It's a Friday night. Spotify is set to the New York Philharmonic, for soothing inspiration I suppose.
I want so badly to just throw together some photos from the rest of my New York trip and be done with it, but I know that just won't do it justice.
After enduring the sheer shock of our wonderful Manhattan accommodations (which can be seen here), we ventured out into the wonderful world of New York—a world that involved two pairs of gloves at all times, Google maps, and a cup of Pret coffee to warm our bellies as the wintry cityscape managed to warm our hearts.
We began our "touristy" day with a somber visit to the 9/11 Memorial. The last time I had visited Ground Zero was just years after it all went down, the tragedy that shook so many. All that was left then was a giant hole in the city guarded by chain link and barriers. That, and the many traumatic memories that have lingered since. This time, the memories I'm sure were just as vivid, but the site took a new form. The voices of survivors and witnesses greeted us in the visitor center, as did many teary eyed tourists who stopped to listen. After a series of security checkpoints we followed the arrows and blue fencing to the Memorial.
Once a site of desolation and death, now a site for remembrance, a place of rest. Names, so many names, everywhere. And irony—the soft lull of water drowning out the city noise was a harsh contrast to what must have been heard when the Towers came crashing. Not to mention the depth of the pools that once held over 1300 feet of skyscraper. Irony.
"To those who fell, and to those who carry on. May we never forget." I don't think we ever could.
Our next stop involved speed-walking Chinese women shouting "Gucci! Prada! Louis Vuitton! Watches!" and street-side cannolis. But not before grabbing a bite at Ho Yip, to which I greatly regret. Dining at sketchy Chinese joints should be on my "Things To Never Do" list, along with bull riding, bow hunting, and wearing tie-dye onesies in public (don't worry, that was back in the 90s). In search of the perfect Louis Vuitton knock-off, we trekked all across Chinatown after a small Chinese woman told us to follow her. It was freezing, I was skeptical (it could have been a trap, guys...), but we got a full tour of the town, saw many cute old Chinese ladies and dead ducks hanging in windows, and snagged an overpriced cannoli in Little Italy. As you can imagine, my trigger finger was numb and I was reluctant to take my camera out for many photo ops. So I give you, lobsters, durian, Chinese New Year art, oh, and did I mention we took an accidental, I mean intentional, trip to Brooklyn? Regardless, I was happy to be stuck in a warm subway car for 30 minutes.
After a long day out in the cold, we settled back into our "home" and watched the beautiful sunset from our bedroom window. A view I could get real used to. We also snooped/eavesdropped/creeped on our neighbors across the way who were apparently celebrating a birthday. But that story is for another time. Also, to our neighbors...sorry we're not sorry!
The next day we headed to Chelsea Market, which was an interior designer's dream. Not to mention the food...we enjoyed a light breakfast consisting of freshly made donuts (sadly not cronuts) from the Doughnuttery. We also "enjoyed" sitting in a 3-story glass geek hub, also known as the Apple Store, awaiting some iPhone repairs while overlooking some nice views.
5 hours later (or so it felt), the snow made its way through the city, and we made our way down the High Line. Once again, you can imagine my trigger finger is not in full function at this point, but I managed to capture some of the incredible views. (FYI: I have a "condition" that basically makes my hands completely unusable in the cold. It also makes me a little grumpy. I'm sure my travel buddy can attest to that, right Molly?)
But I present to you: The High Line. Or at least the part we were able to walk through before I decided it was time to head back inside.
Don't worry, guys, I won't overwhelm you with any more photos for this post. Stick around for Part 3, which features African tribal dancers, water buffalo, Top of the Rock views and a whole lot of selfies, which for some reason seem to really resonate with people.