Monday was a sunny, but very cold day. We ate breakfast at a brunch place in Brooklyn, with various types of waffles.
We went to the Empire state building for a look, clear and could see for miles. We did the audio tour, which was cool, made the visit a bit more informative. It was one of the nicer days of our visit, which was a nice change to have climbing a tall building to lookout in decent weather, rather than clouds and rain.
We then made our way to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the afternoon. We only had a few hours, and barely got around any of it. That is the one place I wish I had more time at, it was very interesting. We checked out the greek statues and art, the American wing, and some of the weapons wing, where they had full suits of armour, including horse armour.
A last walk through Central Park, then for dinner we went to Chelsea Market again. I found a vegan sushi place, where they had the most delishuz sushi… though I’m not sure if you can call it sushi when it has no seaweed or fish. It was very tasty, nonetheless. I also had tiny doughnuts again, with crazy flavoured sugar. I had cardamon, and apple flavoured sugars.
Our final stop was the Empire State Building again, this time in the dark. I definitely recommed it for anyone who goes to NYC, the view is amazing, with lights everywhere. Everywhere. All the buildings look so cool, and you can see the glow of Times Square. The crazy thing was we could see a line of lights in the distance, over the lower tip of Manhattan. It was a line of planes, we could see 7 of them, all in a row fading into the distance, and all, I assume, headed for JFK. The line kept moving, but was always there, a constant incoming of planes that were landing. This was about 9pm at night, and we must have seen at least 10 planes go past (it could have been more, I wasn’t counting). It was a bit ridiculous, just the sheer amount of planes that were landing.
There was a helicopter flying all around our hostel for ages. Maybe they were looking for someone. I couldn’t face packing, so we had all decided to go to bed, when we found out my brothers finacee has given birth to a cute tiny little baby (not actually tiny), so that was pretty exciting 🙂
Today we slept in, and eventually dressed, and went to Central Park. Via a hipster coffee shop, where we ate bagels. Then via Grand Central Station again, as I wanted another look. It was still huge.
We walked around all of Central Park. I’m not kidding, we walked from one end to the other, with various trails and meanderings in between. We popped out at about 86th ave at about 3pm where we grabbed a bagel for lunch from another good bagel shop, then we were right back into it. That was all we did all day. Dale mapped it, About 12kms. Unfortunately most of this post is pictures. Or fortunately, if you like looking at pictures.
We chased squirrels, climbed over rocks, followed pretty trails, and towards the end of the day we came across a whole bunch of people marching and chanting. In Spanish, I think, and I believe it was some kind of church group.
Some of the statues and stuff we had to wait a while to get a clear picture – at the Alice in Wonderland statue, we had to wait for a couple of kids to get off the statue, just for a moment, so we could get a picture. They seemed to think everyone wanted some random kids in their pictures. I appreciate they’re kids, and want to play, but just because I’m an adult now, doesn’t mean I don’t like playing too, doesn’t mean I don’t want to climb on the statue and get a picture. I’ve felt this in a few places, that the adults have to stand back, while the kids run around and play on stuff and have fun.. why aren’t the adults allowed to do that too? Just because we’ve grown up, that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and be boring and bored and not climb and explore and blow bubbles and have fun. I still like tree climbing and flying foxes and dancing around, why shouldn’t I be allowed to do that?
My favourite part was when we were walking down a random trail, and something fell out of the tree beside us. My first thought was, omg, why is a bird falling out of a tree?!, but it turns out it was two squirrels fighting, who fell maybe 6m, landed on the ground with an audible thump, and then they both jumped up and ran off. They looked a little stunned. Silly squirrels!
We rode the carousel – there has been a carousel in the park since 1871, I think the current one is the 4th one in the park, and the longest lasting. The first was powered by a horse and a mule, walking around under the carousel, out of sight. The next two were powered by steam, and the current one has been around since 1908. All the bits are hand carvved.
We had planned to go to the Natural History Museum today, but somehow our plans all got changed. We started by heading to downtown Manhattan, where we hopped off the subway near the World Trade Center Location.
We stopped to check if they had any space to check out the memorial (you need a day pass, which is free, but you have to be given a time to go in, as they are still constructing around it). They had space, so we started with that. We checked out the small church on the next block, St Paul’s Chapel. Built in 1764, and I think is the oldest surviving church in Manhattan. It survived the Trade Center attacks and subsequent building collapses (without even a broken window), and after, it acted as place of gathering and rest for volunteers and rescuers. The fences around the church were where many people left flowers, pictures, tokens as a memorial. After the fences were filled, church officials put up 15 panels for people to use, but in the end, they needed about 400 boards. Not a lot of memorials on the fences these days, but there are lots of people trying to sell you memorial books.
A small church, but a center of hope and support. The memorial site was interesting. They have the first three of the 7 buildings that are going back up, built, and they are glass paned and interesting. The new buildings are being erected in different places to the lost buildings. Where the original two towers used to be, there are now remembrance water features. Each is a square, sunk into the ground, with water flowing down the walls, across the floor, then down into a well in the center. Each well is surrounded by a wall with the names of all the victims on it.
The whole thing made me quite sad. So many people died.
After that, we headed across to a computer shop, where we purchased me a laptop. It didn’t take us long on our trip to realise we each needed our own laptop, but it took this long to find one that was appropriate, not too expensive, didn’t have to be posted, and didn’t require an American or Canadian credit card to buy. We stopped by Best Buy to get me a case, then headed far uptown to the Chelsea Market, for a gander and an eating of delishuz food. We had sandwiches from the Num Pang Sandwich shop, and donuts covered in fancy sugar (I had gingerbread, cranberry and sage sugar) while sitting next to an interesting water fountain.
Conveniently just outside was where the High Line started, so we climbed aboard and wandered along that. It is an old rail line, that runs along a couple of stories above the road level, that they have converted into a long park type place ,with trees, benches, flowers and grass. It was a little bare, what with it being only just spring, but there were a few crocuses poking their heads up in a few places. It was a good walk, nice to walk and see all the buildings, and to get the views down the New York Streets.
After the Highline, we decided on more shopping (I need to replace my running shoes), so we headed uptown even more. The subway is great. We popped up right next to Central Park, and checked out the local sports store. None of my shoes, but a guy who was very interested in us and where we have come from, and he definitely wanted my fox hat. I wouldn’t trade it though. They didn’t have my shoes, but it wasn’t a lost cause, as we headed straight into Central Park.
It is quite big. Also, within a few minutes of walking, I was surrounded by so many squirrels, I didn’t quite know what to do. At one point I counted 6 that I could view all at once. They weren’t particularly scared of people; I think they know people often have food, and a couple came right up close to me, if I threw them discarded bits of acorn. SO VERY CUTE.
That entertained me for a while, but eventually we walked through a little bit, encountering a few patches of snow, lots of squirrels, lots of nut carts, and a guy making massive bubbles. There are lots of statues, and we saw a few small lakes. I definitely intend to go back there, this time with my camera battery charged (I forgot to charge it last night, it died halfway through today. Bad Becca).
A subway ride all the way back to Brooklyn, where I summoned up enough energy to sort my new lappy out, and write a few blog posts.