Originally posted: 2012/01/22
Continued from: NYC Day 3
This was our last full day in the city, and we had so much to do! Getting to bed at 3 AM makes it hard to get an early start. Even so, we hit the Statue of Liberty first thing, trying to beat the crowds.
On the way there, we picked up a couple of hoodies from one of the street vendors. Jenny got the big NYPD hoodie (which came in handy later that day).
Going through security for the Statue of Liberty is about as bad as the airport. There’s something about the dehumanizing machine that should make people wonder, yet they flow through it in droves. Security at the Empire State Building didn’t seem as bad, because the crowd wasn’t as large as at the Statue of Liberty.
When our boat arrived, we thought we were doing great, because the crowd wasn’t that large (even though we slept in a bit). Then we found out why:
…the Statue of Liberty was closed for remodeling!
On the bright side, we didn’t have to go through a second wave of security to get into the statue.
No time to visit Ellis Island, so we headed back to Manhattan to see the WTC site.
Jenny was approached by a few beggars (squirrels) in Battery Park. We had picked up some roasted nuts after getting off of the boat, and still had a few left. It’s interesting that in a concrete jungle full of man-made structures, we’re still more impressed by the critters.
We had to get the obligatory picture of the bull in Wall Street. It was fenced off, because of the “occupy” movement, so this is as close as we could get.
I had the chance to stand on top of the World Trade Center tower in 1999 and 2000, and now the “Ground Zero” site looks like a giant tooth had been extracted. In the distance you can see the new towers being constructed.
We headed back uptown, because this was my last chance to catch B&H Photo / Video. We didn’t get any pictures there, because I was too busy looking at all the gear. I did manage to get some ideas for future adventures though (more on that later).
On our way to B&H, we talked with a lady on the sidewalk, who may have at first looked like a bag-lady, but we had the most interesting conversation. We talked about all kinds of things, including chromosomes and genetics. Now I wish I would have asked to take her picture, she was great.
It was getting late, and I promised Jenny we’d stop by her favorite cosmetics shop while we were there, so we headed back down to the Lower East Side.
Never a dull moment when waiting for the subway. We could have spent a week just capturing the subway-subculture. Jenny’s NYPD apparel was more convincing than she thought. Once we took the wrong exit gate, and had to get back on, but our MetroPass cards would not work, because we had just swiped them recently. We approached a transit employee to ask for help. He saw Jenny’s NYPD hoodie, and said “NYPD! Sure, go right ahead; I’ll let you back in.” At another stop, a drunk/high guy in the subway asked her if she was a cop.
Finally we made it to the Lower East Side.Jenny tries to limit her selection of Lip Tar™ at Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. We got there just before closing, but there was still enough time for Jenny to get what she needed (and more).
We hadn’t eaten anything, and it was starting to get late. Our mutual indecisiveness began to take over, and it felt like we were just running in circles. Frank Sinatra calls New York “a city that never sleeps”, yet a few of the places we tried for dinner were already closed on a Sunday evening. Now I was really feeling bad. We’ve been here this whole time, and have not gone out to a nice dinner yet.
We had to hit someplace that would be open late, and since we planned to hit Times Square once more, we settled on: Planet Hollywood. Honestly, I had hoped to eat at a nice quiet upscale (within our budget) restaurant. But since Jenny had never been, and we were both dangerously hungry, this worked out great.
The walls are covered with all kinds of Hollywood memorabilia. There are also several molds of hand-prints from famous actors/actresses. Jenny often complains about the size of her hands, and as she was placing them in the molds, she found that she’s the same size as Michael J Fox. That’s not a bad thing. I found that mine are the same size as Clint Eastwood. Then we were seated.
After dinner, we went for a few final pictures in Times Square.Notice the people in the bottom right corner. They were wondering what we were doing, because I had clamped my camera onto the railing so we could take our pictures.
As we walked along one of the side streets just off of Times Square, there was a guy selling Rolex watches. Neither of us have any interest in jewelry, but just for laughs, I had to get involved. I asked how much the “Rolex” watches were. He said they’re normally $150, but he would sell me one for $80. I said “no thanks” and we kept walking. Behind us, we heard him asking “how much you got?” Then he offered a price of $40. During the whole time he never once showed the product. I almost wanted to get one just as a joke, but we had better things to spend our money on.
We came across a few artists sketching people, and thought this would make a nice souvenir. Jenny’s hair was in braids and under her hat, so we weren’t looking our best for a sketch. Instead, we had the artist sketch one of the pictures from our Steampunk Wedding. We pulled up our website on Jenny’s phone, and he began drawing.
Sadly, this was to be our last midnight visit to the Europan Bakery Cafe. This place is the best! We would often be heading back to our hotel room, and still be hungry.
Pizza, pasta, etc, was awesome. But the cakes (chocolate mousse, in particular) were the bomb! We usually walked out of there with at least two slices of cake each night, and a couple of extras (just in case) for breakfast too!
If we didn’t feel like walking across the street to our hotel, we could just cut underground through the subway entrance, and pop out across the street (like a couple of squirrels with several pounds of stolen cake). Stay tuned for our “Souvenir” post, coming soon….