Second day at New York

After getting in pretty early yesterday, we were able to get a good night of sleep (10+ hours!) which meant today was going to be filled to the brim with new and exciting experiences.

We started our day off with a short walk to the nearest SubWay, a tradition started two years ago during our previous trip to the United States. We’ve found that breakfast at the hotels is usually really expensive and often not that good. We decided not to try it at our current hotel and opted for a safe meal. Today, it was Turkey Breast. 🙂

With our stomachs filled we set off to

get on the 6 downtown. And when we say Downtown, we do mean downtown. All the way to the final station of the 6: Brooklyn Bridge. This has to be the most characteristic bridge of New York. Iconic, and mostly really old. Erected somewhere in the 1800’s it is currently under semi-permanent repairs. This means that when you walk the first leg to the column closest to Manhattan you cannot see a thing due to 3 meter high aluminium sheets placed alongside the walkway. As the views of the bay and the skyline probably are great there also, this is quite a letdown. Luckily, the views you get from underneath and directly next to the first column, will make up for the dull first part. Continuing to the other side, all views are unobstructed.

Right after getting our scenic views of NY from the bridge, we went back to the subway station and looked up. Could that building we saw be the One World Trade Centre? Yes, it cannot be anything else! What other really tall buildings are currently under construction?
We decided to walk there as it didn’t seem to be that far away. Luckily for us, it really wasn’t. Arriving at the site, we were pretty much impressed by the sheer size of the buildings over there. Also, the reality of something (actually, 2 somethings) that big crashing down into the streets below is quite an event. You see it on TV, you know it is quite an event, but you don’t grasp the full situation. Not until you’ve been there can you understand just what a huge mess it must have been.
I didn’t think it would impress me this much, but it did. The site and everything that’s going on around there just is huge and impressive.
We decided not to go to the memorial site, because of two things. Firstly, you need to make a reservation to get in. They probably do some screening before you can go. We didn’t enroll online. Secondly, the waiting lines seemed to be hug. Yes, it must be quite a sight; these two big holes in the ground with the water and all, but standing in line for it is just too much. After all, when the construction on the site is done, the entry to the memorial site is unrestricted. We’ll go by then. 🙂

Since we found out Manhattan is big, but navigable on foot, Wall Street was next on our list. Moving around in this part of town, one skyscraper is sitting next to the other which makes for quite an interesting route. Wall Street is just around the corner and not that impressive as such. The NYSE building is nice, and the historical value of the site is good, but I guess we expected more from it. Still, this also has got a check on our list!
Moving on, the piers on the east side of the island were the destination. Having figured out how the system of streets and avenues work, finding it was quite easy.
We snapped some really nice pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge from somewhere in the vicinity of Pier 17. If you want some pictures of the bridge: go there!

Next on the list was Battery Park, with a possible boatride when the weather permits. Arriving at the park, the weather did not permit a tour in the bay, which meant we had some spare time on our hands. We decided to take this time and do nothing while sitting on a bench alongside the shore and watch the ships pass by, whilst surfing on the Internet. Yes. There actually is free WiFi in Battery Park. How awesome is that?!
We headed off to Madison Square Garden, which was not that interesting as most of the fun is inside and the outside is both under construction and quite bland as well. The vicinity of Penn Station and Madison Square Garden is Seventh Street, also known as Fashion Street, which makes for a really entertaining location!
Naturally, we did some shopping there, as good tourists should do. NY prices indeed are quite crazy!

After all this, we were ready for some time off, so we took the subway back to our hotel and sat down for some much needed refreshment. By now, it was around 4PM, and it just started raining for a short while. Too bad, but hey, we are inside anyway!
Dinner was eaten in New York oldest continually operating diner; Peter’s Tavern on 19th Street. Unfortunately for them, we could not make out how they survived for the last 160 or so years as the chicken we ordered came in pretty much overcooked. Also, our order was not understood right so we were given something we did not order. Tomorrow, we will not be eating over there! It’s a shame, the place and location seem to be very nice!

We don’t know yet what tomorrow has in store for us exactly. We’ll see what happens!