DAY FIVE - Friday
When I saw it was going to be 5 degrees yesterday, I couldn't believe what a change that was. And yes - it was really cold first thing.
We started the day with a bit of a disappointment. Our intention was to head to Ellis Island and view the Statue of Liberty up a little closer (we'd already decided we didn't need to go up the SOL or stand right underneath it - the view from the ferry would suffice).
We took the subway, which was fabulous because we finally found Grand Central Station. And WOW! Amazing to be standing in it...
|The staircase is not on fire. |
The sun was shining brightly thru the windows!
However, after we arrived at Battery Park (where the ferry departs from) we soon had to bail on that plan.
The first ferry leaves at 9.30, and we got there just after 9.15am. You should have seen the line! We just kept walking and walking and walking when trying to find the end of it, following the crowds around one side of Battery Park. It was ridiculous. (And this was with pre-purchased tickets, too.)
We waited in line for around 45 minutes, and then decided not to bother. At the rate we were moving, we calculated our wait before finally boarding a ferry (they leave every half hour) would be close to three hours, and we just didn't want to waste that amount of time in New York standing in a line.
I felt really disappointed at first. I was very keen to visit Ellis Island especially. That's where half of America's population can trace their roots back to, as it was the first port of call for all new immigrants when docking in New York by ship. Sigh. Ah, well. Another time, perhaps.
Even though I wore three layers, jeans and gloves, I was freezing after standing in line for those 45 minutes. Because we were so close to it, we decided to walk towards Wall Street, and then visit The World Trade Centre site.
Being at Wall Street was kind of exciting. I half expected Michael Douglas to walk down there (didn't happen).
There were a lot of barricades in place to keep the protesters out that have been frequenting there as of late. These guys were keeping an eye on things:
We found an upmarket food court and headed inside to the warmth and ordered a hot cup of coffee. It was interesting watching all the different people walk past, and before too long, this guy and a buddy showed up with their placards ready to protest later:
We left the food court with the intention of heading towards The World Trade Centre site, but instead found a shopping centre we've heard a lot about because of it's big value: Century 21. (Not the real estate company, Aussies.) We thought we'd head on in and check out the shoe section first, and oh my...the shoes on sale there!!!
|Carrie from SITC's fave shoes less than |
half the original price.
|That's right. Badgley Mischka heels down to $90 from $200!|
Hubby and I may have bought a few pairs. May I present Exhibit A:
But with Nike sneakers being only $30....who wouldn't, huh?! Amazing prices.
With a few too many bags to carry (as you can imagine), we had to head back to the hotel, deciding that we'd return later in the day and see the World Trade Centre site then, and do a little more shopping at Century 21. (No more shoes, though!)
On the subway on the way back, three guys jumped on to the train and one whipped out his guitar and they sang 'No Woman Don't Cry'. It was so good. If I could have gotten to my purse quickly enough, I would have given them some money, but I was cramped on the train, clutching two shoe bags!
I had a lovely chat with a woman on the subway, actually, and Hubby and I discussed later how friendly everyone has been. He said that when he first started visiting New York years ago for work, people were mostly cranky-pants (he didn't use those exact words, admittedly). They've been nothing but pleasant, I have to say, and I haven't felt threatened once. But I guess we've also been sticking to fairly nice areas on our travels too.
After some lunch at the hotel (we sat at Dustin's table ;) ), we had a quick rest before heading out again.
Once again, we hopped on the Subway and made our way Downtown to the World Trade Centre Site.
Unfortunately, if you want to see the site, you have to pre-book a pass online. We hadn't done this, and they weren't giving out any further passes that day, so instead we decided to just look at the construction and take in where the buildings would have stood. (Hubby, on past business trips to NYC, had been inside the World Trade Centre.) Then we headed across the road to a sort of museum set up for the WTC. It was very, very moving there.
|This replica of the Statue of Liberty stood near a FDNY|
station where many left tributes to those who died.
|A model of what the site will look like when completed.|
Afterwards, it was nice to walk and then indulge in something trivial...shopping.
My intention was to buy mostly clothes, and maybe some cosmetics. I use Clinique powder, and it was much cheaper at C21, AND they gave me a $10 coupon to spend in-store!
I really wanted a black overcoat, and I got one at half the usual price. There were heaps to choose from. I didn't buy any other clothes though, but I did pick up a new handbag. Or two. (I'm a sucker for the things, okay?)
By the time we got home, it was almost ready to head out to dinner.
We went to Nobu Next Door. Nobu is the restaurant part owned by Robert De Niro, situated in Tribeca. Nobu Next Door is an extension of that, if you like. It's...next door. ;)
Although the food was very good, I'm obviously getting old because I found it very dark and noisy there. It was like sitting in the middle of a nightclub. Lots of doof-doof-doof music. So, if you're looking for a nice place for a chat, this is not the place for you.
|See what I mean by dark?!|
Still, my Champagne 95 cocktail was DIVINE, and the food was really good. Pricey, but good. (For Salmon Sushimi you pay $5 per piece.) AND, I got to see a beautiful view of the Brooklyn Bridge on the way in the cab. I fear we're running out of time (and good weather) to walk over it! :(
Seeing our booking was 9.45pm (yep - living like rock stars over here), it was a late night for us old folk. ;)
* * * * *
DAY SIX - Saturday
All the full-on activity and late night dinners obviously caught up with us. We woke up around 10am this morning!
We quickly raced down to breakfast. Boy, was it busy. It was raining again outside today, so we decided to head to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art).
When we got back to the hotel room though, we still felt tired, so decided to take our time getting ready. Suddenly, I looked out the window and realised...it was SNOWING! Snowing, I tell you!
Wow. What are the chances?
Eventually, around lunch time, we headed to MoMA.
Fortunately for us, we had pre-purchased tickets, because the cue for tickets was huge. The cue for the coat room was also massive, so we avoided it by removing our jumpers, tying them around our waists and putting our jackets on.
|Probably just as many were drawn to MoMA's large windows to|
see the snow outside, as they were the artwork.
I headed straight to Level 5 where the more classic paintings and sculptures are (think: Monet. Again!).
|Hubby reckons he's had enough of Water Lillies.|
I'll never get enough of them. :)
|Salma Hayak...I mean, Frida Kahlo.|
|Not surprisingly, Van Gogh's Starry Night was a crowd pleaser.|
Eventually I headed down to Level 4 where the art was a little too, er, modern for my tastes.
|A room filled with striped fabric hung on the walls.|
See the lady describing it in front?
"Isn't it amazing how the stripes are so...stripey?"
|Just what every white wall needs. Three paintings of...white. Er, okay...|
However, I was excited to see a little Andy Warhol, including this print of Elvis. You're welcome, C. (My sister, C, has always been a big Elvis fan.) It's called Double Elvis. Natch.
Eventually, we got really hungry, so I reserved a table at a cafe on Level 5. We had to wait an hour (but could continue to tour the museum), but I have to say, it was worth it. For a museum cafe, the food was absolutely sensational! We started with a selection of five cheeses with red wine, followed by a very delicious trout salad we shared, then dessert. Hubby had a Bourbon and pecan ice cream, I had the Chocolate Fudge Marshmallow Sundae.
|Nom, nom, nommy, nom, nom.|
Oh, my...it was SO amazing. It's the first time, I think, I've indulged in dessert here, and what an introduction! It even had salted pretzels mixed through it, which sounds weird, but really, really worked. (Mardi - you were right - chocolate and pretzels SO go together!)
Tonight, we're off to meet another friend for dinner in the Meatpacking district, so I'll write about that tomorrow (*crosses fingers*). I'm quite certain I'll be too tired later tonight!