Saturday, October 22, 2011

NYC: Day 3

Well, I would like to think that I am usually pretty prepared for trips, but apparently I somewhat dropped the ball on this one. This was a totally open day, and we decided to go down to the Financial District to see Wall Street, the World Trade Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Well, that's all well and good, but apparently the World Trade Center memorial is not yet fully completed and you still need tickets to see a preview of it. So we didn't get in there. Oh well.

We did get to see Trinity Church, a very old church that lies between Wall Street and the trade center area. Wall Street is very cramped, but you can still get a view of the New York Stock Exchange facade. They aren't doing tours for the public at the moment, and the security seems pretty tight. I'm glad we decided to do this on a weekend so that we weren't in the way of people who were actually doing, you know, work.

We stopped for some omelettes and hash browns, then headed to the start of the Brooklyn Bridge!

I would count the bridge on my favorite architecture of Manhattan if it were actually on Manhattan, but those beautiful arches are in the middle of the East River. We walked out about halfway, fighting tourists and gawkers the whole way.

It was interesting to see the island of Manhattan from a short distance away. I got a shot of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings, but they were pretty tiny from my vantage point. From the middle of the bridge, you can also get a nice shot of the Statue of Liberty in the harbor.

When we returned to Manhattan, we walked up through the Financial District and up into other neighborhoods. I saw the court houses, both county and federal. I bet all the law firms are lurking somewhere nearby.

Chinatown is just a short jump from there, as you can see from this photo with downtown in the background.

Chinatown was intense but cool - we saw lots of crazy fish and dried roots for sale, including about a dozen types of ginger. We also walked through Little Italy, although it was pretty disappointing. No restaurant looked particularly authentic, especially the one with the Asian woman in a space suit as hostess. (Seriously, what is that about?) There was a ravioli shop that had been around since 1924, but we weren't hungry.

From there, we headed west toward SoHo. I had heard that it was fun to browse the little shops there, and we were not disappointed. I bought some tea from Harney & Sons, as well as some stationery from a cute shop.

Then it was up to the Flatiron District for, you guessed it, the Flatiron Building. I love this building, and not just because it was designed by a Chicago architect. The building overlooks Madison Square Park, which is host to the original Shake Shack. The line was too foreboding to brave, particularly since we had decided to try to fit in the Museum of Modern Art before it closed for the day.

We did indeed make it to the museum, which was Dave's favorite so far. I actually didn't know that the museum housed Van Gogh's Starry Night AND Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon AND Dali's The Persistence of Memory. Wow.

We walked up to the Upper West Side for dinner at Gray's Papaya, which sold us some tasty hot dogs indeed. We each had a hot dog and a half and shared a papaya drink. Afterward, we stopped at the Dead Poet, a pub where Dave got some delicious beer. New York is not really a beer town. Dave got a Dead Poet IPA and I got an Ommegang Witte. We also shared some nachos, and keep in mind that we had just eaten three hot dogs between us. I'm beginning to think that we didn't nearly walk off the calories we consumed.

We walked through the park to get back to our place, but apparently we still had not consumed enough calories for the day, because we also split a chocolate shake at the Upper East Side Shake Shack. It was good though. We also made a stop at Dean & Deluca, although we didn't eat any of it immediately. This shop is like my mother ship. We got chocolate bars, fruit jelly candy, and coffee. Dave would have bought a spicy gourmet ketchup if we could have gotten it back on the plane, and I would have gotten some quail eggs or truffles if I could reasonably have afforded them. Hmm, I wonder if there is a Dean & Deluca in Chicago...

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