Yes, we are now offering NYC on our 2011-2012 itineraries for those who want to visit the area. You pay for the cab, we’ll show you around! 😉
The only way to get to Ellis Island AND the Statue of Liberty is to go on their ferry. $13 per adult and you get a free view of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Ellis Island (below) is very open…
… with lots of rooms for you to explore through. You really get a good idea of what people first saw when they came to America. (Left- Italian women leaving their country for America.) Not sure if their initial excitement survived after hitting land or not… But a good place to visit for anyone, especially those whose ancestors immigrated in that time period. (right —>) An Italian Wedding dress, from things that were left at Ellis Island by immigrants.
Everyone is used to seeing the picture on the left, but check out Liberty’s huge legs (above) and her stocky arms! When people hear us exclaim about her, they all say, “Well, she’s been holding that torch a long time!” But really, she’s a stocky lady. Like we say in the dairy industry, if she ever wants a new job, she could always be a plow horse. 🙂
When we left the park, we were advised to drive a few miles to the PATH train depot. Umm… We are so glad we didn’t drive in NYC… Just getting a few blocks through Jersey City, which is not on any grid line, involved numerous wrong turns, wrong ways, and honked horns. DIRECTIONS TO GROVE ST PATH: The closest train to Liberty Park is to leave the park, go straight down the cobblestones for TWO lights, turn RIGHT at the second light (Grand Street), drive a few blocks to Marin Street, turn LEFT. Go a few blocks to Christopher Columbus Drive, turn RIGHT, and just past the PATH building is a parking garage (on LEFT) where you can park your car all day.
Yes, the PATH train does go under the water. But you can’t tell. We’re not sure how or why the PATH train is a train and not the subway… Oh well. It was $1.75 per person and we chose where we wanted to get off. We got off at the World Trade Center site. It was all blocked off and covered, so we couldn’t see much other than a new tower. Outside of Trinity Church, people will try to sell you WTC memorial books, fyi. They are not free. 🙂 An odd site amidst the high rises is St. Paul’s Church. Highly commerical inside the church, but it’s free to walk around and the old gravestones and the interior of the church are beautiful.
Have you ever played Monopoly? I felt rich standing there between Park Place and Broadway! At almost every corner is a Starbucks, so we all grabbed a hot coffee (freezing cold in the shade of the buildings that day…) and headed to Little Italy for some authentic mozzarella cheese and cannoli!
In Chinatown, we saw mostly outdoor food vendors and lots of tables selling trinkets and junk. Besides seeing the church, we mostly just walked through Chinatown on our way to Little Italy.
(On left)Cannoli shells, dipped in chocolate, filled with ricotta, sugar, mini chocolate chips, and little pieces of dried fruit. Mmm! Their other desserts were awesome too. The Italian boy that served us said, “Some people come in here asking for low sugar, hmp! We ask them to leave!”
The streets of NYC are 10x more crowded than DC. Just a totally different environment. Tons of shopping. Avoid SOHO unless you want to shop or see the famous stores. On the right, Deb is checking for a price tag on a dress… She never did find it! That store had walls completely filled with old sewing machines! Debbie got some mascara from Bloomingdales, just to have bought something “Georgio Armani” brand! Then we split a $9.50 sandwich from Dean and Deluca between the three of us. At those prices, we couldn’t afford to stay very long!
Locals advised us to walk north on Broadway to get a good idea of Manhattan. If you keep going, it becomes FIFTH Avenue (yes, that one you’ve heard mentioned before) and you will end up walking by the Madison Square Garden, then the Empire State Building (right) which is so big, you can’t even see the top! Plus, expect to pay $20 or more and a long line thru security if you want to go up into it. No more are the days of Sleepless in Seattle!
One highlight of our trip was a stop to Joe’s Dairy! You would think we would find it in Little Italy, but we came across it up near Washington Square Park. They get in cheese curds from Buffalo, NY each day to their shop, where they take them to the back and stretch them into fresh Mozzarella, which they sell locally. We bought some Mozzarella balls in olive oil with spicy herbs. The oil added an odd flavor, I’m not sure anyone liked it much. Probably should have gone for plain mozzarella. We also bought a yummy cranberry Wensleydale cheese that was delicious. The shop keepers were in the process of selling Italian Easter Pies; we should have bought one! More can be read about Easter Pie here: http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/FOOD_IS_ART/reference/FoodThought/Ital_easter_pie.html
- Don’t be afraid to ask for directions. New Yorkers are friendly people.
- If you “want to see it all in one day” you’re not going to be able to. Central Park alone is something like 60 blocks long. Good luck walkin’ it!
- If you are limited on time, take a cab to see parts of the city you might otherwise not get to see.
- The PATH train has several locations. Make sure you take maps with you so you can get to the general vicinity of a train. We got off at WTC and got back on the train at 33rd Street, so we were able to do a lot of walking without having to backtrack!
- Whoever you are, make sure to save some $ and go to Little Italy for some desserts. Definitely the tastiest portion of our trip was the treats we brought home!