Tuesday, June 9, 2015

NYC Part 5: Empire State of Mind

Even though it's been a couple of months since Morgan and I meandered through the streets of New York, I wanted to finish telling our tale. 

So here we go again...igniting the flame that is my passion and love for this city.
Take me back!

To recap my other adventures in NYC, check out these posts:
As with my previous posts, I wanted to include this reference map of the places we visited. 

Recently, Morgan and I were reunited for the first time since we said goodbye at La Guardia (finally!!!) and we were reminiscing about our trip. We both agreed that our Wednesday in the city was one of our favorite days. We allowed ourselves to sleep in a little and fully rejuvenate our bodies for the rest of the trip. After stopping by a local cafe for a bite to eat, we raced off to the Empire State building. As you can imagine, I was about ready to run to the top of the building to meet Chuck Bass of Gossip Girl or Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle...or ya know, pretty much any other character that has had a famous scene up there. Morgan and I couldn't contain our laughter when thinking of those movie characters trying to meet someone at the top of the building. With all of the security and the long lines, you'd have to do some pretty persuasive talking with those security guards.."Ummm, Chuck Bass is at the top waiting for me, so ummm, do you think you can cut me some slack on this 2 hour line?!" 

It was such a gorgeous day. While we had been bundled up the other days, today we were able to explore in simply light jackets and sweaters. Dressing like that at the beginning of March is a victory all in itself. 

By the time we had captured pictures at every angle of the city, my stomach was growling, which could only mean one thing...time for Chinatown!! Since China was where Morgan and I became friends, it holds a special place in my heart. How appropriate that we were able to relive some of those memories over food in the corner of a questionable restaurant in Chinatown?! Do I know if the facility's sanitation code was up to par? No. Do I want to? Probably not!

Even though we never actually ate duck while we were in China, it seemed like the Chinatown thing to do. I think our waiter was a little concerned that we didn't understand what we were ordering, because he then proceeded to point to an entire duck dangling from the window display. If that's not enough to make your stomach turn... We also ordered dim sum, which we ate in excess in Asia. In the spirit of reliving our Asian adventures, we ordered family style with some traditional tea. 

Even though we certainly weren't hungry, Morgan was able to track down an ice cream place that served green tea ice cream. I swear that girl has a sixth sense when it comes to anything green tea. It's a gift! 

We didn't go crazy purchasing knock off designer bags like you would expect. However it was pretty funny when people would discreetly come up to you and whisper "Louis Vuitton, Chanel..handbags. Come with me." I'm told they take you to a back alley to bargain and two young twenty something females were not about to do that. You're welcome, mom.

When we had had our cross cultural fix, we ventured back to our favorite part of the city: Battery Park. It's funny whenever I tell people that's my favorite. I think they expect me to say something more glamorous, like the Met or the Upper East Side. I'm just keepin' it real--I love that harbor! :) 

Back in the harbor area, we went to the Museum of Jewish Heritage which was a part of our NYC City Pass. If you visit NYC, you will not regret scheduling this into your agenda. The one of the things that was so great about this museum is how many fewer tourists were there. We practically had the place to ourselves. It was heartbreaking to take a stroll through history and learn about what the Jewish people have had to endure. The largest exhibit about the Holocaust was haunting. At one point, Morgan and I turned to each at exactly the same time and pondered "Why the Jews?" Why did Hitler single out the Jewish people? It could have been anyone! The whole thought of going through what those people did is sickening. 

Afterwards, we needed something to lighten our heavy hearts. Since we wouldn't have time to return to the Financial District, we strolled along the harbor and soaked up the last of those beautiful sites as the sun was setting. 

Having eaten at an odd time, we decided to test out this Korean dessert place Morgan had scoped out long before we even had even planned our trip. Tell me this green tea chocolate lava cake doesn't make your mouth water! We both agreed that this was by far the best food on the trip. 

And since we were on vacation and you eat excessively when on vacation...we ate even more when we walked back to Grand Central. We each tried different oysters, because that's what you do when you're at the Oyster Bar! We also had some New York clam chowder. Yum! 

With full tummies, we drifted back to our hotel. Stay tuned for our early morning excursion to the set of Good Morning America and our celebrity spotting. 

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