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Friday, August 24, 2012

NYC - Day 3 Thursday 8/16

Lower Manhattan here we come!

Thursday morning was spent exploring the Financial district. It’s a lot more interesting than I thought it would be!

We visited the Federal Reserve (boring) and the Stock Exchange first. It weirded me out because the Stock Exchange had the Chinese flag flying. We soon learned that they were having a summit or something there. All the Chinese businessmen and women seemed really excited. Yay for cultural exchange!

We walked down to the waterfront and saw the Brooklyn Bridge before stumbling upon this hidden restaurant alley. On either side of the alley were restaurants and the alley itself had been taken over by tables and hungry financers. It was wonderful.

I am constantly amazed at how well NY creates community spaces. You don’t go 10 blocks without seeing some kind of park or community area, which I think is really important in such a big area.

After eating we headed to Battery Park and saw the distant figure of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Then we walked over to the 9/11 Memorial but the area was totally sealed off and that was really disappointing. I really think it should be open to everyone. One day it will be but for now I understand they have to control the crowds.

The plans for the whole area, and the building of the new tower and the other towers, are very interesting and I can’t wait to see it all completed. It’s amazing that when I eventually take my kids to see it you’d never know that in the not so distant past there were two towers there.

After the Financial District we went to the West Village and hung out. Plenty of cool restaurants and stores. 

We relaxed (and people-watched) at an Italian Café, Olio e Piu, and I enjoyed a nice cup of tea and some Italian cheesecake while Ansell had beer and salmon.

The cheesecake wasn’t what I expected, in a good way. It wasn’t very sweet and was very dense. It was served with melted dark chocolate that was almost like ganache. It was something I wouldn’t have normally ordered but really enjoyed.

We then discovered the Village’s “High Line” which used to be train tracks that the city repurposed into a green, community walkway. This was hands-down my favorite place in New York.

It was so lush and it was great to get off of the street and up higher, where things seem clearer. It was such an unexpected space and I was delighted that the city had invested the money to make such a wonderful community space. I feel that DC and a lot of big cities really lack areas like this.

I thought a lot about my Aunt Carol when I walked along. I think she would have enjoyed it just as much as I did. I would like to one day walk arm in arm along the path and admire the greenery together. It’s such a peaceful place within the heart of all the hustle and bustle.

I want to go back so bad!

That evening Ansell and I met his friends at their apartment in Brookyln. As soon as I walked in I thought I had interrupted a TV show about New York artists. It literally looked exactly like one would expect a struggling artist apartment to look like. Nice!

They had set out a fantastic spread for us and it was great to meet Ansell’s friends from Barcelona. They were awesome people and I can’t wait to visit them again!

We got drunk then dragged ourselves home to Harlem. What a great, long, day!

1 comment:

  1. The ground zero site kinda bugs me, something should have been decided long ago, and I guess it's good they're doing something now. I personally would have just rebuilt the towers just the way they were as a big fuck you.