New York – 2

October 26, 2012

After Central Park I decided to walk along 5th avenue. And as my sister pointed out, no trip to New York would be complete with out stopping in FOA Schwartz. Although I am glad that I went there without the kids. Im pretty sure that it would be impossible to walk in there with 2 kids and not walk out with something.

But since I was childless for the day I got to meander with out hearing “mama, can we buy this? I love it so much. Please, pretty please!”. Where do they learn “pretty please”? It almost never works, but it is so darn cute to hear.

FAO; just like every other part of New York; was packed. I escaped out on to the street to discover that they were closing off 5th Avenue for a parade. I tried walking down 5th for a while, but gave up after about 5 blocks. I had to detour so far down each block when it came time to cross the street that I gave up and headed back towards time square.

I detoured by my hotel for a snack and to look up directions to Ground Zero on something larger then my phone. I wanted to stop at a few spots along the way and wanted to see where everything was. It was only a 4.5 mile walk, so I set off.

I passed through many districts on my way. And even stopped at the American Apparel in the Garment District to pick up the remaining item for Lincoln’s Halloween costume. As I walked along the Hudson river. I could see I huge building under construction. I didn’t realize until I got closer and saw the signs that it was World Trade Center 1. They are currently working on floor 103.

I hope to go back to New York when the World Trade Center is completed so that I can see the change to the skyline. Its a big building that dominates the skyline now, I can only imagine the devastation that occurred on 9/11.

I did not see the memorial. 1) I was a little disappointed that 11 years later the memorial is still under construction 2) that you have to buy tickets to see the under construction memorial (really? Thousands of people died, and it outraged us enough to start a war and we are charging admission to see the names of the dead? Maybe the memorial is more then that, but I will wait until its finished before I pay to see it) 3) the line was crazy long. And after walking for all morning I didn’t really want to wait in line.

I did wander around the area for awhile.

And came across some street performers. I came across it almost at the end, but they were hilarious. Probably the funniest thing I have seen in awhile.

Among all the buildings there were small hints that people lived there. That it wasn’t all just skyscrapers and business. Corner stores, and flower stalls tucked away.

As I walked along the Hudson I finally saw some green spaces. Not all of it was real (there was plenty of fake grass), but at least there were trees and parks.

By this point in the day I had walked 9 or so miles. My feet hurt, and I was exhausted, but I still wanted to catch a glimpse of the statue of Liberty. I knew that I didn’t have time to make it out to Ellis Island but I did want to see the statue, even if it was from afar.

As I walked toward Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty dominated the view. Maybe on a future trip I will make it out to Ellis Island, I bet the view from the top is spectacular. But for this trip seeing it from afar was good enough.

I took the subway back to times square. I think the friendliest person I met my entire trip was the helpful guy at the toll booth in the subway station. Maybe it was because I smiled, and many New Yorkers dont smile. But the guy was very helpful and told me how to get back to times square in about 20 minutes (without walking another 5 miles).

The last thing I wanted to do while in New York was to see a Broadway play (#10 on my life list). So I waited in line for tickets to Annie for 45 minutes. It was well worth it though. The show was amazing. The whole time I kept thinking that I look forward to bringing Fiona to see a Broadway show someday. I have many friends that do theater and I am amazed by them. I would never have the guts to do. But I will cheer and support my friends that do. I can’t believe how much I did in a single day. I was exhausted and was quite happy to sit on a plane for several hours and head home.

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