Tuesday, November 5, 2019

New Yawk - Day 2

Over the last year, I've been to Dublin, Rome and Edinburgh. In each of these cities I've availed myself of the "hop on/hop off" tour buses that run throughout the city. Not only are the audio narrations ridiculously informative, they're also often less expensive option to taxis and Uber. This trip to New York would be no different.

Now, as I've mentioned, I've never been to New York with someone who's never been to New York. Consequently, a lot of the places we would be visiting are places I've been in the past. That was perfectly okay, though. Hey, after all, it's New York City.

Before getting on the bus we wanted to get some breakfast. We walked over to the Europa Cafe, on the corner of 43rd Street and 7th Avenue. 

There's just nothing like a New York deli...

Whenever I visit New York I have to get a "bacon, egg & cheese". If you're a New Yorker, no explanation is necessary and, if you're not, no explanation will suffice. A hot BE&C is the quintessential New York breakfast. I also had a bagel because, well, New York.


Culinary perfection: an "everything" bagel with butter...

Suffice it to say, you can only really get a New York bagel in New York and, as she's never been here before, this was Ruthie's first:


I think she liked it...

So, following breakfast, we found our way over to our embarkation stop, and got on the bus, which was actually over on 8th Avenue, and climbed aboard our bus.

The tour through the city was pretty cool, both literally and figuratively. I would've been hating life if I hadn't brought a jacket. We were on the upper deck of the bus which afforded some nice, unobstructed views:


Not sure how many pictures she took, but I think it was more than I took...
Our primary destination would be to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It's one of those places that's like some huge, unavoidable magnet to any visitor to the city. And that's exactly how it should be.

The 9/11 Memorial. This is where the north tower stood...

We visited the Museum, as well, although I didn't take any photos while inside. I've been here and done that and, quite honestly, once is enough.

After we finished at the Memorial and Museum, we walked over to what's known as The Oculus. The Oculus is a plaza, subway station and shopping mall adjacent to the 9/11 Museum. This was being built the last time I was here, but it wasn't open yet, so I definitely wanted to check it out.


Inside The Oculus...

Now, when you purchase a "hop on/hop off" ticket, you not only get transportation throughout the city, but you also get it around the city, as well. All of the tour companies offer ferry cruises around the tip of Manhattan and Battery Park, under the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and around Liberty Island.

You have to reserve your cruise time, so I opted for 4:30pm. That gave us some time to mill about and wander around. Before heading to the cruise terminal, we wandered into the Palm Restaurant for a cocktail.

Again, I went with my tried and true. Thankfully, our bartender knew what the words "a lot of olives" means and obliged me:


Okay, so maybe he gave me too many olives...


Ruthie, once again, started digging through the menu to find something which sounded intriguing. This happened when she found the Cobbler, a delightful combination of Zacapa 23 year old rum, Dry Sack sherry, fresh berries, hand-squeezed lemon juice, orange, Angostura bitters and served on the rocks:


The Cobbler...



As I ordered up a second Martini, Ruthie found yet another cocktail to investigate. This time, it was the Hemingway Daquiri. It has Bacardi Gran Reserve Maestro de Ron, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, hand-squeezed lime juice and fresh grapefruit juice.


The Hemingway Daquiri...

It was time to make our way over to the terminal and, once there, we waited. And waited. Things like this can sometimes take a while, but it always seems to be worth it.


Lower Manhattan...

The Statue of Liberty...

After our cruise, we decided to get some dinner. We'd already had pizza and hot dogs (Nathan's, if you must know), so now it was time to head into Chinatown. Nearly 800,000 ethnic Chinese live in the New York metropolitan area, making it the largest Chinese population outside of Asia. So, it goes to figure that you might get some pretty good Chinese food.

I always look for the restaurants that are busy. I don't want an hour wait time for a table, but I don't want to be seated right away, either. We found this at Yeah Shanghai Deluxe on Mott Street. The food was really good, and the service was spot-on.


This wonton soup was amazing...

I'd never had fried beef ribs before, but, here ya' go!

We finished dinner and walked around Chinatown for a bit. In hindsight, we probably should've bought some of our souvenirs there, simply because they sold stuff down there that we'd never find up in Times Square, such as the black t-shirt which said "NEW YORK F**KIN' CITY". I can think of a few friends who'd have loved that (and, no, the shirt didn't feature the asterisks).


Chinatown...

We grabbed an Uber back to our hotel and ventured over to O'Donogue's for a night cap. You guessed it: Mango Fusions. But, we had to make sure that this was going to be an early night because our day would be starting early on Saturday...

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