Monday, October 14, 2013

Big City, 7 - The End of the Line

wait.  Itinerary interrupted (as it should be on any decent adventure, I'm sure).  Reed was upset when he wondered when we were going to the Empire State Building, and found out it was never on the schedule.  So, we took the train one stop down to 34th St and walked through a barrage of "Buy your discount tickets for the Empire State Building here!" yelling for a few blocks.  We saw it, went in and checked out the pretty lobby and left.  One more thing checked off Reed's personal "to do" list.
 Back to the itinerary!  Number 1 (or 2?): Chinatown!  Well, this neighborhood was a really fun way to spend part of a day.  Just seeing the cost of things put a smile on my face!  Bakeries with their delicious red bean or coconut buns for 90 cents... perfect.

We all bought some souvenirs on the cheap, and grabbed Dim Sum for lunch at the huge Jing Fong with waitresses wandering the aisles with carts of goodies to try.  We couldn't understand a lot of what they described, so we were going on looks alone, but made some yummy choices (and even after eating them, we still couldn't figure out what some of them were).

We couldn't leave Chinatown without a trip into Aji Ichiban, the candy and snack store.  Lot of samples - we left with a few handfuls of unusual-flavored candies, and I was actually totally okay with it (anything to get the flavor of dried sesame fish snack sample out of my mouth)
Number 2: Take the train as Downtown as it would go - straight to Battery Park.  We toured the Castle Clinton Monument, which was really neat - I'm a geek for dioramas of the timeline of cities :)  It started out as a fort to protect New Amsterdam, and eventually was given to New York by the Army and became a number of things including a pre-Ellis Island immigration processing station, and concert venue and an aquarium.

I had originally thought I would be feeling guilty for not forking over the cash to do the Statue of Liberty official tour, but as it turns out, the Statue of Liberty is a National Park, so is closed down due to the government shutdown.  My original plan is now the plan that most people are doing (well, you still could pay for the tour, but you don't get to go inside the statue, just to the island, and I was surprised people were actually waiting in line to do this).  We boarded the (free) Staten Island Ferry and had great views of the Statue of Liberty, as well as Governer's Island, the Southern tip of Manhattan and lots of boats going in and out of the harbor.
 (above): ZB is convinced that the wake of the boat is actually lots of milk in the water.  No convincing her otherwise.

That was actually my whole plan for the day.  Now up to the kids on their last night in the Big City.  Clay wanted to walk in Times Square a little more, and we went back to the Element skateboarding shop, no purchases, though.  Then, Reed chose to spend the last hour before dark at a playground in Central Park.  He found it was a very good place to spin in circles and practice moves with his new Chinatown wooden sword.
Saying goodnight from the the Big City on Columbus Day in Columbus Circle (just a coincidence, we really did not seek the place out in honor of a holiday that I'm not a big fan of :)

1 comment:

Jane said...

Such a wonderfully fun trip for everyone! So glad you took the opportunity!

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