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  1. New York: Day 2 - Getting our bearings

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Day two started out a little bit later in the day, since it was Sunday and most attractions wouldn't be open anyway. We hopped on the subway and just got off at a random midtown station. It turned out to be on Broadway, so we found a very forced-retro diner and had some breakfast. I was dying because I hadn't had coffee in three days - and before you ask "Oh, aren't there Starbucks in New York?" let me break this down for you:
    Day 1 (Friday) I was still at home, but so busy packing and getting ready that I forgot to get coffee. Day 2 (Saturday) we were traveling all day and trying to get to our destination, so coffee was the last thing on our minds. Day 3 (Sunday) we finally got some coffee. Bliss!

    Garret's lunch at Big Daddy's

    Laurie's lunch at Big Daddy's
    A beer sampler at Heartland Brewery in the Empire State Building.
    In other news, I saw my first rat today and then I saw my first Rolls-Royce. This has stuck in my head because I'm finding NYC is exactly like their famous black and white cookie. At times you see pristine, glass buildings and then in another part of town you see worn-down brick building with barred windows. I first noticed this while going from NJ to NY Penn Station as well and I always seem to end up with mixed feelings. Laurie said I wasn't suppose to talk about this because it's too political (did not!) ... so let me tell you about this rat I saw! This little bugger ended up jumping into the under-carriage of a car and went for a joy ride. Everything takes transit in this city!

    Post-lunch, we decided just to let our feet take us wherever they please, and walked down from 96 &  Broadway to Times Square, then over to Fifth Avenue, then to Union Square and back home. Needless to say, my feet are killing me but we saw some amazing sights.

    Times Square

    This was our first time above ground in Manhattan. I had that moment where Hollywood's portrayal of NYC suddenly matched what I was seeing. Of course the first thing I did was look up. You do a lot of that when you're in NYC. For an architecture nerd like me, it was the brick, steel and glass heaven I'd always dreamed about, add in the bagels and coffee and well I may have just hit nirvana. I'd move here in a heartbeat given the chance.
    Looking up

    We saw the Empire State Building, Flatiron building and the Library, but by that time the weather started to degrade so the lighting wasn't good enough for photos. Which brings me to my next point - always bring an umbrella! We did not and had to buy a shoddy street umbrella after we were already soaked. I attribute the rain to the horrible condition my feet are in. Nylons and wet canvas do not make skin happy.

    The rain pretty much forced us to duck into the nearest diner/cafe we could find. We ended up at a place called the University Diner. It was more or less your typical diner but with that NYC charm. We were lucky enough to be seated by not one but two couples fighting. They appeared to be trust fund hippies/hipsters and provided us with our evening entertainment until we had to pull the map out and figure out how to get home.

    I've been surprised a few times at how helpful and nice New Yorkers can be. Even when we were waiting out in the rain for the shuttle bus, a lady told Laurie to "Get under my umbrella, baby!"

    Now it's time to embark on a new day. We don't have anything planned yet, but since most museums are closed on Monday it may prove to be a somewhat quiet day.

    Until tomorrow,
    Garret and Laurie.

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