Jessi and Me waiting to take our tour of lower Manhatten
Up at , so we could be on our way to our midtown meeting place for our Walking Tour of lower Manhattan. We were one our way just fine, after eating breakfast at the Key West Diner, next door. We got on the subway, and got one stop down, when I finally realized what was causing that “I forgot something” feeling. It was the camera. We had to have it, so we got off, and we walked back 10 blocks to the hotel. Back to the subway, and then on our way. We made good time, and still had to hang around for about 10 minutes.
The first stop on the tour was Ground Zero.
The impromtu cross made at Ground Zero. It was very moving
Our tour guide was a lifelong resident, former English professor and former cab driver. He did a great job, but when he was telling us about 9/11, he almost started to cry. He was at the part where people were jumping out of the building, from the floors above where the planes hit. He had to turn away, and then move the tour on in a little different direction. We saw the City Hall, St Pauls Chapel, the Trinity Church, The New York Stock Exchange, The Customs Building, the Woolworth Building, and on and on. We did have one blip. Margo wanted to buy a book at St Pauls. She got in line with about 5 minutes or so until we were supposed to meet. But the cashier was slow, and a lady in front of her screwed up endorsing her Travelers checks. We ended up holding up the whole tour and missing our bathroom break. The tour ended at Battery Park and we saw our first reasonable clear view of the Statue of Liberty. We saw it through the mist from the top of the EmpireStateBuilding and then at night from the BrooklynBridge.
The New York Stock Exchange. Wall Steet is narrow this is the best you can do, picture-wise
There all we could see was a faint silhouette and the light from the torch. We picked up a couple of souvenirs, including a drawing of Jessi and a Louis Vatton purse. I’m sure it’s a knock off (I call it Louie the Fake), but she likes it.
Anyway we finished up and backtracked a little ways and grabbed the #5 train uptown (we’re becoming pretty good subway riders, now) to Spring St, so we could get a pizza at Lombardi’s. Lombardi’s first started serving pizzas in 1905 and claims to be the 1st pizzeria in the US. Maybe it is. They say that their founder, taught several of the other old time NYC pizzeria founders how to make pizza. Anyway, it’s an old building and we sat at a small table. But, the service was very quick and they brought the pizza on a pedestal, so it didn’t take up the whole table.
Trinity Church. This is the church from the first National Treasure movie. Cool, Huh?
The pizza was pretty good. You can’t order a lot on it, because it’s very thin crust and will get soggy, but we had a half pepperoni and half mushroom, and it worked out fine.
From there were we went to the Fire Store, about two blocks away. There I wanted to pick up a FDNY polo shirt, which I found. I also got Mary Betz a magnet. She got me one when she went to WashingtonDC earlier this summer. I also picked up Tuni a shirt there. She collects T-shirts and I figured an official one, would look good.
From there it was off to Lower East Side, and the Pickle Guys.
The Brooklyn Bridge. This shot was take on the Brooklyn side. We took the subway to Brooklyn, got ice cream and then walked back to Manhatten.
We saw this segment on the Travel Channel, that featured a pickle shop and it looked interesting. So we worked it into our itinerary. It was about a mile walk. We got there and picked up a couple of quarts of full sour pickles and some sweet Gershwins for me. The girls love the dills, but I wasn’t too crazy about the Gershwins. We grabbed the subway and headed back to the hotel. We decided that instead of making our way to Brooklyn, and ice cream,like I had planned, that we rest some, as the ice cream wasn’t going anywhere. It was the right decision and we grabbed about a 1 ½ hour nap. Once we got up we walked over to the subway station near Central Park, and took it directly to Brooklyn. We walked down to the waterfront and got some ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. A review I read said that they have very good Hot Fudge and make their product on the spot. If ice cream can be worth a half hour commute, this was it.
Margo and Jessi on the Brooklyn Bridge. The Manhatten skyline, with the Empire State Building in the background.
The hot fudge was good. The best I ever had. By this time it’s about and starting to get dark. My plan was to walk across the BrooklynBridge and take in the Manhattan skyline. We did, and I enjoyed it. It was about a mile walk, but I thought it was a pretty easy walk, and the skyline was impressive. We stopped several times and took a few pictures. We got across and found our subway station and went back to Times Square for dinner. We ate at Planet Hollywood, as we walked though it the night before and thought it pretty cool. They played a nice range of videos up on their big Jumbotron and it had a very upbeat atmosphere. It was a tonic for me. That and the two beers I had. But, even with all that, by the time we were finished dinner, it was and we were tired.
Times Square. It is so spectacular at night. Only Las Vegas has it beat.
It was a little apprehensive about riding the subway at that time of night, but the station was packed. If there were any muggers they were going to have to assume that 20 people weren’t going to want to be heroes. We got on and it went without incident. If fact the subway has been pretty easy to use and not a problem at all. The weather out here has been hot, and the stations themselves are not air conditioned, but you don’t wait long. We got back to the hotel, took care of our nightly money ritual and went to bed.
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