Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Birthday in the City

New York City with Mom!  What a fabulous birthday present!

We took trains down on Friday, met up in Penn Station, then jumped on a LIRR train to our hotel in Queens.  Dinner that night was at the Himalayan Yak - interesting and awesome.  One of my favorite things about the city is all the incredible food choices.

Saturday we started with a quick stroll down Wall Street before our ferry over to...

The Lady:

It was a beautiful morning, actually the entire day was gorgeous so we spent most of it outside.

Looks like spring even though it feels rather chilly for April:

The ranger tour was most excellent, as usual.  Here is our view during most of the tour - the statue "in motion":

The ranger talking about sculptures of various people who were instrumental in putting this whole thing together:

Nice view of Manhattan:

Walking around the island...

Sporting our audio guides:

John waiting for a chance to say "Merci!" to Monsieur Bartholdi:

Next stop = Ellis Island and a good look at what people went through to get into this country:

We were rather starving at this point, so we headed back to the mainland... er... the bigger island and jumped on a subway up to Greenwich Village.  It was super crowded but we managed to stop several places for our own version of a "food tour" - slices of Joe's Pizza, an Indian sample plate, some chocolate-dusted corn nuts (?), a chocolate-pear tart, and some scrumptious gelato.  I'm hungry just thinking about all of that.

Next stop - Times Square, because everyone should see it once in their life.  Again, super crowded but a fun gawking experience.  Including a run-in with a naked Texan.  No, it wasn't John (this time).  We climbed up the stairs for a better view of the scene:

After that we needed some Central Park time.  We walked all over the park, saw/heard some excellent street artists and musicians, and smiled at all the flowers and greenery.  Ahhh....

The most amazing find was a set of spotting scopes placed to view a red-tailed hawk, actually a pair with a nest across the way.  Mom had even heard of "Pale Male", it was like our own version of a celebrity sighting.  I could not have planned this better if I had actually planned it.

More pretty flowers:

Hans Christian Andersen - the boy isn't part of the sculpture, but he could be:

Climbing all over (and under) Alice:

We met Ron and Jerome briefly at a birthday gathering for Ron, then aimed for The Hummus Place for supper.  It is rapidly becoming one of my favorite restaurants.  Then we introduced Mom to the concept of "compile your own frozen yogurt", where we all compiled our own, of course.  Yum.

Wow, that was only the first day!

Sunday looked more rainy so we decided to stay more or less inside.  We started with a walk through the great Grand Central Terminal.  Then a quick 30 Rock shot:

View from the Top of the Rock:

Rather soggy but you get the idea:

The rest of Sunday involved the Museum of Natural History, the Green Expo for John (he got to drive an electric car around the block!), Maoz with Ron for falafel, and an afternoon at MoMA.  Then we couldn't resist trying to fit in just one more thing, so we journeyed down to Chinatown, wandered a few blocks in rather soaking rain, and stopped in for some fried rice.  Phew, another amazing day!

Monday morning we were all ready for some pre-train calm and relaxation, so we leisurely made our way back to Penn Station.  On the way we stopped at a little grocery store for fruit and found that everything in the store (not just the produce) was organic, a nice surprise.  Surprises just kept popping up around us all weekend!  Like finding a big Post Office building right next to Penn Station so Mom could get a quick look at their museum.

I'm sure I'm forgetting many details, but suffice it to say, last weekend was a resounding success  :)

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