Matthew here, checking in on the fifth day of our visit to The Big Apple!
I’ll fill you in on what we’ve been up to as best I can.
The Day’s Events
To kick the day off, we headed toward our scheduled coffee stop — Everyman Espresso — and everything was going great … until we realized we had passed through four or five stations that weren’t on our route. Right line, wrong direction. Rookie mistake.
New York: 1
The Pearons: 0
We took prompt corrective action and disembarked, but that mistake set us back enough that we risked being late for an actual scheduled event, so we decided to adapt a bit, heading in a different direction to better suit the aforementioned plans.
Once we had arrived, we searched the immediate area for a source of the liquid that gives all things meaning: coffee. We found just that in Gregory’s Coffee. As it turns out, there are several of these throughout the city, all serving coffee (of course) and a few light baked goods.
With coffee and breakfast in hand, we headed to Pier 1 to board our water-bound chariot (aptly named Lady Liberty) to be transported to one of the most iconic icons in the world over: The Statute of Liberty.
The monument itself was epic. The patina was that same weird blue/green color you see in photos, and the pedestal was as massive as I had imagined.
What I wasn’t expecting was the learning opportunity. I won’t give you a history lesson here, but there was quite a bit that I had absolutely no clue about. There was a small museum on the grounds of Bedloe Island telling the story around the construction and maintenance of the famous Lady Liberty (officially titled “Liberty Enlightening the World”).
After spending time wandering around the island, taking too many photos and absorbing as much information as our vacation-mode minds would allow, we started toward our lunch venue — Fornino on Pier 6 — so off to the subway we went! Again, the city had other plans. Due to some issues on the track ahead, there were major delays,
New York: 2
The Pearons: 0
We headed back toward the surface and asked our dearest Siri for a little help with the navigation, avoiding the issue-plagued subway line. In short order, she delivered us a clear path to the water’s edge. Was she directing us to a free swimming lesson? It’s no Arctic Plunge, but I can’t expect that the water would be very warm.
No, she was sending us to the Ferry Terminal. We got our tickets and went to the berth indicated on the signage. With 10 minutes, we saw a ferry approaching, so we joined the queue. Well, check your scoreboards, because it was the wrong queue. We’ve come to expect no less from today.
New York: 3
The Pearons: 0
Thankfully, Valeri noticed before we boarded. We asked the attendant for some direction, and he pointed at another berth and told us it would be about 17 minutes — so we we resumed what seems to be our favorite activity today: getting behind.
After being aboard our water-bound chariot for all of about five minutes, we were back on terra firma and heading to Fornino. There isn’t much to say about this portion of the trek — we walked a bit then arrived.
THEN WE GORGED OURSELVES
The food was tasty and the portions were good. The view they were so proud of was just so-so. It had the potential to be absolutely phenomenal, but ill-placed nets around a volleyball court ruined the sight lines. I don’t have any photographic evidence to back it up, but that fact, in itself, should support my claim. The view wasn’t impressive enough for me to take a simple picture.
After food, we headed toward the park at the base of Brooklyn Bridge where we found a comfortable spot in the shade, shielded ever so slightly from the wind that has been pushing us around a bit. In fact, it was comfortable enough that in between writing stanzas of this blog entry, I put my head down on the table and dozed off for a few minutes while Valeri did some sketching.
There are two massive bridges on either side of us (Brooklyn Bridge to our left and Manhattan Bridge to our right), a carousel directly in front of us and a really good dog at the table next to us. The bridges are a bit noisy, the carousel’s musical offerings are a bit repetitive, and the kids are too rambunctious, but it’s nice. This, I could get used to.
Since there was going to be more than one hour of riding in the Metro (one way), we decided to skip seeing the Empty Sky Monument. And head over to Manhattan to look at more clothes we couldn’t justify purchasing … always a good time.
For whatever reason, I’ve found that I really like window shopping. Generally, whenever I suggest it, Valeri groans and mutters (she’s not much of a shopper), but occasionally she’ll entertain me, trying on a few outfits along the way.
So, we headed to The Oculus — which, architecturally, is absolutely incredible. The contents were typical fair for a high-end shopping center.
We didn’t see anything we couldn’t live without, so after exploring as many floors as we could find (we think there are only four — all of which are subterranean), we swung through a gift shop to pick up a souvenir, by a market to pick up a couple of essential day-to-day items and drinks, then headed back to the Airbnb to drop it all off.
Sweet treats, please!
Even though we hadn’t eaten our supper, we decided to go ahead and get our dessert — we’re adults now, and we’re allowed to do that. Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Shop.
I just know that you’re looking at that last sentence saying, “Man, that Matthew really butchered the spelling of ‘pharmacy.’”
Well, dear reader, it wasn’t me. I’m fairly certain it was a Farm-to-Table situation, so they were being clever.
Somehow, we were back on schedule, but we didn’t want to tempt fate, so we headed toward the entertainment for the night: The Village Vanguard.
We got there a bit too early to go into the venue, so we went down the street and enjoyed a couple of slices.
This is a tiny little place that they cram too many people into and play Jazz. The lights were low but spirits were high — the band was in full swing and the audience was applauding loudly after ever stand-out solo. It was pretty exciting stuff.
After the Vanguard we decided to call it a night and let our travel-weary bodies rest. We’re getting old — we need sleep.
That’s all for today’s recap, but if you check back tomorrow, Valeri will be on the keys again to fill you in on Day Six!
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“If you want to become a real New Yorker, there’s only one rule: You have to believe New York is, has been, and always will be the greatest city on earth. The center of the universe.”
— Ellen R. Shaprio