A very busy day in NYC

Trip Start Dec 27, 2010
Trip End Jan 16, 2011

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Today we had a lot to get through in NYC as it was our last day in the city.

Nicola, her kids (Troy and Ally) and myself caught the train into Penn Station, which is right beside Madison Square Garden, and then the subway, to go and see the Statue of Liberty. On our walk through the park to get the ferry, we noticed lots of squirrels running around in the snow. We soon discovered how friendly they are so we ended up feeding them and getting photos for about half an hour. When we eventually made it to the ferry, we discovered there was a 2 hour wait to get tickets but a friendly New York recommended that we take the free ferry across to Staten Island. This didn't stop at the Statue but the ferry went right by it. This was close enough for us. We got some good photos of the statue and saved 2 hours of our day from being wasted by lining up. From the 20 min ferry ride, we got to see some beautiful views of New York City from across the water. Once we arrived on Staten Island, we got off the ferry and hopped on the next one back to the city. We would have needed another day to see everything on Staten Island itself.
After a quick bite to eat, we headed off toward the Empire State Building. Along the way we managed to get some shopping done at Century 21 (a department store) and a few little shops along the way. We also went to Wall Street and saw the statue of the bull near there as well as the site where the twin towers used to stand. Next to ground zero, there was a place where you could have a look at the plans for the former site of the world trade center buildings. This place had lots of photos and information about the world trade center and the 9/11 attacks and showed a model of how it will all look when the project for the site is completed. It looks like it will be a realy nice area when this is finished.
After another subway ride, we finally found the EmpireState Building. It really put things into perspective for me when we had trouble seeing this huge building when it was so close. We needed a map and directions because it was obscured by so many other tall buildings yet this building was so close yet so much taller than anything at home.
We bought tickets to get up and view the city from the 86th floor of the building. After quite a long wait to get up there, and a security point along the way, we finally reached the observation deck. By this stage it was dark outside so we had 360 degree views of NYC all lit up at night. We could either see the view from the warmth of inside or go out onto the outside deck and have a look. We braved the cold to get a perfect clear view of the city for miles. It was truly amazing! The city seemed to go on forever in all directions.
After leaving this building, we headed out for some more shops and finally to get some tea.
We wanted to go to a science fiction themed place called Mars 2112 but it was closed for the holidays. We briefly went into the Stardust Cafe across the street which was decked out like a 50s diner but the live singing from the waiting staff was a bit much after our long and tiring day, plus the food wasn't overly exciting for the price so we just went out onto the sidewalk and bought authentic NY hotdogs from a cart.
After one last shop visit, we caught another crazy NY taxi back to Penn Station for the train ride back to Huntington Station.
We were met at the station by Nicola's Auntie Lisa who took us back to her place for a quick visit and after some photos and goodbyes, we headed back to Gramms place to start getting organised to leave for Texas the next day. After three days of crazy running around in NYC, I'm sure a decent nights sleep is in order for tonight.
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