Walking Tours R Us
Trip Start Sep 08, 2009
61Trip End Jun 07, 2010
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Where I stayed
I got a shock as I walked through the Central Park zoo (where the Madagascan animals begin their journey to the jungle)
Since I was walking so far, I was dressed more for function that style, in leggings and trainers- so I fitted right in with the joggers/power walkers in Central Park but was very out of place on 5th Avenue! I went into a few of the high-end stores- Tiffanys and Bendels- and was certainly given the once over by more than one assistant. It made me want to buy something just so I could get changed! Needless to say, I moved on fairly swiftly- luckily for my budget, I'm currently in the state of mind that none of all that is necessary, and the thousands shopping and spending money have just been sucked in by consumerism. I might go shopping tomorrow instead.
I caught the subway to Lower Manhattan and went to the tiny cafe/bar Abraco for a delicious lunch before starting an audio tour of more TV & Movie sites
My next tour was of the Lower East Side, an amazing neighbourhood- formerly little Germany, then Jewish, then Chinatown... it's now a mish-mash of cultures. It's probably the most authentic (or so I believe) Chinatown I've been to- with every shop and sign being solely in Chinese, the shops packed into whatever available space there was. When millions immigrated into America at the turn of the 20th century, immigrants were told to walk to the first neighbourhood they found and set up shop there (quite literally). Lower East side was that neighbourhood, located just North of Battery Park. The area is characterised by huge tenemants where thousands used to live in cramped, squalid quarters and work in sweat shops- which is why the Garment District is located right next door. Now housing designer boutiques and cool little cafes and restaurants, this area once was packed with street carts, selling their wears and was the starting grounds for Bloomingdales, Macys and Bendels.
I sampled a couple of these great cafes- at Laboratorio del Gelato I had the thickest, creamiest ice cream I've ever had- in basil and ricotta flavour. I walked past Katz, the deli made famous by When Harry met Sally, and bought some fantastic smoked salmon from Russ & Daughters for dinner. I endured the long ride back to the hostel in the rush hour for dinner and then collapsed!