Surviving New York: Day Seven

Seven is the perfect number, right?
That means today is bound to be even better than all the other days. We’ll see how true that is, I guess!
By the way, this is Matthew and I’ll be your guide for the day. I’ll be writing this post as we go along, so buckle up.

WE NEED CAFFEINE!

Our ritualistic pilgrimage to a coffee shop every morning is nice — they are always in a different part of town, so sometimes you get a little taste of the community. Other times, the personality of the shop is in stark contrast to that of the community, and that’s okay too, but you generally see clientele from a different neighborhood visiting.
Today’s fare was provided by a place called Abraço (evidently pronounced Ah-brah-so). Of all of the shops we’ve visited during this trip, this is the only one I don’t think I would visit again; it just wasn’t an inviting atmosphere. Sometimes you get that feel from a higher-end shop, for whatever reason … but in my opinion, this shop wasn’t good enough to have earned the privilege to be “snooty”.

Then we were off to our next stop, which meant boarding a train — which I really kind of enjoy (other than the heat in the underground stations). In the station we were in, there was quite a mix of people. There was a sharply dressed man tying his neck tie. I imagine he was on his way to work, a meeting or an interview. Then a young girl in her pajamas that had evidently just rolled out of bed and on to the platform. It’s before 9 a.m., so I’ll give her a pass on this one.

The first exploratory stop today was Grand Central Station. To me, this was a bit underwhelming. Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, is a more impressive facility, with more ornate stone work and interesting corridors. The advantage this one had was a massive amount of food! We had just gotten our coffee and breakfast snacks, so that didn’t interest us much. Well, until Valeri spotted the doughnut stand. The Vanilla Bean was calling her name. We sat on the stairs and enjoyed a bit of people watching in between sips and bites.

Next, we headed toward Macy’s to see if we could find anything cool to wear, and we almost found what we were looking for. Isn’t that typical? You’re 98% of the way to perfection, but that last 2% is where the deal-breaker lies. After spending some time trying on this and that, hypothesizing what would look right and what would just be awful, we headed to our next destinations:

The always touristy Charging Bull of Wall Street and The Fearless Girl.
As we approached The Charging Bull, we saw a massive line of people — a surprising amount of whom were lined up on the wrong side of the monument. You see, the sculptors of The Charging Bull made the decision to make it anatomically accurate, and some of the other tourists found that very amusing, so they were posing inappropriately. Kids these days.

Anyway, we snapped our pictures and moved along to The Fearless Girl, who was stood in defiance at the base of the New York Stock Exchange building.

The symbology here is powerful, of course. Luckily, people were behaving better around this monument.

Our lunch stop today was meant to be Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown, but somehow we messed up the hours during our planning because they were shut. So we jumped ahead to our planned supper spot: Tasty Hand-pulled Noodles, which was about 100 feet down the street. The soups we chose had great flavor, and the portions were just about perfect.

Since we shifted a few things, we ended up with some free time, so after wandering the street, we headed to the Oculus to poke around a bit.
All of the picture-taking and navigation was really racing our poor batteries, so it was time to charge. Luckily, Apple has a facility in the Oculus, so we took advantage of their many charge points to get our phones all juiced up. While Valeri guarded the charging phones and scrolled through the various social media services, I meandered through the different floors and concourses that made up the Oculus. We had been here before, but there was a lot to see.
Once batteries were up to passable levels, we took off to explore even more clothing stores. Valeri was such a good sport, trying on this and that.

For our late evening event, we had reservations at a bar called Dear Irving on Hudson Rooftop. As you probably gathered from the name, it was elevated above the city.
It’s our anniversary, so we splurged a bit and ordered a couple of drinks and some minor food while enjoying the view and the lively conversations around us as we nibbled on olives, sliced soppresatta, Gruyère cheese cubes and macarons. The snacks were great, but the view was the real treat.

Originally, we were going to spend the late evening walking along the High Line, but when we arrived, the gates were closed. So that will have to wait for another day!

That’s all for today! Sorry about the poor structure on this post; I tried to write it throughout the day to save time at the end of the night, and I suspect the organic flow was lost a bit. I’ll try harder next time, but for now, these fingers are ready for bed.
Tune in tomorrow for Valeri’s post about Day Seven!

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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

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