And in Brooklyn the subways don't come every two minutes like they do in Manhattan. You have to wait 15-20 minutes. Listening to horrible subway singers. It's a perfect New York memory. We still mimic her and laugh about it.

Brooklyn was impossibly charming. The rows of brownstone houses. Calm and quiet. It felt like a small town. Like a family place. Seriously adorable. I could live there. We went to an Italian restaurant my sister recommended called Gino's. It was great. All the waiters spoke Italian and pronounced marinara like "mah-ri-nah-rah" like it should be said. :) The food was so fresh and tasty. I had veal and Justin had shrimp.

Then back to our hotel. We did a lightning fast change and dashed a block over to the Minksoff Theatre to see The Lion King. It was so hard to decide on which show to see. I second-guessed myself a lot. Should we have chosen Wicked? Or would have been more fun to see Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed at Business Without Really Trying? As soon as the the first strains of The Lion King overture sounded and the magnificent sun began to rise on the set, it took my breath away and I knew we had chosen the right play. It was powerful. Stunning. Moving. I loved it.

Halfway through the show, Justin began having severe stomach pains. Nice.

After the show, I dragged my ailing husband around Times Square where we grabbed some cheesecake from Junior's and looked for the Scientology church. We even had to ask a cop directions to the Scientology church. We knew there was a great pizza place next to it but didn't know the name of the pizza joint, so all we could do was look for the Scientology place - haha.

We didn't find the pizza place and Justin was hurting really badly. We got him home and into a bath. I had my mom and sister do an internet search of symptoms and called my nurse sister about it too. It seemed a lot like gall problems. Justin powered through the pain and we went to bed.

The next morning, we trekked out for a few souvenirs. I was determined to find the pizza place - and we did. And it was closed. Well, it was open, it was just serving bagels. I decided I really wanted pizza, so we killed an hour in some gift shops until they began serving pizza. We both got a slice of margherita pizza and boy howdy was it good. The crust was just okay. A little on the overdone side if you ask me. But the toppings and sauce...so fresh and delicious. We folded our pizza slices in half and munched on them as we walked about Times Square. We both ended up with grease all down our fronts.

We packed our bags and checked out of our hotel, leaving the bell hop our metro cards that we had just filled the night before - he was happy. We got in a yellow cab and went to the car rental spot. We waved goodbye to the Big Apple and began our New England journey.

So no, we never did see the Naked Cowboy. Perhaps he is only out in the summer?


Kristy Skoy said...

So much FUN! I can't wait to hear more! Did Justin feel better?/

Anonymous said...

The Statue of Liberty is bigger than you imagine it is, that is what I noticed when I was there. To bad your batteries went dead. I hope that Justin doesn't have gall stones already as you know his father had his gall bladder removed. Just another nasty marker for him to inheret. Bummer Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun nonetheless.

Liz Smith said...

oh my gosh, i went to century 21 on one of my new york trips and it was just way too much for me. I couldn't do it, so i am way proud of you for finding stuff! that's awesome. love all your new york pics.


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