after picking up some starbucks we jumped on the subway headed to NYU. my niece is a sophomore and she's interested in seeing as many colleges as possible before she decides where to apply so we thought there was no better place to see than NYU. unfortch, we stayed on the subway too long and ended up in brooklyn! a nice lady on the subway helped us figure out how to get back on track and the first stop we made it back to was canal street. we seized the opportunity, jumped off the subway, and decided we'd do some shopping and have some lunch. chinatown and little italy were awesome, just like i'd pictured them...
we also had the best meal of our entire trip here, at lombardi's.
the pizza was to die for and the calzone that my sister and i split made me never want to eat italian food again. nothing will ever compare to that meal so what's the point??
with our stomachs full, we were ready for more exploring. before we could get very far with our shopping we were distracted by illegal handbags and jewelry. anyone who's been to new york... or mexico... or basically anywhere, knows what i'm talking about. not being ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, my sis and i followed the nice people into a dark alley and handed over some cold hard cash for a couple of louis purses and some delicious chanel earrings. check... and check. with that crossed off the list, we headed toward ground zero.
ground zero was something we wanted to see while we were in ny but on our way there we happened upon a church that really was something special. st. paul's is just around the corner from ground zero and it was built in 1766. it was such a beautiful and historical monument that we decided to take some time and look around. not only is it one of the oldest buildings in new york city, but george washington himself worshipped at st. paul's after his inauguration. the church is surrounded by a cemetery with gravestones dated from the 1700's and, amazingly enough, it is still open for worship. we walked around inside and saw the pew dubbed as "george washington's pew" and also saw photos from 9/11. the church served as a rescue for anyone who needed it after the tragedy. another thing of note was a clock that was thrown out of one of the towers and frozen at the time of impact. seeing that made the hairs on the back on my neck stand up... so emotional and haunting.
we left st. paul's and walked over to ground zero. i'd heard from other people that there's really nothing to see there, just a big empty space where the twin towers used to stand... and that's exactly right. the area is still secure, you can't go past a certain point, and it looks like a construction site. we stood and looked at the cranes that were lifting and moving... rebuilding what was destroyed almost 10 years ago. amazing. i looked up to the very tops of the cranes and noticed each one had an american flag flying high on it. another haunting moment.
[ground zero w/ century 21 in the left foreground]
at that point, we all needed something to lift our spirits so we were off to century 21 for some more shopping. i'd never even heard of century 21 before sara told me it was a "must see" while in ny. now it's my favorite!! it's like a nordstrom rack on steroids. they have 5+ floors of every designer brand you can think of for dirt cheap prices. ohhhhggyyyyyaaaaaaaaaahhh, loved it.
back on track after the shopping diversion, we finally made our way to NYU. better late than never, we took a mini-tour of campus then took a load off at a campus diner while we found our second wind.
after all that, we still weren't finished. the empire state building was next on the list. our feet were mush from all the walking we'd done so we took a cab over to empire state and rode the elevator up to the 102nd floor for a sunset view of the city. it felt like a movie. perfect.
it was dark, we were beat and hungry. it had been several hours since lombardi's and as big as that calzone was, the walking had devoured it. we tucked into a little steakhouse called frankie and johnnie's for a couple of de-lish dirty martinis and enough steak and lobster ravioli to choke a horse.
walking back to the hotel, we made a couple of pit stops by radio city music hall and NBC. i geeked out over 30 rock.
[the girls in front of radio city music hall]
[me at 30 rock]
that night, we all slept like the dead. it was late to bed and early to rise because day three and cherith's sweet 16 was on the horizon...