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.
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)
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.