So Much Walking - Day 2
New York Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
April 26th, 2009 – by: kalinandeverett
Ev and I woke up around 10am and quickly showered and met up with Dad and Tammy around 11am in the lobby. I read about something called Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) that actually bakes a soup INSIDE a dumpling that I think sounds awesome and we decided to check out a pretty nifty named joint a block away from our suite called Excellent Dumpling House to see if we could find the dumplings there. No dice, but we tried other dumplings and they were yummy! I had fried chicken dumplings and my dad had the awesome crap and shrimp dumplings.
After we filled our bellies, we headed out to the Lower East Side via subway as there is a free walking tour of art galleries that departs from the LES tourist office.
At this point, we decided to try and find the LES tourist office to find that it moved to a new location and the free tour was full. Dad awesomely offered to pay for the 17 dollar tour about the LES tenement houses from the 1880s-1930s. It was quite interesting and we got to tour an old tenement that we recreated to look like 1880 in one suite, 1905 in another, and yet another that was abandoned in the late 1920s and never touched again. I've studied the tenement houses in London, but never have I walked through one. Ev and I bitch about living in 550 square feet of living space, but these were 350 and had no bathrooms and so very very tiny. The idea of more than one family living in one is pretty outrageous. We had a drink in a pub afterward (living the Miller High Life, oh yeah!) before moving onto the East Village via subway.
The East Village is next to Chinatown for being the livliest shopping area. There were vintage shops and head shops and tattoo parlours all over the place. There were even a group of guys with signs giving out "Free Hugs". Ha! Sadly, Ev was not in the mood for a free hug. ;) We were in the area not only to gawk at the surroundings, but also to get genuine Belgian Pomme Frittes! (Aka, Fries in a Paper Cone with Sauce Dumped on It) The Pomme Frittes weren't really as genuine as we hoped, but they were still pretty good and I got mine with Bleu Cheese and Ev got his with WAAAAY too much Belgian Mayo. We then checked out St Marks in the Bowery, a church from 1799 that was very very well preserved and pretty, but not really much to do or look at other than the facade.
Post-beer, we headed somewhere completely different...Staten Island! We took the subway down to Lower Manhatten (after a slight detour to Brooklyn..oops! Read the subway map wrong!) and then took the ferry to Staten Island just to have a good look at Elis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
Once back on the Island, we headed back up via subway to the Upper West Side to have a hot dog at Grey's Papaya. There is a Recession Special (ha! love it!) so one can get 2 franks and a drink for 4.45. So...Ev got 4 hot dogs and a drink and I got a drink. Works for me! We then walked the three blocks to Central Park and visited the Imagine/John Lennon memorial Strawberry Fields where there was a chill coverband who had been playing Beatles for the last 10 hours. I don't really care either way about The Beatles, but my dad loves there and I simply enjoyed the live music, the cool temps, and the respite from the busy day as the sky darkened more and more.
It was then that we decided to head back to SoHo and call it a night. I really wanted to go to bars tonight and whoop it up, but Ev had too much heat and wasn't in the mood so I decided to make the sacrifice (WOE IS ME!) and check in early as well at 10:30pm...although I hope to stay out late soon! We watched the Blazers CHOKE on the TV and bought tix tomorrow for a hopon-hopoff bus tour (good for 48 hours) of downtown Manhattan, uptown (including Harlem), and Brooklyn...so I'm pumped for what should be another beautiful day...hopefully with less walking and a later bedtime. :)
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