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  1. Never in my life did I think I could walk as much as I did today. If you've been to New York, you know what a hike it would be from Chinatown and Little Italy to Times Square. If not.... then just believe me. Luckily it wasn't as humid as other days, so it didn't seem that bad.

    The subway is also starting to make more sense to us now and we're not all that worried about getting lost anymore. We've decided that our mistakes are often just new surprises. That a wrong left turn is often the right turn. It's how we stumbled on NYU and Washington Park and a bunch of indie cafes and bistros. At times maybe we've delved too deep into a certain district, maybe went one too many fish markets into Chinatown, but we always seem to leave with a more complete perspective of the area. Some areas like Little Italy have become very tourist-centric whereas Chinatown is as authentic as it gets.

    Before fulling engulfing ourselves in Little Italy, we shimmied down a side street into the outskirts of SoHo and got some lunch, consisting of paninis, fried potatoes and one of the most delicious salads I've ever had (which is saying something, because I'm not a big salad person). The interior of the place was hipster/vintage, with lots of old paintings and mirrors. I especially liked how it opened onto the cobblestone street.

    Tres hip
    After that, we delved into Little Italy. According to a some tourist books I've been reading, it's really shrunk over the last few decades, and it seemed to be really confined to Mulberry Street.  

    It was interesting to see Little Italy and think back to what it may have been like in the early 1990s, but my imagination didn't get far before one of the many busboys at each of the restaurants tried to get us to come in and eat: "You guyza a hungry? We've gotza the meatballs!" And it's not too say the food didn't look good, but who wants to be pushed into eating?

    Not only that, but it was just restaurant after restaurants - no markets, bakeries or anything like that. As well, I was scolded by a waitress for sitting down after ordering gelato at the counter in a restaurant instead of leaving. Well sorrrreee!

    Each and every restaurant also claimed to have the best cannoli or lasagna or pasta or the best gelato in all of NY, which I thought was kind of funny. The gelato was pretty damn good though. And even though I'm lactose intolerant, I've been consuming dairy en masse this whole trip because I found a wonder drug at the pharmacy. Canada has yet to approve the drug but I plan on bringing back a year's worth. It apparently doesn't have side effects and I'm hoping I don't grow a boob or something... but even if I did, it was worth every spoonful of gelato, every smear of butter and every dollop of creme fraiche.

    Chinatown surrounds Little Italy - go a block off Mulberry street and it's right there, which means both Little Italy and Chinatown were pretty packed. I'm not a crowd person (what a great city to pick for a vacation, right) but I was able to get past that to do some more sightseeing. It was a beautiful part of town. I would love to live there, but because SoHo is so close I'd bet that rent is pretty high.

    Fish markets I also don't like, but that's because I have a sensitive nose.
    I guess that means I'm going to China alone next year...

    I do love the quiet sidestreets though!
    So after this, we were like 'let's walk back to SoHo!' so I could do some shopping. I haven't bought anything besides food and MetroCards - what is wrong with me? I get horrible sticker shock, and because vintage is  so hip in the US, even vintage stores are getting to be pricy. And if I'm going to pay $140 for a dress, I'd rather it be a one-off vintage piece than a Banana Republic 60s repro-dress (although I have to admit, they were beautiful). Perhaps Day 4 will be the day the shopping bug takes hold of me. G has already bought some stuff AND he broke the no-shopping-at-stores-we-have-back-home rule. Tsk tsk. But I look damn good in my new clothes.

    After SoHo we just kept walking. And walking. And walking until we came to Washington (I think) Park. I wanted to splash in the fountain but that would probably cause more problems than solve them. So I instead went for a skinny dip, eventually got hauled away by the NYPD kicking and screaming "don't taze me, bro!"

    I took photos of a very handsome men:

    Then I guess he felt obligated to get one of me.

    We decided to keep going downtown, and ended up in Times Square, which is where we had transferred subways in the morning. We had visited in the daytime and I didn't get what all the hubbub was about, but I do now.

    We picked up our NewYorkPasses, which are three-day passes that will get you into a bunch of attractions and at most places you can skip the lines, which is pretty awesome. We're activating them today (day 4) so we'll let you know how they go. Expect more touristy stuff to come.

    Following that we walked over to Bond 45 restaurant because it looked fairly quiet and a little retro.

    They have to pay those electricity bills somehow.
    We didn't see the pricy menu on the way in however, and again my sticker shock kicked in. However soon that gave away to real shock as I checked my phone and saw that my brother and sister-in-law had been in a bad car accident back home. Greg is fine, but from the sounds of it my sister-in-law is in pretty rough shape.  So, thanks for running that red-light, other driver.

    Needless to say I was pretty distracted the rest of the night and even today while writing this, constantly checking for updates. It happened Saturday night and my mom sent me a FB message in the morning instead of texting because it costs so much, but I didn't get the message until later because I didn't have WiFi access until then. As much fun as I've been having on this trip, I do wish I could be back home with my family. But I know Mere would want me to enjoy myself - she was pretty jealous that I was coming here - so I ought to make the best of it.

    Until tomorrow,
    Laurie and Garret

  2. 2 comments:

    1. Jan said...

      I am so sorry to hear about your brother and sister-in-law, how sad, but you are right they would want you to continue on with your amazing holiday. I can't wait to hear all of the stories when you are home. Keep on having fun. Love Mom

    2. Kerry said...

      Oh my gosh that must have been awful to hear while on holiday, but at least you can stay in touch with them until you do get back.

      It does look like you are having a fantastic time, so hopefully you will hear some good news on recoveries over the next few days to put your mind at rest while you are trying to engross yourself in the delights of NYC.

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