First things first though, we needed our caffeine fix. One of the things my sister and I have in common is that we have to have coffee first thing in the morning. Wait! Let me rephrase that. My sister and I are walking zombies before our first cup. Good thing we didn't have far to go to get that cup o'java as the hotel provided free coffee (and breakfast). Surprisingly, the coffee wasn't the watered down variety but was really quite good. Just enough caffeine to wake us up in the mornings.
And off we go!
9/11 Memorial Site
Before anything else the gorgeous H and I wanted to pay our respects to the victims of 9/11. We got our visitors passes online through the 9/11 Memorial Site. The passes used to be free but now there is a minimal service fee.
|There are two 30 foot reflecting pools (North and South) erected on the site where the Twin Towers used to be. The names of all the victims of 9/11 are engraved along the granite panels surrounding the pools.
|The Survivor Tree. This badly burned tree was recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center with only one living branch. Look at it now!
|There were a lot of construction in and around the memorial site with new buildings going up.
|One World Trade Center (1 WTC)
|The Financial District of New York City is an eight-block long street running from Broadway to South Street in lower Manhattan.
|The Federal Hall was built in 1700 as NYC's City Hall. It was also the site of George Washington's inauguration as the first President of the United States of America.
|New York Stock Exchange.
Crossing the Brooklyn bridge was one of our tour's highlights. The bridge was originally called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and East River Bridge in the 1800s. In 1915 the city government formally named it simply as the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Neo-Gothic bridge spans the East River and connects two of NYC's boroughs, Brooklyn and Manhattan. At the bridge one gets terrific views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, East River and of course the famous Manhattan skyline.
|The gorgeous H and I crossed the bridge starting from Brooklyn to get a full scenic view of Manhattan's skyline.
|The Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge's younger sister as seen from the Brooklyn side.
|I was pointing my camera at the Statue Of Liberty which should be somewhere to the right of the red crane's tip. I guess my zoom lens isn't that powerful. Time for an upgrade! "Yeah, right!" Says the big K.
Talking about the Statue of Liberty, the gorgeous H and I had tickets for the 1 PM ferry. Arriving at Battery Park we were amazed to see a huge line of ticket-buying tourists. Thanking our stars that we decided to buy our tickets online we proceeded to the boarding ramp.
Imagine our surprise to see another humongous line of people waiting to board the ferry! Not willing to stand in line, under the heat of the sun for at least two hours, we decided to ditch our tour for the next visit (hopefully!).
But what do we do with the tickets we already paid for? No problem! Spotting two bewildered-looking female tourists staring at the long line of ticket-buying visitors, my enterprising sister offered them our tickets at a discount. Good thing the tickets did not come with the ticket holder's names, otherwise try explaining how two German ladies would have Filipino-sounding names they could even barely pronounce.
Lesson learned: Buy tickets for the first ferry ride of the day. Or take the ferry from the New Jersey side. The lines there are shorter. Or so they say.
Top of the Rock
The 67th to the 70th floors of the GE building in the Rockefeller Center complex is where the observation deck known as the Top of the Rock is found. If you want to get a 360-degree panoramic view of New York City, this is the place to be.
|The main entrance for the Top of the Rock is at 50th street between 5th and 6th avenues.
|Fantastic view of Central Park!
|Up close and personal with the Empire State Building.
|The iconic picture taken in 1932 of workers on their lunch break seated on a girder 800+ feet above New York City's streets with no safety harnesses. These were brave men!
|Bronze statue of Atlas in front of the Rockefeller Center on 5th avenue.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
|The Neo-Gothic church is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.
|Victory leading Sherman is one of several sculptures at Central Park.
|Belvedere Tower in Central Park
|The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir
|The American Museum of Natural History is just one of several museums located in the Central Park area.
New York Eats
|Shake Shack. Opened in 2004 it was named Best Burger in New York City in 2005. Forget our diets! The gorgeous H and I just had to try their famous ShackBurger. It was good stuff! Now I understand why people line up for hours at this burger joint.
|Serendipity 3 restaurant is famous for their desserts and ice cream. Several movie scenes have been shot here including John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale 's romantic comedy, Serendipity. We didn't know about the 48 hour advance order for the Golden Opulence Sundae. So, the gorgeous H and I reluctantly settled for the equally sinful Chocolate Blackout cake.
|Papaya King is known for their franks and tropical drinks. Opened in 1932 they have been so successful that they have been copied by the likes of Gray's Papaya and Papaya Dog.
|Eataly. A market selling imported foodstuff mainly from Europe and several restaurants serving mouth-watering dishes. This place is a foodie's heaven!
|The nearby Flatiron Building.
|The most visited square in the world. And I believe it!
|The gorgeous H and I got to see Lady Liberty up close and personal this time.
|Traffic jam and still a lot of people at 1AM! New York City truly deserves its title, the city that never sleeps.
The Official Guide to New York City
New York City MetroCard