After soliciting sightseeing ideas from my friends on Facebook (thanks to all who had suggestions) we decided to take a boat tour around Manhattan to see the city. We also wanted to visit the 9/11 memorial and meet my cousin, Susan, for lunch. We left New Hope before 9 AM to catch a train into the city. Then we transferred to a subway train that was supposed to go right to the World Trade Center. Unfortunately the WTC station is currently closed on weekends so we scrambled to choose a different subway stop in the city.
It turned out ok and we had to walk less than a mile to our lunch spot. This gave us a chance to see some of the city up close, which was a nice contrast to the sightseeing from afar we did later in the day from the boat tour. We met Susan and her son, Pavin, at a Malaysian Restaurant in Little Italy, which closely borders Chinatown. I was beginning to get an idea of just how multi-cultural New York City truly is.
It was great to see my cousin again since it’s probably been a decade since I last saw her. I talked with her son a little about Minecraft. It’s funny that Caroline’s nieces also play Minecraft and so that video game has given me something in common with the pre-teens we’ve met so far on this trip.
After a quick lunch we said goodbye to Susan and Pavin and grabbed a taxi to the boat pier. We can now cross “genuine NYC taxi experience” off our bucket lists. Let’s just say the taxi driver truly believed that time is money and he was eager to make the most of his time behind the wheel. I’m not sure I’d want to ride my bike in New York City with guys like him driving around. But at least he got us to our boat in plenty of time.
We boarded the boat and took our seats on the deck. It was a sunny, hot day and we were all soon sweating while waiting for the boat to depart. Thankfully it was a bit more breezy once we got out on the water, but the sun shone on us all day. The boat tour was a great way to see some major sights of the city. We could easily see the new “Freedom Tower” at 1 WTC. It dwarfs any other building in the city. Then we cruised past Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and we continued all the way around the island of Manhattan. It was a little long and a bit too sunny, but it was a nice boat ride with pretty good narration from the tour guide.
After the boat tour we got a taxi to take us to the World Trade Center. Wow, the fountains they have in place of the original building footprints are impressive. I think it’s a very moving memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks. I wish I had known about the Survivor Tree when we were there so I could have seen it in person, but just reading about it now a couple days later gives me a chill. I’m really glad we stopped here, even for a brief visit.
For our final NYC stop we decided to have dinner at a place called Bubby’s in Tribeca. Apparently they’re famous for their pies, but we were all so full from dinner that we didn’t save room for dessert. I only mention our stop at Bubby’s to share my celebrity sighting while there. Glancing around the restaurant at dinner I saw a familiar face and realized a blonde woman across the room was comedian Amy Schumer. Let me say up front that her comedy material is usually of an adult nature. So don’t look up her videos with kids around or if you don’t want to hear about sexual subjects. I wanted to get my picture taken with her, but I was afraid that would be too “touristy” and so I didn’t go over.
It was a long day, but it was a great first visit to New York City for me. There’s obviously a ton more to see in the city and I’m sure I’ll be back.
All our photos from New York City: