Friday, May 26th.
After such an exciting and exhausting first day, we gave ourselves the luxury of sleeping late on Friday. After grabbing some bagels and pretzels from street vendors, we took the kids on their first ever ride on the Underground. They were excited. Of course, we got on a wrong train which took us to Brooklyn. After we realized we have crossed a bridge, kids got nervous, but we just got out, crossed to the other side of the tracks and got on the same line in the other direction and back to Manhattan in minutes.
Interestingly, I did not find the NYC underground very exciting. While I am a veteran of the London one, and have been on the one in DC, in Boston, in Chicago (which is mostly above-ground anyway), in Paris and, the most beautiful one of all - in Stockholm, this was nothing special (the Belgrade Underground started its service after I left the country, so I never rode on one in my birthplace, just suffered the years of dug-up streets while they were building it). But it was fun for the kids, for sure.
We got off a little bit to the East of the southeast corner of Central Park and went that way on foot - just a couple of blocks. Right at the corner, they had a corner. I could swear it was Dixie Chicks, but by the time we got closer - and we could not get too close because of the crowd - they had a break and they were off the stage. Bummer.
I was actually quite impressed with the quality of horses used to pull carriages around Central Park. I mean, they were all in good condition and clean, but many of them were actually good horses. I don't know why I found that unexpected or unusual.
In order to enter Central Park on that corner, one has to pass by a line of street vendors, the kind that sells souvenirs, "art", or those who draw portraits. They really got on my nerves. As soon as we come close, they start aggressive pitching. Hey, back off! I may want to look at your stuff first and, if I find something of interest, please let ME be the one who starts the haggling game of one-upmanship. By assaulting me before I even look at the merchandise, using the tricks that are older than the invention of money, you are increasing the chances I will just move on. Don't insult my intelligence, give me some space and time, and I may but something. By being aggressive you lose my trust and I do not WANT to give you my business.
We traversed the southern portion of Central Park only (and never made it to the other parts - next time). As soon as we walked in, we saw a Great Egret take flight from the surface of the pond. Coturnietta was so excited, as that is her second-most-favourite bird (after the Snowy Egret) and this was the first time she saw one in nature.
Another pretzel and soda later, kids already getting a bit tired, we noticed that it was about to start raining, so we hailed a cab and went up the street to the American Museum of Natural History - about that, you'll read tomorrow.
Previously in this series:
Coturnix: There is no underground in NYC (unless you're speaking politics). It's either "the subway" or more colloquially, "the train" (a lot is or was elevated). Sounds like you had a great time. What's not to like in NYC (or Manhattan, aka, "The City").
Objective guidebook: Brooklyn is the place where, if you aren't from there you are guaranteed to get lost. Queens is the place where you are lost when you are born (although folks say Astoria is the new hot spot). The Bronx has the distinction of being the place that Brooklynites loved because it was the only one they could consistently look down on. Staten Island? It had a Tibetan Museum open on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month and a landfill so big you can see it from orbit.
The City? High energy, best food in the world at some of the best prices, and too expensive for us to live in now. Sigh.
You are right about 'subway' - some of my English is so British-centric! From having been taught it from a young age, I guess. And also for being so used to the London Underground. You should hear me pronounce 'ant' or 'bath' LOL
The City is just amazing - I want to move there, it's just that the latitude would exacerbate my SAD in winter - so I should retire, move to NYC and spend winters in Florida!
Your account of the southeast corner of Central Park brought back a lot of fond memories. My buds live a few blocks to the northeast of that corner, and I often found myself entering the park right where all those vendors do their hawking.
An acquaintance, a friend of a good friend, holes up in the penthouse at the Pierre, which I eventually found out to be quite a nice piece of real estate. Had I known earlier, I may have asked to borrow some money.
And speaking of not belonging...my friend once took me to the Plaza Hotel to grab a bite to eat...while I was in jeans, tennis shoes and bandanna. Schadenfreude lives.
I couldn't bolt fast enough.
Poet's Walk, I think it is called, is a lovely path, with great statues and elegant horse-drawn carriages, and I'm sure you followed it around to the ponds, the meadow, the dairy, the carousel and Strawberry Fields. So much diversity! A wondrous treasure. Who there needs yards???
Love to meet up with you there sometime!
Can't wait to read more about your adventures...
Did you go in the new Apple store?
Unfortunately no - we passed by it, though and it looks cool from the outside.