Friday, May 30, 2014

NY POST TWO: How NOT to ride the subway, a bald lady and the Empire State Building

It's been a month today since getting on a plane in NY and heading back to So Cal. It seriously doesn't seem like a month has elapsed since then...until I try jogging my memory of the trip and can't seem to remember certain things. This is exactly why I wanted to get to these blog posts done ASAP but life happens so here goes the second post to end the first full day in Manhattan (See the first NY post here)...

After exploring central park in all it's early morning glory on Sunday, April 27, my mother and I started heading back into the city. As we came out of the park near the Museum of Natural History, we saw a subway station leading underground. My mother got pretty excited and felt spontaneous I guess because she started leading me down those steps with talk of taking the subway. "Where are we going?" I asked a little hesitant. "I don't know," she said.  "How do you get on?" I asked, this time a little more worried. "We will figure it out" she said and we did.

Thing is, I thought I was going to have time to muster up some bit of courage to get on the subway for the first time rather than just throw myself on it not knowing where the heck I was going. Since it was still really early (around 7am), the station was EMPTY and quiet-too quiet. I seriously was waiting for someone around the corner to attack us or something with nobody around to hear our screams-call me crazy but I'm just being honest here.
Needless to say, we were completely fine and once we got on, I held a rail just like everyone else. My mother apparently wasn't holding on tight enough because as soon as it took off, she about fell back and said a 4 letter word. This had a local woman chuckling at us as she "pretended to read a book". After that, we learned to hold on tightly, plant your feet on the ground like there may not be gravity in a few moments or just sit down.

 Surprisingly, we ended up in Times Square- not a bad destination for your first subway ride. I was finally able to grab a vanilla latte at an open coffee shop and we walked around the Crossroads of the World as it was transformed into a still and muted realm on a Sunday morning.

The earliest opening restaurant we could find for breakfast was Hard Rock Cafe so we took a seat there. We had a buffet of french toast sticks, waffles, bagels, sausage, bacon, and eggs. It seemed like the food was frozen prior so it wasn't my favorite meal but it was food and I was hungry.

Afterwards, we decided to walk to the Empire State Building. As we came out of the restaurant, a lady who resembled a monk came up to us and started saying how beautiful we were and some other strange words. She put bracelets on our wrists and then asked for a donation and initials on a graph. She was a scammer! I gave my bracelet right back and pulled my mother away. Another lesson-don't trust everyone who comes up to you and compliments you on your beauty. Ha! After that, every time another would try and come up to us (they were everywhere) my mother would say, "OH NO! NAH-UH! NOT AGAIN!" It was pretty priceless!

We finally arrived to the Empire State Building and had some guys try selling us tickets to get up there. I said try but I really meant, they did sell us tickets scam us tickets. You'd think my mom learned her lesson from the bald lady in the brown robe...Anyhow, we did get to go up to the Empire State Building, we just payed for extra tickets to see some dumb virtual tour show that we didn't want to see. Such is life!

When we finally got to the top of the historical building, it really took my breath away to see the city of New York from bird's eye view. Soon, you don't feel like such a little person anymore, you feel like you are on top of the world!
The Freedom Tower-built in replacement of the once standing Twin Towers. 
We also visited the 9/11 memorial (later post).
The beautiful Chrysler Building (my favorite skyscraper).
I spy Central Park.

Once we were done, we headed back to the upper west side to explore some more of the city in spring.

Our hotel building
We had dinner at Trattoria where we sat outside-pretty much in the middle of the busy sidewalk while I enjoyed some yummy minestrone soup and my mom had some type of rigatoni pasta. It was definitely different to eat dinner while people walked all around you but it added some free entertainment while we people watched and sipped on espresso (my mom's first one) and a vanilla latte. NY cheesecake was for dessert!

We ended the night back at the hotel after a trip to Zabar's-the best family market we've ever been to (more on that place in a later post)! 
We had brought back to the hotel some Gouda cheese, cream cheese with herbs, olives and rye bread amongst several other good eats to enjoy while relaxing and heading off to bed. 

It was good day!

See Post I of New York: Sunrise Over Manhattan and Magic in Central Park

See Post III of New York: Strange worship in the seaport harbor, a yacht ride under the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial.

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