The Big Apple exploration continues...
Every opportunity I have to see more, do more and be at one with this incredible city, I take it.
The bucket list ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ continues...
#10 on the Bucket List...
Take the Staten Island ferry ✔️
It was effortless. And FREE.
I like free.
I did have a look around at the station, to see if there were any scoundrels, ready to sell tickets to the gullible and naive, but no one managed to catch my eye.
Kilby became our executive director of all things Metro and managed to get us all on the correct subway and down to exactly where we needed to be. The Staten Island Ferry Terminal, at the very tip of Manhattan.
Cool thing about the Staten Island ferry, beside the fact that it's free to locals and tourists? And beside the fact that it takes you right pas the Lady of Liberty?
The Staten Island ferry has a 24 hour schedule.
I thought that if they collected $1 from each person for only ONE day, we could probably end world hunger. Somethin' anyway...
The ferry was definitely an experience and one I would highly recommend it to anyone venturing out this way. I had originally swayed back and forth between visiting the Statue of Liberty, but at the end of the day, I figured it was something I would rather see from a distance. I'd heard that it was just another tourist trap, full of plastic crap for sale.
It would have been interesting to have gone to Ellis Island and get some New York immigrant history, but... some luxuries must be sacrificed in the name of a complimentary boat ride. Exactly.
We had to actually get out at Staten Island before we could catch the returning ferry... so we roamed around the station and the surrounding area, then got back on again. The funny thing about the return trip, was that we no longer held any particular interest for the illustrious figure or the picturesque cityscape. The original electrification had dissipated. We sat inside and bided our time until the ship pulled up to the pier.
I played hide and seek with a little kid, which involved nothing more than covering up my face with my hands and peeking through my fingers occasionally.
#2 on the Bucket List...
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge ✔️
I actually forgot to sing the the notorious Beastie Boys song as I made my way across the historical suspension bridge... but the week is still fairly young, so I may get another chance. When it came to the Brooklyn Bridge, it was slightly confusing as to how to enter. Ignorantly, I had initially led us all down to the marina, which resulted in a big circle back in order to enter the bridge.
Rookie move, Joanna.
In my defence though, we did get to see a pretty cool boat, a charming marina, a delightful and boutique Lower East Side neighbourhood and a Big Gay Ice Cream Shop.
*photos to follow!
This bridge though... wow! I have never seen so many people in my entire life. It was like everyone, collectively, left Manhattan at once, and accompanied us across the bridge. It was heavin'. I also fail to see how people manage to capture these Instagram solo selfies. Baffling! It must be very early in the morning or take a hell of a LOT of editing. There were a number of view points of Lower Manhattan and Downtown along the way, but none of them came without their own share of bodies shoving each other along. Brooklyn Bridge is by far, one of the most popular activities to do while visiting New York City and, crowds or not, it had to be done.
As per the norm, for anything tourist related, the mile-long walkway was lined with the usual New York trinkets and treasures. Everything from Donald Trump bobble heads to bling bling baseball caps.
#3 on the Bucket List.
Katz's Delicatessen ✔️
Tick. Well... kinda tick... semi-tick...
We tried. Honestly, we did.
We found it.
We walked straight there, with visions of pastrami sandwiches dancing in our heads... only to discover the world's longest lineup.
Kilby actually walked right in.
And got kicked right back out.
I guess the location of the infamous Meg Ryan orgasm garners more attention than we'd given proper credit for. We ended up at an East Village Irish pub across the street called 'One and One.' If I had a pub or deli nearby, I would put out a sign for the tourists saying, "People have had orgasms here too, you know."
We dined on not-so-delectable pub grub, had a drink in the sunshine... and moved on. Microwaved nachos inundated with bean water. I had indulged in a wee bit too much wine the night prior, so it was 'literally' One and One for me...
#5 on the Bucket List.
MUST eat a hot dog from a Hot dog street vendor ✔️
I almost changed my mind on my brilliant idea of eating a street vendor hot dog, but I powered through my apprehension. Stella had halfheartedly brought up a sprinkling of health and safety concerns, and although I initially laughed her off... she did have a point. The last thing I wanted to endure during my special half century celebration, was diarrhea or projectile vomitting.
How long had the hot dogs been sitting there for?
Where were they stored?
All valid questions that might make ones stomach churn... but I chose bravery. Or stupidity... whichever way you want to look at the situation. Regardless... I ate it. For some unknown reason, I chose to allow my cart vendor to blanket my hot dog in a creamy, red onion sauce. It was rather alien, ad had anything made me sick... I would've put my money on that.
That evening, I did my own research into the safety of opting for a New York street weiner...
“Dirty water dogs, or street cart hot dogs, are dogs boiled in hot water, which is rarely changed or not at all throughout the day. As ubiquitous as they are unhygienic, these sidewalk snacks should be dodged at all costs.
Well... I lived to tell the tale...
And to tell you the truth, the hype wasn't worth it.
$4 for a cheap, kids-party dirty dog, smothered in onion sauce.
#14 on the Bucket List.
It was very unlike anything I was expecting at Washington Square.
Actually, I don't really know what I was expecting at Washington Square.
This public and VERY energetic gathering spot was the perfect location, should you be looking to buy weed, mushrooms or bohemian clothes. If you wanted to sing a song, bang on a drum or be saved by the Hare Krishna's, this was the park for you. If you wanted to be enlightened, hear a revolutionary rant, have your palm read or stroll through the various artistic vendors, you were in the right place.
Students. Artists. Hippies. Burnouts.
Chess Players. Musicians. Fanatics. Hanger-outers.
Street performers. Kids.
They were all here.
And so were we...