No standing sign that I can't understand
We finally arrived at Chinatown at 1:30pm and were dropped off at Canal Street. I was first mesmerized by the "No Standing Anytime" or No Standing except for Sundays" signs. WTF What is that about! Why is it OK to stand on Sundays? Can you sit or lay down instead? Is that allowed? There were also "NO honking" signs as well, which included a $350 fine if a horn was blowed. My 1st impression was that Chinatown was a cramped, crowded, dirty area that I knew I didn't like as soon as I stepped off the bus. You see, I'm not a big shopper in that I don't need an expensive or brand name Coach purse. If I see a $15-$20 no-name purse in Target then I'll buy that instead. I also didn't like a guy shoving a watch in my face to which I made a disgusted face & kept walking.
"The Sphere" sculpture that was in the plaza of the World Trade Center
At first I was worried about being pickpocketed but then realized they are more interested in selling their merchandise then what's in my purse. I didn't but anything but my friend, Bernie bought a watch for $5 which we were teasing about her expensive purchase. It then took us 20 minutes to get to Battery Park where you could get a distant view of the statue of liberty. There was a sculpture that previously stood in the World Trade Center plaza on display and an "eternal flame" to honor those of the September 11 attacks. The "purse & watch" people were here also & we were told purchases at Battery Park were cheaper than in Chinatown. We did buy sweatshirts at a legitimate vender for $15 and I got a light green hooded one. We walked to Ground Zero but couldn't see anything but fences with tarp over them and the top of cranes.
Our main goal was to see the Wall Street Bull; also known as the Charging Bull and represents "aggressive financial optimism and prosperity". This thing was pretty popular with adults and kids getting their picture taken with it, including Bernie & me. I soon saw one of those "No Standing" signs and of course did the obvious which was to "stand" under it and get my picture taken.
It took 45 minutes to get to our hotel on 7th Ave. due to the traffic. I looked at the colorful buildings and crowded streets from the bus window. I couldn't believe I was in New York City! We were staying at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers and were on the 15th floor with a view of 2 buildings which were very close so a little disappointing. (see picture below) By now we were getting hungry, as it was nearing 6:00.
Eternal Flame to honor victims of 9-11
I was excited when Bernie & I walked out the main entrance as there were many pictures displaying the Showtime series, "The Tudors". Pictures featuring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and his entourage were hung up on a makeshift castle-like wall. Got some pictures and then decided to try Bubba Gump
for dinner after Renee said the food was very good. After walking a few blocks, I got to see the famous Times Square and found the seafood restaurant. It would be over an hour wait as we browsed the gift shop and walked outside. I then realized this was connected with the movie "Forest Gump
". After Bernie's name was called, we were taken upstairs and then put in a small line to wait for the hostess.
Lady Liberty as seen from Battery Park
Taken to the back area. I could not believe how HUGE this place was! Kitty was our waitress and she explained on how to use the 2 signs on our table. The red one said "Stop Forest, stop" which meant you needed the waitress and any of them would stop, even if they weren't your waitress! The blue one said "Run, Forest, Run" and meant that you didn't need anything and things were fine. It worked well and when the red was turned, someone stopped within seconds! The food was good and I got stuffed trout with crab and shrimp. We also had an appetizer of artichoke and shrimp dip which was excellant.
By the time we were done, it was 8:30 so Bernie suggested we do the "Top of the Rock". She heard that the view is better on top of the Rockefeller Center than the Empire State Building.
$18 later and an xray search of our purses and going through a metal detector, we were on our way up. There was a display about how the Center came about and then we sat on a bench with the background looking like we were hanging in the air and had our picture taken. Then we got on an elevator and were told to look up and there was a cool demonstration about the evolution of music. After reaching the top and going out the glass doors, the wind could be heard howling between the glass partitions. It was an awesome site with the Empire State Building in the near distance and lights everywhere. The Chrysler Building and City Sphere could be seen. On our way down the elevator was a light show and we went to look at our picture and you'll never guess how much one 4x6 picture was?! $25! WTF? There better be some gold border on that baby! No thanks, then the woman said a packet would be $75 which was about 5 pictures! That's crazy.
It took us about 10 minutes to find the bathroom and another 10 minutes to find our way outside to watch the skaters at the rink. It was pretty and one male skaker looked to be pretty good, almost professional looking, doing double somethings. lol Bernie wantd to see St Patricks Cathedral lit up at night so we did and it looked gothic. Then back to the hotel and called it a night. I was looking forward to seeing Grease the next day! :)