Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lower Manhattan in one day

Thursday was dubbed by my sister as “the day we didn’t stop walking”. In the morning, we took the subway (her first NY subway ride) down to the southern most tip of the island. From there you could hop on a ferry to Stanton, Liberty, or Ellis Island. The lines convinced us to just look at Lady Liberty from the main land. With the zoom on cameras nowadays, we really didn’t need to waste the 4+ hours. After breathing in the sight of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island we headed up into the financial district. Well first we came across a guy selling imitation prada purses from a garbage bag. We made the mistake of hesitating in front of him, and he proceeded to follow us for five block shouting “I’ve got more purses, come with me for a purse”. Finally we lost him at a red light (to which I made my sister dash across the street in order to flee from the crazy guy).

A few blocks later, we stood at the immense canyon that is ground zero. You really don’t realize how big the site is until you stand there. They offer free tours of the site and we were lucky to be standing near one for a little bit. Evidently, the towers normally house 50,000 working people plus many more thousands outside (tourist, commuters, etc). Due to the early time of the attack (since I’ve seen that most New Yorkers don’t stroll into work until after 9am), the towers only had about 14,000 people inside. Thank goodness for sleeping in.

Just a couple short blocks away was Trinity church. Now this church is really old and famous I guess, but Tiffany and I didn’t know about it until we saw the movie National Treasure. We literally were like “wait, wasn’t’ that National Treasure church on Wall Street, wait I think that is it!” Yes, we are silly tourists. Anyway, the graveyard had headstones (and therefore graves) dated to before the revolutionary war. Evidently, Alexander Hamilton is buried there, but we didn’t know that at the time and therefore didn’t search out his final resting spot.

Trinity church is the beginning (or end, whichever way you look at it) of Wall Street. We walked down the infamous street and snapped pictures of places like the stock exchange and Federal Hall (where George Washington was sworn in as president). Tiffany insisted on taking pictures of every Trump building we walked by because her mother-in-law is obsessed with the show “the apprentice”. Hope you have a lot of memory in you digital card because he has buildings all over the place (at last check, I counted seven).

Wall Street was also the place I introduced Tiffany to street vender food. We picked up giant soft pretzels from a cart guy. Mmmmn, love soft pretzels. As we munched on the soft goodness, we did a turn around the South side seaport district before turning up to the Brooklyn Bridge. The best view from the Brooklyn Bridge is walking into Manhattan. Therefore, we decided to walk halfway across and back to get picturesque shots. At the halfway point, I stopped my sister and told her to turn back (so essentially we only walk one length of the bridge). Either it was the excitement of being in New York City or the calorie rush of the pretzel, but she said “no, lets keep going”. We ended up walking nearly all of the bridge before I forced my sister to turn back (she would regret wanting to walk so much later).

We headed past the old city hall building on our way up Broadway to the SoHo district. We hit a few choice shops and called it a day at 5pm (note we had basically been walking non stop since 10am). Tourist check list: statue of lib, world trade center, trinity church, wall street, south side seaport, brooklyn bridge......check, check, check, well you get the point.

A quick change at my apartment, and we headed back down to SoHo/Lower East Side for Marshall’s second rock show. Okay the venue, Arleen’s Grocery, was a combination of dive bar and 80’s punk rock scene. Some guys had colored Mohawks and tight black pants with chains. Of course the odd ones in the room were my sister and I who looked more like a GAP commercial. When we got to the stage annex, we had to fight for a good spot. Nah, just kidding. There were sadly only six people there (and three of us were either dating or related to a band member). Sooooo sad! Well what do you expect for a 7pm show on a Thursday! I felt bad for the guys who kept cracking jokes at the lack of audience. At least they got paid to essentially practice. And for those who have read my past posts, Marshall looked much better in a snug t-shirt instead of the horrid plaid number.

After the show, Tiffany and I met my Chicago friend Dave for dinner and drinks in the St. Marks / East village area. Dave has been talking about moving to NYC for years, and Thursday was his official first day as a New Yorker. Yep, he finally quit talking about it and made the big move up here. I remember listening to him talk about moving to the city back in Chicago, and then the look on his face when I told him I would beat him to the city by six months. Whoa, I’ve been here six months already. Anyway, we introduced Tiffany “I don’t drink beer” to McSorelys where they only serve light or dark beer and they throw you out if you are not drinking. Ah ha ha ha, love corrupting my baby sister and forcing her to drink.


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