Thursday, July 19, 2007

NYC: Part 2 or, A View from the Top

Greetings, readers! MJ wanted me to do "Part 2" of our trip to NYC. I will try to remember everything I can without overlapping too much. We got into JFK around 10:30 or so, waited forEVER for a cab, and got to Rocky's apartment. It turns out I was wrong, thinking he lived in SoHo. He lives in Greenwich Village (or, if you are a New Yorker, "The Village"), right on the west end of Bleeker Street, which is only about a block from NYU and this landmark. (I took some pics of his street, I'll share them later.) This part of NYC is a big maze of streets, full of bars, little restaurants and a few shops. It's a neat neighborhood, full of those red brick, 5-story buildings I told you about in my last post. I was surprised at the number of people who were still out and about, on a Wednesday night. "Oh, right. The city that never sleeps," I thought.

Walking up the 2 flights of a beat-up stairwell (which had pink stairs and smelled very musty) we arrived at Rocky's apartment. It was surprisingly large. Well, except for his bedroom, which might have measured 8x6 -- if that. He calls it his "cubicle". Otherwise, the apartment is generous in size -- high ceilings, hardwood floors, large windows and a kitchen big enough to cook in. Not that the 4 bachelors living there ever used it. And we soon learned that having one bathroom for all of us was very challenging. Anyway, we basically arrived, dropped our stuff and went to a bar (Down the Hatch) with Rocky. Because we went out the night we got there, but wanted to have as full of a day as possible, we went to bed at about 2am and got up at about 7am. Ouch.

Apparently, someone awoke to this, since this pic was on MJ's camera:

This is Rocky, asleep on the floor of his apartment. One of us has placed a sticker on his butt. Tee hee. We were going to go to a Mets game with him the next day, but that idea fell through. We were stuck with shopping as an alternative activity. Bummer, right? ;)

So we got up and got out. The weather was fantastic -- sunny, mid-70s. First things first: we needed breakfast. Specifically, NY bagels with cream cheese. We headed over to the Waverly, a greasy spoon near NYU. (I don't think you are supposed to confuse this with The Wavery Inn Restaurant, which is very "schmeh schmeh" and owned by a Vanity Fair editor). Anyway, we had a nice, big breakfast, and I mistakenly didn't order a bagel with cream cheese. The best part about breakfast was the rumbling. " that an earthquake or something?" I asked. [Inside my head, I was thinking, "OMG! The building is FALLING DOWN and no one is panicking!!!! Just calm down, VB or you will expose yourself as a tourist! Ask MJ & KT calmly what the hell is going on."]

"No, that's the subway," MJ and KT replied, "There's a station right outside of this building."

"Really? It makes the whole building shake?" I asked, totally amazed. They nodded.

"WOW!" I replied. For the rest of breakfast, I grinned from ear to ear every time the rumbling happened. I just thought it was so cool. I knew I'd love the subway.

And I did! (See last post for why.)*

After breakfast, we got on the subway and headed over to the Empire State Building. Where we waited in line. For about 2 hours. Maybe longer? I don't know. It seemed to take forever. I almost told MJ that we can just forget about it and turn around and go, but I knew I'd regret it if we did.

I'm so glad we went up. The weather was perfect. Not even breezy. Check out the views!

Can you see Central Park in this one? It's behind some of the buildings, almost in the upper left hand corner of the picture.

I like this picture, because it's full of NYC cabs. We had one cabbie who had such a thick accent, I'm amazed we got where we wanted to go. None of us could understand this guy.

This is a shot of lower Manhattan. So we are looking south in this shot. The area where it looks like there's a "gap" in the skyline is where the Twin Towers used to be. I think. To the right is Jersey and to the left is Brooklyn.

Ok, you might have to click on it to get a better look, but The Flatiron Building is near the bottom center of this shot. LOVE that building. Did you know it's only 6 feet wide at the tip?

This is what you see if you lean against the observatory wall and look straight down all 86 floors. Wowza. Teeny tiny, huh? It was funny to me that you cannot really hear the cars from that height, but you could hear the sirens from the fire engines VERY well.

Do you see the Chrysler Building near the right-hand side of this shot? It's so beautiful. The Chrysler Company has never had its headquarters there. I thought that was interesting. It's just a big, shiny advertisement for the company.

By the time we were done with the Empire State Building, we were starved for lunch. Since we wanted to head over to Canal Street to look at designer knock-off accessories, we decided to stop for lunch on the way in Little Italy. We had lunch at one of the round, tableclothed (is that a word?) tables in the foreground of this picture. I could be wrong, but I think it was right on Mulberry Street. Although it was very touristy, I ordered a big bowl of tortellini in meat sauce, and let me tell you -- it was out of this world. I ate every bite. Full from our meatballs, eggplant and tortellini, we headed over to Canal Street to do some shopping in/near Chinatown.

Unfortunately, time flies when you're having fun. It was already mid-afternoon when we finished eating. Our day in NYC was almost over.


Alright, I'm going to stop here for now because A) MJ says my posts are ridiculously long, B) I'm sure I've inadvertently left stuff out, and so I will stop before I get too far ahead of myself, and C) I'm trying to use up a roll of film with more pics of NYC on it so I can share the pics at the same time I am telling the tales of NY/Vermont.

I know, I suck at pictures. I rarely remember to take them, and when I do, they are pretty lame. Yes, I am fully aware that I need to buy a digital camera. And take better pics. Sorry.

MJ, did I leave anything out so far???

* SUPER COOL COINCIDENCE: Ok, MJ rolled her eyes when I told her this, but I thought it was cool. I have been watching this documentary about the history of NYC. The other night, I finally got to the part where they build the subways. WHO do you think was the FIRST person to ride the NYC subway???? The mayor of NYC. No surprise, really, right? EXCEPT that he was a distant relative/ancestor of mine. Yup. (My dad's side of the family is from NY, and I recognized the name immediately. I didn't know he was mayor, either!) BUT WAIT! It gets WEIRDER: How about the FIRST place he got on the subway was THE SAME STREET where we stayed in NYC, and may have been the SAME SUBWAY STATION where I got on for the first time, too!!! Yet another one of my small world experiences.

(MJ, where did we get on after Waverly? Was it Bleeker???)


lenfercestlesautres said...

whoa, I skipped half of the line to the Empire State Building and still waited two hours even though I'd bought the tickets online.

kimmykins13 said...

Did you get a slice of New York Pizza on the street like you said you wanted to or a Hot Dog from one of the vendors? How bout that Coach bag you were after?

RWA said...

Isn't that something about your relative/the first mayor? It's a small world after all!

Christie said...

You've been nominated for a (few) RFS Blog Award(s). Yay!

Matilda Jane said...

Sorry to say, darling, that the first subway we took was not Bleecker... it was the ARR! (aka Ron) train @ 8th St - NYU...

I'll continue this day when I get a chance :-)

Phantom Hater said...

Yes, your posts are fairly long, but usually fun reads. It takes me only a minute or so to read them, so I don't know why people complain. Must be those Gen-X kids who are just used to texting things without vowels.

Rocky's shorts are very shiny. Is that a luggage tag?

I couldn't deal with an 8x6 bedroom. I need room to stretch out and breathe, especially if I was sharing space with 3 other dudes.

I can't believe you don't have a digital camera. Maybe the initial impression I had of you as a shoeless hillbilly living in an S.C. trailer may not be too far off the mark.

Matilda Jane said...

that was my luggage tag on his butt... I was sending him off on a plane because he was being grumpy.