Today is our last full day in NYC so we plan to make the most of it. Although we didn’t make it out of the apartment by 7:30 am like we had discussed, we did make it out by 8:15 am…not too bad.
Given the earlier time, the subway cars were packed full. We skipped getting on the express train (which takes fewer stops) because everyone was jammed (quite literally) on it. Even when we got on the next local train, we all had to stand.
We got off at Times Square and found out bus stop. The first bus to stop was nearly full. We got on the next one which was empty…So we all got nice seats on the upper deck. Nice weather and nice view!
Coincidentally we got the same tour guide as our first one yesterday! He’s black with a foreign accent, informative and entertaining. We saw a lot of NYC landmarks…Empire State Building, Madison Square Gardens, Macy’s.
We got off downtown at the World Trade Center. We went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. But then we realized that our Explorer Pass was good for something else…the 9/11 Tribute Center and Walking Tour. Initially we were disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to see the 9/11 Museum…I suppose that we still could have done it if we were willing to pay $18 to $24 per person and wait in a slow moving line.
So we headed to the the 9/11 Tribute Center and Walking Tour which was next to the fire station closest to the World Trade Center. Turns out that a tour was about to begin in 15 minutes. Paul, a former NYPD officer, led the tour. He had a passion to share what happened to our country on that day. We greatly appreciated it.
There are two World Trade Center Memorial Pools with waterfalls. Each sits where one of the two original WTC towers stood.
Afterwards we walked towards the Brooklyn Bridge and the bike rental location. We were each given a bike and directions. We only got “lost” a few times. Thankfully our cell phones could give us directions to get us back on track.
The bike shop recommended that we cross over the nearby Manhattan Bridge to get to Brooklyn and return via the Brooklyn Bridge. So that’s what we did. Our goal was Julianna’s Pizza near the base of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn. Again the beautiful weather and great views made for a pleasant journey. About 40 minutes later, we arrived at Julianna’s Pizza between 1:30 and 2:00 PM. The line of people waiting to get seated only increased our anticipation and appetite.
Of course, we enjoyed the pizza!
Then we began the journey back across the Brooklyn Bridge.
We stopped halfway to take pictures.
After dropping the bikes off, we walked back to the bus stop. On the way, we came across a candy store called It’Sugar. We had to stop. They had many unique offerings.
Here’s a box of Colon Blow. Looks like wood shavings.
Joanna couldn’t resist getting some ice cream.
We got back to the tour bus pickup location. Unfortunately a traffic problem caused the buses to be behind schedule. So we had to wait a while. But finally we returned to midtown Manhattan with a tour up the east side.
The unique building in the back is called the Frank Gehry Apartment Tower. Note the curved lines.
The tour guides were very knowledgeable (or very good at making up facts). We passed by the inn where George Washington once stayed. Here’s a picture of our guide Friday evening.
Here’s a picture with the famous Chrysler Building in the background.
Back in Times Square, we used another of our Explorer Passes to get a free meal at Señor Frogs, a Mexican restaurant/bar. The “music” (aka noise) was very loud. We counted it a cultural enlightenment experience (which we have no desire to repeat).
After dinner, we head to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium that was close by. Having read a number of their books, we weren’t sure whether or not we’d enjoy it. But we certainly did!
Here’s Sarah’s head sitting on a table.
Can you find the jars with Jeffrey and Sarah’s heads?
Here are multiple Victorias!
My favorite was the “Black Hole” which was a room designed like a cylinder. You felt like you were walking down the middle of a dark tube. Moving dots of colored lights were projected on the walls which gave you the effect of being in a spinning tube. Once inside of the tube, I would stagger back and forth holding on to the railing for support. In my head, I knew that nothing was moving. But my brain was telling me otherwise.
Finally we headed back home a little after midnight. So here are pictures of Times Square around midnight.
Waiting for the subway to take us back to the apartment.