Day 3; Queues, Singing Waiters and a Naked Cowboy.
Trip Start Feb 20, 2011
6Trip End Feb 25, 2011
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The Staten Island Ferry has got to one of New York's best bargains! You get to see the Statue Of Liberty and the amazing Manhattan skyline for free. The only problem with doing it in the winter is that you lose all feeling in your body from the cold! Worth it though. Every time I do it I try to imagine seeing the Twin Towers dominate the skyline. The skyscrapers are so huge I just can't imagine anything so much bigger again. I'm so sorry I never got the chance to go up them. I'm so glad it was another perfect blue sky day.
We got off the Ferry and straight on the subway to head towards Ground Zero. When Rhi and I were here in early November 2001, you couldn't get near, as it was still on fire, and all the huge trucks were bringing the debris out. When Lyn and I were here in 2002 building work had started, but there was nothing to see. Now, 9 years later, it has obviously changed again, with one skyscraper well established. I can't wait to come back when it's all done, and view the Memorial pools and see the view from the top. We went to the Memorial Preview centre in Vesey St, where they had models of what it will look like. It looks amazing. It was also interesting to see, the replica of the Statue of Liberty that had stood outside one of the Fire Houses which had been covered with memorabilia. I felt I had seen it before, and was right; it had previously been on display in the Intrepid, so Lyn and I had seen it in 2002.
We also visited St Paul's Church again, which is one of my favourite spots in NY. This church is right by the WTC site, and was amazingly undamaged on 9/11. It was used as a centre for the rescue workers, and it has a fantastic exhibition inside of the role of the church on and after 9/11, and the work of the rescuers and volunteers. I've visited the exhibition twice , and found it just as emotional the second time, 8 years later. I'll never forget seeing the fence outside the church in November 2011, when it was covered with missing posters, candles, and messages of hope and peace. This church is well worth a visit if you are ever close by.
After thawing out at Starbucks, we popped into an amazing shop called J & R which is Lyn's idea of heaven. This shop is huge! We looked at cameras and lenses, but Lyn was well behaved! There's always time to go back though!
Back on the subway we encountered a Black acapella busking group, who boarded the train and began to sing "Shake Rattle and Roll"! Everybody sat in silence and looked nowhere, until they had passed by! Cian was most impressed, although he insisted they had been singing "Shake Daddy's Booties", which he continued to sing all day. And I mean ALL day!
Up then to Union Square, which is again one of my favourite spots in NY. We had a wander through the farmers market, and also into my favourite shop Wholefoods, which was so crowded! I can't wait to visit the one in Boulder this summer and actually buy some food.
Another shop for Phil and Julie to visit is Paragon Sports.....wow....a maze of a shop, with everything you could need. I have never seen such a vast collection of yoga clothes! I ended up buying new hiking shoes (North Face Sable GTX XCR), which means I can retire my faithful 10 year old Saloman boots!
We walked up past Lyn's favourite building, the Flatiron, and onto my favourite building, Macey's! WE had a quick look at watches, where Lyn tried on his ideal Citizen watch, then Lyn and Ci went upstairs for a Starbucks, and left me to wander. After a quick visit to the Clinique counter, and a wander through handbags, I went back to buy the watch as a surprise for Lyn. After an hours wait, and a useless salesperson the watch was mine, and hidden unsuccessfully in my handbag. I went to meet Lyn and Ci who had been amusing themselves by playing chess on Lyn's phone, only for Lyn to tell me he was glad he hadn't bought the watch, as it is cheaper in the UK. Ooooopps! He could immediately see by my face what I had done....so the surprise hadn't exactly worked out! We couldn;t face any more time in Macey's, so after a quick Kipling handbag sale, we headed out to get something to eat. We'll go back to Macey's tomorrow and get a refund.
We walked about 11 blocks to get to Ellen's Stardust Diner, where I had planned for us to eat. Bad timing, as it was now 6pm, and pre theatre rush in Broadway. We queued outside for an hour, with Cian gazing wistfully in through the window. We eventually got in, to find that the the food was very so so (Cian took literally 1 bite of his!), but the experience was good, as the waiting staff are all aspiring Broadway stars, and sing as you eat. It's really frenetic; I;m glad I've been, but wouldn't go back!
Another walk through Times Square, and we spotted the Naked Cowboy, who was posing in just a pair of tight white skimpies, a stetston and a guitar! Bear in mind it was minus 4 degrees! Mad! We called into Bubba Gump's Shrimp restaurant, to have a look at the menu. As big time Forrest Gump fans we'll probably eat there tomorrow, our last day in NYC!
We got back to our hotel room exhausted! We'd been out for over 11 hours! Ci had been amazing, but we were all ow flagging. Time for bed!!