Monday, January 24, 2011

New York City Day 2

Remember when I described out disgusting hotel? Thankfully, day two of our visit to New York included a hotel switcheroo- and boy- were we excited! Since it was January, the hotel wasn't outrageously expensive (good thing we didn't visit during June!). By the time we got the hotel situation fixed out (which included the hailing of our very first cab!) it was about 11 and we were hungry.

So...we went to Chelsea Market for lunch. What a fun place. It's below the food network studios in an old Nabisco cookie factory. It's just awesome there. We went to Friedman's for lunch. I had the best fish taco of my life.

 After lunch we went downtown to see Ground Zero. I thought it was going to be different... but it was basically just a construction site with tons of noises and traffic (not much different from the rest of the city). Maybe once the memorial is finished it'll have a different feel.

Right across the street from where the towers stood is St. Paul's Cathedral. It's quite cool to see this little church amongst massive buildings. It's the oddest thing. But cool. And George Washington sat in Trinity Church. Even cooler.

After that- I was bound and determined (as with everything else on my list) to get to Battery Park- the very southern tip of Manhattan. I knew which way was south- but we couldn't really figure out how to get there. As we were walking- we stumbled about Trinity Church. My mom lit a candle! And I sat in a really old chair. It's a pretty building- very different from my usual Sunday church building. Alexander Hamilton is buried on the grounds of Trinity Church, but sadly- I couldn't find his gravestone (it was probably covered by snow).

After that- we did indeed find Battery Park and saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I definitely want to go on a tour of Ellis Island someday (as my great grandparents went through Ellis Island when they came over from Germany in the 20's)- but we just didn't have time. It was nice to see it- even if it was from a distance.

We then took the subway up to Flatiron to try The City Bakery's famous hot chocolate and pretzel croissant. And boy- did it live up to the hype. I got the milk hot chocolate (my mom ordered dark- I thought the milk was better- and I normally prefer dark chocolate flavored things) and we shared a pretzel croissant. The hot chocolate is so thick and creamy. It sort of has the consistency of melted ice cream- it's that thick. I like my hot chocolate nice and rich- so I loved it. My mom doesn't like super rich desserts- so it wasn't her favorite. But... if you like chocolate and heavy cream- please try this hot chocolate. It is so good. And what is a pretzel croissant? I have no idea. Except for the fact that I ate it and it was seriously delicious. I wish we could've gone back a second time. After we finished up our insanely thick hot chocolate, we tried figuring out how to get back to Midtown (where our hotel was). My mom's 3G network on her iPhone wasn't really cooperating (there's this app called HopStop)- so we had no idea how to get back on the subway (it was our first day in nyc, afterall). We took a cab instead. The driver was the only one who was remotely friendly. He asked us if we're from the city and we said no. He said he figured that because we apparently have "soft voices." Oh- and a tip on cab driving- let them know the cross streets. For instance- I would tell the driver we wanted to go to 790 Eighth Avenue. But what I really should of told him (in addition to 8th Ave) was 49th and 48th (the cross streets). I knew I read that somewhere when I was doing research for this trip- but I forgot.

It was dark and we were hungry for dinner (even after our pre-dinner snack of heaven). We decided on Schnipper's from the list I brought. It didn't disappoint. They're known for their hamburgers and sloppy joes (see on Throwdown with Bobby Flay). I ordered macaroni and cheese (I just couldn't pass it up) and a hot dog with sauerkraut (gotta represent my German heritage). You're probably thinking fish tacos, a croissant, hot chocolate, and now macaroni and cheese AND a hot dog? Yes. I ate it. I ate it all. And I don't regret it. Half the reason you (or I)  come to New York City is to eat and I was determined to do so. And with all the walking- I actually lost a few pounds. Hot dogs and weight loss. I don't think I'd mind living in New York.

After dinner, we had some time to kill before picking up my sister from the airport so we went to the Empire State Building. It was SO cold. My face has never been colder in my whole life. The cold temperature, the wind, and the height just added up to some extreme burning on my face. I can't even begin to describe the feeling- it was like needles on my cheeks. It was worth it, though. We zipped right through all the ropes that people actually wait 3 HOURS (during the busy season) in just to get to the 86th floor. I don't think waiting 3 hours is worth it- but we got through without waiting a minute- it was perfect. And beware of the tourist traps in the ESB. We could have EASILY spent 200 dollars- which would have been a joke.

We then picked up my sister from the airport and fell asleep EXHAUSTED. But it was fun.

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