Allen and I woke up early Thursday morning with many plans to take full advantage of our last day in this crazy, busy city that never sleeps. We jumped on the tour bus and took it to the South Street Seaport to buy tickets for Dialog in the Dark. We had some time to kill before our scheduled tour, so we bought fruit smoothies from a street vendor (so tasty!) and walked down Wall Street through the financial district, saw the New York Stock Exchange and explored the beautiful Trinity Church.
I was amazed at the details in the intricately carved front doors.
I was fascinated by the cemetery and the beautiful script on some of the ancient headstones.
We did not get tickets to enter Ground Zero but loved seeing the Freedom Tower growing closer to its eventual height of 1,776 feet.
Then it came time for our eye-opening (no pun intended) tour of Dialog in the Dark. The exhibition took us on a walking tour of a simulated New York City (we went through Central Park, to a grocery store, hopped on a subway, strolled down and crossed a busy street and found seats at a restaurant) but, as the title infers, it all happened in complete blackness. We had our visually-impaired guide, our canes, and our senses to lead us through the dark city. It made me think about things I hadn't before (how does someone who can't see go grocery shopping?) and gain a greater appreciation for how blessed I am to have the gift of sight.
Our next stop was John's Pizzeria on Bleecker Street to feast on some real New York style pizza for lunch.
It really is as delicious as everyone says.
Just a few blocks away was the Magnolia Bakery where Allen and I each got a piece of thick, rich caramel cheesecake (and a few other treats to tide us over until dinner).
We strolled through Washington Square Park
where there were all sorts of things to feast our eyes upon. Chess matches, various performers, a play area packed chock full of kids, students studying on a patch of lawn. We found a bench and sat there to enjoy our cheesecake as well as the various sights.
It was now about time for us to get back to the hotel so we could catch one last bus tour before seeing Wicked that evening. We hurried to the subway, actually had a stranger strike up a conversation with us on our ride (this was rare - most of the time no one even looks at you) then found our tour bus. However, we had missed the last bus run for the day by minutes. We decided to just walk to Central Park instead.
Let's play a little name-that-movie game, shall we?
What movie features this bridge/tunnel in Central Park? (Or one like it. There were a few of them.)
In fact, it could have been this bridge/tunnel.
But either way, can you name the movie?
How about this view of the Plaza Hotel from Central Park?
Our kids got both of them right off. But no pressure.
One thing we did not do in New York was ride in a taxi. Mostly because the cabbies drove like lunatics and seemed really angry. I was amazed we hadn't seen any taxi accidents - and then we witnessed one.
It was very validating.
We found a bunch of other fun, well-known places as well - but I'll let a friend of mine tell you all about them next week.
Before we knew it, the time had come for a Wicked-ly good time.
I had seen Wicked once before and was excited to see how this show compared to my previous experience.
I was definitely not disappointed. What an awesome performance! It was fun to see how different actresses can portray a role in a way that brings out new facets of their characters' personality. It was Allen's first time seeing it, which was the most exciting part for me. Kind of like going to Disneyland with someone who had never been there before. (He loved it, of course!)
Once the show was over we headed for Rockefeller Center to catch a view of the city at night from the Top of the Rock. Unfortunately, we had missed the last elevator up. Instead, we went to the Stanton Island Ferry terminal and caught one last glimpse of the Statue of Liberty off in the distance
before calling it a night.
The next morning we packed our bags, and my favorite YMCIA agent and I
headed back to the best destination of all - home, sweet home.