Staten Island Ferry
Originally, because of a package I bought our Empire State Building tickets in, we were planning to the more traditional Circle Line Cruise. The thing is, and I'm not nearly as embarrassed about this as I should be, I really wanted to go to Hot Topic. The 'closest' one was Staten Island Mall, so we took the ferry instead. I'm so glad we did! It was a beautiful view, and so easy to do. The fact that it's free is astounding. As a bonus, on the (very long) bus ride to the Mall, we got away from all things touristy, and saw the kind of US we'd only seen in films. The huge houses and how everything is so spaced out. It was awesome. I bought a ton of stuff at Hot Topic, plus shoes from Skechers which I still refer to by their full name-'My Staten Island Bobs'. We caught the ferry back at sunset, which as you can see above, was beautiful.
This was the most unbelievable, 'are we actually doing this right now?!' moment of the trip. It was incredible. It was a long ride to Brooklyn but it was interesting in itself. We were helped by a friendly lawyer, who even got off the train with us to make some recommendations and point in the right direction. I loved reading all of the attached padlocks, and graffiti. We saw a couple taking wedding photos which was really sweet. When we arrived back on land in Manhatten, there was a group of guys putting on a show, sort of break dancing/gymnastics. We watched the whole thing, because they were hilarious and super talented. This is also one of my favourite things about New York, there's always something going on, always something to watch. For such a busy city, it's easy to stop for a while and watch.
We didn't eat pizza for so long after we came back, I didn't see the point if it wasn't New York pizza. I ate it every day in one form or another, and Joe's was definitely the best. We ate at a different bagel place for the first couple of mornings, until we moved onto something else. The desserts also spoiled me! Magnolia cupcakes, Dough doughnuts, Levain cookies, all the best I've ever eaten. It's like an art form. God I miss the food.
Barnes and Noble
UK YA lovers know that we are nothing without Amazon. As much as I try to support book stores, If they have a YA section at all, it is tiny. So imagine how I felt when I travelled down that escalator and I saw B+N's YA section - it was split. into. genres! One of my biggest pet peeves is the idea that YA is a genre in itself, that makes no sense. So I spent an hour perusing the whole selection, while my wife waited patiently, because she's amazing.
I still can't believe how easy it is to get around New York. Once I got the hang of Streets v. Avenues, and we used the subway a couple of times--simple. Also, so many people were so happy to help us, and we got to know a couple of peoples a little bit. And some of the stations are incredible, Grand Central Terminal obviously.