So we didn’t sleep much the night before. The positive side of being close to the train is that we can be in Times Square in about ten minutes….the negative? Watching the train go by your window every two minutes as it mercilessly wakes you up with its racket. It was a hard night.
We decided that our first stop was to be the Empire State Building. But first: Starbucks!
This was the closest I have gotten to someone spelling my name right on the first try. It’s sad, but I wanted to applaud this barrista’s effort.
Don’t get me started on Thorsten’s adventures through Starbucks. As you can imagine, trying to hear him pronunce his name is hard enough but in a crowded Starbucks it is almost impossible. When the barrista asked him for his name, he went silent for several seconds. I could literally hear the gears turning in his head as he was debating telling his real name or using a pseudanym. He went for the latter: Dave. Later I learned it was because of David Hasselhof…..of course, he’s German!
Thorsten actually wanted to go to the Empire State Building at night because that’s what Ted Mosby did on How I Met Your Mother. He is a big fan of the show (the series finale hasn’t made it to Germany yet). I had originally assumed that the building’s security would not allow that dream to become a reality. Turns out you can! The hours are from 8am to 2am. Little known fact!
Then we tried to find the entrance but was stopped by some guys from the NY Skyride. They had us convinced that taking their tour was only slightly more expensive than a normal trip up the Empire State Building AND you get a simulated helicopter ride around NYC!
It was convenient that they stopped us before we could get to the entrance and actually see the prices. Apparently ‘a little more expensive’ actually translated to about double the price. Unfortunately we learned this too late but we at least still got the view.
How was the helicopter ride? Cheesy. As. Hell. It was a silly video narrated by Kevin Bacon which started out nice but then got a little weird as it was trying to imitate something like a bad Doctor Who. It was obviously written for children because the kids in the room were loving it. I will admit that I did smirk at the Footloose references but then it also made me feel dated.
Regardless, we still got what we wanted: a beautiful view!
Once we got our fill, we grabbed a bite to eat at the Ruby Tuesdays at Times Square. This is where JB works but he wasn’t working that day. It was a nice reprieve before our next stop: Grand Central Station.
All that went through my mind was that scene from The Fisher King where Robin Williams has that day dream of every one waltzing through the main hall. If you don’t know what I’m talking about: here’s a video.
Then we hopped on the subway for our next and more humbling stop: The World Trade Center.
Just for the record, the construction is not completely finished but the memorial is open and free to all. However, you do have to go through a lot of security before you get to the fountains. But honestly, can you blame them?
Where the fountains reside currently are at the footprints of where the mighty Twin Towers once stood. It is a beautiful and sad place to be but the names are etched into the memorial where they will never be forgotten. The memorial also puts flowers on the names of the victims on their birthdays. Truly never forgotten.
Afterwards, we walked a little farther south to Battery Park and to the Statten Island Ferry. According to JB, we could take the ferry for free and take as many photos as we would like of the Statue of Liberty as we went by.
We did just that. It was painfully simple. You actually don’t get too close to Lady Liberty but we were quite happy to watch her as we floated by.
We also took a delightful photos of us. It is my favorite so far. 😀
We did a lot of walking that day and were ready for a more low key end to our evening. Our apartment supplied us with a few seasons of The Big Bang Theory (which Thorsten is also a big fan of…..although he prefers it in German)
We grabbed some nearby McDonald’s on our way back to the apartment where we got into our pjs, ate our greasy American fair, and watched about one episode and a half before falling asleep.
Thorsten was a rock star when he discovered two sets of ear plugs earlier in the day so we had no trouble falling asleep.