Day 3 – No Sleep ’til Brooklyn
Another awesome view out the window this morning… It was supposed to snow overnight, so when we woke up we tore open the shutters and threw up… no wait. We actually layed in bed for a few minutes, nothing got torn up and nobody threw up. Also, nothing got snowed on. 🙁 But it was kinda foggy and made for another awesome view from the room.
So we got up early and went to church… No really! I have pictures to prove it!
But first we had breakfast at this cute/awesome little restaurant just down from the hotel; Patzeria Family & Friends. The food and prices were really good (and that’s hard to find here, so we’re finding), but the thing that really sets this place apart is the service. It didn’t hurt that we had the place mostly to ourselves, but even when other people were there the owner was making the rounds, being all friendly and talkative and personable and stuff (I liked it anyway). And our waitress had moved here to be on Broadway… how cool is that?!? We even had our own personal after-dinner (well, after-breakfast) show. Thanks Natasha!
We wandered around Times Square again to see how hoppin’ (don’t mock my hip lingo) it was on a Sunday morning; not an Elmo in site! We did, however, see a bunch of maintenance workers in red uniforms which I almost mistook for Elmos.
One thing we discovered really fast here in Manhatten is Bus Porn. (just keep reading) If you’ve ever been to the strip in Vegas, you’ve no doubt seen the creeps handing out those little collector-cards for different “adult” experiences to be had in Vegas. It’s just like that here except they’re trying to get you to buy tickets on the bus tours; only 2 different bus lines, but 6 people on every corner trying to shove tour schedules into your hand. Crazy. We didn’t want people to see us buying it on the street, so we purchased our bus tours online all respectable-like.
After breakfast we picked up our travel passes and hopped on the bus tour (shhh!) to go… downtown (you know you’re singing the song in your head right now). We had to make a quick stop at Adorama to pick up a nifty lens for Cindy’s camera. We wandered around the store for a while and then found out that we weren’t even in the right building. We were in the right store… just not the right building. Ya. It’s like that. They don’t have stores here, they have STORES!!! The rental part of the store was in the building next door on the sixth floor.
Lens in hand, we got back on the bus and headed to the 9/11 memorial. Anybody who thinks we live in a free country has never been to an airport or the 9/11 memorial. Security personnel outnumber people 2-1 and there are more cameras there than the aforementioned Adorama building(s). Like at the airport, it’s a hurry and strip-down, everything in a bin, walk here, stand there, hurry up and move along experience.
No matter how you feel about it, the 9/11 memorial is a… reverent place. Like so many places where tragedy has occurred, you can feel something in the atmosphere. They’ve really done a good job with the memorials, and what they are building there now is amazing. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.
Hey!!! Remember when we said we went to church? Here it is. After the memorial we walked through this old, old, old church and checked out all the way old headstones in the cemetery. The church was a place of refuge (in this case refuge = nap) for emergency workers after 9/11. Now it’s mostly a memorial. And still an old, old, old cemetery.
We decided that rather than walk back to the last bus stop, we’d just walk to the next one down by Battery Park to catch the tour bus to Brooklyn. Surprise! Since Sandy rolled through they run the Brooklyn tour from the last bus stop.
“Oh, you mean the bus stop we just walked here from????”
“Yes, silly tourist. You can’t get there from here since the storm, even though when you’re done with the tour we’re gonna drive the bus right back down here anyway. Welcome to New York and enjoy your walk back!!”
(We might have been a little frustrated about that)
So we honeymoon-hiked (that’s when you have to walk but really don’t care cuz you’re walking together) back to the bus stop and waited for 30 minutes to find out that we actually needed to be at the bus stop across the park. And when we got there we found that the last Brooklyn tour left about 30 minutes prior. Dee was ready to start using some of the more colorful vernacular we’ve heard here in NYC, but there were far more forceful/vocal people than us there who convinced the tour company that they needed to run the tour since they were all told to be there at that time.
Our man Thomaso was a life-long Brooklyn resident and I don’t see how we could have had a better guide. He was fun and colorful and full of stories (and I think maybe just a little bit full of something else) and it was an incredible visit.
By the time we got back into Manhatten, the sun was mostly down and we were mostly frozen and our bladders were mostly full. In that situation, you have to take care of the more urgent matters first, so we went off in search of the facilities. Would you believe there is not a single public facility in the financial district?!?!? We finally found one in a nice warm basement room in the back of the last building on a distant block. Cindy wanted to just live there where it was warm and there was a potty.
We found our way back onto the bus and shivered our way back to the room, where we are now huddled under some nice warm blankets with the temperature set to “Phoenix”.
Thanks for sharing our day with us! We had SO much fun and hope you did too!! See you tomorrow!