As the sun came up on our third and final day in New York, my husband and I sadly packed up the room and dragged ourselves downstairs to check out, store luggage, and spend one last day in New York.
As I mentioned, the 9/11 Memorial was right by our hotel. Since we were right there, we decided to “quickly” see the memorial before getting food. That turned out to be not so quick, but more about that in a future post. For now, I’ll say that it was an emotional trip that we won’t soon forget.
South Street Seaport
We then decided to find breakfast (more like lunch at this point) down near the South Street Seaport area. I wanted to check out the little shopping area near the port, so we diverted from the water side road into…a time machine.
I had noticed the large crowds, but it wasn’t until we were up close that I noticed they were all dressed in clothing from the 1800s. And there were a few people in normal clothing around yelling at everyone to get to the right place, and take off there coats because it’s suppose to be the hotest day of the year. (Note, that day in New York it was 50 degrees F, but the wind chill made it feel like 40). After gawking and taking a few photos, we wandered to the street where all the restaurants were supposed to be. One issue, we apparently had not left the time machine. The street was filled with horse drawn carts, horses, old trams, and sights and sets covering the stores of the entire street.
While it was interesting to look at, at this point we had been up for close to 4 hours and had not had any food. We were starving and starting to get desperate. We decided to skip South Street Seaport and head back up to John Street. We ended up eating a lackluster meal at a local cafe.
Columbus Circle/Central Park
At this point my husband wanted to go up to Central Park, so we hopped on the subway to Columbus Circle. As soon as we got back above ground, I saw the big statue and realized I never seen it up close. Off we went to Columbus Circle to take pictures and see the fountain and statue. Now, I realize that Columbus’ demotion from his exalted status (except perhaps outside the Italian American community) is kind of a recent part of the American cultural conscience, I have to say it was shocking to see that he’s portrayed as almost God like in the statue.
Afterward we walked into Central Park. The tour vendors were out in full force (this was Friday afternoon), we had to walk in quite a bit to shake them. But once in, we simply wandered. The park is always beautiful, but on this day the fall colors were out in force, giving everything a slightly different air about them.
5th Avenue Shopping
Once we left the park, we walked 5th Avenue a bit to check out the shopping. We had promised ourselves that we would not go to Toys R Us or FAO Swartz this trip, but my husband found a different kind of toy store he couldn’t resist next to FAO Swartz, the Apple Store. After a quick visit to the iProducts we love but are not buying right now, we did a little window shopping and bought my mom a hat off a street vendor.
Before heading out, we wanted one last meal. As we walked down 56th Street on our way to a restaurant we had heard of, we noticed a place called Tina’s Cuban Cuisine. My husband had been bugging me about missing out on the opportunity to have good Cuban food, so I pointed it out. We noticed that the line was long and the wait staff spoke no English. Always a good sign so we entered and got a table. I got a chicken and beef empanada, rice and beans, and yellow plantains. The portions were huge, I could not eat it all. I had to stop myself however because the food was so good, I ate well past the full point. My husband got a Cuban sandwich and green plantains (Tostones). He said my grandmother’s tostones were better, but the sandwich was one of the best he had. What a great find.
Afterward, we waddled to the subway and back to our hotel to get our lugggage. It was now 4pm, prime time for commute traffic. We followed the mob to Path and NJ Transit as we made our way back home. My father picked us up from the station and took us back to our two extremely-excited-to-see-us children. They were excited to show us all the toys they had acquired from the grandparents while we were away – sure enough grandparents had done their job 🙂 There smiling faces made my day. I now had renewed strength needed to handle what awaited us in the comming days…16 days in Buenos Aires with two kids, a late night culture and a gelato place just round the corner from our apartment! Wish us luck!
* Stared photos taken by Atma Photography